Poetry & Fiction

The Boy with a Dream

By Ishrat Ali

A Short Story

In the city of Damascus, lived a young man named Abdullah. He was known for his kindness and diligence. If anyone would call him for help, he would help them even it was the middle of the night. He loved his mother and father very much. They both were very pious and always made sure they took care of Abdullah with excellent Islamic teachings.

Abdullah’s love for the sunnah (traditions and practices) of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ (peace be upon him) was so amazing. He would always smile at everyone. He always made sure he had the best of manners with the elders and the younger people as well. He was a man of his word and principles. He would do his best to go forth any extra challenge and to help others. Whoever knew him began to respect him and love him. There was always something to learn from Abdullah.

Abdullah’s personality was very unique. He would spend more time with his elders than kids of his age. He would go to the masjid and the religious gatherings every now and then. If he needed advice, he would ask his mother or father. If he needed answers regarding his deen (religion), he would sit by the imam (religious leader) in the masjid (mosque) and ask him. His wisdom and knowledge about Islam grew more and more. Soon Abdullah became a very pious man.

One stormy night, Abdullah went to sleep after `isha (night) prayer. He closed his eyes and had a dream.

This was the dream:

The lights were flickering and the storm grew fiercer and fiercer every second. There was a beautiful garden near by… Abdullah could smell it from a distance. He walked towards the garden which led him to a huge palace-like place. Abdullah walked towards the Palace. It was so beautiful and it was green. It had Islamic Calligraphy beautifully carved inside the walls. The place was magnificent. It was nothing that Abdullah had ever seen in his life.

Abdullah froze for a moment. He didn’t know if he should enter it. He knocked on the door and no one responded. The storm was getting scarier. It felt as if the lightening surrounded Abdullah and rain poured over him.

Abdullah knocked to enter the place and suddenly the door opened by itself. Abdullah entered. His clothes to his surprise were not wet anymore. He felt as if the rain had never touched him. He went to the door and looked outside; the rain was gone. A rainbow appeared. The sight was beautiful outside. Abdullah felt so happy.

He walked in the palace trying to find anyone. There was an old man sitting in a rocker who invited him inside. He said he was the librarian. Abdullah now knew this was a library. The librarian took him around.

Abdullah was astonished to find so many books and they were all related to Islam. There were so many volumes of Qur’an, Islamic articles, Islamic magazines, Islamic art, Islamic calligraphy and everything regarding Islam. Abdullah felt he was on a treasure island. He had never seen so many books in his life. There were millions of them, each categorized and organized well.

The clock hit 9 am and so many people entered the library. There were people from different countries, some were Muslim and some were non-Muslim. There were little children carrying the Qur’an in their hands. The old men were sitting together in a gathering and teaching the young ones about Islamic teachings.

Abdullah’s joy was out of this world. He stood there watching all the librarians help the ummah (Muslim community). There were about 200 librarians there. The library had scholars and teachers. It was great to see everyone thirsty for knowledge.

Abdullah took a Qur’an from the shelf and read, “Bismillah (In the name of God),” and suddenly he opened his eyes. He soon realized that it was a beautiful dream that he just had.

Abdullah looked at the time. It was 4am. He got up from his bed and made wudu’ (ablution). He performed tahajjud prayer and made du`a’ (supplication). In his du`a’, Abdullah cried to Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala (exalted is He) and said:

“O Allah! The Most Merciful One! Lord of the Worlds. My heart seeks You in the middle of the night. All are asleep and the moon is still shining on my side. I feel grateful to You Ya Rabb (O Lord) for what you have bestowed upon me and for everything You have given me. Ya Allah, there is nothing more pleasing to me than to do something that pleases You! My pleasure is in Your pleasure that rejoices my heart. Remembering You makes me feel alive ya my Rabb! I seek Your help Ya Hayyu Ya Qayyum (O Ever-Living, O Eternal)! For there is no one who can help me other than You. I wish ya Rabb to please You and to fulfill my dream to please You. Your help is greater than anything. There is nothing more I can ask for than to have You at my side Ya Allah! I know what I seek seems impossible but I know only You can help me my Lord. Please help me fulfill this dream of mine through which I seek nothing more than Your pleasure.

“O Allah, the One, The Most High, the Eternal, Who is able to do all things, Who is in control of the entire universe, and to Whom all things must return. Please grant me success in this world and the hereafter. O Allah please help me achieve my goals. Ameen Ya Rabb.”

Abdullah cried so much and felt tranquility in his heart. He became very hopeful regarding his dream.

Abdullah remembered this hadith (saying) of the Prophet ﷺ:

The Prophet ﷺ said: “Among what continues to accrue for a believer of his good works after death are the following: knowledge that he learned and then imparted to others, a pious child whom he left behind, a copy of the Qur’an that he bequeathed, a mosque that he built, a guest house he built for travelers, a river that he made to flow, and charity he spends from his wealth when he is in good health – all of this continues to avail him after his death.” [Sunan Ibn Majah and Sunan al-Bayhaqî – and graded as good (hasan) by al-Albânî]

The next day, Abdullah started to collect Islamic books. He told his father about his dream and sought his advice on how he could fulfill it.

His father told him to be patient and work hard for it. Abdullah studied hard day and night. He never missed his tahajjud prayer and asks Allah (swt) for help in everything.

After his graduation, Abdullah joined his father in business. Very soon Abdullah became a very successful businessman. He saved money to build an Islamic library. Abdullah’s friends and relatives started to collect Islamic books as well. Abdullah filled his house with Islamic books.

After years of planning and hardwork, Abdullah built his dream Library. He organized the books himself and his community helped him out as well.

After 30 years of continuous hard work and patience, Abdullah built a library for the ummah. People from around the world visited Abdullah’s library.

This was the boy who dreamed and with Allah’s help fulfilled it seeking Allah’s pleasure.

About the author

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  • Assalam Allaykum! Wonderful story! May Allah guide all of us to give life to such inspirational acts! Jazach Allah Khayran for sharing!

    • Thanks PG for sharing such an inspiring episode. That’s what a dream can do to a person. If he believes in it and work hard to realise the dream. Unfortunately, we have too many dreamers among the Malays, but not dedicated and passionate workers to see the dreams to reality. Oftentimes, we ask what is in it for me, not for the society our country. Salam

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  • ironically, in this age in many parts of muslim countries, hanging out with the elders rather than the youth probably will not teach you the moderation and religious etiquette, nor intellectual rigour and well-considered knowledge in order to be like abdullah…

    what you will get from generic “elders” (as opposed to truly learned ones) in many places today, is a mix of true knowledge and superstition, learn how to be religious based on what “feels” right culturally, overly seek/fear community (dis)approval as a means of guiding your religion, overprioritise an Islamic image even to the extent of encroaching on others’ rights and lives (i say image, because correct practice of Islam will never encroach on the rights of others), overprioritise an Islamic identity and pride even to the extent of hardening hearts against people including children of non-Muslims and people struggling with sins or even just not appearing as “religious” based on cultural measures.

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