This sample is the eighth part of our new book for children concerning the Dala’il Khayrat. The book is written as a story where a sage is teaching his two grandchildren about the Dala’il al Khayrat. The full book is now available on Amazon at this link: The Secret Blessing: The Dala’il Khayrat for Children.
Oh Allah, bless the Camel rider!
“Who is the camel rider?”
“The Prophet (s) had a camel. Are you remembering her name?”
Sulayman frowned, thinking hard. “Qaswa?”
Grandfather nodded. “Qaswa carried the Prophet (s) from Mecca to Medina for the Hijra. Do you remember what happened when they reached Medina?”
“All the people wanted the Prophet (s) to stay at their house,” answered Sulayman.
“Camel sat down,” Yusuf sat down on the ground like a camel.
“Yes,” Grandfather took his tasbih prayer beads from his pocket. “Qaswa sat before the house of Abu Ayyub (r) and that is where the Prophet (s) stayed. You are both remembering well.”
“Yusuf no like camel,” Yusuf wailed.
“Yusuf is afraid of camels. He thinks that they will drop him, or bite him, or something,” Sulayman explained. “Qaswa was a good camel Yusuf; she didn’t bite.”
It had grown dark in the garden and Maghrib adhan (call to prayer) began to echo through the small village.
“Come,” Grandfather stood up for the adhan. “We will pray and eat dinner and then I will tell you a story tonight about where the Dala’il Al-Khayrat is coming from.”
“Is it the right story?” asked Sulayman.
“There are a few stories. Allah (s) knows which one is right,” Grandfather began to lead them through the back garden and back toward the house to take wudu (ablution) for the prayer.
After the boys had their dinner and their bath Grandfather tucked them into bed for their story time.
“Once upon a time there were two Dervishes (ascetics). They were walking one night in the desert and they grew tired and laid down to sleep,” began Grandfather.
“Did they get sand in their hair?” asked Sulayman. “I got sand in my hair when we went to the desert. Mama was cross because it was hard to wash out.”
“Yes, people sleeping on sand get sand in everything, even their ears.” Grandfather took his turban off and placed it high on the bookshelf next to his Quran.
“Yusuf no like sand,” Yusuf hid under his blanket like he was hiding from the sand.
“While the two Dervishes were sleeping one of them had a dream.”
“I dream about flying,” Sulayman waved his hand in the air as though he were flying.
“The sleeping man dreamed that he was taking a shower at the top of a river and the friend was taking a shower at the bottom of the river.” Grandfather readjusted his kufi hat.
“I don’t like showers. I like baths. The water is always too hot or too cold in the shower,” Sulayman shivered.
“Yes, and so it was for the two Dervishes in the dream, one had a shower hot and the other had a shower cold.”
“See, showers are not nice.” Sulayman shook his head.
“Yusuf have a ducky for the bath,” Yusuf poked his head out of his blanket. “Yusuf duck float in the bath.”
“The Dervish who had a hot shower was the one who knows the secret salawat prayer from the Dala’il Al-Khayrat because this salawat can heat the water.”
“But why does the salawat make the water hot instead of warm?” asked Sulayman.
“The desert is cold at night. The water was hot, but not too hot.” Grandfather put his walking stick in the corner near the sleeping couches and leaned it against the toy chest with the faded golden paint. “The Dervish with the cold water asked the friend with the hot water to tell him this secret salawat (prayer) for heating the water so that he would have hot water for his shower as well.”
“The secret salawat is in Dala’il Khayrat?” asked Sulayman.
“Yes.” Grandfather unwrapped the scarf from around his neck.
“The prayers you were reading today in the garden?” asked Sulayman.
“But the prayers you read today didn’t heat the water, did they?” asked Sulayman.
“We were not reading the salawats over water,” smiled Grandfather.
“Ok, I am gonna read each salawat in the book over water and then touch the water to see if it’s warm,” Sulayman looked very serious.
“You are thinking like a scientist.” Grandfather rubbed Sulayman’s head.
