“Every soul will taste death... He who is drawn away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise has attained [his desire]. And what is the life of this world except the delusion of enjoyment” (Qur’an 3:185).
We all know that a greater and eternal fate awaits us after we pass on from this life. Allah (SWT) has promised us that our actions and deeds in this life will determine whether we enter Jannah (paradise) or Jahannam (hellfire) in the hereafter. The beauty and bounty of Jannah is beyond our scope of understanding. It is an abode of bliss that we cannot even begin to imagine.
Jahannam, in contrast, is the worst of places, and the horrors of Jahannam are also beyond our comprehension. We should spend our entire life trying to earn Jannah and avoid Jahannam. However, in the noise of everyday life, we often forget that this worldly existence is our one chance to determine where we will end up eternally. As parents, it is important that we have discussions with our children about what happens after death. Jannah can serve as a motivating factor in encouraging our children to be good Muslims, but we must also talk about Jahannam.
Allah (SWT) tellsus that it is necessary to have fear of wrongdoing and an awareness that every moment is an opportunity.
In this book, we teach two key lessons. The first story, “Listen,” reminds us that we must heed the warning of the hereafter. Often, people don’t “listen” until it is too late. Amira learns this lesson the hard way after ignoring her dentist’s multiple warnings about the importance of flossing her teeth.
The second story, “What’s Better?” is related to the idea of delayed gratification. That is, by trading small, short-term happiness, we can often achieve larger, long-term goals. Asad learns this lesson when he is faced with dilemmas of saving up over ten weeks to buy a kitten or to spend his money on day trips to parks and museums. In the end, he realizes that parks and museum fun lasts a day, but a funny friend is for life!