Umaymah and her brother, Muhammad Yusuf, were excited about the upcoming days. It was Ramadhan and thereafter Eid, a time to learn appreciation for the things they had, and to think of others who didn't have as much.
They had both been saving their money all year long. Umaymah , sat on her bed and dumped out her money from her money box. Coins ran all over the blanket. "This is a lot of money. Ammi says we are supposed to help someone. She wants us to think about how much we have and then think of someone who doesn't have very much, and do something nice for them," Umaymah said, gathering the money into a pile. "Dump out your money box, Muhammad Yusuf," she told her brother.
The coins came spilling out of his box onto the bed. "Wow! We can do a lot for someone with all this money," Muhammad Yusuf said, smiling. "This is such a special time of year. I'm glad we can help others."
"But we have to do it secretly, Muhammad Yusuf, remember. We have to pick someone and do something very nice without them knowing it is from us. Who should we pick?" Umaymah asked.
"Let's pick our neighbours, Fatima, and Ebrahim. I noticed that they had holes in their shoes," Muhammad Yusuf said.
"That's a good idea. We could buy some new shoes for them. They aren't as blessed as we are. We have a lot of shoes, don't we?" Umaymah asked with appreciation.
"I have three pairs. You have more. Let's buy some new shoes for them this Eid," Muhammad Yusuf said, smiling.
Muhammad Yusuf and Umaymah found their Ammi. She was busy cooking. She saw her children come into the kitchen. "I'm going to make some pizzas for tonight," she said, knowing her family loved to eat that during Ramadan .
"Abba is at the mosque, in prayer. When he comes home, after the sun sets, we'll have some time to sit together. In the meantime, you two look like you've got something on your minds."
"We want to help the poor. Muhammad Yusuf and I have been saving our money all year long and we want to help Fatima and Ebrahim, our neighbors," Umaymah began.
Muhammad Yusuf , with excitement, interrupted, "We want to buy them some shoes."
Ammi smiled at her beautiful children. She was so proud of them.
"Aren't you hungry, Ammi" Muhammad Yusuf asked. He knew she had not had anything to eat or drink since dawn that morning due to Ramadan fasting.
"I'm a little bit, but that is good for me. Don't worry about me. When you're older, you will understand more and be able to fast too," she explained Muhammad Yusuf who was only four years old "Would you like me to take you to the store to buy the shoes?" she asked.
"Why of course. Let's go," she said.
They drove to the shoe store and went inside. Umaymah picked out a pair of shoes for Fatima.. Muhammad Yusuf picked out a pair for Ebrahim. They were both so proud that they'd saved their money so they could do this to help. Later, they went home and wrapped the shoe boxes in plain brown paper. They waited anxiously for night to come. It would be dark and they could deliver their gifts.
The sun began to drop behind the horizon. A little while later, Abba came home. He and Ammi had some haleem[soup], then the pies and samoosas. Ammi called to her children, "Muhammad Yusuf and Ummaymah. Come and have some pizzas, and some fresh dates." The children came running into the kitchen. Ammi cut them a big piece.
They gobbled it down quickly as they were anxious to do their good deed. "Slow down, children," Abba urged, laughing.
It was soon dark outside. Ammi had the children go and get the boxes they'd wrapped so carefully. They put their jackets on and walked quietly over to Fatima and Ebrahim's house. Ammi whispered, "All right, children. We must be very quiet and very fast. Muhammad Yusuf , you knock on the door and then run over here, to this bush, where Ummaymah and I will be hiding. We'll watch as they come and find their gifts."
Ummaymah and Muhammad Yusuf giggled with delight. Ummaymah and Ammi hid, and Muhammad Yusuf tiptoed up to the door. He put both of the boxes down on the porch, and knocked hard. Then he ran, and ran, and ran, as fast as he could, to where Ummaymah and Ammi were. "Shhh," Ammi whispered. "Someone opened the door."
They watched as Fatima and Ebrahim' came out onto the porch. "Look! There are presents for us. Someone left them here," Ebrahim cried out with excitement. He and Fatima looked around. It was very dark and they couldn't see anyone. They picked up the boxes and took them inside. They left the front door open as they opened their boxes. Ammi, Ummaymah and Muhammad Yusuf noticed the tears of joy trickling down their innocent cheeks.
After a minute or two, waiting to make sure they wouldn't be seen, Ammi, Ummaymah and Muhammad Yusuf , snuck quietly back to their house. Muhammad Yusuf started laughing. "Abba!Abba! We did it! We snuck up and left the presents!"
Ummaymah added, "They didn't see us, Abba. They don't know it was us." She was laughing too.
Abba and Ammi stood back and looked at their children. They were so proud of them. They knew their children knew the real meaning of giving and of sacrifice. The next morning, as Ammi, Abba, Ummaymah and Muhammad Yusuf went outside their house, they saw Fatima and Ebrahim' outside playing. They were both wearing their brand new shoes. Nobody said a thing. Ummaymah and Muhammad Yusuf just smiled, because it is one of the best Ramadan and Eid for them.
"Seven who Allah will grant shade in His shade on the day when there is no shade except His shade... and a man who gave something in charity secretly such that his left hand did not know what his right hand had given..." Muslim & Bukhari
Moral: We should think of others that are less fortunate than ourselves on this beautiful day of Eid. Not everyone has such a wonderful day. It is a day of celebration, but take a moment to stop and think of those who are less fortunate than ourselves by following the Sunnah of our Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
What good habits we will inculcate in our kids is really a true investment!