This is a popular story from Saudi Arabia and begins with a family where islam is not a strong force inside the house. So for example you find that in the family home the mother listens to pop music and encourages her children to dance in the house while the husband spends his time in front of the tv when at home, does not pray or go to the masjid and never reads quran or plays with his young son who had justed started school and is the centre of this account.
One morning at school the teacher asks the class ” Who prayed fajr?” Our young boy was the only chld who did not raise his hand and the teacher further inquired “Why?’ “My father and mother dont pray in the house so I dont pray too” was his reply. “Well, you must pray your fajr” replied the teacher.
That night at home this young boy was determined to awaken for fajr and go to the mosque which was only a short walk from the home. He set his alarm clock and went to sleep early.he kept his alarm right by his head so that when it sounded he could immediately answer it without waking his parents. That morning when it sounded he arose from his bed changed his clothes and went to the front door to leave for the mosque. it at that moment when he opened the door to leave that fear struck his heart. It was very dark outside. Suddenly our young boy spotted an elderly man walking past the house and the boy knew that he could follow him at a distance and feel safe. thus he followed him to the mosque prayed fajr and then came home before his family awoke.
That day at school our young boy proudly raised his hand when the teacher asked, ‘Who prayed fajr today”
So this became our young boys habit and method of making his fajr salah. he would even sleep earlier so he could feel rested in the morning. Likewise his parents noticed his changed in behaviour but never knew he modified his behaviour to make his fajr . They thought something was wrong with him (ill).
Eventually his mother thought too much of these changes and began to investigate, she found his alarm clock and removed it hoping to restore a longer sleeping partern. That night our young soldier had to stay awake the whole night as he feared he would not awake and miss the pray. At pray time he went to the door to await the old man he followed but alas he did not come. It saddened the boy but he knew that tomorrow he will go to the masjid and pray fajr. Again the next morning our young fighter arose from his bed and went to the door once again the old man did not pass.” Insha’allah I will pray tomorrow ” he said with even more resolve.
That night after school and before putting himself to sleep our young mujahid over heard his mother and father talking about ” the old man who died a few houses away” Immediately the tears flowed into our young sons heart and he ran screaming and wailing into his room. astonished his father ran in after him to see what was wrong. ” My son what happened!”
Tear eyed sobbing and pointing at his father he sceamed “I wish that it had been you who died and not that man!, he prayed fajr and I followed him to the mosque while you slept in your bed” Who will take me now!!!
As one can imagine these words had an impact on the very soul of his father and well eventually things changed in that house, the prayers were always performed , no more pop music, and the love of Allah and his Prophet (SAWS) governed everything this family did together and independently.
I hope this story provides some enlightenment for those who read and perhaps a lesson or two to pass on to someone else
This story was originally narrated by by Raja an Nasr al Qahtan, Riyadh Kingdom Of Saudi Arabia, April 2005