Lessons That Endure: The Stories We Tell Our Children

The other day, over breakfast, the kids and I were discussing the issue of inflation.

Well, not quite actually.

None of these kids are over the age of ten. However, we did converse about the rising prices of goods and services.

My 7-year-old asked:

“Mama, why do you buy this brand of milk and not the old brand you used to get from the other grocery store?”

I explained to them how product prices had increased.

The kids then debated amongst themselves about the appropriate prices for different food items, calling out crazy numbers for milk, cheese, eggs and bread as I listened on in amusement.

Then, my 8-year-old declared:

“If I had a grocery store, I’d sell everything there for free! People can just come and take whatever they want!”

The sheer innocence and purity of heart made me smile. I replied to him, saying:

“That’s very nice of you, but that’s not really a business model that would work. This is because you need to spend money to buy all the things in your store.”

We spoke about the concept of ribh (profit), which the kids recalled well from the sirah.

The 10-year-old commented:

“Yeah, the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم made the most amount of profit when he went to Ash-Sham with Khadijah’s caravan. He did the best out of all the tujjar (traders/ businessmen) who traded for her.”

My 8-year-old is particularly soft-hearted and generous. He understood the concept of buying and selling and the importance of making a profit, but he still felt compelled to help people.

RELATED: A Bedtime Tip for Raising Grateful Muslim Kids in an Entitled World

He responded with:

“Well, fine. I’ll make everything in my store one dollar. That should make a bit of money.”

So I said:

“Yes, but probably not enough. Each item will cost you more than just one dollar to buy yourself, so if you sell it for a dollar, you’re incurring a loss and still making no profit.”

I paused and considered taking another approach, saying:

“How would you provide for your wife and children?”

He grinned at me and said immediately without skipping a beat,

“…أبقي لَهُمُ اللَّهَ ورسولَهُ”

“I leave for them Allah and His Messenger…”

I laughed and gave my wonderful boy a hug. He was quoting Sayyiduna Abu Bakr رضي الله عنه.

When the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم encouraged the Sahaba to contribute towards gathering money before one of the battles, the Muslims all pitched in.

Sayyiduna `Umar رضي الله عنه arrived with half of all his wealth and gave that in charity.

Soon thereafter, Sayyiduna Abu Bakr رضي الله عنه arrived with ALL of his wealth to give in charity.

The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم asked Abu Bakr رضي الله عنه:

“يا أبا بَكرٍ ما أبقَيتَ لأَهْلِكَ؟”

“And what did you leave for your family, O Abu Bakr?”

Sayyiduna Abu Bakr رضي الله عنه, whose heart is ever full of iman and complete tawakkul, replied:

“…أبقيتُ لَهُمُ اللَّهَ ورسولَهُ”

“I left for them Allah and His Messenger…” (Jami’ al-Tirmidhi)

My dear fellow parents, the things you teach your children and the stories that you tell them will remain with them.

Tell your children the best, the most beautiful and the most wholesome of stories⁠—the lives and times of the blessed final Prophet, Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم and his amazing Sahabah.

RELATED: Instead of Your Children Loving Marvel Heroes, Teach Them to Love These Heroes


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.