The Story of Little Zayd
Abu Ubayd Attari Madani
It was the first day of school after the much-needed break for Eid al-Adha. The fourth period was free as Mr. Naveed was off sick. It gave the children some time to catch up. They were chatting away, talking about the lovely foods they ate on Eid and the celebrations in their homes. Seeing everyone else doing this, Little Zayd and his two friends, Saleem and Umayr, also began to talk to each other. ‘What did you do?’ asked Little Zayd. ‘We went to a park where there were big swings,’ answered Saleem, ‘and at salah time, my father took me to a local masjid to pray. When we came out, we saw that an Urs commemoration was taking place for one of the Awliya. People were giving out pastries and sweets. They were really nice.’
‘The 18th day of the Islamic month is only a few days away,’ Umayr added. ‘My mum was telling me that we will distribute pastries. Why don’t both of you come over, and we can play and have some delicious pastries too.’
Little Zayd asked Umayr, ‘Why will your mum distribute pastries on the 18th?’ ‘My mum said that the third caliph of Islam, Sayyiduna Uthman Al-Ghani رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ, was martyred on 18th Dhul Hijjah,’ explained Umayr.
The bell rang. They all headed into Mr. Hasan’s classroom and sat down. Later that day, in the evening, Little Zayd asked his grandmother, ‘Grandma, will we distribute pastries on 18th Dhul Hijjah?’ Grandma listened as Little Zayd explained what Umayr had told him and then said, ‘Not only should we distribute pastry, but we should also do other things.’
‘What else should we do?’ asked Little Zayd.
‘Well, after dinner, I will tell you what else should be done on that day,’ Grandma told him before heading to her room to take out a book.
After dinner, Grandma gathered everyone around her and remarked, ‘18th Dhul Hijjah is approaching. It is on this day, the Beloved Sahabi of the Beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم, Sayyiduna Uthman Al-Ghani رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ was martyred. He is remembered every year on this date. Remember, Allah Almighty states,
مَنْ قَتَلَ نَفْسًۢا بِغَیْرِ نَفْسٍ اَوْ فَسَادٍ فِی الْاَرْضِ فَكَاَنَّمَا قَتَلَ النَّاسَ جَمِیْعًاؕ-
Whoever kills a human without the (legal) retribution of killing or (killed a human) without the retribution for causing turmoil in the earth, it will therefore be as though he had killed all mankind.
[Kanz-ul-Iman (translation of Quran)] (Part 6, Surah Al-Maa’idah, Verse 32)
That means, to unjustly kill a normal believer is a serious crime. Imagine how serious it must be for someone to assassinate the greatest guide of the Ummah at the time! If possible, you should keep a fast on this date, recite the Quran in abundance, perform abundant good deeds, do plenty of virtuous actions, and then convey their rewards to Sayyiduna Uthman Al-Ghani رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ. We should read about and draw lessons from his life, virtues, teachings, and martyrdom.’
After grandmother finished, Little Zayd added, ‘Grandma, you have mentioned so many good things. How will I tell Umayr and his mum all of this?’
Grandmother smiled. ‘Don’t worry,’ she reassured him, ‘I will phone Umayr’s mum and tell her myself about what should be done on this day.’