Story of Little Zayd
A Well of Fresh Water
Mawlana Abu Hafs Haider Ali Madani
Eid al-Adha was fast approaching, and Little Zayd was excited. He looked forward to spending time with Aunt who would come to stay at his house every Eid. She was fun and took great care of Little Zayd. Everyone in the house knew that if Little Zayd was misbehaving, he would immediately listen to Aunt.
In the evening, Mother got the beds in the guest room ready. Big Sister was feeding Aunt’s daughter, Kaneez Fatima, as Little Zayd sat staring at his sister. She had been with Kaneez Fatima for some time but did not let Little Zayd play with her. Kaneez Fatima was loved by everyone, and her cousins were always happy to see her. Meanwhile, Aunt arrived with her other children. “Big Sister has been with Kaneez Fatima for so long,” Little Zayd complained to Aunt, “she’s not letting me play with her. Can I have another Kaneez Fatima?” Aunt was amused. “Now it’s Little Zayd’s turn. Let him play with Kaneez Fatima,” she laughed.
“Okay! Please bring me a glass of water first Little Zayd,” Big Sister said, much to Little Zayd’s annoyance. “Water?” he cried, “have you forgotten when you refused to give me water on our way back from school?” “I didn’t refuse,” she bellowed, “I just said that uncle has been waiting to pick us up, so we should go quickly, and you can have water at home.” Before they could say another word, Aunt interjected, “Do not speak to your sister like this. Go inside and get her some water.”
Later, as all the children chomped on their ice-creams, Aunt asked, “Do you know which Islamic month it is?”
“It’s the month of Hajj,” Little Zayd quickly answered. Aunt smiled. “Good boy! It is the month of Hajj, and it’s called Dhu al-Hijja. In this month, we remember Prophet Ibrāhīm عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلاَم and the fourth Caliph, Sayyidunā ʿUthmān رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ.”
“Yes, our teacher told us Sayyidunā ʿUthmān رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ was martyred in this month,” said Big Sister.
“That’s right! Sayyidunā ʿUthmān رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ was a very kind and generous person. In those days, people used to get water from wells. When the Muslims migrated to Madina, there was a shortage of water. There was only one well with fresh water. It was called the Well of Rumah. Its owner would demand money for the water. The Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم was concerned by all of this. “Whoever buys the Well of Rumah,” he announced,“ and lets the Muslims have a share in it, he will have a better reward in Paradise.” When Sayyidunā ʿUthmān رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ heard this, he purchased the well for thousands of silver coins and allowed the Muslims to drink from it for free. This is just one act of kindness that makes Sayyidunā ʿUthmān رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ so special. We should not prevent others from drinking water.” Little Zayd and Big Sister understood their mistake and apologised to each other.