I started my nursery education in an Islamic school Sali Ola at three years thereabouts. Unfortunately, I had vague images about my experiences there. So I proceeded to primary school in Staff School. Staff School is a non-secular school that had both Muslims and people of other religions. We had our morning assembly at separate grounds. The Christians were separated from the Muslims. Now to the gist, I always look forward to the morning session. A Muslim teacher got my attention, he was an elderly man tall with white beards. When he approaches the crowd, every pupil goes silent with awe!!! It was storytelling time, with his elderly voice, he had constructed his voice not too theatrics but with a melody that has you glued, every day he had stories of the prophets to tell. After each tales, Mr. B. will ask us questions and we were all always eager to learn. One of such tale was that of Prophet Ayub (ASW).
Prophet Ayub (may the peace of Allah be upon him) was a man of humility and strong faith in Allah. He was a wealthy man, but the situation changed after a while. One day his farm was attacked by armed thieves. And they killed many of his servants and carried away his farm animals. The Prophet (may the peace of Allah be upon him) did not feel sorry at this loss and thanked Allah.
More calamities befell him, the roof of the house fell down, and many members of his family were crushed. The Prophet Ayyub (peace be upon him) was in shock but he held to his faith in Allah. He neither shed a tear nor a sigh. He prostrated before the Almighty. He remarked that possessions and children were gifts from Allah. If Allah had taken his things, it would not lament over their loss.
Years later, Prophet Ayub (peace be upon him) suffered from skin disease. His parts of the body were covered with horrible sores and pusses. The sores were full of worms and maggots. He picked up the worms which fell from his boils and praised Allah for creating them.
Above all, his frenemies attributed his calamities to his sins. They ridiculed and spat him. All deserted him except Rahima his faithful wife. Rahima also grew tired of him in the long run and prayed for his death. She was angry at her husband for retaining integrity in Allah. When Prophet Ayub (peace be upon him) sores were getting to his tongue, he prayed.
“Truly adversity has afflicted me, and You are Most Merciful of all who show mercy.” (Surah 21: Verse 83)
Allah replied his prayer:
“And surely we try you with something of fear and hunger, and loss of wealth and crops, but give glad tidings to the steadfast, who when a misfortune befalls them, say lo! we are Allah’s (possession of Allah) and to Him shall we surely return. Such are they on whom are blessings from their Lord, and mercy. Such is the rightly-guided.” (Surah 2: Verse 155-157)
Prophet Ayub’s fortune was restored, and all the people that ridiculed him were put to shame.
Nothing does it when the audience likes a story with a happy ending.We can never know that which will leave a lasting imprint in the heart of a child. The memories I cherish and the stories have continued to shape me in my endeavors.
Which childhood assembly moment left a lasting imprint in your heart?