**”Bismillahir rahmaanir raheem”
-in the name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful-**
Hanzalah was turning 13 tomorrow… Growing up so fast. But he and his family weren’t big on birthdays at all. Infact, they alwAys taught hanzalah to perform extra salaah on his birthday to thank Allah for all the blessings He’d given him in his past couple of years.
He was made to make extra dua that his future years are blessed with piety and good fortune. That Allah protects him from all types of harms and sadness.
Naseema and abdullah always thought that it was such a waste of money to have these extravagant parties and entertain a whole lot of hyper active kids who would return home from the part ungrateful and unsatisfied. They really didn’t have the energy for that and although they were not struggling, a birthday party was just not something that they would budget for.
This year however, they had different plans in mind. They decided on something special. An investment sort of.. Well actually, an investment in the true sense of the word.
In pakistani culture, the men are made to help the women cook and in some homes, the men are the ones who actually do the cooking.
In this house hold, naseema has encouraged hanzalah from a young age to help around the house.
He was very disciplined in the way that he was always made to clean up behind himself and make chores easier for his parents.
Being a boy didn’t mean that he had no house hold chores. Naseema believed that both men and women are equal in that regard…
“And oneday my son, when you are someones husband, you make her life easy for her by helping her in the house. Our prophet (peace be upon him) had great character. He helped his wives with chores in the home, he cleaned and he even mended his own torn clothes. So if the king of all kings did it.. Then you are no exception to the rule..” Naseema told hanzalah wagging her finger from side to side and her other hand on her hip, perfect pakistani style.
They’ve had this idea for quite some time now but since habeeba was still a baby, they thought it would be too difficult to carry out their mission. Now that she was 2, and could walk and didnt need them to carry her around, they could finally do it.
So as one big happy family, they all gathered in the kitchen chopping up onions or liquidising tomatoes, boiling rice, brown lentils or eggs..
Naseema and abdullah had suggested to hanzalah that as from this year, on his birthday they would cook up a solid meal from scratch with their bare hands and take it to an orphanage or a hostel for the poor and needy and feed everyone.
The idea was to make the effort themselves, feel the tiredness of working so hard and appreciating the look on the faces of those they served.
Hanzalah and family prepared chicken biryani for about 100 kids today. The morning of hanzalahs birthday, naseema put it up to steam on the gas burner that she had hired from a caterer in town and as soon as the food was ready, they headed off to the orphanage nearby.
The look on the childrens faces as they stood in those lines was so heart warming.
Hanzalah watched how some of the kids shoved and pushed, afraid that the food might be finished by the time they got to the front of the line.
It brought a silent tear to hanzalahs heart. Knowing that in his 13 years of his life, he had never gone a day without food, except for in the fasting month.. and then too, when it was time to open fast at sunset, there’s always such a large spread of food on the table every single day of the 30 days of that month.
And here, for these children, a simple meal which hanzalah got everyday was regarded as a luxury.
The kids enjoyed and once they were done dishing up for the children, hanzalah ran off to join some of them. Sitting down amongst them on the long wooden tables in their dining area and eating with them..
He spoke to them like they were his friends for years and they knew eachother so well. Hanzalah joked and made them laugh abit and he did all that he could to put a smile on every little face in that orphanage.
Hanzalah had also packed a few of his toys, books and personal stuff that he was no longer in need of and handed these out before he left.
The kids were sad that the day had come to an end, because now they don’t know when their next good meal would be or when the next visitor would come.
As hanzalah drove home with his family that day on his 13th birthday, he prayed for all these kids who were homeless and had no parents or family. He prayed for those who were there because they were abandoned by their parents or abused and taken away.
He thanked Allah for the parents that he had. Parents who gave him the best of this world and showed him how to get the best of the hereafter.
He thanked Allah for granting him the understanding of islam and for protecting him from the evils and corruption in this world.
Soooooo sorry for late post. Weekends are just crazy. But rather late than never. This is saturdays post. Inshallah sundays pots will be up sumtym before the end of sunday..lol
Posted by silent living…