Story no. 40 – The wolf and the lamb

A lamb was grazing with a flock of sheep one day. She soon found

some sweet grass at the edge of the field. Farther and farther she went,

away from the others.

She was enjoying herself so much that she did not notice a wolf

coming nearer to her. However, when it pounced on her, she was quick

to start pleading, “Please, please don’t eat me yet. My stomach is full of

grass. If you wait a while, I will taste much better.”

The wolf thought that was a good idea, so he sat down and waited.

After a while, the lamb said, “If you allow me to dance, the grass in my

stomach will be digested faster.” Again the wolf agreed.

While the lamb was dancing, she had a new idea. She said,

“Please take the bell from around my neck. If you ring it as hard as you

can, I will be able to dance even faster.”

The wolf took the bell and rang it as hard as he could. The shepherd heard the bell ringing and quickly sent his dogs to find the missing lamb. The barking dogs frightened the wolf away and saved the lamb’s life.

The gentle and weak can sometimes be cleverer than fierce and strong.

Story No. 39 – The fox and the stork

A selfish fox once invited a stork to dinner at his home in a hollow tree. That evening, the stork flew to the fox’s home and knocked on the door with her long beak. The fox opened the door and said, “Please come in and share my food.”

The stork was invited to sit down at the table. She was very hungry and the food smelled delicious! The fox served soup in shallow bowls and he licked up all his soup very quickly. However, the stork could not have any of it as the bowl was too shallow for her long beak. The poor stork just smiled politely and stayed hungry.

The selfish fox asked, “Stork, why haven’t you taken your soup? Don’t you like it?”

The stork replied, “It was very kind of you to invite me for dinner.

Tomorrow evening, please join me for dinner at my home.”

The next day, when the fox arrived at the stork’s home, he

saw that they were also having soup for dinner. This time

the soup was served in tall jugs. The stork drank the soup

easily but the fox could not reach inside the tall jug. This

time it was his turn to go hungry.

A selfish act can backfire on you.

Story No. 38 – The monkey and the dolphin

One day long ago, some sailors set out to sea in their sailing ship. One of

them brought his pet monkey along for the long journey.

When they were far out at sea, a terrible storm overturned their ship.

Everyone fell into the sea, and the monkey was sure that he would drown.

Suddenly a dolphin appeared and picked him up.

They soon reached the island and the monkey came down from the

dolphin’s back. The dolphin asked the monkey, “Do you know this place?”

The monkey replied, “Yes, I do. In fact, the king of the island is my best

friend. Do you know that I am actually a prince?”

Knowing that no one lived on the island, the dolphin said, “Well, well, so

you are a prince! Now you can be a king!”

The monkey asked, “How can I be a king?”

As the dolphin started swimming away, he answered, “That is easy. As you are the only creature on

this island, you will naturally be the king!”

Those who lie and boast may end up in trouble.

Story No. 37 – The ant and the dove

One hot day, an ant was searching for some water.

After walking around for some time, she came to a spring.

To reach the spring, she had to climb up a blade of grass.

While making her way up, she slipped and fell into the water.

She could have drowned if a dove up a nearby tree had not

seen her. Seeing that the ant was in trouble, the dove quickly

plucked off a leaf and dropped it into the water near the

struggling ant. The ant moved towards the leaf and

climbed up there. Soon it carried her safely to dry ground.

Just at that time, a hunter nearby was throwing out his net

towards the dove, hoping to trap it.

Guessing what he was about to do, the ant quickly bit him on

the heel. Feeling the pain, the hunter dropped his net. The

dove was quick to fly away to safety.

One good turn deserves another.

Story No. 36 – The hare and the tortoise

A tortoise one day met a hare who made fun of her.

“My, my, you move so slowly, you will never get far!”

The tortoises, upset by the hare’s manner, said,

“Let’s have a race and see who is faster.”

The hare laughed and said, “You must be joking! But all right, we’ll

see who reaches the other side of the hill first.” Off he ran, leaving

the tortoise far behind.

After a while, the hare stopped to wait for the tortoise to come long.

