Hussayn was in his room playing, when he heard his mother calling for him.
‘I’m in my room, Mama!’, he responded.
‘Hussayn honey, my friend just called. She’s here from out-of-town, and is coming to visit in a little while. She has her kids with her, and one of them is about the same age as you!’, said his mom excitedly.
Hussayn was a quiet little boy. He preferred playing by himself. Or with people he knew. He didn’t like meeting new people and having to share his stuff. What if they broke something? Or what if the new kid took his favorite toy and refused to give it back? Hussayn looked at his mom worriedly. ‘Mama, do I have to play with this new kid? You know, I’d much rather be playing with my old friends. Or even baby Zayd’, he complained.
‘I know you’re happy playing on your own, honey. But I haven’t seen my friend in years. And she’s only visiting for a little while. Maybe you’ll like her children. And your baby brother can join in, and play with you guys too. What do you say, buddy?’, asked his mother.
‘Do I have to share ALL my stuff?’, asked Hussayn, his big eyes starting to fill with tears.
His mother hugged him and thought for a while, ‘Hmmm how about you pick five of your very favorite toys, and keep them aside in your closet? You don’t have to share those unless you really want to. But the other stuff, I think it’ll be nice of you to share. I know it’s not easy for you to meet new people sweety, but we’re at home, and I’d really like it if you gave it a shot at being friends with this kid.’, she said.
Hussayn took a deep breath and wiped at his eyes. ‘Okay Mama. I can try. I’m going to pick out which toys I’d like to keep locked up now’, replied Hussayn.
Hs mom smiled and kissed him on his cheek, ‘That’s my boy! I’m going to go check on your brother, and make some snacks for the guests. Come on over to the kitchen once you’re done.’
Hussayn selected his best toys and put them into his closet. Then he went to find his mom. Soon the doorbell rang, and he went to the door with his mother to welcome the guests inside.
His mom and her friend seemed very excited to see each other. There was a little baby who was fast asleep in his car seat. The other kid – a girl – looked over at him and smiled.
‘Hi! Salam alaikum! My name is Manal. It’s so nice to meet you!’, she said.
Hussayn was confused. He had thought the new friend would be a boy. He looked up at his mom not sure what to do.
‘Say salam to our guests, and invite them in, honey.’, suggested his mom.
‘Erm Salam alaikum. Please come in.’, he greeted them.
‘Oooh what a pretty house!! What’s your name? Hey, my mom said you have a baby brother too! How old is he? My brother is 7 months old now’. Manal was talking really fast.
The moms went into the living room and began to chat. Hussayn wasn’t sure what to do next, but Manal seemed to be really happy to meet them. That made him relax a bit.
‘I’m Hussayn, and my brother Zayd is almost one. He’s learning to walk, but falls down a lot. It’s kinda funny’, Hussayn said chuckling.
Manal giggled. ‘My brother tries to crawl but falls back onto his tummy too!!’.
They both started talking and playing, and discovered they shared an interest in legos and painting. Soon, it was time for tea and cookies, and a little while later it was time for them to leave.
Hussayn stood by the door and waved to his new friend. ‘You know, Mama, Manal is really nice. I’m glad she came.’
His mother turned to him and smiled. ‘I’m glad they came too. And you did so good, honey! I’m so proud of you for trying your best. I see that you even shared your favorite toys with her.’
Hussayn shrugged. ‘Well I remembered that hadith* about being good to your guests, and anyhow, she didn’t seem like the sort who would break anything’, he replied.
His mom grinned and kissed his head. ‘I’m so happy we had such a good visit. Let’s go back inside, I think your brother is waking up’.
He smiled at his mom and went with her to check on his baby brother. There he was trying to stand up to walk in his crib, and falling down again. Hussayn laughed, and started to play with his baby brother.
*Abu Shurayh al-`Adawî relates that the Prophet said, “Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should honor his neighbor. And whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should honor his guest and give him his due.”It was asked, “Messenger of Allah, what is his due?”He said, “His due is a day and, and he should entertain his guest for three days. Whatever exceeds that is charity for him. And whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should speak a good word or remain silent.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (5560)]