‘Little Zayd, look at this! My father has brought me a new watch,’ said little Zayd’s classmate, Saleem, whilst showing him his new watch.
‘Wow, it looks very nice. I will also ask my father for such a watch’, said little Zayd while praising the watch.
Saleem said: ‘My father brought this watch from Dubai. How will your father buy it?’
Little Zayd replied: ‘My father is very nice. He buys very nice things for me. Just give me your watch for one day, I will show it to my father and then you can take it back tomorrow.’
Saleem refused to give the watch and said: ‘No! I can't give it to you, what if you break it’.
‘Hey! What kind of a friend are you that you can't give your watch to your friend even for one day. Go, I am angry with you,’ said little Zayd angrily.
When Saleem saw his best friend angry, he said: ‘Ok, I will give it for one day only. Make sure you bring it back tomorrow.’
Then he gave his watch to little Zayd, who whilst placing the watch in his pocket, said: ‘I firmly promise you that I will return the watch tomorrow.’
At night, little Zayd showed the watch to his father and said: ‘Dad! Get me a watch like this too please.’
His father said: ‘Son! It seems to be from abroad. It is difficult to find such a watch here. I will bring you another watch.’
Little Zayd said: ‘Bring one better than this.’
His father replied: ‘I will try to bring you some sort of good watch.’
Two days later, the phone rang and Grandma picked it up. On the other side was little Zayd’s classmate Saleem. Saleem told Grandma that little Zayd had given the promise of one day and taken his new watch with him and now he is not returning it even after two days have passed. Saleem also had to take a telling off from his mother. Grandma called little Zayd after putting the phone down. When little Zayd came to Grandma, he had the watch tied to his hand.
Grandma [said]: ‘Little Zayd, the watch is very nice, where did it come from?’
Little Zayd said: ‘Grandma! This is my friend Saleem’s. I will return it in two or three days.’
Grandma said: ‘Two or three days? Just now Saleem was on the phone and he was saying that you had given him a day’s promise and had not returned it to him yet. His mother had also told him off. Son! One mistake was that you took the watch from him without the permission of his mother and father, the second mistake was that you promised him one day and did not fulfil it.’
Little Zayd replied: ‘Grandma, that was my intention that I will return it in one day but I liked it so I didn’t return it.’
Grandma said to little Zayd, explaining: ‘Little Zayd, it is very bad to break a promise. When you have made a promise, it should definitely be fulfilled. You know, our beloved religion of Islam also teaches this to us that if you make a promise, you must keep it.
Do you know that at the Battle of Badr, Muslims were very small in number. Each soldier was very much needed. Two Sahabah of our Beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم were coming from somewhere. The disbelievers caught them and said: ‘You are companions of Muhammad صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم, so we will keep you in captivity.’ They both replied: ‘We are not going to take part in the war.’ The disbelievers freed them on this condition that they both will not take part in the war. Later, they both came to the Beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم and said: ‘We were compelled to give a promise, we will surely fight against the disbelievers.’ The Beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم said: ‘Not at all, fulfil your promise and leave from the battlefield. We Muslims will fulfil our promise in every situation. We only need the help of Allah Almighty. (Muslim, p. 763, Hadees 4639)
Did you see little Zayd! Our Beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم has given the mindset to Muslims to keep their promises in all circumstances. You should call Saleem right now and apologise to him and his mother and tell Aunty that you will definitely return Saleem’s watch to him at school tomorrow.’
After listening to Grandma, little Zayd silently stood up and went to call Saleem.