He waited and waited till he felt sleepy. “I might as well take a nap,”

he thought. “Even if she catches up with me, I can easily win the

race.” So he lay down under a shady tree and closed his eyes.

When the tortoise passed the sleeping hare, she walked on slowly

but steadily. By the time the hare woke up, the tortoise was near

the finishing line. He ran as fast as he could, but he could not catch

up with the tortoise. Slow and steady can win the race.

Story No. 35 – The farmer and the stork

Finding that cranes were destroying his newly sown corn, a farmer one evening set a net in his field to catch the destructive birds. When he went to examine the net next morning he found a number of cranes and also a stork. “Release me, I beseech you,” cried the stork, “for I have eaten none of your corn, nor have I done you any harm. I am a poor innocent stork, as you may see – a most dutiful bird, I honor my father and mother. I…” But the farmer cut him short. “All this may be true enough, I dare say, but I have caught you with those were destroying my crops, and you must suffer with the company in which you are found.” People are judged by the company they keep.


Story No. 33 – Learn from mistakes

Thomas Edison tried two thousand different materials in search of a filament for

the light bulb. When none worked satisfactorily, his assistant complained,

“All our work is in vain. We have learned nothing.”

Edison replied very confidently, “Oh, we have come a long way and we have

learned a lot. We now know that there are two thousand elements which we

cannot use to make a good light bulb.”


Story No. 34 – The Prophet Muhammad (S) Enters Madina

The camel has, since olden times, proved to be a very useful animal for desert journeys. It has shown to be dependable and sturdy animal for desert transport. The reason is that it has been created with certain special features which are not to be found in any other animal. It can walk in the hot desert under scorching sun for days and days without feeling tired or thirsty and arrive at the intended destination with his rider – the traveller. Hence the Arabs have named this animal as the ‘Ship of the Desert’.

It was this same animal which had fulfilled in excellent manner the task of conveying the Prophet of Islam from Mecca to Madina. It had also served well in the cause of Islam.

The Prophet, tired of the tortures by the disbelieving Quraish, decided to migrate from Mecca to Madina. He had hidden himself in the cave of Thaur to protect himself against the enemies who wanted to kill him.

Imam Ali (a) sent three camels with a guide to the cave. The Prophet, mounting one of the camels, left the cave in the dark of the night, destined for Madina. On the way, several miracles took place which showed that God’s help was always there to protect the Prophet against the attacks of his enemies.

The distance between Mecca and Madina is about three hundred fifty kilometres. In those days, it used to take eleven days to travel between the two places. But in this instance, the camel carrying the Prophet took only eight days to reach Madina. The Prophet (S) travelled at night, resting during the day-time. He was doing so to protect himself against the desert heat as well as to keep from being seen by the enemies.

On the eighth day, the Prophet along with his companions reached a place known as Quba, just two kilometres outside Madina. There he rested for several days, awaiting Imam Ali (a) and family members. After their arrival they proceeded to enter the city. On seeing the date trees on the outskirts of the holy city, they felt happy and relieved to have finally come out safe from the tortures of their enemies.

The people of Madina keenly awaited his arrival. Suddenly someone from the top of a hill announced that the Prophet had arrived. On hearing this, the people became wild with extreme joy and recited “Allahu Akbar!”, “Allahu Akbar!” – “God is Great!”, “God is Great!”

The Prophet dismounted the camel just outside Madina and sat down under a date tree. People rushed forward to greet and welcome him to their city. He was loved by all and everyone was keen to salute him. After the traditional welcome ceremony, the Prophet mounted his came to enter the holy city. All around, there were expressions of great joy. The children got together and in loud voices chanted the following welcoming poem:

“Tala-Al Badru Alaina

Min Thanayatil Wadai

Wajaba-Shukru Alaina

Ma Da’allaha Da’i”

“The full moon is shining on us from the area of gardens. We must offer thanks (to Allah) so long as anyone prays before Allah.”

