7 Stories

S2: Episode 7: My journey to Salah

It’s our last episode for Season 2 🙁

Leanne throws her first salah party! She gets to choose 1 salah. She invites her friends to play with her outside but something happens… Alhamdullillah 🙂

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My Journey to Salah

It was my special day. I was turning 7 years old and my mum said I could have a salah party on my 7th birthday.
“Leyan, since you’re turning 7 and you’re a big girl now it’s time for you to start practising salah with us! I want you to start by choosing one salah to pray every day for the next 6 months. Every 6 months until you’re 10 we will add a salah until you can pray all 5 prayers with Mum and Dad. I’m so excited for you Leyan! And I’m so curious which of the 5 salahs will you choose first, will it be Maghrib because it’s 3 racket, or will you choose Asr so you can pray together with me when you come back from school, or will it be Duhr so you can pray with your friends at school? Will it be ‘Isha so you, Baba and I can pray together, or Fajr so you can get up in the middle of the night?!”
“Oh Mummy! This is a hard one! I’m not sure, can you choose for me?”
“Oh Leyan, I would love to but this is your salah journey and you can do it! Anyway think about it and you can announce it at your party later!”
I was so excited for the party it was going to start at 12 o’clock in the afternoon. All my friends were going to come.
“I can’t wait Mama! Is it 12 o’clock yet?!”
“Not yet, missy!” said Mama.
I was going to get my new salah dress and salah mat. My friends and I were all going to play outside. It was going to be spectacular! By 11 o’clock I was ready! My dress, my hair, my nail polish were all perfect!
“Mama what can I do now?” I asked.
I wanted to help her do everything! Mama had worked so hard to decorate outside so that my salah party would look beautiful!
“Leyan my dear, can you come outside with me to lay the sweets on the table?” Mum replied.
I raced out the door.
“Err..shoes please!” Mum snapped.
I ran back to grab my purple shimmery shoes which matched my dress.
As I walked out the door, SPLAT! I felt a drop of water on my face!
“Mama! What was that?!” I shrieked.
“What was what?! Oops!” she said.
SPLAT! Another drop fell from the sky!
“Mama! It’s starting to rain!” I whimpered.
“I thought you said the weather was going to be perfect! My party is ruined!”
“We checked the weather forecast Leyan. They said it would be sunny and it hasn’t rained in a week!” Mama said.
Mama looked up at the sky and said “Ya Rabee laka alhamd”.
She kept repeating “alhamdulillah, alhamdulillah”.
I was cross! “Why are you saying alhamdulillah when its raining?! My party is ruined!” I sobbed.
Baba came inside and said, “Since it’s raining what do you want to do?”
Mum said, “Khair! It’s all good! Alhamdulillah, we will do it inside the house.”
“I don’t want to do it inside!” I yelled.
“I want to play in the garden and have a picnic! And how am I going to do that inside?!”
They both held me tight and said, “Leyan, we understand that you’re upset right now. You’re upset that it’s raining and it might look like your party is ruined, but when something doesn’t go your way you say alhamdulillah and try to find another way. Allah loves you and wants you to be happy, especially because we are celebrating salah! Something which Allah loves. So insha’Allah He will give you something better. You have to be patient.”
Baba said, “Give me your hand let’s run in the rain and grab all the things from outside.”
I held his hand reluctantly. With the rain and tears mixed on my cheeks, I didn’t know how my party was going to be fun anymore!
I was mad at Mum and Dad for repeating alhamdulillah and I was mad at the rain and I wondered, why did Allah do that?! Why did Allah make it rain?!
The door bell rang. The first guest was here. It was my auntie. Khala was so warm and lovely. She put on some nasheeds and started to help us decorate the front room.
The room sparkled with glitter and began to look nice. Not as nice as the outside I thought to myself!
Khala told me that when it rains your prayers are answered super fast! So I closed my eyes with her and we made a prayer.
“Ya Allah, please let my party be really really fun!” I said.
I started to feel a little bit better and we laid out all the prayer mats before the other guests arrived.
My friends started to arrive one by one and they didn’t seem too upset at all! In fact they were so happy they didn’t care about the party being inside. Things felt better already. We played games, laughed, ate and made prayer mats together! I was having so much fun I forgot about the rain outside!
“Guys, look! A rainbow!” Shouted Maryam.
My eyes lit up! The rain had stopped and Baba had opened the patio doors so we could all go play outside!
We ran happily! Oh I was so happy! It was perfect!
My friends and I had so much fun. It was even better than the party I planned!
That’s when my Mum whispered, “See Leyan, we plan and Allah plans. And His plans always work best! So always say alhamdulillah even when something doesn’t go your way because Allah’s plans are the very best!”
I cuddled her and smiled. I understood what Mama was saying now. “Alhamdulillah” I said.
“Now are you ready to tell everyone which salah you’re going to start with?”
“Errm..I think so!”
“Everyone!” said Mum.
“Everyone, please gather around. Leyan would like to share with you all which salah she will be practising first.”
“So Leyan, which salah is it going to be?”
“Drumroll please!”
Yay! Everyone clapped and cheered.
“Why did you choose that one?” Mum asked.
“Because I want to pray together with you and Baba and because it’ll be easy, it’s only 3 rak’at!”
Everyone laughed.
Baba said, “Let’s all raise our hands and ask Allah to bless Leyan’s salah journey and accept our salahs and our children’s salah! Everyone say Ameen!”
“Aameen!” They all shouted.
What a wonderful day it turned out to be!
Remember you plan and Allah plans and Allah is the best of planners!
So, which salah will you choose to start your salah journey with?
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S2: Episode 6: Save water

