Goodnight Tales for Little Muslims
A Collection of Ridiculously Interesting & Thankfully Short Bedtime Stories
With Spirit, Soul & Islamic Lessons for Little Ones
Once upon a time, there may have been (but maybe not) a little boy who lived by the ocean with his family. His name was Ibrahim, and he lived in a small yellow house right along the beach, that sat so close to the water that at night, he could hear the sound of the waves from his very own bed.
He loved the ocean and everything about it. He loved the squish-squish of the sand beneath his feet when he walked on the beach without shoes. He loved collecting seashells in his plastic bucket with the blue handle, and washing them in the ocean’s water until they sparkled and shone. He loved making sand castles, using his bucket and plastic shovel to mix the sand and water until he got a nice mushy paste that he could use to build walls and roofs. Sometimes, he would even make a sand masjid, and put pebbles inside to look like praying people. As he got older, his buildings became more and more complex until some of them were as tall as he was!
But Ibrahim had a secret. While he was building his sandcastles and sand masjids on the beach, he would look out at the ocean and feel a little pang of sadness inside. His secret was that even though he loved the water, he was very, very, scared of it.
The ocean seemed like a dark, endless cave that could take him away to a place where he would never come back. Whenever he tried to go beyond the waves right at the shore, his body would freeze in worry, and his heart would feel so full - almost like a balloon about to pop. So he never took more than few steps into its waves. If he did, he would step back quickly, into the sand, where it seemed much safer.
He knew he shouldn’t be so worried. His mom talked to him for a long time about trying new things, and that she could hold his hand and be right by his side to help him get used to the water. But the feelings inside were so strong, and the ocean seemed so huge, that even when he agreed, and he held his mom’s hand tightly, he could only take a few steps into the water before he told her, “That’s enough for today!”
One day it was Friday, and Ibrahim and his family went to the masjid for Jumu’ah prayer. Ibrahim wore a fresh white thaub that his mom had ironed, and his dad helped him put on ‘oud (a nice smelling perfume) so that he could look his best for the Friday prayer. All the way to the masjid, his family recited Salah ‘ala an-Nabiy in the car, which is especially good to say on Fridays. Ibrahim loved attending the Jumu’ah prayer, seeing so many people, and hearing the shaykh give the talk. This time, the shaykh talked about something that made Ibrahim sit straight up in surprise.
“We all have worries and fears. They can fill up our hearts, and Shaytan can make them seem even bigger in our eyes. The solution is to remember Allah in those times of worry: to remember that He cares for us, that He is Powerful, and that He knows everything we are going through. However big or great that worry is, Allah is Bigger and Greater. This is why we say, ‘Allahu Akbar’ - ‘Allah is Great’ so many times in our day as Muslims. It is to remind us that He is greater than everything in our life, even those things that may hurt us, scare us, or make us worry. And because He is with us, we can feel brave when facing those fears.”
All the way back home, Ibrahim thought about what the shaykh said. He watched from the car window as the ocean shone and changed colors underneath the sun, and he thought about what it would be like to swim in that water.
After lunch, his mom took him for a walk along the beach. He held his plastic bucket with the blue handle in one hand. He liked hearing the squish-squish of the sand beneath his feet. And as they came to where he usually sat to make his sand masjids, Ibrahim turned to his Mom and said, “Let’s try the water today!”
He put down his bucket, and held his Mom’s hand as they approached the ocean. The water splashed against his feet, and then higher to his knees as he went a little further. When he looked out at the ocean and saw how big it was, he began to feel nervous - until he remembered that no matter how big something is, Allah is bigger and greater.
Suddenly, a large wave came crashing to the shore, soaking him from his head to his toes. He froze in shock, tears just behind his eyes, holding tight to his mom. He heard her laugh and say, “Allahu Akbar!” She smiled and said “Ibrahim, you are very brave today!” He remembered that he could be brave, because Allah was with him, and that he could be strong, because Allah was greater and stronger than anything. As he became used to the water, the worry and fear inside of him became smaller, like a balloon that slowly let out the air inside. He smiled back at his mom.
From that day on, Ibrahim was not scared of the water anymore. Every time he approached the waves, or looked out at as the ocean spread out so wide, almost like a huge blanket with no end, he would remember the words of the shaykh at the masjid. “Allahu Akbar!” he would think. Allah is even greater than all of this. His heart would feel calm and he would remember when his fear was so big, and then became smaller, and smaller, until Ibrahim’s secret was completely gone.
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