“Ayuhal Mab-Uthu Fiina

Je’ta Bil Amril Mutai

Je’ta Shar-Raftal Madina

Marhaban Ya Khaira Dai”

“O’ the one sent to us, you have come with commands which we shall obey. You came and graced Madina, we salute and welcome you, ‘O’ the best caller (towards Allah). “

It was hardly three years since the people of Madina had embraced Islam and had started to worship Allah. The young boys in the city were given a job to eradicate the worship of idols. Wherever they saw an idol, they destroyed it and set fire to it.

One day, the youths came to know that Omar bin Janah, the chief of Bani Salma tribe, had still preserved his idol and worshipped it. In order to impress upon him the uselessness of worshipping idols made of wood, they removed it from his place and threw it down a pit. The chief, on tracing the idol to where it was lying, brought it back, washed it and kept it in its original place. But the next day again it was removed and thrown into the pit.

The chief was very much disturbed at this. For the last lime he brought home this idol and cleaned it. He then put his sword around its neck and said to the idol: “If henceforth anybody comes to you, promptly take action and kill him with the sword.”

On the next day, the idol was again missing. This time he found it tied to a dead body of a dog. There was no effect at all of the sword which he had tied around the neck of the idol. This incident made him lose faith in his man-made wooden idol. He abandoned the idol-worship altogether. On becoming a Muslim, he uttered a poem as under:

“Alas! O’ my idol! If you were my god, you would not have reached this stage and I would not have seen you in the pit along with a dead dog. I have now put my faith in the Almighty Allah, from Whom come all blessings. It is He Who has freed me from darkness of ignorance.”

This is one of the examples of how the young Muslim volunteers of Madina helped the Prophet in putting an end to idol worship and spread the true message of Islam.

When the Prophet entered the city amid great rejoicing, every one wanted him to stay at his house. Particularly, the chiefs of all the tribes were keen to have the Prophet as their guest. Everyone insisted but the Prophet ordered: “Let the reins of the camel loose and I shall get down and stay where it stops by itself.”

The camel went ahead further and further till it stopped at a big open land. It was a place where people used to dry their dates and other farm produce. It knelt there and sat The Prophet dismounted and asked the people, whose land it was. They replied that it belonged to two small children by the name of SAHL and SUHAIL.

Nearby was the house of ABU AYYUB. ABU AYYUB’S mother came forward and took away the luggage of the Prophet to her house. People again persuaded him to put up in their house but the Prophet asked: “Where is my luggage?” The reply was that the mother of ABU AYYUB had taken them to her house. And the Prophet said: “One has to go to stay at a place where one’s luggage and belonging go to.”

Some time later, the name of Yathrib was changed to ‘Madina-tun-Nabi’ i.e. ‘the City of the Prophet.’ He named the people of that city as ANSAR (helpers) and those who had migrated from Mecca as MUHAJIREEN (immigrants). All these people, i.e. the Ansar and the muhajireen got together and united in the common bond of brotherhood of Islam.

Story No. 33 – Care for Animals

A man once came to Prophet Muhammad (S) carrying with him his belongings and a box. He said, “O Prophet! While I was passing through a jungle, I heard the voice of some bird’s babies. I took them and put them in this box. The moment I did that, their mother came fluttering round my head.”

And the Prophet said, “Put them down”. When the man put the box on the ground, the mother of the young birds joined them. Seeing this, the Prophet asked the man who now had a look of surprise on his face, “Are you surprised by the affection of the mother towards her young? I swear by Him (Almighty Allah) who has sent me, surely, God is more loving to his servants than the mother to these young birds. Return these baby birds to the place from where you took them, and let their mother be with them.”

“Fear God with regard to animals”, said the Prophet of Islam, “ride them when they are fit to be ridden, and get off their backs when they are tired; surely, there are rewards for being kind and gentle to animals, and for giving them water to drink.”

Islam has taught that in the eyes of Allah, animals also have rights in the same way as man has. They should not be treated badly, tortured or left to starve without food or water.

Imam Ali (a) had some ducks under his care in his house. At the time of his death, he had given particular advice to his sons to take good care of those animals, or to set them free if it was not possible to look after them properly.

