Ask our children:
1. Why do we learn the knowledge of Deen?
2. Would you like to just know all the names of the different sweets and chocolates, or would you like to eat them as well?
Now tell them the story:
Ilyaas had a pretty pet parrot. Its favourite food was fresh juicy carrots. Every day, Ilyaas would make it repeat four sentences, over and over again. Every time it said the sentences correctly, Ilyaas would give it a big, juicy carrot. The four sentences were, “The man with the cap”, “He has a trap”, “He will place the carrot”, “Don’t go there my parrot!”
Ilyaas loved his parrot and he looked after it very well. He would play with the parrot and he never allowed anyone to take it out of its cage, because he was frightened that someone might steal it.
One night, Ilyaas was fast asleep. Suddenly, in the middle of the night, he heard his parrot speaking. He woke up and quickly went towards the cage. As he went closer, he heard his parrot saying, “The man with the cap”, “He has a trap”, “He will place the carrot”, “Don’t go there my parrot!” The parrot continued repeating these four sentences and as Ilyaas was tired, he left it and went back to sleep.
Early the next morning, after Ilyaas read his Fajr Salaah, he went to see his parrot, and the parrot was still repeating these four sentences. When Ilyaas heard this, he became very happy with the parrot because it knew the four sentences so well. He then thought to himself, “Now that the parrot knows these four sentences, it will be impossible for anyone to catch it and steal it.” Therefore, Ilyaas finally opened the cage and allowed the parrot to come out.
The parrot flew and sat on Ilyaas’s shoulder, then it flew and sat on the chair, and then it returned and sat on Ilyaas’s head. Ilyaas was filled with joy to see his parrot free, and the parrot was also enjoying its freedom.
One afternoon, the parrot was all alone at home. As it looked around, it noticed that the window was open. So it flew out of the house and sat on a branch of the tree in the garden. Just then, a man wearing a cap sneaked into the garden to steal the parrot. As he sneaked in, the parrot on the tree immediately shouted, “The man with the cap!” When the man heard this, he was shocked and wondered how the parrot had spotted him. As the man began to place his trap, the parrot said, “He has a trap.” Now the man was even more shocked. How did the parrot know that it was a trap? Anyway, he still placed the trap. The parrot then said, “He will place the carrot!” The man was now lost for words. How did the parrot know that he had a carrot in his pocket? Despite this, the man placed the carrot inside the trap and moved away. The parrot finally shouted out, “Don’t go there my parrot!”
Although the parrot had said these four sentences, when the parrot saw that the man was gone, it flew down from the tree and went to eat the carrot. Just as it bit the carrot, the trap closed on it and caught it. As soon as it was captured, the man came and took it away.
After some time, Ilyaas returned home and saw that his parrot was gone. He cried and cried for no more. His mother comforted him and told him, “Ilyaas, my son! Instead of crying, we need to learn from the parrot. It knew the four sentences and it could say them very well, but the sentences were only on its tongue and were not in its heart. That is why when the man with the trap actually came, it did not know what to do and fell into the trap. We are just like the parrot. We know what is right and what is wrong and can even tell it to others and teach them. But if it is not in our hearts, then when Shaitaan places a trap for us, we will do the wrong thing and fall into the trap.”
1. Islam should not just be on our tongues. We need to be living Islam.
2. Having knowledge is not the goal. The goal is to please Allah Ta‘ala by practicing on this knowledge.