Save water

“Splash! Splash!” 
Khadija and Lamees splashed all over the place!
It was bath time and they loved playing for hours in the bubbly water.
“Woohoooo!” cheered Lamees.
“Let’s make another big splash!”
Woosh! she jumped up and down and the water filled the bathtub and went over the sides of the bath covering the floor!
“Oops!” said khadeja 
“I think Dad is going to be upset!”
They giggled and started to do smaller jumps instead of big ones.
Still though, water was splashing over the sides of the bathtub.
What they didn’t realise was that the water was slowly dripping onto the downstairs ceiling. Dad was in charge today. Mama was taking the day off to relax and so he was in the kitchen preparing dinner.
“Are you okay girls?” Dad called from downstairs.
“Yes Baba, we’re fine!” wailed Khadija.
Meanwhile the ceiling in the living room was leaking and the water was dripping onto Mama’s best sofa, she had only bought it recently.
“Do you know that Mum and Dad say that if we use too much water it will all disappear?!” Lamees exclaimed.
“Nonesense!” replied Khadija.
“Look there’s more water it will never run out!” and she turned on the tap to show Lamees.
They both giggled and fell back into the bubbles.
“Do you know that if there’s no water we would die because we need water to survive?” said Lamees.
“Okay clever clogs!” said Khadija.
“I will turn off the tap.”
Drip drip!
As more water spilt over onto the bathroom floor, downstairs the ceiling was leaking!
As their Dad turned off the cooker downstairs he started to hear a loud dripping sound.
That’s strange he thought! He checked the sinks and then started to look for where the dripping sound was coming from.
Puzzled, he started to look around. 
The dripping sound got louder the closer he got to the front room.
Suddenly he spotted the bubbles in the ceiling.
The special sofa was very wet, it had caught some of the water!
Dad rushed over looking up at the ceiling. 
“Oh no!” He raced upstairs to see the girls splashing away!
“Stop girls! The ceiling downstairs is leaking!”
The girls froze! They could see their dad was clearly upset.
“Why is there is so much water on the floor?!”
Their dad wobbled and almost slipped as he tried to tip toe on the bathroom floor.
Khadija and Lamees suddenly felt bad.
“Sorry baba! We didn’t know.” 
Baba was not happy at all, he had a cross face!
“I told you not to waste water! I told you to be responsible and you both promised!”
The girls came out of the bath and helped their Dad drain the water. They were upset with themselves. Baba told them he didn’t want to talk until all the work was done.
Downstairs they watched their Dad work really hard drying everything whilst they tried to eat their dinner.
“I don’t feel hungry.” whispered Lamees.
“Me neither!” said Khadija
Dad overheard them, “I hope you don’t waste the food on your plates.” he said. “You’ve wasted enough water today! Eat up!”
The girls finished their dinner in silence.
The TV was on and the lady on the news was talking about a country called Somalia where there was something called a “drought”. 
“What is a drought?” whispered Khadija. 
Lamees shrugged her shoulders, “I don’t know.”
The lady on the news explained how the land was all cracked and the poor children looked very tired and sick, they had no water and very little food she explained.
They were getting more sick because the water was dirty.
Lamees and Khadeja felt even worse.
They finished their food and went up to their room ready for bed.
“I feel so bad I don’t think I can sleep!” said Lamees.
“Me too! I think we should do something to say sorry to Mum and Dad and also to the children in Somalia!”
They heard their Dad coming up the stairs.
Dad asked them to pick out a book for bedtime and they chose a book that had lots of lovely drawings and the words from the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.
As they were reading their book they found a hadith of the Prophet Muhammad, he said, “Do not waste water even if you were at a flowing stream.”
“Let’s make a big poster!” said Lamees!
Lamees was good at handwriting and Khadija was good at drawing they worked together and drew a drop of water and the Planet Earth.
Lamees carefully copied the hadith of Prophet Muhammad. 
The girls were almost done when they heard their Mum downstairs,
“Assalamu alaikum everyone!” she said as she walked in through the door.
They quickly picked up their poster hiding it behind their backs and raced down the stairs. 
Suddenly Mum gasped as she walked into the front she saw her new sofa, all wet! “Oh no! my new sofa!”
Dad was still trying to dry the ceiling and the sofa. He looked tired.
Mum turned to look at the girls, disappointed.
“Sorry Mama we didn’t mean it, it was an accident!” they both said. 
“We have made something for you because we want to say sorry!”
They pulled out the poster from behind them.
Mum and Dad’s eyes lit up!
Suddenly, Dad didn’t look so sad anymore! 
“Salaa Allah ala Muhammad (sending salutations upon the Prophet). What a beautiful hadith?!”
He sighed and they had a family group hug.
The next day they took their poster to school and told their class all about what they had learned. The children decided to spread the word and make more “save water” posters to hang around the school.
Khadija and Lamees went home with a happy heart.
Allah gave us this Earth to look after. We should never be wasteful even if we have so much. There are others around the world who don’t have the same blessings as we do. Be grateful always and share what know with your friends.
You never know, maybe one day you will make a big difference!