The Holy Qur’an has also guided us by telling us that, in the eyes of God there is no difference between the human world and the animal world.

“There is not an animal (that lives) on the earth, nor a being that flies on its wings, but (forms part of) communities like you. Nothing have we omitted from the Book, and they (all) shall be gathered to their Lord in the end.” (6:38)

The Prophet of Islam was once performing ablution (Wudhu) for prayers from a pot of water. A cat passed there and turned its eyes at the pot of water with a thirsty look. The Prophet realised at once that the cat was very thirsty, so he stopped the ablution (Wudhu) and placed the pot before the cat. Only after the cat had fully quenched its thirst, did the Prophet resume the ablution (Wudhu).

By this action, the Prophet has shown that quenching the thirst of even a small dumb animal is a noble act full of virtue and should be given first attention before one prepares for offering prayers to God.

Story No. 32 – A Call to Prayers On A Cold Wintry Morning

It was a wintry morning with much snow falling coupled with the blowing of a strong cold wind. It was not easy to come out in the open air. Yet one could see people rushing to their work and students with books in their hands hastening to their schools.

In one of the mosques in Hamadan – Iran, religious students were assembling in order to attend a morning class. It was an important school of Islamic theology and the tutor was also a very great learned one. His discourses were indeed very thought-provoking and so were his students quite intelligent.

The tutor was none else but the world famous and a great Persian thinker and philosopher ‘lbn Sina’, popularly known in Europe as Avicenna. His lectures and writings on various science subjects had become the standard text books for hundreds of years in the universities of Europe. Students admired his deep philosophical thinking. They felt honoured to sit in his class and hear his inspiring lectures.

That cold morning, students had already assembled in the mosque and were still anxiously awaiting the arrival of their learned tutor. They were wondering if the intense cold weather that day had delayed his coming.

A few minutes had passed when suddenly the students witnessed the graceful arrival of ‘lbn Sina’, their great learned tutor. They felt very happy and stood up as a mark of reverence and respect for him. He sat down at his usual place and exchanged greetings with his students. He commenced his discourse in his usual lucid manner that held his students spellbound. He also gave satisfactory answers to their questions.

Among the students was one very young and enthusiastic by name ‘Bahman Yar’. He was much more close and attached to ‘lbn Sina’ the learned tutor. He was also the foremost among the clever and advanced students of the class. Every time he listened to the lectures of his tutor, he became more and more fascinated with his deep philosophy and knowledge on every subject. He would say to his class-mates: “I wonder why our tutor ‘lbn Sina’ does not claim to be a prophet despite his supreme intelligence and magic personality”

It is said that one day by chance ‘lbn Sina’ was standing at a baker and loaf-seller shop. His attention was drawn to a very smart young boy who was displaying signs of much intelligence. The boy was saying to the baker: “My mother is requesting for a little fire.” The baker responded: “Have you brought any pot to carry the fire?” “No! But I know how to carry it”, replied the boy instantly. So saying he applied some ash over his palm and stretched his hand to the baker who placed a piece of burning firewood over his palm. Without any hesitation, the boy took it and went home.

‘lbn Sina’ was rather amazed to see the intelligence and courage of this boy. He thought of having him for special training and education under his personal care. The proposal was communicated to the parents who agreed and entrusted the boy to his full care. Thus ‘Bahman Yar’ since then was staying at no other place except at the house of his tutor and care-taker, ‘lbn Sina’. They were all the time to be seen together. The boy being highly intelligent derived the best of the knowledge that his tutor could impart.

Years passed and ‘Bahman Yar’ grew up not only in age but also in knowledge and understanding under the patronage of his tutor. The learned tutor was also very proud of this most capable student.

