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November 29, 2005
Big Things in Small Packages

by Bint Saeed

I found myself in line with my niece impatiently waiting for popcorn and her much requested blueberry Icee. ďWhyíd I let her talk me into this?Ē I thought to myself taking the greasy bag and holding her hand as we made our way up the cinema steps to our seats. I could tell she was a little nervous from the darkness that began to engulf her and finally as our eyes adjusted to the lighting her chow down began. Soon enough the movie started and for the next hour and a half Chicken Little was the center of attention.

I spent most of the time preoccupied with cleaning her hands, making sure her Icee didnít fall, watching the reactions on her face, and basically focused on the environment I was in. From time to time the loud sounds, bright lights and eruption of laughter interrupted my thoughts of the message this movie was attempting to deliver. When the movie came to a close my niece insisted on retelling the story to me as if I was not there with her and this continued for the days that followed.

It was in Sunday school that a moment of revelation dawned upon me: I knew the message that Chicken Little was trying desperately to deliver throughout the movie! It happened during an intense discussion between my 7th and 8th graders on the subject of Tawheed. Most of these young sisters were preoccupied with the dos and doníts of a Muslimah. This caused them to delve into the specifics by asking tedious questions from what colors to wear outside of the home to whether or not body spray was haraam. Seeing that most of them became discouraged with the response they were receiving it was truly a blessing from Allah SWT that I was able to shed light on the situation.

I thought of Chicken Little and how throughout the movie he tried over and over again to prove to his fellow townsmen that the sky was in fact falling. This firm belief of his was planted so deep in his heart that he did not rest until he could find ease in showing the others that there was danger amongst them. Unable to control my excitement with this simple thought I drew for the girls a comparison, as silly or absurd as it seemed, between them and Chicken Little. This little chick set out amongst a group of people who did not support or believe his claim, but yet he continued to believe in himself. For the girls the rules and regulations that Allah SWT ordains on the believers should been seen as a protection for them. This is due to the fact that the Creator is the sole Being who knows the creation to such an extent that it is only He who can know what will benefit or harm its creation. Therefore, the regulations that Allah SWT puts on us believer should always be seen as a blessing for it is He that knows us better than we know ourselves. After having understood this, these girls then returned to the dos and doníts of Muslims which required me to once again focus on this little chicken.

I encouraged them to think about how someone so small and seemingly insignificant could stand up to the rest of society based on one single belief; it was one single proof in his heart that led him to success because he did not once back down. Granted he was reluctant at times to share his thoughts with others he nevertheless proved his commitment at the end. Were the girls to firmly have Tawheed in their hearts, were they to believe with all that they had in the Oneness of Allah SWT, His names and attributes, and His worship what would then stand in their way of obedience towards Him? Would not these regulations come willingly and easily with a firm belief, with a firm tawheed? I encouraged these sisters to be like Chicken Little; as absurd as it sounds he believed the sky was in fact falling and throughout the movie he stood firm in his stance. Whatever difficulties came his way he took on and yet seemed to never waver.

Then I gave this advice to myself. I asked myself why I should find difficulty in my ibadaah when in fact it has been prescribed by my Creator, the One who made me, shaped me, gave me a soul and unto whom I shall return? Granted we are human beings, it is in our nature or instinct to be reluctant as well as find things to be difficult however, when we have a firm believe we should not waver in what is commanded for us especially if it is for our own protection.

So, I ended my class with this Chicken Little example and reminded my girls of this lesson. Itís a sweet short tale of how a deep thought, idea or lesson can come in such a small, insignificant, and silly package. Do I recommend the movie? No, but I recommend that we go back daily to make firm this foundation of Islam in our daily lives.


of and relating to...
asef said

Salaam:

Good post sister....and good correlation from the movie to your class room, but I doubt if it would have made much impact to those young girls....nevertheless a commendable effort.

I saw chicken little...what I really liked was the cute alien baby (the furry orange thingy with 3 eyes).

But coming to the theme of this post which is how important the core belief of an individual's idea/truth/reality really is....and its impact on one's life cannot be overstated.


As a segway:

If some "agency" were to wrongfully throw me into prison at some unknow place (like in Antartica) and I was to never see the day of light till I die...what would keep me together? Would it be my anger or my drive of revenge towards those people who did this to me, or would I be content with my situation and thankful to Allah for what happenend to me.