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S2: Episode 5: No one sees me

No one sees me

Noah quickly hid his money box under the bed.
“Are you okay Noah?” said his big sister Salma, as she stood at the doorway.
Yes yes. I’m fine. Noah snapped.
Salma was confused. What was Noah up to she wondered?!
Mum was calling them to dinner, so Salma quickly rushed downstairs forgetting all about what had happened.
Noah, let out a big sigh of relief! Ahhh
He was trying to collect money for charity, it was for a good cause, He had heard Uncle Amin, imam of the mosque say they only need 100 pounds more for the school to open. It was a school for Syrian children. These children left their country because of the war and Noah wanted to help them. The school was supposed to open in November so he needed to collect all the money before then!
Now Noah knew he really shouldn’t take money from his Dad’s wallet but how else was he going to help the children to go to school? Everyday he would take money from someone else’s wallet, one day it was his Dad’s, then his sister’s and the next day it would be mums, and finally Grandpa.
A little money every day didn’t hurt and surely it was okay.
His family would be happy they helped the Syrian children in the end! He was sure of it!
Noah still couldn’t help feeling a knot in his stomach every day when he sneaked the money into his bedroom though. 
At that thought he quickly hid his money box under his bed and ran downstairs. 
“Come on, hurry” Mum said. “Where have you been?”
“Err..I just had some school homework to finish off,” Noah lied. 
“I thought you didn’t get homework until Friday?”
“Err, yes but Miss Foster gave us some work this week.” Noah felt his cheeks might give away his lies. 
Stop lying a voice in his head snapped! 
Another voice said, it’s okay, it’s for a good cause!
“Noah! stop staring at your dinner and eat up” Mum shouted. 
Salma looked at him from across the table, it made Noah feel uncomfortable. 
He tried to eat but the food wouldn’t go down properly. His stomach was in knots. It’s hard to eat when you’re keeping an important secret
After mum said he could go, noah sneaked up to his room and closed the door behind him. He leaned over to take out the money from under his bed – it was time to count.
“1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6..” Noah counted his money carefully writing down the numbers every so often so he didn’t forget.
All of a sudden he heard his Dad call from downstairs, “Salma! have you taken money from my wallet?!”  
Noah froze and stopped counting.
Salma replied from her bedroom next door! “No Pappa” of course not. How could I take money from your wallet without asking you?!”
“That’s odd he said..”
“I specifically put 5 pounds in my wallet to give to Laura the cleaner – she’s coming any minute now.”
“You know I felt I was missing some money too.” Mum replied.
“Maybe the cleaner is taking money, we better watch her.”
Noah listened carefully. He felt absolutely terrible. He hoped they wouldn’t get the cleaner into trouble. Laura was such a nice lady, she was so warm and kind, why would she ever do such a thing?!
A moment later the doorbell rang and Noah’s friend Adam was at the door.
Noah heard Adam ask his mum..
“Can Noah play, Mrs Mohammed?”
“Oh, I’m afraid Noah has been very busy with his homework. He is upstairs in his room.” She replied
Oh no! Noah thought, Adam who was in Noah’s class knew they didn’t get any homework. He hoped Adam wouldn’t say anything…
“But mrs mohammad, Adam said.
“We didn’t get our homework yet!”
Noah closed his eyes. He felt so bad. He didn’t like telling so many lies and he wondered what his mum was thinking!
He raced down the stairs quickly forgetting all about his money box!
“Salaam Adam” said Noah, “let’s play outside!” He dragged Adam out with him.
“I’ll speak to you after you’re done playing” Mum said.
” Don’t be too long now, you’ve got school tomorrow!”
“Okay, Ma!” Noah said, popping his head around the door avoiding looking at mum.
Laura the cleaner arrived and asked Mrs Mohammad where she can she start cleaning.
Noah’s mum said she could start cleaning Noah’s room since he was out playing.
A few moments later Laura appeared, She looked a bit confused.
“Are you okay Laura?” asked Mrs Mohammed.
“Yes I’m fine, but I just wanted to give you this money, because it was spread all over Noah’s bedroom floor.”
Mrs Mohammed looked confused. 
“Oh! Thank you Laura.”
Mrs mohammad looked at Noahs dad, “I think we need to call Noah inside.”
Noah’s mum and dad called Noah in and asked him to sit down.
“Why do I have to come back in so early anyway?! Noah complained. 
“It’s not fair!”
Mum looked cross. “Sit down please Noah. I’d like you to explain where this money came from and why it was all over your bedroom floor!”
Noah’s heart began to race, his cheeks burned bright. He didn’t know what to say.
“I’ve been collecting money for the Imam, he said the Syrian children need 100 pounds for their school to open!” He stumbled.
Mum and Dad listened.
“But where is all this money coming from Noah?!” Dad asked.
Noah fell silent.
“Have you been taking money from my wallet asked Dad?!”
Noah hesitantly nodded.
“In fact you’ve been taking money from everyone in this house!”
“Do you think that’s the right thing to do Noah??” Asked Mum.
Noah shrugged his shoulders “But it’s for the children he whispered.”
Tears rolled down Noah’s cheeks.
“I’m sorry”, he said. “I’m very sorry!”
Mum and Dad stayed silent.
“Please go up to your room and take some time to think about what you’ve done. We’ll talk about this later.”
Noah felt sad but he also felt cross because he really wanted the money for the Syrian children why didn’t they understand how important this is!
A short while later Mum and Dad went up to Noah’s room and asked him to put on his clothes.
Dad was going to take him somewhere important.
Noah was confused, he didn’t feel like going anywhere but he put on his clothes and accompanied Dad.
They arrived at the mosque, it was Maghrib time and Dad held Noah by the hand and walked him towards Mr Ameen the imam of the mosque. 
“Assalamu alaikum Mr Ameen”, said dad.
“Walaikum assalam” the imam replied with a smile, he patted Noah’s head.
“Mr Ameen”, said Noah’s Dad. “We’ve come today because Noah my son would like to donate 100 pounds towards the Syrian school.” 
Noah gasped! He was shocked.
Where was baba going to get all the money from?!
“Noah has been trying to collect money for a while and today I decided to help him.”
Noah felt so happy.
“Thank you Dad!”
Noah hugged his dad and the imam was delighted. 
The imam made an announcement after the prayer was over that Noah had donated 100 pounds to the Syrian school.
Everybody patted Noah on the head and made a prayer for him.
Noah felt so proud and thanked Allah.
As they made their way back home Noah said, “Dad, do you forgive me?”
“I do forgive you Noah, and I hope you will learn your lesson never to take anything that doesn’t belong to you, even if it is for a good cause! Do you promise?”
“I promise!” Replied Noah
– Thank you for listening
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S2: Episode 4: Basma and Stardust

