A beggar or a rich boy?

Knock! Knock! Knock!

The door opens. Mr. Hamid looks out to see who is knocking.

A little boy in ragged and dirty clothes stands with his hand outstretched.

Boy: Sir, please give me some money.

Mr. Hamid: Who are you?

Boy: I am a beggar.

Mr. Hamid: No, no. I want to know what your name is.

Boy: I don’t really remember my name. People call me Sheeba. But I think my real name is Shahbaz.

Mr. Hamid: Who are your parents?

Boy: They are also beggars.

Mr. Hamid: No, I mean what are their names?

Boy: Everyone calls my mother Baali and my father Saabu.

Mr. Hamid: Where is your home?

Boy: In that big open ground over there, behind the bushes.

Mr. Hamid: What do you do all day?

Boy: I beg all day. At night I go to sleep. Please, sir, give me something.

Mr. Hamid: What do you want?

Boy: I don’t have anything. Please give me some money.

Mr. Hamid: All right, I’ll tell you what. Give me one of your hands. I’ll give you Rs 10,000 for it.

Boy: What? You can’t be serious!

Mr. Hamid: I am. Why don’t you give me your legs? I’ll give you Rs. 20,000 for them.

Boy: No way! That’s not possible.

Mr. Hamid: Then how about your eyes. I’ll give you Rs. 100,000 for them.

Boy: Enough, sir! No more. Who can possibly sell these things?

Mr. Hamid: But you were just saying that you have nothing. You are actually very rich!

Boy: Everyone has legs and hands and eyes. What can I do with mine? I need money.

Mr. Hamid: You can work hard with your hands and feet. Insha Allah, soon you will have money too.

Boy: My parents tell me that hard work doesn’t get you anywhere.

Mr. Hamid: Hard work is what gives you everything. At birth, all normal human beings are blessed with a body, hands, and feet. Then some of us work hard using these and by the will of Allah, we are able to do well for ourselves. You should go to school and work at the same time and not beg any more.

Boy: My father won’t agree.

Mr. Hamid: Tell me. Do you want to go to school?

Boy: I never really thought about it. But I like to watch children as they go to school. I think I would like to learn how to read and write.

Mr. Hamid: Well then, all you need to do is to come here at this time every day. I do my gardening then, and I will teach you how to take care of plants. I will also teach you your school lessons. But tell me. Will your father agree?

Boy: Well, he might.

Mr. Hamid: From now on, your name is Shahbaz, not Sheeba.

Mr. Hamid gives the boy some food to eat. Now the boy is ready to leave.

Mr. Hamid: You will come tomorrow, won’t you?

Boy: Yes, I will.

Mr. Hamid: Insha Allah.

Written by: Naima Sohaib

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