Ask our children:
1. If someone asks us for forgiveness, what should we do?
2. Should we think high of ourselves?
3. Should we think low of others?
Now tell them the story:
There was once a mighty lion who ruled over a dangerous jungle. All the animals feared him and would not dare disobey him. A single roar from him was enough to completely silence the entire jungle. As time passed, the lion became so proud and arrogant that he refused to listen to anyone and would do as he pleased.
One day, while the lion was fast asleep in his den, a small mouse ran by in search of his friends. His running disturbed the lion who woke up and immediately stretched out his giant paw and placed it over the mouse. The mouse was terrified and trembled with fear. He begged the lion saying, “Dear master! Please do forgive me and I will never forget you. Perhaps I will one day be able to help you.”
When the lion heard this, he thought the mouse was joking. He burst out laughing and thought, “How can a tiny mouse ever help me?” The lion laughed so much and liked the joke so much that he eventually allowed the mouse to go.
Sometime later, the lion was out in the jungle and he unexpectedly got caught in a trap which some hunters had set. For the first time in his life, the lion knew what it was like to lie helpless and afraid. It was now that he realized how weak he was and that it was wrong for him to have thought high of himself and low of others. With this thought in his heart, he immediately turned to Allah Ta‘ala in repentance and promised to change his ways.
Just then the little mouse and his friends happened to pass by. On seeing the sad, pitiful condition of the powerful lion, they immediately began to bite at the thick, strong ropes with their extra sharp teeth. In no time the lion was released and once again free to move about. He thanked the little mouse and his friends for saving his life and then took the little mouse aside and poured out his heart to him saying, “Dear friend! Please forgive me for having laughed at you previously. I will definitely never forget how you have helped me and who knows, we may just need each other again one day.”
The lion learnt his lesson that day and changed his entire life. He spent the rest of his life serving the animals in the jungle instead of just ruling over them. Now that the king treated them with kindness, the animals loved, praised and respected him.
1. Forgiveness has rewards in this world as well.
2. Tests and difficulties in our lives are only there to make us better people.
3. We should never underestimate the help which a smaller and weaker person may give us one day.
4. Sincere repentance opens the doors of change and goodness in our lives.
5. No matter how mighty and powerful a person may be, at times even he will need others to help him.
6. A proud and arrogant person will have to someday learn humility.
7. The one who serves others is loved and respected by them.