The Story of Little Zayd
Where did the notebook go?
Maulana Abu Ubayd Attari Madani
Little Zayd returned from school and quickly zoomed into his room after giving Salam to his family. Only moments had passed when, ‘Mum! Mum! Where’s my notebook?’ bellowed Little Zayd, ‘I put it on the table last night, but it’s not there anymore. Who’s taken it?’ Mum and Grandma rushed into the living room. ‘Mum, I left my maths notebook at home today, and the teacher gave me a detention for not bringing it to school,’ Little Zayd continued to complain.
‘My child! Where would your notebook go? It must be in your room, come with me,’ said Grandma as she took Little Zayd by the arm and headed upstairs, with Mum following behind. They searched the entire room. They looked in the drawers, under the bed, behind the wardrobe, and even in the bin but the notebook was nowhere to be found. ‘Perhaps someone in your class is pranking you and has hidden it?’ Mum cried, trying to solve the mystery of the lost notebook. ‘Or maybe you lent it to a friend,’ Grandma added.
‘I know that I didn’t give it to anybody, and for sure no-one is hiding it because there was a lot of homework yesterday, and I did my maths homework last night before putting my maths book and notebook on the table. In the morning, I took my bag and quickly sat in the car with Dad. As soon as I arrived in class, I remembered my maths book and notebook, so I opened my bag to check, but they were not there. When I returned home now and looked, I saw the maths book on the table, but the notebook is missing, so where did it go?’ Little Zayd remarked, confusing Mum and Grandma even more.
Mother and Grandma searched the room again – but they still did not find the missing notebook. Grandma saw Little Zayd begin to cry. She wrapped her arms around him. ‘There is no need to cry. If Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ wills, you will find the notebook,’ she assured him. Mum quickly added, ‘Perhaps the maid has moved your notebook; I will ask her when she comes in tomorrow.’
Little Zayd was not convinced. ‘I have a test in two days. I need the notebook to prepare for the test. If I fail, I will be in trouble,’ he pleaded. Grandma hugged Little Zayd and said, ‘Don’t worry, I will tell you of a litany that you should continue to recite. If Allah Almighty wills, you will quickly find your notebook.’
Little Zayd’s face lit up with hope. ‘Grandma, please tell me the litany?’
‘Well, our spiritual guide and master, Ameer-e-Ahl-e-Sunnat, ‘Allamah Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Attar Qadiri دَامَـتْ بَـرَكَـاتُـهُـمُ الْـعَـالِـيَـهْ has written in one of his books that if you lose something, recite ‘یَاجَامِعُ’ a lot, and اِنْ شَــآءَالـلّٰـه you will find the lost item,’ Grandma said.
Little Zayd immediately began to recite ‘یَاجَامِعُ, barely taking a pause. After dinner, Little Zayd began to recite the litany again and continued until he fell asleep on the sofa! An hour later, Little Zayd woke up. He raced to the other room. Grandma was sitting there with Dad. ‘Did you find my notebook?’ he panted. Grandma looked at him: ‘Yes, son. We have found it.’
Little Zayd was relieved. ‘Where is it?’ asked Little Zayd. ‘Ask Dad,’ Grandma said. So Little Zayd asked his father, to which he said, ‘The notebook is on your table.’ Little Zayd raced to his room, with Dad right behind him. The notebook was right there, on the table. ‘I recited the litany! And I found my notebook!’ he exclaimed. ‘But how did it get on the table by itself?’
Little Zayd looked at Dad, who was smiling. ‘Well Little Zayd,’ he explained, ‘You put the notebook in the side pocket of your bag. As you were rushing out of the car to go to school, it must have fallen out. I found it as I went to pick up my bag from the back seat.’
‘Yes. I remember,’ added Little Zayd, ‘I was feeling very tired last night, so I put the book on the table and the notebook in the side pocket.’
Grandmother was in the room by now. She immediately turned to Little Zayd: ‘Do you see! This is why your mother is always telling you to put everything back in its place. After playing, put the toys back in their place. After finishing your homework, put the books and notebooks in the bag straight away, and put your bag in its place too. Do not throw your shoes and socks here and there. But you do not listen, and now you have seen the consequences. Will you do this again? And have you thanked Allah Almighty for finding the notebook?’
Little Zayd embraced Grandma and said, ‘I thank Allah Almighty that I have found my notebook. Grandma, I promise you that I will always put things back in their place after using them.’