Nazeer and the Neighbours

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Ask our children:

1. Who is a neighbour?

2. How should we treat our neighbours?

Now tell them the story:

Nazeer was a little boy who was not just naughty – he was VERY NAUGHTY. He lived in a complex with lots and lots of neighbours, and he loved to trouble them and make them angry. When he would do something naughty and make the neighbours angry, then he would find it very funny and laugh. In fact, he would laugh so much that even his tummy would start to pain!

One day, Nazeer had an idea. His neighbour, Uncle Dawood, had a nice, sparkling swimming pool. Every day, when Uncle Dawood would come home from work, he would get into his pool and enjoy a quick swim. Nazeer got onto his bicycle, took a bucket, and rode to the river. There, at the river, he managed to find some big, green, slimy frogs. He put the frogs into his bucket, and then returned home. Then, while Uncle Dawood was still at work, he went into his yard and put all the frogs into his pool!

That evening, when Uncle Dawood jumped into the pool, he got the fright of his life! There were slimy frogs swimming around him! He knew that naughty Nazeer must be the one who was to blame so he shouted, “Nazeer! I’m going to tell your father!” Nazeer thought that it was very funny and he couldn’t stop laughing.

The next day, Nazeer had another idea. Uncle Ya’qoob lived next door, and he would wake up early every morning, get into his car and leave for work. That night, after Esha Salaah, Nazeer went into Uncle Ya’qoob’s yard and let all the air out of his car’s tires!

The next morning, when Uncle Ya’qoob came out of his home, he saw that all his tires were flat! Now he would have to pump them and that would make him late for work! He was so angry that his face turned red and he shouted, “Nazeer! I’m going to tell your father!”

On the third day, Nazeer had a BIG idea – he was going to trouble all the neighbours at once! Nazeer went quietly, from yard to yard, visiting everybody’s washing lines. Then, he switched all the neighbour’s clothes around! He took Uncle Dawood’s wet socks from the washing line and switched them with Uncle Ahmad’s socks, and he switched baby Muhammad’s grower with baby Jameelah’s grower, and Aunty Naseerah’s burqa’ with Aunty Zahrah’s burqa’.  

That evening, when they were going through their laundry, everyone was confused! Uncle Ahmad put the socks on and shouted, “Hey! These aren’t my socks! These socks have holes in them!” In the same way, Aunty Naseerah was complaining about the burqa’ saying, “It doesn’t fit me! It’s as big as a bedsheet!” Finally, they all realized – someone very naughty had switched their clothing on the washing line, and that very naughty ‘someone’ was Nazeer!

By the end of the week, all the neighbours came and complained to Nazeer’s parents. They called him and asked him, “Nazeer! Why do you trouble all the neighbours?” Nazeer replied, “Because it’s so funny! You should have seen Uncle Dawood’s face when he was in the pool with the frogs!” Nazeer’s father corrected him and said, “That is not funny Nazeer! Troubling people is not a joke! It is not permissible and you will get sin! How can you laugh when you are making Allah Ta‘ala angry!” When Nazeer heard this, he stopped laughing and became silent.

Nazeer’s mother explained, “Nazeer! Islam teaches us that the neighbours are very important people! A Muslim should not trouble any person, but troubling the neighbour is even more serious! That is why we must always make sure that we do not trouble the neighbours in any way! Don’t you see that when we have a braai, we make sure that we send some meat for our neighbours as well, in case they smelled the food and were feeling for it! We do this to keep them happy!”

Nazeer thought about this, and then he said, “But the other people whose clothes I switched, they aren’t our neighbours! They don’t live next door!” His father replied, “It is not only the people who live next door who are our neighbours, Nazeer! All the people who live close to us are neighbours, so we must be good to all of them and must not trouble them!” Now Nazeer understood and he felt very bad over his naughty behaviour.

The next day, Nazeer’s mother baked choc-chip cookies and put them into small gift bags. Then, Nazeer went to each neighbour’s house, gave them the cookies and told them that he was sorry for what he had done, and promised that he would not trouble them again. In fact, now that Nazeer knew how important neighbours were, he became the most helpful neighbour in his complex! He would help Uncle Ya’qoob to wash his car, help Uncle Dawood to clean his pool and even helped other neighbours to hang their washing on the line.

In this way, Nazeer became a good neighbour, and everyone was happy with him.

Lessons:

1. A Muslim must NEVER trouble any person – especially the neighbour, because neighbours are very important people. Nabi Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) commanded us to be good to our neighbours. We must therefore try to be helpful to all our neighbours.

2. Our neighbours are not only the people who live in the houses next door. All the people who live close to us are our neighbours. We must try to be good to all these people.

3. If we trouble anybody, we must tell them that we are sorry and ask them to forgive us. If we can, we must give them a small present as well so that they become happy with us.

4. Troubling people and making them angry is not funny. If somebody is being troubled or is angry then we should not laugh at them.

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