Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem
It was one of the Friday classes. Today’s class was on ‘Adab (Etiquettes) with neighbours. The average age group in the class is perhaps five. The class was vibrant and I think, there is no better way to learn than to teach. More than what I am able to impart, I imbibe lessons from the little Momins of the class.
I introduced the lesson with the verse of the Magnificent Qur’an:
“Worship Allah and associate nothing with Him, and to parents do good, and to relatives, orphans, the needy, the near neighbor, the neighbor farther away, the companion at your side, the traveler, and those whom your right hands possess. Indeed, Allah does not like those who are self-deluding and boastful.” [Surah an-Nisa, 36]
and then, I followed up with this narration from the two Sahihs.
In a very derogatory sense, I asked the class
-“if your neighbour gives you a hoof will you like it?”
I was expecting a clear “no” to which I thought I would say that despite that we must not dislike our neighbor. No matter how small or detested things they gift us
However, their minds word differently. It was an immediate and excited reply, “Yesss ma’am, I will like it”
I was spellbound for a minute, only to realise that in India, the goat’s hoof is used to prepare a delicacy (called Paaya_) …who would not love to receive it here. I chuckled at myself. They got me good
The class proceeded smoothly as we ventured and discussed various etiquettes prescribed in Islam towards our neighbours. Soon the following hadith came up for discussion, which is also very popular amongst us
We were amused by the simplicity prescribed in Islam. Never before had we thought that simply by adding a little more water, we could add another member to consume the meal
The most hilarious point of the class was towards the end. I had asked them, what if they have very little food, sufficient for just one neighbour. However, there are many people living close to them. So how would they choose to whom they must gift that bowl of meal?
Amazing answers came up.
- we will distribute it equally amongst all [ I dismissed it saying, then nobody will be able to enjoy it, as they will just get a spoonful]
- We will ask mummy to make more for everyone [well, that would be too much for mummy]
- We add lottttttttttt of water to the brothhhhh ..
at this point everyone seemed convinced. and they repeated the same , “yes yes, we will add water for everyone”
. I was spellbound again. I had no rebuttal for this. Completely amused and not knowing what to say, I just narrated the solution that Rusool Allah (salallahu alayhi wasallam):
May Allah help us in obeying His commands and be good to our neighbours.