“Then I will know which salawat works,” Sulayman explained. “But I need to learn to read first. That will take a long time.”
“Reading hard,” Yusuf shook his head.
“One day when you are reading you may go to Al Chemya.”
“What is that?”
“A special school where you can learn all the secret spiritual sciences.”
“Yes, like magic. But real, not fake magic.”
“When can I go?”
“Oh in a few years. You start when you a being 7 years old.”
“But I am only 5,” whimpered Sulayman.
“You will need all that time to prepare. There are many things you must learn first before you can go to Al Chemya.”
“I am teaching you some. You must know the lives of the Prophets, the Sira (Story of the Prophet Muhammad (s)), the lives of the Awliah saints. You must know how to pray, read Quran, fast, and read Dala’il Al-Khayrat.”
“Those things are hard,” Sulayman despaired.
“Not as hard as learning at Al Chemya.”
“What do you learn there.”
“Is that all.”
“No, there are many things to learn there.”
“So, the Dervish who knew the secret salawat to heat the water would not give the secret to his Dervish friend. This was forbidden to tell the secret so the friend with the cold water decided to write all the salawats he knew down in a book.”
“Is that the Dala’il Khayrat?”
“Yes, that is the Dala’il Al-Khayrat. The Dervish who knew the secret came in his friend’s dream for 7 nights and on the 7th day he learned that he had written the correct salawat but we do not know which one it is.”
Grandfather looked down and both the boys were sleeping. He smiled and picked up his walking stick off the golden toy chest and tapped on the top three times before reciting “Authubilahi bi kalimat-illah hil-tamah min Sharri ma khalaqa,”1 under his breath. The toy chest opened slowly and Grandfather saw the toys inside. He shut the chest and tapped again, telling the chest to behave. When he opened it again he saw many books and artifacts neatly piled bellow him. He placed his beautifully illustrated Dala’il al-Khayrat on the top of some other books and closed the lid gently before reciting, “Keela mea makkannee feehi raabee haayrun fa aeenoonee bi kuvvatin ac’aal baynakum va baynahumm radman,”2 and turned out the light as he walked into the courtyard.
The garden was covered with early morning dew and the boys ran out to the back garden to play. The dew drops glowed bright silver on each leaf. The boys found their ball and began to kick it around the garden when a large lizard ran out from behind a hedge where their ball had landed. They ran screaming out of the garden and back to the courtyard where grandfather sat under an eve with his tiny cup of Turkish tea. He lifted his glass high as the boys ran towards him shouting about a dragon in the garden.
He told them to sit with him and he would read to them again from his Dala’il Khayrat.
“But why will that help?” Sulayman asked as Yusuf climbed under the bench, pulling Grandfather’s jubba (long robe) over his head like an ostrich.
“Dragon no find Yusuf,” he mumbled under the heavy quilted fabric.
“All of creation is praising the Prophet Muhammad (s).” Grandfather took his Dala’il Al-Khayrat from his pocket. “Even dragons.” Grandfather patted Yusuf on the head under his jubba.
He turned the delicate pages slowly. The book had pretty writing and pictures that he showed to the boys with each verse. He told them that this was a special Dala’il Al-Khayrat, other Dala’il Al-Khayrat books had no pictures.
“Why do the other Dala’il Al-Khayrat have no pictures?” Sulayman pulled on the page to see closer.
“We are in a time of no mind people. People who think that pictures are like idols. Pictures are pictures, a donkey is a donkey, a man is a man, a mouse is a mouse, and Mickey Mouse is Mickey Mouse.”
Sulayman still looked confused.
“Yusuf love Mickey Mouse,” squeaked the lump under the jubba.
1 “I seek refuge on the perfect words of Allah Almighty from the evil that which He has created.”
2 “That in which my Lord has strengthened me is better. Only my Lord will help me with that Force. I will make a shield force between you and them.” (Al Kaf 95)
Please see our other books and stories about the Prophet Muhammad (s) and share your ideas for teaching Muslim children with us here on the website.