Neighbours in the Jungles
Maulana Abu Mu’awiyah ‘Attari Madani
A short while later, both white dogs were at the house of their neighbours. Seeing their dull faces, the elder zebra enquired: ‘Is everything okay brothers? You seem worried. It seems you are scared?’
‘Yes brother! You guessed right,’ cried out the elder dog before explaining the whole incident.
‘What the cheetahs did was terrible,’ the elder zebra remarked. ‘But, what can we do in this matter?’ The younger zebra interjected, ‘This is between you and the cheetahs,’ trying to stay out of the episode.
‘Be quiet!’ the elder zebra scolded him, ‘This does not suit us at all! These white dogs are our neighbours and it is our duty to stand by them in this difficult time. Otherwise, it may be their problem today, but tomorrow it can be ours.’
‘Sorry brother! I was wrong! But what can we do?’ asked the young zebra.
The small dog was unsure. ‘We can’t face them, they are stronger than us,’ he complained.
‘There’s no need to worry. Though they are stronger than us, they are fewer than us. And in a confrontation, it’s passion and not strength that matters. However, first we will talk to them and try to make them understand. If they don’t take heed, then we’ll have to do what is required,’ the elder zebra explained.
The big dog was grateful: ‘We thank you for your kindness. You stood by us in our time of difficulty.’
In the evening, there was an unexpected knock on the door. The small cheetah swung open the front door to find the dogs and zebras gathered outside. ‘All of you here! Why have you all gathered here?’ he bellowed.
‘The fuss that you created this morning,’ growled the big dog, ‘We are here because of that. Go and call your elder brother, then we’ll talk.’
The big cheetah heard the commotion and raced outside. ‘What do you want? Why has everyone gathered outside our house?’ he shouted, taken back by the crowd before him.
The elder zebra replied with courage, ‘We are your neighbours and we help you in difficult times. When you were wounded last winter, we took care of you and today you are well! You are strong again! But now you have started threatening your neighbours.’
The small dog added, ‘This is not how you repay someone for their kindness. Such behaviour is inappropriate.’
Listening to the neighbours, the big cheetah felt that he and his brother were wrong and that they should not have behaved the way they did. Realising his mistake, he cried out, ‘Brothers! We became greedy and began harming those who were our friends. It will be nice of you to forgive us so that we can live together happily and peacefully just like before.’
The elder zebra agreed and said: ‘This is what we want as well - to live together happily and not become a cause of pain or trouble for anyone.’
Then they all reconciled, apologised to each other, and returned to living together happily.
Dear children! We have learnt that we should not abandon our neighbours and friends in difficult situations. Rather, we should work with them and find a solution for their problems, as the blessings of working together solve many problems, and one also attains the reward for helping a Muslim.