Eternal Success Syllabus

Badr dives deep

Badr pinched his nostrils together, closed his eyes tightly shut, bent his knees and flipped backwards into the water. His whole body swooshed into the sea as he extended his arms and legs and began to swim. Now, he was part of the ocean as the schools of fish swam around him, tickling him with their swishing fins. He swam and swam until he reached the coral reef where a long White Tip Reef Shark was waiting for him. 

Badr stopped swimming and settled himself on a stone next to the shark. He ran his hands along the shark’s fin and felt scratches across it.

“Was it a fishing net?” he asked the shark gently. The shark rocked from side to side as if to say yes. Then it opened it’s huge powerful jaws and Badr saw part of a fishing net stuck between some of it’s teeth. The sharp plastic had hurt the shark’s mouth. He took some pliers out and carefully cut it off, then placed it in his bag so that it wouldn’t harm any other animals.  

He then took out his underwater camera and snapped some photos of the damage.

“It’s a good job you’re a White Tip Reef Shark,” he said smiling. “Because you’re one of the few sharks that can stay still for my photos! Most other sharks have to keep moving to be able to breathe.”

As he said this, there was a disturbance in the water above and a shadow emerged over them. Badr kicked up towards to the surface and noticed a small wooden boat gliding slowly over the water. He put his hands on the sides and pulled himself in. As he landed in the boat, someone passed him a towel.

“Assalaamo’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuhu and jazahkallahu kheiran. How are you?” he asked his friend who was sat with an oar in each hand.

“Wa alaikumAsssalaam warahmatullahi wabarakatuhu. Alhammdulillah I’m alright,” replied Umar. “I found a turtle who was stuck in a plastic bag and managed to cut him free alhammdulillah. But I don’t know how many more there might be. I can’t believe how people can just pretend their rubbish doesn’t go somewhere. It’s like they think it just disappears! But so much of it is right here in these sea creature’s homes.”

Badr nodded and recited:

أَلَمْ يَعْلَم بِأَنَّ ٱللَّهَ يَرَىٰ

Does he not know that Allah sees all? (96:14)

Together, the two friends rowed back to the shore and after Badr had changed and dried himself they walked across the warm sand, picking up bits of rubbish to put in their bags. As Badr stood up to put an old crisp packet in his bag he saw a group of his friends running towards them.

“Do you want to play hide and seek further up where the trees and boat houses are?” they asked him excitedly.

Badr and Umar decided to take a break and join in the game. Before they began, Umar said, “See if you can hide where no one at all can see you so they don’t give you away!”

One child started counting while the others hid then they stopped and tiptoed quietly around looking behind trees and under unused boats to try find their friends. Before they could even find anyone they saw Badr walking around.

Umar came out from his hiding place, confused as to why Badr hadn’t hidden himself yet.

“Why aren’t you hiding?” he asked.

“Well…” replied Badr, “First I thought I’d hide between those two long boats, then I thought I’d crawl under that bush…but you said to hide where no one can see me and wherever I went I thought about the ayah

أَلَمْ يَعْلَم بِأَنَّ ٱللَّهَ يَرَىٰ

Does he not know that Allah sees all? (96:14)

I thought no matter where I hide, Allah can still see me.”

“SubhanAllah,” said Umar thoughtfully. Just as he was about to speak again, there was a loud rumbling and he saw a quad bike driving past them. As it raced past he noticed something flying off the quad bike and landing on the sand behind them. He ran down to see what it was so he could give it back to the quad bike driver who was zooming further and further away.

But wherever he looked, he couldn’t see anything.

He searched and searched, getting on his hands and knees and digging at the sand with his hands. However, the object could not be found.

He then recited:

أَلَمْ يَعْلَم بِأَنَّ ٱللَّهَ يَرَىٰ

Does he not know that Allah sees all? (96:14)

“Only Allah knows where it is now,” he muttered, before walking up the beach and away from the sand.

A few minutes later, Badr and Umar arrived at a small building which had a sound outside reading “Duha’s Printing Press.” They went inside and sat in front of two large desktop computers, each of them plugging their camera into the machine. Badr made a poster which read “Your litter could hurt me. Please find a bin or carry your own litter bag. ” Under the writing was the photo he had taken of the injured White Tip Reef Shark. Umar designed one which read “If it’s wrong to throw rubbish in someone else’s window, it’s wrong to throw it in my home.” Under it he put a photo of the turtle he had found stuck in the plastic bag.

The boys printed three posters each and walked towards a café called “Nice Cream,” which was in the back of the printing press. Once they had asked for permission, they stuck one poster on the window, then made their orders.

“One banana strawberry Nice Cream for me,” said Badr.

“And an avocado and mango one for me please,” added Umar.

They watched as Baji Duha dropped frozen fruit into a food processor and blended it till it was smooth. There was a little bit left over which would not fit into the bowl she was serving their food in, so she poured it carefully into a bag, scraping every last bit out of the food processor, before putting the bag in the freezer and handing them their bowls.

“Baji why didn’t you just leave it? You can have just washed away the bits of fruit that were left and no one would have known, ”queried Badr.

“Allah would have known and Allah has given us all this. I don’t want to waste any.”

“Oh yes,” responded Badr. “Remember Allah says

أَلَمْ يَعْلَم بِأَنَّ ٱللَّهَ يَرَىٰ

Does he not know that Allah sees all? (96:14)

As they sat down to enjoy their desserts after a busy morning, the local imam walked into the café. Before ordering his food he said, “mashaAllah, whoever put up that poster has reminded me to always take a bag to put my rubbish in when I go for a walk on the beach.”

When he left with his takeout bag of Pineapple and Coconut Nice Cream, Umar turned to Badr. “Why didn’t you tell the imam you  had put up the poster? He would have been really happy with you.”

Badr recited “

أَلَمْ يَعْلَم بِأَنَّ ٱللَّهَ يَرَىٰ

Does he not know that Allah sees all? (96:14)

I didn’t do it so that people are happy with me, I did it because it was the right thing to do and I wanted to make Allah happy. If only Allah knows that it was me, that would be enough.

And Umar,” he added, suddenly very serious.

“I’m really sorry I have to tell you this.”

Umar became tense, wondering what terrible news he was about to share.

“But you know I’ve seen something and I can’t keep quiet about it. I just can’t. I’m so sorry.”

“What? What is it?” asked his friend, concerned.

“It’s just that…you have some Nice Cream on your nose.”

They both burst into peels of laughter as a family walked past and stopped to look at their posters before walking down to the beach.