Basma and Stardust

Basma couldn’t stop biting her nails. She was nervous because it was her first horse riding lesson.

She loved horses, and had wanted to ride for as long as she could remember. But now – when it was her chance to try it for the first time – she was getting cold feet.

Her mind was racing as she worried about all sorts of things that could go wrong:

  • What if the horse didn’t like her?
  • What if it didn’t want her to get on?
  • Would he throw her off?
  • Maybe it was too soon…maybe she should come back when she was older.

It was too much for her to bear, and she turned to walk away.

Mother: “Basma. Where are you going? It’s almost your turn to ride?”

Basma (yelling): “I don’t want to! I changed my mind…”

Basma (pleasing): “Can’t we just go home?”

Her mother knelt beside her and looked her in the eyes:

Mother:  “Basma…I know you’re scared. But remember: this has been your dream for so long. Let’s just try it out and see.”

Basma (refusing): “No! I’m scared!”

Mother: “Basma…let’s breathe. Take 3 deep breaths with me….In through the nose, and out through the mouth.” her mom said.

Mother: “Are you ready?”

Basma (nervously): “Um….I…OK…yes”

Mother: “One…” (Mom breathes first, then Basma)

Mother: “Two…” (Mom breathes first, then Basma)

Mother: “Three…” (Mom breathes first, then Basma)

Mother: “Feeling better?”

Basma (whispering): “No….well….a little, I guess.”

Mother: “OK – let’s try this, then.”
“Tell me 4 things you can see.”

Basma looked around:

Basma: “Um….trees. I see trees.”

Mother: “Good! What else?”

Basma: “Clouds. That one looks like cotton candy!”

Mother: “Yummy!”

Basma: “Grass! I see lovely green grass”

Mother: “It is beautiful”

“One more, Basma. What else do you see?”

<Rooster sound effect: Cocka-doodle-doo!> shrieked a rooster

Basma: “A rooster! I see a rooster!”

