Two Rabbits and a Beautiful Sound
I wrote this short story quite a while ago for my daughter – since she loved stories, I thought it would be a great way to introduce her to the surahs. So, this was my start. At that age, she just complained – hey, where are the pictures? So, I broke them out this evening and in an animated voice read the story again. Much to my delight, she really enjoyed it. Insha'Allah your child will enjoy it as well . . .
Two Rabbits and a Beautiful Sound
“Hush,” a voice whispered, “Listen, for I heard a sound so beautiful.”
As they listened they heard a young girl say, “Bismillah ir-Rahmaan ir- Raheem.”From the sound of her voice, they could tell that she was very close.
Huddled near the edge of the forest, hidden behind an old oak tree, two floppy eared rabbits waited to hear the voice again.
Scrunching up its nose to pick up the girls scent, the other rabbit spoke softly, “I wonder what these words mean.”
Quietly, they waited for the voice to come closer – perhaps they would see who she was. They peeked from behind the tree to see a young girl dressed in a long pink dress and a pretty pink hijab.
“Oh,” she said, startled, as she noticed the rabbits peeking around the tree. “I didn’t see you there.” She smiled a bright and welcoming smile. “Salaam ‘Alaikum, my name is Sarah. What are you doing here?”
The rabbits thumped their feet excitedly. “Wa’ Alaikum Salaam, we were here eating grass when we heard a beautiful sound. We were curious about what you were saying.”
“Alhumdulilah!” she said excitedly, “My mother taught me Surat Al-Fatihah this morning. I was trying to practice it – the words are so beautiful.”
“Yes,” the two rabbits answered quickly, “But, what do the words mean?”
“Bismillah ir-Rahmaan ir-Raheem,” she spoke softly. She leaned over and gently brushed the fur on the rabbit’s backs as she spoke. “It means in the Name of Allah, Most Gracious Most Merciful.”
“Masha’Allah, these truly are the words of Allah. Please tell us more,” they asked.
“Alhumdu il-llahi Rabbil ‘alamin,” she recited, “This means ‘Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds.”
She quietly sat down under the tree. “Here,” she said, “sit upon my lap and I will tell you the rest.”
The rabbits huddled closely in her lap and listened quietly, waiting for the girl to speak.
She continued, “My momma explained that Allah is the Lord of all that exists. He created you and me and all that is in the world. Everything that happens and all things that exist is from Allah, alone.”
“This must be why mother rabbit said we should always be thankful to Allah and praise Him in all things. Don’t you agree?” one rabbit asked.
“Yes.” She said.
“Next comes ‘Ar-Rahmaan Ar-Raheem,” which means, Most Gracious Most Merciful,’” she continued. “My mama told me that if we make mistakes, we can ask Allah to forgive us. Allah is so Gracious and Merciful that He will forgive our sins. Allah also rewards us for the good deeds that we do.”
“Alhumdulillah,” the rabbits sighed happily, “we are glad that we are Muslim.”
“Alhumdulillah,” she agreed. “Next comes ‘Maliki yawmi-d-din. This means Master of the Day of Judgement.”
“Mother rabbit told us that on the Day of Judgment, Allah will reward the Righteous with Paradise and that He will punish the evil-doers with Hellfire.” One rabbit explained.
The other rabbit continued, “Insha’Allah all the Muslims will all be in Paradise on that day.”
“Insha’Allah,” the girl replied. She looked down happily at the rabbits and tugged softly at their ears.
The girl continued with the surah, “’Iyyaka na’budu wa iyyaka nasta’in. “This means, ‘You alone we worship; You (alone) we ask for help."
“My momma said this was important,” the girl explained, “as Muslims, we worship only Allah. We cannot worship anything or any one else. When we need help, we must ask Allah to help us because only Allah has the power to help us.”
“What happens if I get lost, does this mean I can’t ask someone to help me find my way home?” One rabbit asked as he stood up and looked into her eyes. His nose was all scrunched up with worry.
“You can ask them for help,” she replied, “but no one can help us unless Allah wants it to happen. That’s why we should always ask for Allah’s help.”
The rabbit settled back down into her lap as she recited more, “’Ihdina as- sirat al-mustaqim. This means, ‘Show us the straight path.”
“What does that mean?” The other rabbit asked, puzzled. “What is the straight path?”
“My momma said that the straight path is Islam.” The girl explained.
“I still do not understand.” The rabbit replied.
“That’s okay,” the girl said, “Wait until I tell you the next verse and then I will explain more.”
She started to recite, “Sirata alladhina an’amta ‘alai-him. Ghairi al- maghdubi ‘alai-him wa la adhaallin.”
Then she continued to explain, “This verse means ‘The path of those whom You have favored; not (the path) of those who earn Your anger nor of those who go astray."
“My momma said that these verses tell us to ask Allah to guide us on the straight path of Islam. Allah will reward those who follow Islam.”
“My momma told me that before we were born, there were prophets and other righteous people who followed this religion. So, we should try to follow the same path that they followed because they were favored by Allah.”
“Who were the people who earned Allah’s anger and those who went astray?” the rabbits asked as they looked at each other.
She leaned against the tree and played with the grass near her as she started to explain. “These are people who did not follow Allah's religion and those who chose to follow the path of Shaitan. Allah punishes the people that follow this evil path. That is why we should always ask Allah to show us the straight path – so that we can make sure we do not follow the wrong path and earn Allah’s anger.”
“Subhan’Allah,” the rabbits sighed. “This was a very good lesson. May Allah reward you for sharing it with us.”
“You are welcome,” the girl said, smiling. “Would you like to hear the words of this Surat again, so that you may remember them?”
“Insha’Allah.” They said as they jumped to their feet, waiting for her to continue.
The girl stood, brushing dirt off of her dress. “Recite them with me,” she said, “so that you can remember them.”
Bismillah ir-Rahmaan ir-Raheem
Alhumdu il-llahi Rabbil ‘alamin
Maliki yawm id-din
’Iyyaka na’budu wa iyyaka nasta’in
’Ihdina as-sirat al-mustaqim
Sirata alladhina an’amta ‘alai-him
Ghairi al-maghdubi ‘alai-him wa la adhaallin
“Masha'Allah, you did very well. I must go now for supper will be ready.” Sarah said. She picked up the rabbits and kissed their warm noses and put them back under the tree.
“Insha’Allah we will have to do this again some time. It really helped me remember the lesson that momma taught me.”
“Insha’Allah,” the rabbits responded, “we really enjoyed the lesson and learned a lot too.”
They smiled and hid once again behind the tree as the girl walked slowly towards home.
Copyright Sumayyah Umm SAA, 2004.