Monday, November 24, 2008

Brenden Foster - Can Muslim Children Learn From Him?

Little Brenden Foster, the boy with leukemia who inspired the world, lost his battle to the disease on Friday, November 21, 2008.

Brenden gained the attention of the entire world when his dying wish was publicized: Brenden wanted to feed the homeless. He was worried that homeless people were going hungry and didn't have enough to eat.

Many people responded to Brenden's dying wish. People mobilized food drives, made sandwiches and took them to the homeless people in the streets, donated money and supplies, etc. Others prayed for the success of Brenden's dying wish. People that heard about Brenden's dying wish did whatever they could to make it come true. And come true it did! Better yet, Brenden lived long enough to see his dream come true.

Oh! And Brenden had another wish! He heard that the bees were dying. He wanted to see wildflowers planted all over the world so that the bees could survive. Brenden knew of the benefits that bees provide to mankind. Brenden earned the nickname of "B-Man" because he was so concerned about the fate of bees!

Again, people responded and one pilot even flew a plane that scattered wildflower seeds over the earth.

The legacy of 11-year old Brenden got me thinking: are there any Muslim Brendens in America? Do you know of any, or have you heard any stories about Muslim boys (or girls!) like Brenden?

What if teachers in Islamic Sunday Schools would encourage their students to start beneficial projects like the ones that Brenden inspired?

What if a special children's sadaqa box was put in every masjid to help to fund the dreams of the children? What if all the parents in the masjid encouraged each of their children to donate just a fraction of their allowance to the special box?

What if parents of Muslim children, for example, would motivate their children to donate some of their toys to children in America who didn't have toys?

A project by Muslim children to benefit ALL children in America. Not just Muslim children. Not just projects "overseas". Think of the goodwill! Think of the dawah! Alhamdulillah!

Better yet: what if we Muslim parents raised our children to be selfless like Brenden was? What if our kids would have a "dream" like Brenden had without us adults having to encourage them or motivate them? Wouldn't it be beautiful if our Muslim children thought up these things all by themselves? Alhamdulillah!

Brenden's mom told news reporters that she felt blessed and humbled to have had Brenden as her child.

Maybe tonight each one of us reading this will sit their kids down and share Brenden's story with them. Who knows? Maybe one of our Muslim kids will be inspired to dream!


lala said...

aww, this brought tears to my eyes. i think it's so amazing how the people who are going through such strains in their lives are willing to give the most oftentimes...

Hijabee said...

What a great and inspirational story. May Allah raise him in Firdaws. It's amazing how children are more selfless and caring than adults these days.....

Hijabee said...

You have been tagged, check it out

Sonya said...

But why just teach Muslim children? Why not All children? If we encouraged all children, then alot more would be achieved :)

American Muslima Writer said...

SubhanAllah whata beautiful boy. Many children actaully think like this because of their innocence of idealism. It's so beautiful Wallah. I have taught my kids that every so often we go through the toys enmass and pack up a box to give to other kids to share. And clothes and such too. Now when my daughter is in a bad mood she's like "Khalas just give all my toys to the neighbors, I don't want them anymore." or in a good mood "Our playroom is so messy we should just give this stuff to our neighbors. SO they can be happy too and clean it up in their house." or thoughtful "These pants show my ankles now, we should send them off to smaller girls who will love the green flowers too".... subhanAllah I love kids. So generous when they want to be.
You're right we should share this story withour kids and all kids and impement their dreams too. makes me wonder what my kids dream of... hopefully as noble as this boy.

Its a shame more masjids churches etc... dont do this have a child dream goal and a money box to raise money for it. Perhaps on small scale we can do this in our homes or with friends. Have kids go door to door (with parents) to raise money for good things. Or even let kids save some of their allowances fora charity box (good way to teach zakat too )
Fab ideas Saf.

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