The Story of Little Zayd
Mawlana Haider Ali Madani
“Little Zayd! Leave the cube alone, you are not going to solve it!” Sister joked as she headed to the kitchen.
Since Little Zayd had come first place in his Year 3 exams, Uncle brought him a Rubik’s Cube. Little Zayd was spending all his free time in the summer holidays trying to solve the cube, but to no avail. One morning, he sat down with the cube in his hands. He was determined to solve it today. The doorbell rang, and Mother called for him to go and see who was at the door. “Do not open the door without asking who it is!” she added.
“Who is it?” Little Zayd asked near the door.
Someone replied from the other side of the door. “I’m a postman, and I have a delivery for you.”
Little Zayd ran to his mother and explained what just happened. Mother gave him permission to open the door.
“Is Zayd in?” he asked.
“That is me!” Little Zayd replied.
The postman looked up and down at Little Zayd in surprise. He took an envelope out from his bag, handed it over, and left.
Sister had heard what was happening from her room and rushed downstairs. She looked at the envelope. “Who sent this letter to Little Zayd?” she thought to herself.
“Let me have a look,” Mother said, taking the letter.
When Mother opened it, she found two books discussing the lives of the Prophets عَـلَيْـهِمَا الـسَّـلَام inside. The name of Prophet Ādam عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام was written on one, whilst the name of Prophet Idrīs عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام on the other. These were enclosed in a colourful and illustrated box.
Little Zayd was very happy to see this. Sister then said, “But Mother, who would send this?”
“Maybe it was my friend Sufyan. I did give him a present for his birthday last month,” Little Zayd speculated.
Mother did not say yes or no. Instead she smiled and said, “Your father will come later tonight. We will show him these and see what he thinks.”
After dinner, Little Zayd took the books and knocked Father’s bedroom door. Once he had permission to enter, he found Sister inside, discussing something with him. When they finished, Father turned to him and asked, “So Zayd, what have you brought for me?”
“Look at the lovely gift I was sent. The only thing is, I don’t know who sent it!”, Little Zayd explained.
Father took the books and carefully examined each one. “Well, this is fantastic; you were sent books as a gift!” After reading the book titles, he placed them on the side table and turned back to Little Zayd and Sister.
Let me tell you two a story. When I finished Year 4, your grandfather subscribed to an Islamic magazine. It would arrive at our home on the 5th of every month. Very quickly, I was hooked on reading this. I could not wait for the next edition every month. Whenever it arrived, I would read it to Grandfather or he would read it to me.
I learnt so much Islamic knowledge from those magazines. When I started Year 5, and we had a citywide Islamic quiz with other schools, I came in first place. I was given a book and £50 as a prize.
Father turned back to his side table and opened the drawer in it. He took out an envelope with his name written on it, and inside it was the very book he received as a reward for finishing first in his Year 5 quiz.
“And where is the other prize?” Little Zayd inquired.
“I still have the book as you can see, but I spent the money a long time ago. Remember when you asked for a present for coming first place in the Year 3 exams? Remember when I said you will get it when the time is right?”
“Yes, I remember! Wait, so these books were from you?” Little Zayd exclaimed.
Father smiled as his son finally realised.