Tag Archives: Muslim kids

12 Financial Stories for Muslim Kids

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It was then my daughter’s first summer vacation after graduation in elementary. Over lunch I was mentioning to her the articles I was planning to post at one of my blogs – www.MuslimandMoney.com – and also the book – ‘Muslim Couple and Money’ – I was currently writing then.

Curious enough, she asked, “Papa, do you have also plan to write ‘Muslim Kid and Money’ for us youngsters?”

Almost spontaneously, I replied, “Yes, I also want to… Can you help me in this project?”

“How?”

“In your spare time, read short stories and then select 12 stories you like most. And then I am going to edit the stories and give some annotations or explanations.”

“How should I select?”

“Do you mean the criteria for selection?”

“Yes.”

“You select the 12 stories whose moral lessons in personal financial literary and behavioral economics you like most.”

“Papa, what do you mean by ‘behavioral economics’?”

(Expectedly, she no longer asked about personal finance or financial literacy, as she has already some ideas about it due to our many earlier conversations – especially during meals.)

“Behavioral economics is simply a method of economic analysis that applies psychological insights why people make economic decisions – buying, selling, consuming products and services, etc. – the way they do.”

“Okay!”

Fast forward: the book in your hand is the said father-daughter joint project.

Why did I write this book, by the way?

I wrote this book because:

* Financial literacy must begin at childhood.

* Financial literacy is something that children do not learn in school, do they?

* Storytelling is one of the best ways to impart moral lessons to children. And who don’t want to be told by mother wonderful stories during bedtime?

So, is there any better way to impart this learning to our children than storytelling?

At the end of each story, there is a concise explanation of financial lessons the young reader can learn.

Among these lessons are:

* The importance of right attitude in assuring one’s financial success;

* How to manage expending;

* How much you save is not that important, but rather the cultivation of the habit of saving;

* It is not enough that extra money is saved; it must be invested as well;

* The greatest investment is investment in one’s own self – how to make yourself more productive and profitable.

Is the book solely intended for Muslim kids?

No.

The stories will be interesting not only to Muslim but also non-Muslim kids as well. It is “for Muslim kids” simply because most of the stories are in a Muslim cultural setting, but the moral lessons imparted in each story is universal and beneficial to all youngsters irrespective of religious affiliations or ideological persuasions.

In order to attract the attention and interest of the intended readers, this book uses children-friendly fonts and is written in an easy-to-understand language.

If you want your kid to be financial responsible someday, what are you waiting for?

Grab your copy of the book now!

Amazon Link: www.amazon.com/author/mansoorlimba

Story #9: The Late-comer of Caravan

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In the darkness of night, from a very far distance, they heard a voice of a young man screaming. He was imploring and demanding help. His weak and scrawny camel had remained behind the caravan and lagged entirely. He finally, exhausted, stretched out and slept. He did what he could for moving his camel, but it was in vain. Helplessly standing beside the camel, he was yelling for help. Meanwhile, the Holy Prophet, who usually moved behind – in the end of the caravan so that a weak and helpless person who parted from the caravan, would not remain alone or helpless – heard the yelling voice of the young man. As the Prophet approached him, he asked: “Who are you?”

“I am Jabir.”

“Why were you kept waiting and wondering?”

“O Messenger of Allah! The only reason was that my camel got exhausted.”

“Did you have a walking stick?”

“Yes.”

“Give it to me.”

The Holy Prophet took the stick and with its help made the camel move forward and kneel. Then he made his hands a stirrup and said to Jabir to “mount his camel.”

Jabir mounted the camel, and they made their way together while Jabir’s camel moved faster. Throughout the way, the Holy Prophet did not stop showing his kindness towards Jabir, whereas Jabir counted and realized that the Holy Prophet had prayed twenty-five times for the remission of his sins.

On the way, the Prophet asked Jabir: “How many children have been left from your father, Abdullah?”

“Seven girls and a boy, myself.”

“Has your father left any debts?”

“Yes.”

“Well, when you return to Madinah, make an arrangement with the creditors, and at the plucking season of the dates, inform me!”

“All right.”

“Did you marry?”

“Yes.”

“To whom?”

“To Mrs. so-and-so, daughter of so-and-so, one of the widows of Madinah.”

