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Ilyaas Learns Ikhlaas

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There was once a boy named Ilyaas who always liked to help people. He would help his brother and sister, his friends in madrasah, and any person he saw who needed help. Ilyaas had such a kind heart that he could not see any person with a need or a problem and ignore him! Rather, he just had to go and try to help the person.

One day, when Ilyaas was in madrasah, his friend Nadeem came running to him and said, “Ilyaas! Ilyaas! Please, you have to help me, or I will be in sooo much of trouble!” Ilyaas turned to him and said, “Calm down Nadeem! What’s the matter?” Nadeem said, “I forgot my kitaab at home, and Moulana will give me detention if I don’t have a kitaab today, because that’s the second time I left it at home this week!” Ilyaas replied, “Don’t worry, I have a spare kitaab. Here, take it!” Nadeem was so happy, he said, “Jazaakallah!”, took the kitaab and went back to his place.

That day, after madrasah, as Ilyaas’s father came to fetch him, Ilyaas noticed that Ahmad was crying. He quickly went to Ahmad and asked, “Ahmad! What’s wrong? Is everything ok?” Ahmad said, “I was supposed to take a lift home with Nadeem today, but I forgot to tell him. Now he’s already gone and I don’t have a lift to go home!” Ilyaas immediately said, “That’s not a problem, you can come with me! We’ll give you a lift!” Ahmad was so happy that he smiled a big smile, from ear to ear. He sat in the car with Ilyaas, and in a few minutes, he was back home.

That evening, after supper, Ilyaas’s brother and sister came to him and asked him for help. They said, “Ilyaas, we have a new tent that we want to put up in the lounge, but we don’t know how to assemble it. Please help us!” Ilyaas was only too happy to help, so he went to the lounge, and half an hour later, his brother and sister were happily playing in their new tent.

The next day, Ilyaas had some trouble. Somehow, everything seemed to be going wrong! First, he arrived at madrasah, and then realized that he had left his kitaab at home. As Ilyaas sat, wondering what to do, he saw that Nadeem had an extra kitaab on his desk. Ilyaas quickly went to Nadeem and said, “Nadeem! I forgot my kitaab at home today! Please lend me your extra kitaab!” Ilyaas thought that Nadeem would help him, because Ilyaas had helped him yesterday. But, instead of helping him and being kind, Nadeem said, “If you are so forgetful, then it’s your fault. If you get detention, then you deserve it! Why should I help you?”

Ilyaas was very disappointed and very sad, but he did not say anything…

That afternoon, Ilyaas missed his lift home because of his detention. But, as he came out from madrasah, he saw Ahmad about to get into his father’s car. Ilyaas quickly ran to him and asked, “Ahmad, can you please give me a lift home?” However, Ahmad just ignored him and left, without even saying anything. Now, Ilyaas was even more sad and disappointed. He gave Ahmad a lift yesterday, so why was Ahmad being so mean to him today?

In the evening, after supper, Ilyaas was feeling tired. It had been a long and sad day. So, he asked his brother and sister if they would help him to clean the toys in the lounge before bedtime. However, they were both rude and said, “Do it yourself! We want to play, not clean!”

Ilyaas could not take any more! He started to cry, because he was so sad and disappointed with how everyone was being mean to him – especially when he was so good to them! In fact, Ilyaas was so sad, that he decided that from now on, he was not going to help anyone anymore!

Later on, as Ilyaas lay in bed, reading his kalimahs and du‘aas, his father came to check on him and tuck him in. His father said to him, “Ilyaas! You look sad today! Is everything ok?” Ilyaas said, “No! I am very sad and disappointed!” He then told his father everything – how he had helped others, but they did not help him and were mean to him.

After hearing his complaint, his father said, “Ilyaas, we all need to have ikhlaas!” Ilyaas was confused, as he had never heard this word before. He asked his father, “What does ikhlaas mean?” His father explained, “Ikhlaas means ‘sincerity’. It means that when you do any good deed, then you do it only to make Allah Ta‘ala happy. When you do everything to make Allah Ta‘ala happy, then you will not worry about whether people are good to you or not, or appreciate or not. You will know that you did it for Allah Ta‘ala, and He is happy, so you are a winner!”

Ilyaas understood what his father explained, but also said, “Daddy! I won’t be sad anymore, because I know that Allah Ta‘ala is happy with me. But, I also won’t be good to these people anymore, because they don’t deserve it! They are mean people!” Ilyaas’s father replied, “No Ilyaas! Just because other people are mean to you, it does not mean that you must be mean to them! Our beloved Nabi Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), taught us that we must also be good to those who are bad to us. So, whatever happens, don’t stop being good to people and helping them.”

Ilyaas decided, there and then, that from that day on, he would continue to try and help people and be good to them. Even if they did not appreciate and were bad to him, he would not worry and be sad, because he knew that Allah Ta‘ala was happy with him – and that is the most important thing.

Lessons:

1. When we do any good action, we must do it only to make Allah Ta‘ala happy. This is called ikhlaas.

2. If we are kind to someone, but they do not appreciate, then we should not become sad and worried. As long as Allah Ta‘ala is happy with us, we are winners!

3. If people are bad to us, we should not be bad to them. We should still be kind to them.

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