By Tabassum Mosleh
Mishma and Sarah were sitting in the latter’s room, drinking delicious coffee and hot rolls made by Sarah’s mom, as a special bribe to stimulate their studying for their final exams, which they were soon going to take together.
“I’ve had enough! I just can’t finish this book. It’s mission impossible. Look at its volume. And I’m still stuck in the first page!” said Sarah, who’d been reading through the same line again and again for the last half hour, while thinking of the shopping she was going to do after her exams were over.
“Me too,” said Mishma, yawning. “Laa hawla wa laa quwwata illa billah.”
“I think my brain cells are actually fried. I can almost smell it. Let’s just take a break for today, what do you think?” asked Sarah, feeling a bit guilty already.
“I don’t know, we still have a lot to go through. But yeah, let’s take a break at least for a few hours. But let me finish this handout first.”
Mishma went on working for a few more minutes, while Sarah watched their cat, Beau, jumping around. He was at his most playful mood– jumping up and down tables, chasing paper scraps and pencil shavings thrown by the two girls, and running around with the resemblance of a bouncing ball.
“Look at him, subhan Allah. I wish I had such stamina. He never ever tires of making mayhem,” said Sarah.
“Duh! He’s a cat, isn’t he? He’s programmed to be a carnivore, to catch his food, and he needs strong muscles and quick reflexes for that.”
“I think he imagines himself to be a tiger, while in reality he’s a teddy bear.”
Mishma laughed. “Cats are more powerful than tigers in some ways. Allah has given them many special gifts. Like, they can climb trees which tigers can’t. And they’re less bulky, of course.”
“And they can also flex themselves inside any space they want, almost like water. I wish Allah had given me such strong muscles and reflexes.” Sarah sighed. “I wish I were a cat.”
“Do you?” asked Mishma, smiling playfully. “That’d be great, because then I would keep you as a pet, and cuddle you, and lock you up in a cupboard.”
“No you couldn’t— I would bite you and run.”
“But think, Allah has given every creature what it needs in order to fulfill its role on earth. Every creation is a package of miracles. Even for people, Allah has given each of us different kinds of strengths and weaknesses. None of us are the same. But each of us is perfect in our creation. And we are miraculous in many ways.”
“I don’t see what miracles I have. Apart from brains, which is obvious, what strengths do human beings have? We don’t have claws, or the ability to run very fast. Most animals are better than us in hearing, smelling and vision. We can’t see infrared, or ultraviolet.
Mishma laughed and said, “So you want to be a hybrid of an eagle, a leopard, a fly and a whale? Okay let’s just take one special miracle, among countless others, which is unique to human beings. Your thumb.”
Sarah looked at it. “Ah! I see what you mean, yes.”
“The whole key to human civilization is the thumb. Because of it we can hold a pen, or hold anything, with precision. From clothes to airplanes, we need our thumbs to make anything. Alhamdulillah for it.”
“Alhamdulillahi Rabb al-‘Alameen.”