The Story of Little Zayd
Helping the Needy
Haider Ali Madani
Little Zayd was very happy because his new bike was due to arrive. A few months ago, Little Zayd saw a beautiful, shiny bike in the market. He asked Dad to buy it but he told Little Zayd, ‘I don’t have the money at the moment, but I will put aside some money every month from my wages. In three months, we will get the bike for you.’ Father had told him at dinner last night that once he receives the wages for today, he will have the full amount for the bike.
Little Zayd was ecstatic! He was busy thinking about the new bike when Mother called, ‘Give these sweets to the house across the road.’
Little Zayd replied, ‘Mum! The month of Muharram has already passed, so what is this Niyaz for?’
‘We are giving this Niyaz in order to convey rewards to A’la Hadrat رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه,’ Mother explained, ‘because he passed away on the 25th of this month, i.e., Safar. Now quickly give the sweet dish before it goes cold.’
Dad returned home after Maghrib, but no bike was to be seen. “You were going to bring the bike today?” asked Little Zayd.
Dad assured him, ‘Yes, son. I remembered but something urgent came up at the office, so have patience for a few more months and then I will buy a good cycle for my son.’
Little Zayd could not wait another day, let alone a few more months. His eyes welled up.
Grandma turned to Dad, ‘But, son, you said it would arrive this month.’
‘The truth is that I had all of the money,’ Dad replied, “but the cleaner at my office was involved in an accident and fractured his leg. All of the colleagues visited him after ‘Asr. May Allah Almighty grant him a quick and complete recovery.’
Dad continued, ‘He is the sole provider for his family. All of us gave our savings to him so that he can get proper treatment and support his family.’
Little Zayd sat down with a frown on his face.
Seeing how upset he was, Grandma took the sweet dish to Little Zayd and lovingly said, ‘Is Little Zayd upset with the Niyaz of A’la Hadrat too?’
Little Zayd was about to take the plate from Grandma’s hand whilst he was frowning, so she said, ‘No! I will feed my son with my own hands today.’
Whilst feeding him small morsels, Grandma asked, ‘Do you know who A’la Hadrat was?’ Little Zayd replied, ‘Yes, the one who memorised the Quran in a month, and a great devotee of the Prophet.’
Grandma said, ‘Well done, son. You remember what I tell you. I will tell you something else about him today. A’la Hadrat would take care of the poor and needy. One night, he came to the gate of the house and was amazed to see the worker sitting there as normal in the winter, so he asked, ‘Do you not have a blanket or anything else?’ The poor man remained silent, whereupon, A’la Hadrat went inside, brought his own blanket and gave it to the worker.’
‘Amazing, but why did he give away his own blanket?’ asked Little Zayd.
Grandma placed a morsel of the sweet dish in Little Zayd’s mouth and said, ‘The righteous slaves of Allah Almighty help the poor, and in order to please Allah Almighty, they give away the things they need to others who are in need. So, Little Zayd, alongside eating the Niyaz of the pious predecessors, we should attempt to emulate their lives too.’
‘Grandma,’ said Little Zayd, ‘I am not upset now; the bike is not that important. I can get it in a few months.’ Saying this, Little Zayd lovingly placed a morsel of the sweet dish into Grandma’s mouth with his own hand.