Mother: “Awesome, Basma!”

Mother: “Now…what can you hear? Tell me three things you can hear.”

Basma: “Birds! They’re singing so beautifully today!”

Mother (agreeing): “They certainly are!”

Basma: “I know! Children playing! I can hear them on the playground.”

Mother: “Nice, Basma! Maybe we can go play with them later…”

Basma: “That would be nice.”

Basma: “Crickets…I hear crickets!”

Mother: “Really? I can’t even…” <cricket sound effect>…”Oh. There it is!”

Mother: “Are you alright now, Basma?”

Basma: “Almost…this is fun!”

Mother: “OK, OK.”

“Now…what can you smell? Name two things!”

Basma took a few deep sniffs.

Basma: “The air! It’s got a lovely fresh smell to it.”

Mother: “Yes, Basma. It’s always beautiful after the rain. Alhamdullilah.”

Basma thought a little while longer.

Basma: “Strawberry….I smell strawberry!”

Mother (confused): “But there are no strawberries here,”.

Basma smiled slyly.

Mom took a while, then figured it out.

Mother: “You sneaked bubblegum out of the cupboard at home, didn’t you?!”

<Basma giggles>: “Just one piece!”

Mother: “OK, OK. But next time, ask before you take.”

Basma:: “Yes, mom.”

Mother: “OK Basma…last one. Tell me what you can…..TOUCH!”

Basma thought long about it, then ran into mom’s arms and gave her a big hug.

Basma: “You! I can touch you, mom!”

Mother: “And mommy loves you!”

Mother: “Are you alright now, Basma? Can we go see the horses?”

Basma (tentatively): “Um….OK. Yes…let’s go.”

Basma took a deep breath, then headed off to the stables with mom.

<sound of horses neighing>

Basma: “Mom! Look!” Basma pointed at a big, chestnut brown horse.

Mother: “Wow! Shall we go say hello?”

Basma stepped forward slowly, then stopped. Walking over to her was the most beautiful dapple grey horse, smaller than the others.

Basma: “It’s so pretty! Look how his coat shines!”

“He likes you!” said a lady walking behind the horse. “I think he was waiting for you to come ride.”

Mother: “What’s his name?”

Macy: “Stardust. And I’m Macy. Nice to meet you.”

Mother: “Nice to meet you too” said mom.

Basma (excited): “Staaaaar-dust!”

Macy: “Come on. Let’s get you started.”

She got a little purple helmet out and fastened it onto Basma’s head.

Macy: “Safety first!”

Basma walked slowly towards Stardust and put her hand on his mane.

<sound of horse neighing then snorting>

Basma pulled away.

Macy: “Don’t worry. He won’t hurt you. He’s really friendly!”

Basma nodded.

Macy: “Come on.”

She led Basma to the left side of Stardust, helped her put her foot into the stirrup, then helped her get up onto Stardust.

Macy: “Since it’s your first time, you just hang onto the reins, and I’m going to lead him.”

Basma (nervous): “OK”

Mother: “Basma..let’s first recite our dua before you go.”

<Mom and Basma recite together>

In the name of Allah it will go, and in the name of Allah it will stop. Indeed our Lord is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful.

Macy: “Shall we?”

Mom and Basma nodded in unison.

Macy led Stardust, as he trotted down a path through the meadow. Basma was a little nervous, but the further they went, the more confident she became.

As Stardust started walking faster, Basma closed her eyes and felt the wind through her hair.

She imagined Stardust was galloping through the meadow, as she held on a steered him all through the flowers. He came to a gate, but jumped right over!

Basma: “Wheeeee!!!”

“This is so much fun!”

She couldn’t contain her joy. It was almost as if Stardust was made for her!

<Mom’s voice coming from afar> “…Basma…Basma! Are you OK?”

Basma opened her eyes and looked around. Macy was smiling, still pulling Stardust along. She was daydreaming!

Macy (laughing): “I can see you’re enjoying this!”

Basma: “Mm hmm.”

Macy led Stardust around one last corner, then back to Basma’s mom.

Basma (squealing): “That was so much fun! Can we come again tomorrow? Please?! Please, mom?!”

Mother (playful tone): “You’re not scared anymore?”

Basma: “No! I love Stardust! I want to ride every day!”

Narrator’s voice: “Sometimes, it can be difficult to start something new, and our worries can stop us from trying. But if we just take some time to try to calm down, and go slowly, we often find that it’s not as scary as we thought. If we face our fears – with some help from others – we grow braver, and we can end up having a lot of fun!”