“Why didn’t you marry to a young girl of your age?”

“O Messenger of Allah, having so many young and inexperienced sisters, I didn’t marry to a young inexperienced woman. I preferred to choose a mature woman for marriage.”

“You did your best. How much did you buy this camel?”

“Five ounces of gold.”

“I’ll purchase it from you at this price. When you arrive in Madinah, come and take the money from me!”

The journey came to an end and they arrived in Madinah. Jabir brought the camel to submit to the Holy Prophet. He ordered Bilal to give Jabir five ounces of gold for the price of his camel, and in addition to that, three ounces more so that he may pay the debts of his father, Abdullah. He also returned back his camel.

Then the Prophet asked Jabir: “Did you make a contract with the creditors?”

Jabir: “No, O Messenger of Allah!”

“What your father has left is enough for his debts?”

“No, O Messenger of Allah!”

“Inform me at the plucking season of the dates!”

The season of harvest arrived. He informed the Messenger of Allah. The Holy Prophet came and settled all the debts and left enough for Jabir’s family.

Source: Murtada Mutahhari, THE NARRATIVES OF THE VERACIOUS, Story 34.

Financial Lessons of the Story:

  1. The need to settle one’s debt.
  2. Preservation of one’s self-esteem and personal integrity. Instead of just paying Jabir’s debt which will negatively affect his self-esteem, the Holy Prophet bought some items (camel and date fruits) from him so that he could settle his debt out of that money.
  3. Utilization of one’s energy and talent to earn for a living.
  4. To be self-reliant and not to rely on others even for a small thing.
  5. Looking for livelihood for one’s family in order not to depend on others is a form of worship (‘ibadah).
  6. The Leader is supposed to serve as a model by helping his follower to settle his debt.

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Story #8: The Black Market

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The family of Imam Ja-far al-Sadiq, a great grandson of Prophet Muhammad, increased in number. And so did the cost of living. The Imam decided to do trading to increase his income through investing capital so as to meet his family expenses. He arranged an amount of one thousand Dinars and told his servant Musaddif to take that amount of one thousand Dinars and get ready for a trade journey to Egypt.

Musaddif, with that money went and purchased a type of goods usually exported to Egypt. He went and joined with a caravan of traders who were taking the same type of merchandise to Egypt and left for Egypt.

When the caravan was nearing Egypt, they met another caravan of traders coming out of Egypt. They inquired about the business circumstances in Egypt; they found out during the course of their discussion that the merchandises, which Musaddif and his Companions had brought, were not available and scarce in Egypt as well as in great demand.

The merchants, hearing this good news, decided not to sell their goods not less than one hundred percent profit. They arrived in Egypt; the situation didn’t differ. It was the same as they have been informed. As agreed previously, they created a black market and did not sell the goods. They doubled the cost and then sold the goods.

Musaddif returned to Madinah with a net profit of one thousand Dinars. He went happily and gladly to Imam al-Sadiq and put before him two bags, each containing one thousand Dinars.

The Imam asked: “What is this?”

He said: “One of the two bags is the capital which you gave me, and the other one – which is equal to the capital – is the net profit which is gained.”

The Imam said: “The profit is too high; tell me how did you gain so much profit?!”

The servant replied: “In fact, when we came to understand that the goods became scarce there, we pledged our words not to sell our goods not less than hundred percent profit of the capital and we did the same!

Imam al-Sadiq said: “Glory be to Allah! Did you do such a work?! Did you swear to create a black market among the Muslims?! Did you swear to sell the goods not less than the net profit equal to the capital?! No! No! No! I do not want such a business and such a benefit.”

Then the Imam picked up one of the bags and said: “This is my capital”, and he did not touch the other bag and said: “I have nothing to do with the other one.”

Then he added: “O Musaddif! To sword is easier than to do business lawfully.”

Source: Murtada Mutahhari, THE NARRATIVES OF THE VERACIOUS, Story 31.

Financial Lessons of the Story:

  1. Looking for livelihood for one’s family in order not to depend on others is a form of worship (‘ibadah).
  2. Investing in things that would further earn income.
  3. Moral principles must always guide the types of business one engages.