It was one of the coldest nights of the wintry season. Midnight had passed and the snow-falling was very heavy. Both ‘lbn Sina’ and ‘Bahman Yar’ were sleeping in one room under warm thick blankets. The light in the room was already extinguished but the student was still asking intricate questions on some deep subjects. The tutor was replying in his usual impressive manner. Fascinated by the supreme knowledge and deep philosophy of his tutor, he again made the suggestion which he had made before:

“Oh my learned tutor!” he pleaded, “with all this high status of knowledge that you enjoy and being master of all the sciences, why not declare yourself a prophet? Sir! Don’t you think that you even excel some of the previous prophets in knowledge and your status today is unparalleled in the world! Should you decide to claim prophethood, no one would dare challenge you. Let me assure you that I shall be the first to offer my allegiance and would serve you with full faith.”

Since ‘Bahman Yar’ was still young and immature, his above proposal to his tutor was rather emotional than logical. ‘lbn Sina’ smiled but did not give any reply.

That night the cold weather had become extreme and there was heavy snow-falling. Both were already fast asleep. It was past midnight and suddenly ‘lbn Sina’ woke up and raised his head out of the warm blanket. Incidentally he was very thirsty and the water-mug in the room was empty. So he decided to wake up his student to go out and bring him some water.

“Oh ‘Bahman Yar’! My son ‘Bahman Yar’! Please wake up and bring me some drinking water from outside”, he said repeatedly.

“Why is there no water in the water-mug near your goodself, Sir?” asked ‘Bahman Yar.’

“No!” replied ‘lbn Sina.’

‘Bahman Yar’ raised his head and saw heavy snowfall outside. The thrilling sound of the strong cold wind also made him nervous to go out. Again ‘lbn Sina’ grumbled:

“Oh ‘Bahman Yar’! Why the delay? Bring me some water, I am too thristy.”

‘Bahman Yar’ dared not come out of the warm blankets to face the cold weather outside the room. He was, therefore, putting forward lame excuses to his tutor.

“Oh my respected tutor! It is harmful for you to drink water now that you have just come out of the warmth of thick blankets. It is better you go to sleep again till the early morning which is not far off”, said ‘Bahman Yar’.

“My son! Bring me water, I am too thirsty. I myself am a medical expert and know better what is harmful than you do. I am unable to sleep, please bring me some water from outside”, again appealed ‘Ibn Sina’

In response ‘Bahman Yar’ again put forward excuses and argued that he would catch cold and fall sick if he were to go out in that extreme cold weather. So saying he went back to sleep.

There was dead silence everywhere and no sound of anything was to be heard. Outside it was still pitch dark except the first light of Subhe Sadiq (true dawn) in the eastern horizon had commenced to appear. Suddenly the silence broke with a melodious voice of a muezzin – caller to prayer from the top of a minaret at the nearby mosque. After reciting some verses of the, Holy Qur’an, the muezzin in a loud voice said, “Allaho Akber” – Allah is the Greatest. “Ash-hado an la ilaha illallah” – I bear witness that there is no god except Allah.

Both the tutor and his student quietly listened to the melodious voice of the muezzin. The call to prayers then proceeded to the words “Ash-hado anna Muhammadan Rasoolullah” – I bear witness that Muhammed is the Messenger of Allah. On hearing this, ‘Ibn Sina’ thought of taking the opportunity of responding to the repeated proposal made to him by ‘Bahman Yar’. He said:

“Listen to me, oh my son ‘Bahman Yar’. Now I wish to reply to your repeated suggestion”. The student sat up to hear attentively of what his learned tutor abruptly wanted to say. ‘Ibn Sina’ then proceeded:

“You have been suggesting to me several times to claim prophethood, that people would put full faith in me and that you would be the first one to do so. Now look, you have been my close student for several years and benefited from me a great deal, yet you did not think it prudent to obey me by coming out of your warm bed for a moment and bring me water that I badly needed to quench my thirst. Instead you chose to put forward lame excuses.”

“But think of this man who is now calling to prayers at the top of the minaret after coming out in the coldest weather and making ablution with cold water in the early hour of this morning. It is for no other purpose but in obedience to and respect for the command of Allah as conveyed by His apostle Prophet Muhammad Mustafa (S) some four hundred years ago.

“What a great difference there is between me and that Prophet sent by Allah!”

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