Story of Little Zayd
Borrowing Ice Cream
Mawlana Adnan Ahmad Attari Madani
“Mum, can I have some money for ice cream please,” asked Zayd.
“You’ve already had some two hours ago!” Mother replied.
“Mum! It’s so hot, I need to eat something cold!”
“Just because it’s hot, it doesn’t mean you should eat ice cream every two hours,” explained Mum. “Too much ice cream will ruin your health and your teeth.” Zayd threw himself on the sofa. “How can I get my hands on some ice cream,” he thought. He was going to ask Grandma for money but found her fast asleep. Suddenly, he thought of something and quietly left the house.
He went to the shop, opened an ice cream, and started eating it. He then said to the shopkeeper, “Uncle! I’ll give you the money for this ice cream later.” At first, the shopkeeper was surprised. He realised there was no point in taking it away from Zayd, as he had already started eating it. Having seen Zayd in the shop with his father on other occasions, he agreed to take the money some other time. He looked at Zayd and said, “Son! If you didn’t have money to buy something, you should have told me before opening it. I’m going to let you go home, but if you don’t give me the money before the evening, I will have to speak with your father.” Zayd left the shop with a huge smile. He went home, enjoying every lick of his ice cream. “Little Zayd!” Mum bellowed, when she saw him. “I told you not to eat any more ice cream, but you didn’t listen to me! That’s very bad of you! Tell me how you bought it. Where did you get the money?”
“I borrowed it from the shopkeeper. I’m going to pay him back later,” Zayd answered. He immediately went to his room as his mum watched on with confusion, wondering where he learnt this from. Mum returned to her work and forgot to tell the family about what had happened.
Two days later, Mum suddenly remembered Little Zayd’s words. He was sitting with Grandma at the time when his mother asked, “Have you repaid your loan?”
“What loan?” said Zayd.
“The one you took from the shopkeeper.”
Grandma now found out about the full story and told him off. She told him to never take a loan from anyone again.
“Is it a sin to take a loan?” asked Zayd.
“It is not a sin, but a trust. If someone does not repay a loan on time, people think bad of him. You should only take a loan if there is a need, and you should always pay it back on time. Sometimes the one taking a loan even ends up telling lies because of the debt he is in and forces others to lie for him. For example, it’s possible that if the person who gave the loan comes to the borrower’s house to get his loan back, the borrower might tell his family to lie and tell the lender that he is not at home. Or maybe if the lender bumps into the borrower outside somewhere, the latter might begin to make false promises.
Our beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم would make the following dua: “O Allah! I seek refuge in you from grief, anxiety, and the burdens of debt.” Someone once asked: “O Messenger of Allah صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم! Why do you regularly seek refuge in Allah from debt?” He replied: “If a person is in debt, he tells lies when he speaks, and breaks the promises he makes.”
“Grandma! We sometimes ask our friends for money at school and promise to pay it back the next day.”
“Son! Try not to ask people for anything. Be happy with the money your mum gives you and manage It properly. If you feel like eating something but don’t have the money for it, be patient and buy it when you have more money. If you do not repay loans on time, the lender will sometimes demand his money back in public which is very embarrassing.”
“Yes, Grandma! At school, Saleem took some money from Umair, but didn’t pay him back. Umair hit him and said he would complain to the headteacher if he doesn’t return the money from?”
“Son! Try not to take any loans and be happy with whatever Allah has given you.” Grandma then gave Little Zayd some money and said, “Take this and give it to the shopkeeper. Ask him for forgiveness for not paying for the ice cream on time.”
“But you’ve given me too much?”
“You can buy another ice cream to eat as you come home.” Grandma replied lovingly. Little Zayd happily headed to the shop having learnt a valuable lesson.