Written by: Rais Muhammad Umar
It was the Eid day. All the children were extremely excited. They were visiting the Eid mela in groups. They were buying toys of their choice and enjoying biryani, sweetmeats, samosas, fritters etc. Some children were enjoying rides on the Ferris wheel and swings. All of a sudden an explosion occurred. A wave of panic swept among the children. They started running down the streets to reach their homes or at least a safe place. This created a commotion in the bazar. The little children who had gone to the mela without their elders, started shivering and crying in fear. The elder people there tried to console them and tell them that they were firecrackers but they were out of their minds with fear. They were still trying to calm the children when another series of explosions occurred. Now even bigger children got frightened and started running towards their homes. Everyone was panic-stricken. The mothers at home got scared too. They were worried about their children. They invoked Allah سبحانہ وتعالی humbly, "Ya Allah! Have mercy. Our children have gone outside. Are these bombs exploding? What is happening? Please Allah سبحانہ وتعالی keep them safe.”
The children who were getting ready to visit the Eid mela, got frightened and decided to stay at home. Even their parents told them not to go out as something was terribly wrong.
Furqan was among the youngsters who had taken his two younger brothers to the mela. As soon as he heard the explosions, he caught his brothers by the hand and took them home. Furqan was extremely angry, he was in fact, furious. Reaching home, he greeted his parents with 'Assalamu Alaikum!' and went into his room.
"Furqan, come here. Were you at the mela?" his father asked him. But Furqan did not reply. Then his mother asked him, "Why have you brought your brothers home so soon? Tell me son. What is the matter? Why are you looking so upset?" Furqan spoke up, "Mother, we came back early because of the firecracker explosions. Both of them started crying and I couldn’t do anything."
"Who is doing this? How can anyone be so cruel as to spoil all the fun especially on Eid day? Don’t they know ‘Eeza-i-Muslim’ is haraam?”
"Mother, our neighbor Uncle Aarif Rana's son Sajid and his friends are exploding these firecrackers. Sajid is the leader of the group."
"What? Aarif Rana's son?" his father asked in astonishment.
"Yes father, I myself saw Sajid with his friends throwing the firecrackers," Furqan said. "Father, Sajid is the leader of the group. He has collected like-minded boys and has made a group six or seven. He is behind all this."
"He is the brother of seven sisters that is why he is pampered by his parents. They have really spoiled him."
"Being the brother of seven sisters does not mean that he should be cruel and should disturb all the other people especially children and old people," Furqan’s mother said angrily.
"Mother, if you had seen the scene outside you would have been shocked too. It seemed as if all hell had broken loose. The firecrackers exploded near the feet of little children. They were throwing ignited firecrackers at the children and old people to scare them and as the little children started crying Sajid and his cronies laughed and laughed fit to burst. A small girl near us was showing her bangles and mehndi to her friends when three firecrackers fell upon them. Her sleeve got burnt and her arm got burnt also. She was terrified and almost fainted. The others started shrieking and crying. I just can’t tell you how badly frightened everyone was.”
"This is really bad. We should do something about it."
"Father, you know the old man Zubair who is blind?"
"Yes, I know him well," his father replied.
"Sajid and his friends threw four firecrackers at Zubair baba's feet and he couldn’t maintain his balance and fell to the ground. When they saw this Sajid and his friends burst into laughter. Mother, being Muslims, why do we copy the Hindus?"
"What can I say my son. Now-a-days we don’t seem to realize that Eeza-i-Muslim, that is, causing pain to another fellow Muslim in any way whatsoever is haraam. It is a great sin. May Allah سبحانہ وتعالی bless us with His guidance so that we may follow our deen and not that of the Hindus and other non-Muslims," his mother sighed deeply.
"Sajid and his friends have spoilt the Eid of so many people."
"How was Zubair baba after the incident?" Furqan’s father asked.
"I led him to his home. He was cursing these bad boys all the way home. He was saying, ‘Ya Allah! Punish them soon. Punish them here and now. Punish them so badly that they will never do such a thing again.’”
"I shall go to Sajid's home in the evening and talk to his mother. I shall tell her what Zubair baba said and I’ll tell her that exploding firecrackers is a bad deed and it is a Hindu custom. She should stop her son from doing it," Furqan’s mother said decisively.
In the evening Furqan and his mother made their way to Sajid's home. Furqan’s mother was surprised to see a big box full of firecrackers as soon as she entered the house. After greeting Sajid’s mother she said, "Sister so many firecrackers!"
"Yes sister, Sajid janoo has bought these firecrackers. He got three thousand rupees as eidi and he has spent most of it in buying these firecrackers,” Sajid's mother said proudly.
“But sister, exploding firecrackers on happy occasions is a Hindu custom. Not only that but it causes pain and suffering to the Muslims too. The noise caused panic among the children and the old people. Causing annoyance, pain, trouble or distress to fellow Muslims in any way is haraam, is eeza-i-Muslim. And it is also a waste of money. Sajid beta could have used the big amount to help the poor and needy people. They would have given him so many duas.”
Furqan’s mother stopped because Sajid’s mother didn’t look very convinced. “Sajid threw some firecrackers at the blind Zubair baba. Furqan led him to his home and you know what he was saying? He was saying ‘Ya Allah punish these kids so badly that they will never do such a thing again.’ Others must have said similar things. Sister, Sajid is just like my own son, I don’t want any harm to come to him.”
"Yes sister, you are quite right. I agree with you. I will tell Sajid to get rid of these firecrackers and go and apologize to Zubair baba too,” Sajid's mother said firmly.
Sajid who was sitting in the next room had heard the whole conversation. He realized that it was a truly bad thing that he had done. He came out of the room quickly
and asked his mother and Furqan's mother to forgive him. He promised them that he would never set off firecrackers in the future or cause pain to anyone.
The next day, Sajid met Furqan and said to him, "My friend, I used to think it was great fun to set off the firecrackers and see everyone jump with fright but believe me the more I did so the more I got upset. But since yesterday's repentance, I have found great peace. It is as if I have obtained the pleasure of repentance."
"Thank Allah سبحانہ وتعالی who has blessed you with guidance. And remember pleasure is hidden in serving others not in disturbing others," Furqan said wth a smile.