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Story #7: Ascetic’s Advice

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The summer heat had become intensified. The sun rays beat down Madinah”s city, garden and farms around it. In such a critical weather condition, a man named Muhammad ibn Munkadar – identified himself as one of the ascetics, pious and anchorites – arrived in Madinah. His eyes cast over a corpulent man who had obviously come out to visit and inspect his farms at that time. Because of his fatness and tiredness, he was treading by his side with the help of a few persons, certainly his friends and relatives.

He thought: “Who is this man in this hot weather of the day leading a busy worldly life?” He came nearer to this person. To his surprise, he was Imam Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn (Imam al-Baqir)!

He thought: “Why does this noble man indulge in this world?! I must give him an advice and dissuade him from this way!” He came forward and greet the Imam.

Imam Muhammad al-Baqir, out of breath, sweating, returned his greetings.

He said: “Is it suitable for such an honorable personality like you to come out at this hour of the day and in such a hot weather in order to indulge in this world, particularly, with this stoutness which certainly makes you suffer much?”

He continued, “Who is informed of death? Who knows when he will die? The death might over come you right now; may Allah protect! For instance if death overtakes you in such a condition, what would be your destiny? It is not worthy of you to be after the world, endure so much pain, and suffer with this fat body in these hot days! No! No! It is not worthy of you!”

Imam al-Baqir, removing his hands from his men’s shoulders, leaning against the wall and said: “If death overtakes me just now, and I die, I will leave this world while I am performing my duties and worshiping Allah. Regarding this work, it is just like obedience and submission to Allah. You have imagined that worship is confined to invocation, prayers and supplication. I have to live and maintain my family. If I do not work nor endure pain, I will have to stretch out my hands towards you or people like you to help me out. I am working for livelihood so that I may not be in need of any person. I must be afraid of my death when I have committed sins, violated and disobeyed the Divine Commandments and not in such a state obedience to the Orders of Allah the Almighty Who has ordered me not to be burden to others, but rather, to gain my own daily bread.”

The ascetic said: “I made a big mistake! I thought that I would make an advice to guide others, but now, I have come to understand that I had been mistaken and that I was following a wrong way and was totally in need of advice myself.”

Source: Murtada Mutahhari, THE NARRATIVES OF THE VERACIOUS, Story 21.

Financial Lessons of the Story:

  1. To be self-reliant and not to rely on others even for a small thing.
  2. To engage in worship cannot be an excuse to abandon one’s physical necessities and social obligations.
  3. Both attachment to material things and abandonment of the good things in this world are condemnable in Islam.
  4. Looking for livelihood for one’s family in order not to depend on others is a form of worship (‘ibadah).

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Story #6:– The Needy and the Wealthy

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As usual, the Prophet was sitting in his place in between his Companions. They formed a circle around him and it seemed to be as if the Prophet was a bezel of a ring in between them.

Suddenly one of the Muslims, a poor man dressed in rags, came in through the door. According to the Islamic tradition, regardless of his status, anyone who enters in an assembly should sit wherever he finds an empty place, not considering whether the particular place is suitable for his social status. Therefore, that man looked around, found a vacant place, went, and sat there.

Incidentally he settled down next to a rich and wealthy man. The rich man gathered the edges of his dress and shifted on to another side away from him.

The Holy Prophet was watching and observing the behavior of the wealthy person.

He turned towards him and said: “Are afraid that something of his poverty would transfer to you?”

“No, O Messenger of Allah!”

“Did you fear that some of your wealth might adhere to him?”

“No, O Messenger of Allah!”

“Perhaps…”

“No, O Messenger of Allah!”

“Then why did you draw yourself aside and shift away from him?”

“I confess that I committed an error and made a mistake. At present, in order to compensate my error and to expiate the sin, I am ready to grant half of my wealth to this Muslim brother towards whom I have shown disrespect.”

The man in rags replied: “But I am not ready to accept this offer.”

The Companions asked: “Why?”

The man said: “I fear that I may become arrogant and ill-treat one of my Muslim brothers in the same way that this man did towards me today.”

Source: Murtada Mutahhari, THE NARRATIVES OF THE VERACIOUS, Story 17.

Financial Lesson of the Story:

  1. Preservation of one’s self-esteem and personal integrity.

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