Written by: Yacoob Manjoo – South Africa

S2: Episode 3: The Whispers

The Whispers

“Idris, is disgusting he eats ants!” the children whispered at lunchtime.
Zara heard the whispers and her heart sank. The other children told her that she could only play with them if she passed the whisper onto the next person.
Zara felt sad for Idris, he was such a kind boy and she knew he didn’t eat ants! He just loved Za’tar and the kids didn’t know what Za’tar was! 
But she desperately wanted to play with them, so she leaned over to Yusuf and started to whisper….At first she couldn’t find her words ..umm..ummm.. “What are you saying said Yusuf? Just tell me quickly!”
Zara felt embarassed, she went bright red. 
She then quickly passed the whisper on to Yusuf and at that very moment she wished she could take it back!
“Hahaha, Idris is disgusting he eats ants and has ants in his pants tooo! “
Laughed Yusuf! That’s so funny!
Idris had a look of sadness in his eyes. He lived just across the road from Zara and they often played together. 
She was so disappointed that she’d hurt his feelings, Will he forgive her or play with her again??
After school, Idris’ mum told the teacher that she was going to pick up Zara because her mum was going to be late from work.
Oh no, Zara felt a tight knot in her stomach! She was looking forward to seeing her Mum. 
Idris’ mum pulled Zara’s cheeks, “how are you sweetheart?” Zara quickly looked away with a shy smile.
She really didn’t want to go home with them today. As she looked over to Idris, he looked away. He was avoiding her.
“Is everything okay children? said Idris’ mum. You’re awfully quiet today!” 
Idris nodded quickly “everything is fine Mama!” lied Idris.
“I feel really unwell khala, can I please call my Mummy?” Zara said.
“Oh dear, Okay, let me call her for you.”
Khala Hiba tried to call but Zara’s mum didn’t pick up! 
“Don’t worry she said, I’m sure she will call us back soon. Let’s go straight to the doctor and check if everything’s okay with you. Look it’s on the way home anyway, and you and Idris both see Dr Smith she will be happy to help.”
Zara felt even worse! She not only hurt Idris’ feelings but she had now lied about feeling unwell.
Dr Smith was a such a lovely doctor. Zara usually enjoyed going to the clinic because she would give her stickers and sweets but what was she going to say to her this time? She didn’t want to lie anymore. She was trying to think really hard about what she could tell Dr Smith.
“Good afternoon everyone, what a lovely surprise!” Said Dr Smith.
“How can I help you all today?”
Khala hiba told Dr smith that Zara wasn’t feeling so good.
“We decided to come straight from school”.
“What’s wrong Zara?” Dr Smith smiled at her warmly.
“You do look a bit pale” she said.
Zara nodded, she couldn’t find the words.
Dr smith checked her temperature, then her ears, then her chest, then her stomach.
She even checked her eyes, but everything looked fine!
“Hmm…well the good news is, I can’t see anything.” Dr Smith looked puzzled.
“Where did you say you felt pain again?” Zara tried to think fast, she pointed at her leg. Her hands were shaking and even Khala Hiba looked a little confused. But you pointed to your stomach earlier Zara. Khala Hiba reminded her.
Dr Smith asked Khala Hiba and Idris to wait in the waiting room.
“Give us a sec will you Hiba?” 
“Sure” Khala Hiba replied. “Come on Idris, let’s wait outside” 
Idris gave a look to Zara as he walked out, and Zara’s eyes started to water.
Dr Smith closed the door and Zara burst into tears.
“What’s wrong sweetheart, are you okay?” 
“I did something really bad cried Zara!”
“But why do you say that?” asked Dr Smith as she held her hand and gave her a tissue. 
Zara explained everything. “I am not sick, I just want my Mum.”
Dr Smith reassured Zara, “You are very brave for telling the truth, and I would feel the same way you do. Sometimes we all make mistakes, but the best thing we can do is to say we are sorry and ask how we can make it better.” Zara nodded and blew her nose.
Dr Smith called Idris and his mum back in and Zara told them what was wrong.
She explained everything.
“It’s okay Zara”, said Idris.
“I know you have a kind heart and you didn’t mean it. I forgive you and you will always be my friend.”
Zara felt much better and was happy that Idris was such a kind friend. “I am so sorry, I will never do it again Idris and I will tell the children to stop whispering and hurting your feelings!”
“Well that’s wonderful!” Said Dr Smith and she gave them sparkly stickers they both said “Brave heart!”. “Now you both look after each other,” she said with a wink.
Idris and Zara put their stickers on their jumpers and thanked Dr Smith. 
The next day, Zara and Idris’ mum decided to bake Za’tar pizzas for all the children. 
At lunch time Miss Foster told all the children that they would be having a special lunch picnic. 
Zahra and Idris stood holding pizza boxes, “Hey everyone!” they said “Who would like delicious ant pizzas??” The kids all looked at each other confused!
Zara and Idris opened the boxes. A yummy smell of fresh dough and za’tar filled the air!
“Mmmm the children said as they raced to grab a slice. “This ant pizza smells scrumptious” said Joshua. We’re really sorry for making fun of you Idris.
Idris high fived Zara “Thank you Braveheart!”
Zara smiled 🙂
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S2: Episode 2: No more plastic

