The Story of Little Zayd


Sayyid Imran Akhtar Attari Madani

“Sister! Sister! Please make me some food, I’m starving!” Little Zayd cried to his sister as he entered the kitchen. His mother, who was also in the kitchen, was not too pleased, “Zayd! I have noticed for a couple of days that whenever you come home from school, you want to eat first instead of changing out of your uniform and freshening up. Remember your manners!”

“Zayd never used to eat all his school lunch, but now he does. Does he have worms in his stomach?” His sister joked with a tinge of seriousness.

Grandmother then exclaimed, “God forbid! Why do you say such things, and why are both mother and daughter scolding my dear grandson? Go and change your clothes, Zayd. The food will be ready by the time you come back.”

After a while, as the family were sitting on the dining mat eating a delicious meal, Grandmother said, “Zayd! Come to my room when you finish eating. I need to speak with you.”

“Yes, Grandmother!”, Little Zayd replied respectfully.

He finished his meal, performed wudu, and sat next to Grandmother.

“Son, after you left the kitchen, your mother told me a few things. She said you used to bring your lunch home in the past but now you are eating it all, even though you take more than needed. Then you come home feeling very hungry. She also told me you lose your stationery at school, and you’re always upset. If you are worried or hiding something, you can tell us. Maybe we can help you.”

“Grandmother, I share my lunch and stationery with my friend Hudhayfa, because he hasn’t been eating lunch for a few days. Everyone eats their lunch but Hudhayfa sits there looking sad. I asked him why he never brought any lunch, and he said his father has been looking for work for two months. His situation at home is not good, so his mother can’t make him lunch and his father can’t buy him stationery.”

“I still do not understand why you are always sad,” Grandmother softly asked.

“I am sad because Hudhayfa told me his father hasn’t paid school fees for two months, so his admission could be cancelled.”

“Zayd, it is good to sympathise with others and relieve their worries. Our beloved Prophet صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم said, ‘Whoever solves the worldly worry of a believer shall have a worry of the Day of Judgement distanced from him by Allah. Whoever brings ease to the poor will have ease made for them in the world and Hereafter by Allah.’[1] My Zayd, you are a child. Instead of helping him yourself, you should have told us elders, so we can help them properly.”

“Sorry, Grandmother. I will be more careful in the future اِنْ شَــآءَالـلّٰـه.”

“Well done! Now go. I will speak to your father about finding a solution to this.”

“Thank you, Grandmother,” Zayd beamed in reply.

Three days later, Dad told Little Zayd some good news; “Hudhayfa’s father is now working in my company, so his school admission will not be cancelled. There is no reason for you to be upset now, but do not tell Hudhayfa or anybody else about this.”

“I will not tell anyone, Dad.” 

[1] Sahih Muslim, p. 1069, Hadith 6578




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