IMG_20150715_002625Catching them young

I should have been done with this piece a long time ago, but as it is, by the will of Allah, I am just delving into it. Need I say that my procrastination game is so strong? . . .but then, I pray everyday for the change in attitudeDil 20150423_120922 towards responsibilities such as this one. Ameen.

I am writing this now, more because a little girl inspired me at the masjid yesterday evening. We were observing magrib and she, beside her mother, joined in the salah. She is about 3 to 4 years of age. She got up, folded her arms over her chest and stood to attention in the presence of Allah. There were other kids her age running around, but she didn’t seem to be drawn by their scurs. And then I remembered I had an unwritten article. Which is this. 🙂 All thanks to her

As a child, I grew up in a multicultural environment. Born to a Muslim family with practicing parents, paranoia was an issue on a standby. My mom never lets us out unless necessary and my dad would always come home from his shop to check on us. By then, we were 3 kids in all. Since the Madrasah I attended was in the same compound I lived in, things were even simpler. Our movements could be monitored promptly without difficulty.

My mom was literally, by then, a housewife. I can’t remember a lot of things but I do remember an evening- one of the evenings my mom goes to visit my grandma- my mom locked us in. As we were already used to it, we just stood by the window, looking out at the other children running around and neighbors passing by. And then came my dad, on his routine check on his beloved offspring. He came to us by the window and had a little chat with us. My brother used to be quiet as a child more often than I used to be. So he just watched on as I conversed with our father. I later on, told my dad to recite the longest chapter of the Qur’an “Al-baqarah”. He was a bit sceptical, but he did. He recited it on and on and I listened. I liked it. Later on he started trailing off, pausing and then starting off from different points. I understood it wasn’t easy as he took a long time reciting it. As maghrib approached, he excused himself and went to the masjid to pray. What an evening?!

Later on, before growing into my teen years, I transferred school. In my JSS1, I was one of the shortest and smallest girls in class so I moved with the small girls. However, these girls were though small, a bit more exposed than I was. They talked about movies and street fights and I just listened along smiling when necessary, but listening most of time. I learnt some new things and I would talk about one; relating to this article. One of the girls taught me what to do whenever I do not want my parents to remember something i.e. whenever I did something wrong and they wanted to scold me for it. She said I just needed to pluck a few of my eyes lashes, wrap it in a paper, and ensure they stepped on it. I tried it and I think it worked; a few times.

Whenever I did something wrong and my mom says “I would report you to your father when he gets back” I got really scared. Just a yell from my dad once made my brother pee in his pants. Dad can be all tough when a child does something bad. As I had learnt a new style of making my mom not tell, I started practicing this act. I would pluck my eyelashes and wrap it in a paper and place the paper close to the threshold. Waiting patiently for my mom to step on it. But wasn’t that some sort of shirk?

Watch out for the concluding part of “Catching them young” which I would post soon, in sha Allah.

Aisha Harun