No more plastic

“Wohoooo” screamed omar as he put his head out of the bus window. His year 4 class were on the way to the waterlife park for a school excursion. Omar and his friends were having somuch fun laughing, playing, and eating. “Pass me the chips packet” shouted Omar. “It’s finished!” Issa said. “Alright give it to me I’ll throw it”
“Here throw the water bottle too.” Omar opened the window a little more and threw the chips packet and water bottle out of the window. The boys all laughed.
“4 orange please clean up the area around you, we’ll be getting off the bus in a couple of minutes.” Said miss Mathews. Issa said here take this and throw it out of the window too.” “Good cleaning up” scoffed Omar.
Omar and his friends got off the bus one by one excited to see the marine animals. “I’m gonna go see the crocodiles first” shouted Issa. “They’re boring said Omar I’m going to see the great white sharks! Most dangerous animal in the ocean as they raced through the gates.
“Slow down boys” said miss Mathews. We will all go together to the “unseen marine” presentation and then we will split into groups. “Miss what’s the presentation about? I hope it’s not boring. “Well omar you’re just going to have to wait and find out.”
The children all gathered in the presentation hall that was dark with a bright spotlight at the front. “Ladies and gentlemen please take your seats we’re about to start”.
The lights were all off, not a sound. Then a faded sound of the crashing waves of the ocean began. Imagine an ocean with no animals a voice said quietly. No sea turtles, no fish, no sharks, no octopus, no jellyfish. No dolphins. Just water.” Maybe some dry, broken coral. You put your snorkels on excitedly to see the colorful fish and sea animals below. To find nothing. Quiet. nothing.”
This could be our oceans in the future. The lights turned on suddenly. Omar, Issa and 4 orange all stared in shock. Lucy the presenter standing at the front asked does anyone know why our oceans could be empty? What is killing our marine animals?
Everyone was quiet. One little hand popped up at the back. Yes, the girl at the back. “Plastic?” Maryam said unsure of her answer. “Yes!” Said Lucy. “That is one of the main reasons and the reason I wanted to talk about today. Did you all know that 8 million tons of plastic rubbish is thrown into our oceans each year? Some animals that are hungry don’t know that plastic is not food and eat the plastic. It kills them because it hurts their stomachs so much. Imagine if you ate all the plastic rubbish in your bin. Your stomach would be very upset wouldn’t it? Said Lucy.
“My mummy said that sometimes plastic can get caught on ducks heads and choke them” said mariam confidently. That’s right said Lucy. Just last month a whale in Spain died because it ate 30 kg of rubbish that humans had thrown in the ocean.
Omar and isa were shocked. They didn’t want sea animals to get hurt or die. Omar thought about all the fun times he had gone snorkeling with his uncle on their holiday in egypt. He loved the rainbow colours of the parrot fish, the beautiful dolphins jumping in and out of the ocean, and the turtles that swam ever so happily in pairs.
Issa thought about going to the beach and not finding any hermit crabs to play with or any jiggly jellyfish to admire. He thought of all the amazing sea animals in finding Nemo and was sad to think an ocean without them.
It is sad to think our sea animals are dying and could not exist one day …but we can all help. Does anyone have any ideas how?
Omar remembered his mum asking him to bring the recyclable bags when they went shopping. She said she doesn’t like to use plastics bags because it ends up in the ocean hurting our marine life. So he put his hand up and said “ummm not using plastic bags”.
Lucy was impressed. “Yes young man you’re right”. Not just plastic bags but all plastics can harm our
Marine life. Instead of using plastic bottles you can use a glass bottle or reuse your plastic bottles, containers and plastic spoons again and again.
“Any other ideas?” asked Lucy
Mariam from 4 orange said “put your rubbish in the bin?” Yes! Exclaimed Lucy. Throwing rubbish on the floor can harm our animals on land like birds, cats, and dogs. It can also harm sea animals if the wind pushes the rubbish into the ocean.
Omar and Issa looked at each other and deep down they were a little sad they had thrown their rubbish out of the bus window and onto the ground. They hoped it didn’t hurt any animals. At lunch time they both made sure they put their rubbish in the bin and cleaned up the area around them so no animals would get hurt.
Keeping our environment clean is part islam. If we harm animals Allah will ask us “ why did you hurt this animal?”. Allah loves us to be gentle and kind in everything we do. So remember to put your rubbish in the bin, use less plastic and look after the world around you or else it may just disappear!
written by Amatullah Kadous.
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S2: Episode 1: Gifted