See, in my limited view, its mush easier to stand up for the truth and face against the non-believers who oppose the Truth. I means they hurt you, you hurt them back, you have a chance to retaliate back in same...that itself has some level of satisfaction...this is typical of all confrontation (on any level)....

...BUT, to me what is more difficult and more gut wrenching is how one muslim behaves (with state of mind and actions) when s/he cannot retaliate against the opposing forces, yet suffer day-in-day-out for being on the side of the truth. This to me requires a higher level of conviction to their core belief than the one above.

An example of the two situations (for the same person) would be Bilal Radi Allahu Anhu. His holding on to Tauheed when he was mercilessly tortured as a slave, vs his standing for Tauheed when he was free and fighting with the muslims against the Kuffar.

They say in Pilates that the focus of your physical excersise should be to develop the "core" of your body. So, as muslims, we need to excersise on our "core" belief and nurture it with right actions and healthy interactions (i.e Sunnah), and only then will we be a wholesome individual. Insha'Allah.

Allahu Aalim

on November 29, 2005 11:13 AM
Nadia said

Assalam-u-alaikum,
Mashallah, I loved the fluency and the message of this beautiful article. Just when I was beginning to wonder where did my thinking friend go who says what she thinks :)
All my prayers with you!
A query for Br.Asef regarding the comment:
"Good post sister....and good correlation from the movie to your class room, but I doubt if it would have made much impact to those young girls....nevertheless a commendable effort." I don't see any reason, br, why would you doubt the effect of analogy drawn by bint-e-saeed when the movie is for youngsters. I would think it would make the greatest impact on them out of other groups since they can relate to movies made for them and pick out various analogies.
Anyways, we should not worry about what effect it had on others as long as we can extract meanings from such meaningful messages.
Salaam

on November 29, 2005 8:08 PM
Rami said

Asalaam Aleikum Warahmatullah Wabarakatu,

Stuart Little might have a good point:

"The Day that the Trumpet shall be sounded, and ye shall come forth in crowds;
And the heavens shall be opened as if there were doors" (Qu'ran 78: 18-19)

"When the Sky is cleft asunder
When the Stars are scattered;" (82:1-2)

"When the sky is rent asunder" (Qu'ran 84:1)

on November 29, 2005 11:12 PM
asef said

Salaam:

Br. Rami...wasn't Staurt Little the mouse who was adopted by the humans...that was another good movie. But, I dont understand the correlation between Stuart Little and the ayahs of Quraan that you quoted....Allahu Aaalim

Sister Nadia...I think what sister bint-Saeed did was excellent...Alhamdulillah. Regarding my comment about not impacting the young ladies had to do with what Bint Saeed wrote at the end of 4th paragraph...

"Therefore, the regulations that Allah SWT puts on us believer should always be seen as a blessing for it is He that knows us better than we know ourselves. After having understood this, these girls then returned to the dos and doníts of Muslims which required me to once again focus on this little chicken"

I just assumed from the above that the analogy did not work for the young sisters as they went back discussing the same way as they were doing before...Allahu Aalim

Yet, you are 100% correct when you say that regardless of what effect it may or may not have on the listener, the speaker should continue to extract meanigful analogies whenever they can.

Hope this clarifies my earlier comment on this article, Insha'Allah.

Ma'Assalaam

on November 30, 2005 2:39 AM
Rami said

Asalaam Aleikum Warahmatullah Wabarakatu,

You're correct Br. Asef, Stuart little is the talking mouse adopted by humans. I meant Chicken Little.

on November 30, 2005 11:48 PM
Bint Saeed said

Assalaamu Alaykum,

Ya Ukhti:) can't wait to see you InshaAllah.

JazakAllahu Khayr for everyone's comments, that's how we grown and learn. Also that's the purpose of these comments alhumdulillah.

In my experience of teaching Youth Girls at Sunday School there have existed many opportunities where I have learned from them. More importantly in these changing times and with the realization of stating "when I was young..." there needs to be an understanding that we need to try to step out of the traditional way of conveying our message. I see this most prominently at Al Maghrib Seminars and ISRU.

But nevertheless "when I was young.." just wont cut it. JazakAllahu Khayran to you all for any and every comment.

Remember: I see therefore I speak:)

Wasalaam Walaykum

on December 2, 2005 11:22 AM
Nadia said

Salaam sister,
Actually, after I had written about you saying what u think, i realized that the real connection was between seeing and speaking, hehe. sorry about that. Will remember next time. Keep posting.

on December 2, 2005 3:46 PM
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