Rasheed was walking to the bus stop one day to go home after school. While he was waiting at there, he began listening to a conversation a group of other children were having. One of them was speaking with a loud voice, pointing to his shirt and an electric car he was holding in his hand. Rasheed began to pay more attention, and was able to make out what they were saying.

The name of the boy speaking so loudly was Asim. He was telling his friends about his expensive clothes and latest toys. When he arrived home, Rasheed could not get what the boy said out of his mind. When his brother, Zubair, saw that Rasheed was deep in thought, he sat down beside him.

"What's going on, Rasheed? What are you thinking about?" he asked.

Rasheed answered: "I saw a boy on my way home. He was talking to his friends about his fine clothes and nice toys. He was being really thoughtless; he didn't care that some of his friends could not afford to buy such things. I thought his behavior was very wrong." Zubair agreed: "You're right, Rasheed, what he did was not right at all. Allah has given us all different blessings. The fact that a person has more fine things, is more good-looking or successful, is not due to his own ability at all. Allah has given us these things to test us and to see how we will act if He gives us such blessings.

The behavior most pleasing to Allah is when a person doesn't forget that Allah has given him everything he has. We must not boast about or be spoiled by the blessings Allah has given us; we must always behave modestly. Anyway, it's Satan who gets puffed up with pride. If you remember, the verse we read yesterday was about this matter. Allah tells us that: 'That is so that you will not be grieved about the things that pass you by or exult about the things that come to you. Allah does not love any vain or boastful man.' (Surat al-Hadid: 23)"

Rasheed nodded: "So, we shouldn't become spoiled by what Allah has given us, and we shouldn't get sad or frustrated when we lose something. Is that right, Zubair?"

Zubair smiled: "Right! Allah owns everything. He gives us as many blessings as He wills to give us. Be they many or few, they are all part of the trials of this world."

Rasheed had a question for his brother: "In one verse, Allah says: 'Do not direct your eyes longingly to what We have given certain of them to enjoy, the flower of the life of this world, so that We can test them by it. Your Lord's provision is better and longer lasting.' (Surah Ta Ha: 131) What Asim did was wrong, but wasn't it also wrong for his friends to be impressed and act in a way that wouldn't be pleasing to Allah? Although it is Allah Who has given us our clothes, food, home and car, being spoiled really humiliates us, doesn't it?"

Zubair thought for a moment: "Sure. That's a good way to explain it. Let me tell you a story from the Qur'an as an example. In the Qur'an, Allah gives an example of two men. One of them had two gardens. Allah filled each garden with dates and various crops. When the time came, both gardens yielded their crops. There was a river between the two gardens and so the man had fruit in abundance. When the owner of the garden spoke to his friend, he would humiliate him by saying: 'I have more wealth than you and more people under me.' (Surat al-Kahf: 34) Flaunting all the property he owned, he would go to his garden, and showing it to his friend he would say:

I do not think that this will ever end. I do not think the Hour will ever come. But if I should be sent back to my Lord, I will definitely get something better in return. (Surat al-Kahf: 35-36)

His friend warned him:

Why, when you entered your garden, did you not say, 'It is as Allah wills, there is no strength but in Allah?' Though you see me with less wealth and children than you possess, it may well be that my Lord will give me something better than your garden... (Surat al-Kahf: 39-40)

The owner of the garden did not take these warnings seriously, and finally Allah punished him. One night He sent a storm to destroy all his crops.

When the owner of the garden got up in the morning and saw that he had lost his prized crops, he understood that Allah has infinite power and that everything is under His control. We must never forget this story, Rasheed, and must always behave in the way it tells us to."