Ten year-old Mohamed stood in front of his
tiny house looking at the shabby walls and the moss covered roof.
The women folk gathered around the front door spoke in hushed
tones. Only the rustling of
the leaves fluttering in the wind broke the silence.
Mohamed’s mother is in labor and he
knew he was going to have a tiny sibling.
His mother’s intermittent screaming has
softened now. The midwife
occasionally came out from the closed doors and soon disappeared inside.
Suddenly a screeching voice fell on his ears.
Startled, Mohamed looked towards the closed doors and saw the women
pushing and shoving at each other to get a glimpse of inside.
At last the door was opened and an elderly lady held the crying
bundle of joy up and
“It is a girl”!
The new born let out a piercing cry as if
protesting to the whole world. The women folks’ faces lit up in joy.
The baby kept crying.
Mohamed was confused. He went to his father
who was standing in a corner with an anxious face witnessing all these. He
went up to him and asked.
“ Is my sister
a Muslim” ?
The father looked at Mohammed with a puzzled
_expression on his face.
“Of course she is” He replied as if he
confronted with the most insane question he had ever been asked.
“Then why she is not crying out “Allah-hu
Akbar” instead of whimpering and whining? Mohamed looked at his father
as if expecting an answer.
His father quickly turned his head to see if
there was anyone around listening to Mohammed’s question.
He frowned and stared at his son.
is…. Err….we have to teach her about Allah and Islam when she
grows up…And more over she cannot speak until quiet some time” He
stopped short for gathering his thoughts.
Mohammed eyed his father suspiciously.
“You mean… we need to teach her about
Allah, just as we are taught Science and Mathematics in schools….”??
There was an amusing tone in his voice.
“Huh….err…something like that
“Mohamed’s father was losing patience.
“Funny”... Mohammed thought.
“You mean if we don’t tell her about Allah she would never know
“Shut up... and don’t be such a bad
boy”..... Mohamed’s father walked
towards the house.
Mohammed looked out of the window. Across the
street, his eyes caught the sight of a man who was in rags. The man’s
mud-stained skin looked sticky and the unkempt hair hung over his
shoulders in thick rolls. His sunken eyes were lacking _expression.
The man was scraping the sand with bare hands
as if searching for something he had lost.
Mohammed went inside...
“Father, what is that man doing out there”
Mohammed’s father raised his eyes from the
news paper and looked at the direction his son was pointing at.
“Oh…. that man is insane”…. His father
turned his back to his news paper.
“What do you mean by insane”?
Mohammed was curious.
“Eh… that means he can’t think and act
like normal people. In a way he does not know what he is doing nor does he
care. Because he is mentally
“How did he become like that” Mohammed was
all the more curious.
“Hmm… perhaps it is the will of
“Is he a Muslim?
“Mohammed looked outside, squinting.
His father put down the news paper.
“If he is not sane then he can’t offer
prayers the way we do …right? Mohammed
...you are right.”
“Does that mean a mentally ill cannot
“Shut up … Don’t let your mind ponder
too much”. The father walked
out of the door.