“Joud was nervous. It was her first day of school and she didn’t know what it was going to be like. 
“Come on sweetheart, you really need to go to bed now.” said her Mum.
“Mama what if the kids make fun of me?” Joud whispered as tears rolled down her cheeks.
Mama wiped away her tears and held her tightly in her arms. “Oh my baby, you’ve grown so much and it’s normal, we all get nervous about the first day of school. I was also nervous when I was your age about starting school, but you are going to make lots of friends, do you know why?”
“Why?” asked Joud.
“Well because you have such a big heart, a heart of gold. You’re kind, and thoughtful and that is what makes you beautiful.” 
“But my eyes… ” sulked Joud
Mum wiped over her eyes and said, “Allah loves those beautiful eyes of yours, He gave you special gifts other than sight Joud. And if nobody sees that then they are the ones who are blind not you” 
Joud smiled and wiped away her tears.
Early next morning, Joud decided to wear her special glasses to school. She held her stick which helped her feel her surroundings and turned to her mum who was proudly looking at her beautiful little girl.
“I feel good Mama, just a teeny bit nervous, but I think I’m mostly excited!” she said
“Good! I am super excited for you my beautiful lady. Now let’s go!”
School was a 5 minute walk from home and as they walked along Joud heard some other children chattering away. She wondered if they too felt a little nervous.
“Here we are! said Joud’s mum. Take a right here… Joud used her stick to feel the sidewalk and she could now hear lots of children. Joud straightened her back and clutched on to her mother’s hand tightly. 
“Mama, Joud whispered.. How does my school look?” 
“Wonderful said her mum, just like you painted it.”
Joud smiled as she felt butterflies fluttering in her stomach.
“Bismillah” she whispered to herself. Joud, quietly in her heart asked Allah to help her find new friends. She always liked to talk to Allah in her heart.  It always helped keep her calm and happy.
“Good morning Miss Honey”, said Joud’s mum.. as they walked into her new classroom. Joud could feel that they were inside now and she heard the voice of her new teacher, she sounded very kind. 
“Good morning wonderful Joud. Welcome to Butterflies class, we are so excited to have you with us.”
Miss Honey took Joud by the hand. Joud smiled nervously. She imagined Miss Honey’s face, kind and smiley. 
Joud’s imagination was her special power. She would imagine everyone and as soon as she heard their voices. It’s like she had a paintbrush in her head and it would help her paint what she thought they looked like.
Joud then heard a boy and a girl run up to her 
“Hello” said Tom excitedly! I love your glasses, they look so cool! Can I try them on? My name is Thomas by the way! and I’m Amal said the girl.
Joud quickly started to paint a picture of Thomas in her head. He definitely had a cheeky grin, that’s for sure. She giggled a bit.
“Sure, Joud said, you can try them on!” She handed them over to Thomas and then felt all the children gather around her – could we play with your stick. They all asked. 
Miss Honey came to see what was going on, 
“Now now children, let’s quieten down and sit on the carpet.” she called Joud and asked her to share with the curious children why she was wearing glasses and holding a stick.
The children were amazed to learn that Joud couldn’t see them, she was blind. 
so you can’t see us?! They said
“Not really” whispered Joud reluctantly. Her cheeks went pink.
“But I can see your faces in my mind.” she carried on..
“Wow, so what do we look like?” Asked the children all at once! 
Miss Honey asked them to quieten down and wait their turn.
If Joud agrees you can ask her to paint for you.
The children were extremely excited! Miss Honey handed Joud a Paintbrush and some paint. 
“You would need to tell me a bit about yourself and then I can paint your picture.” Said Joud..
Mussa raised his hand “my turn my turn…please let me go first” he said-  I have brown spiky hair and small green eyes and I’m very handsome he held up his arms and showed off his muscles.” 
Joud giggled and painted away with black strokes and yellow strokes, green and white. This is taking ages said Mussa!!!!! almost there she said, you are going to 
love this. Ready… 1 – 2 – 3! 
What?! The children all laughed one of Joud’s paintings fell from her folder! A gorilla! I’m not a Gorilla! Or maybe I am! Mussa ran around the class beating on his chest and the kids all rolled around in laughter. 
“Oops! said Joud! Wrong painting that’s a painting that I did earlier! how about this one Mussa? Does this one look like you?” Joud handed over the right painting to Mussa!
The children all gasped woaaah that’s amazing
“Fabuloustasticwastic” Mussa shouted!
The children loved it – Joud, clearly had a special gift.
“You really are gifted Joud!” Amal shouted!
Miss Honey, then asked who would like to be Joud’s partner and help to show her around the school.
“Me ..me ..me …Pleass Miss Honey choose me!” They all pleaded.
Joud giggled and in her heart she whispered “Alhamdulillah, thank you Allah”
Everybody wanted to be her friend. What a brilliant first day of school it was! “
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Episode 5: The Happy Curls

Sama has curly hair that she loves. But when she goes to school some kids in her class make fun of her because of her curls. Sama goes home upset and tries to cut her curls. She just wants to be normal like everyone else.

Listen to the podcast to find out what happens next.