Read The Story (Find Suitable Word Meanings in The Vocabulary List)

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One day, there was a great gathering in the holy Prophet Muhammad’s [s] masjid, where the Prophet [s] was telling the people about Allah and the wonderful ways of Allah. It was very quiet inside the masjid. The people hardly moved as the Prophet [s] spoke to them. Then suddenly, without warning, he stopped speaking and began to walk towards the door.

The people were surprised and puzzled. Where could the blessed Prophet [s] be going so suddenly? It seemed strange. But it did not remain a mystery for long.

When people in the crowd turned round and followed the Prophet [s] with their eyes, they saw why he had acted as he did. Two children, smartly dressed in red shirts, were walking towards the masjid and as the Prophet [s] had been speaking, he had seen them through the door.

The Prophet [s] loved all children, of course, but these were two very, very special children as far as he was concerned. They were his grandsons, Hasan and Husayn [r], the sons of the beloved daughter of the Prophet [s], Fatimah [r], and her husband Ali [r] the fourth Khalif.

Naturally, Prophet Muhammad [s] loved the two boys very much, and they in their turn, loved him. When Hasan and Husayn [r] saw their beloved grandfather, they smiled widely and started to run towards him with their arms outstretched to embrace him.

The Prophet [s] was delighted to see them, and brought them back into the masjid, where he told them to sit down beside him. Then, the Prophet [s] resumed talking and the crowd in the masjid fell silent again, as they listened to the words of Allah’s great Messenger [s].

Naturally, the Prophet [s] was a frequent visitor at the house of his daughter, Fatimah [r]. He loved to be with Hasan and Husayn [r], but he became very distressed when he saw either of the boys was unhappy or crying. When this happened, the Prophet [s] would call to his daughter and tell her to leave whatever she was doing to attend to the children. This was because the Prophet [s] thought that nothing could be so important that it should come before a child who needed comfort.

This applied even to prayers in the masjid. Often, mothers would bring their children to the masjid when they came to pray there. It was not always a good idea. Small children quickly became very impatient and because they were too young to understand what an important place a masjid was, they used to cry and make a fuss while prayers were going on.

Their mothers did not like this, but neither did they like to interrupt their prayers to attend to their crying children. Perhaps they hoped the child would get tired of crying and stop by itself.

The beloved Prophet Muhammad [s], however, disliked to hear children crying, and whenever this happened during prayers, he would make the prayers shorter so that the mothers could comfort their children without too much delay.

Hasan and Husayn [r] sat very quietly as their grandfather spoke. They were good boys and knew that the masjid was a very special place, a place of prayer. Even so, the boys also knew that they did not have to be solemn and serious all the time they were in the masjid.

Their grandfather had showed them this one day when they were with him as he led the salah.

The salah was proceeding inside the masjid and the blessed Prophet [s] put his head to the ground as is done in daily prayers. Straight away, one of his grandsons climbed onto his back. Minutes passed and the little boy sat there, enjoying himself ‘riding’ on his grandfather’s back. It seemed a long time before the little boy climbed down and the Prophet [s] was able to raise his head again and continue his prayers.

The people in the masjid were very puzzled and curious.

When the salah was finished, they decided to ask the Prophet [s] for an explanation.

“Oh Messenger of Allah,” they said, “You kept your head on the ground for such a long time! Was this because you received a revelation or a message from Allah?”

“Oh, no!” Prophet Muhammad [s] replied. “It was for this grandson of mine who was riding on my back. I did not want to spoil his game by rising too soon.”

The people were charmed by this answer, for it showed how greatly the Prophet [s] loved his grandsons, and how much he thought about the happiness and wellbeing of children.