Ask our children:
1. Can food be thrown away?
2. If Allah Ta‘ala has given us a lot of favours, what should we do?
3. How should we treat the poor?
Now tell them the story:
There was once a spoilt boy whose name was Aslam. His parents were rich and because he was their only child, he enjoyed all their love and attention. They gave him the latest toys, dressed him in the smartest clothing and drove him in the best of cars. He was so spoilt, that his bedroom alone was as big as other people’s homes! There was never a dull day in Aslam’s life and he never heard ‘NO!’ as an answer. Anything he asked for was immediately given to him.
One day, Aslam’s mother went to throw some dirt into the kitchen bin. When she opened the bin, she got a shock to see that someone had thrown food inside! The culprit was none other than Aslam, who was now already fifteen years old. His mother immediately told his father what had happened and they both realised that Aslam had been spoilt with every comfort of life from the time he was born. He simply did not realise how much of money went into buying the groceries and how much of effort went into preparing each meal. He did not understand that every bite was a gift from Allah Ta‘ala and thus failed to appreciate the meal.
The following day, Aslam’s father decided to take him to a poor settlement on the outskirts of the town. As they neared the settlement, Aslam’s face already began changing colour. It was the first time in his life that he was exposed to poverty. The homes were made of mud and tin and despite the bitter cold; children were running around in bare feet with hardly any clothing to keep themselves warm.
Suddenly, a woman stumbled past crying out, “My baby! My baby!” An old man walking behind her explained, “Her baby was sick and they didn’t have money for medication. The baby passed away yesterday.”
When Aslam heard this, a shiver ran down his spine and he could not hold back his tears. Seeing other people’s difficulties had opened his eyes and he now realized how blessed he was. Seeing that he had learnt a lesson, Aslam’s father decided to drive back home. The entire drive back, Aslam continued tearing, thinking over all the comforts he was enjoying and how wasteful and ungrateful he was.
When they reached home, the first thing Aslam did was run up to his mother, hug her and promise her that he would never throw food into the bin again. The next morning, Aslam went to his father with a huge plastic bag full of old clothes and shoes. He told his father, “Please take me to those people we saw yesterday. I want to share these with them.” The father was overjoyed and pleased with the change in his son and they both immediately drove to the settlement to help the people in need.
1. We need to look at those who are less fortunate than us in order to appreciate what Allah Ta‘ala has given us.
2. We must never waste food. There are many people who don’t have anything to eat. They will even accept our leftovers happily.