Eternal Success Syllabus

Yusra’s amazing mistakes

The cake in the window looked like it would taste of everything sweet and wonderful Yusra could ever imagine. The bright decorations and colourful flowers were so beautiful she just wanted to keep staring at it.

“Do you think that cake looks delicious Yusra?” asked her sister Amal.

“Yes, I want to make one just like it,” Yusra replied.

“That is a great idea but I think you have to be a professional to make a cake like that. Maybe you could start with something smaller?” suggested Amal kindly.

“No,” said Yusra firmly. “I want to make a cake like that.”

Amal stayed silent, not wanting to hurt her sister’s feelings.

A couple of hours later Yusra came into the kitchen and handed her mother a sheet of paper. On it was a bold and colourful drawing of a large cake, similar to the one she had seen earlier that day.

“Mama,” she said seriously. “How do you became a professional baker?”

“Well, I guess you have to practice lots and make lots of mistakes because that’s how you learn what works and what doesn’t.”

“Making mistakes makes me feel sad. Can’t I become a professional without making any mistakes?” pleaded Yusra.

“Mistakes help us learn. As human beings, we are always going to make mistakes. Only Allah is Perfect all the time. As long as we learn from our mistakes and try to do our best at everything and have the right intention, then mistakes are fascinating.”

Yusra took her drawing into the garden and sat down on the grass to think. It was still moist from the rain earlier that day and she jumped up quickly as she felt dress dress and leggings become wet.

“Mama!” she cried, running inside frantically. “My dress is wet! I’m all wet! Mama!”

“It’s alright Yusra,” said her mother gently. “You didn’t realise the grass was wet but it’s ok you can just get changed and we will clean your dress.”

After Yusra was changed she put her dress into a bowl of cold water and her mother showed her how to rub soap onto the stains to clean them. As Yusra began to rub and watched her dress become cleaner she found herself saying over and over again : “How fascinating alhammdulillah. How fascinating alhammdulillah.”

Amal came into the kitchen and watched her sister cleaning her dress.

“What’s fascinating Yusra?” she asked curiously.

“I made a mistake,” responded Yusra with a huge smile lighting up her face.

Amal was confused. Usually mistakes made people upset or angry. What was Yusra so happy about?

“Erm…ok…so what’s fascinating?” asked Amal, still perplexed at her sister.

“My mistake. My mistake is fascinating alhammdulillah. My mistake taught me that I need to check if the grass is dry before I sit down. My mistake taught me that when grass is wet it stains your clothes. My mistake taught me that we get stains out with cold water and soap. See – fascinating alhammdulillah.”

“I guess that is pretty fascinating,” said Amal, amazed at her sister.

“And now,” said Yusra, as her mum came to take her dress from her.

“I am going to bake a cake.”

“A fascinating cake,” said her mother with a smile.

“Super fascinating!”

First Yusra checked the oven was empty and turned it on. Then, she cut some baking paper to line her cake tin and rubbed butter all over it.

After that she set to work cracking eggs. The first egg she cracked she kept tapping it all over and she forgot to get a bowl ready for the shell so she ended up with lots of shell in the yolk and lots of mess on the counter top. The counter top was easy enough to clean with a wet cloth but getting the small pieces of shell out of the egg was really difficult. She spent ages trying take each piece out and began to feel herself getting frustrated.

“Is everything okay Yusra?” asked her brother, Abdur Rahmaan who had just arrived home from masjid.

“I made a gigantic mess cracking eggs and it’s so hard getting all the pieces out,” said Yusra, feeling tears come into her ears.

Her brother put his arm around her and they looked into the bowl together.

“How fascinating alhammdulillah,” he said. “You’ve learnt how not to crack an egg.”

As there were so many pieces of shell in the bowl he got out a sieve and show her how to pour the egg through so the sieve could catch the leftover shell.

“How fascinating alhammdulillah,” whispered Yusra, starting to feel a little better.

Her brother then showed her how to crack the eggs on a flat surface to reduce the shell getting into the bowl and they picked out the one piece that did with a spoon.

Next she needed to weigh the flour. As she poured it into the bowl she shook the bag too hard and flour went everywhere, all over the counter top, the floor and even her clean dress.

She stepped back, took a deep breath, dusted her dress off and smiled.

“How fascinating alhammdulillah,” she called out in her biggest bravest voice.

After she had tidied up the spilt flour, she weighed the butter. But when she tried to weigh the sugar she found it got stuck to the butter left in the bowl.

“Maybe next time I should weight the sugar first,” she wondered out loud.

Finally the mix was in the bowl and she got the electric whisk, excited to start whisking. But due to her excitement she turned to whisk up to full power and cake mix went flying all over the room. She quickly turned it off and just then there was a knock at the door.

Yusra went to go see who her mother was talking to at the door. It was the post lady delivering a package.

“You look like you’re having fun!” said the post lady with a laugh as she observed Yusra’s dress covered in flour and splatters of cake mix.

“I am,” said Yusra determinedly, “fascinating fun.”

After she had cleaned up the cake mix off the walls and counter top she gently turned the whisk on to the lowest setting and starting whisking together her mix.

It wasn’t long before she was ready to put her cake into the oven. However once her mum had helped her put it in Yusra got so busy tidying up and thinking about how she would decorate. She forgot to check the time!

When she looked in the top of the cake looked black.

“Mamaaaaa!” she called. Her mum came running in, put on the oven gloves and took the cake out. When it had cooled down they cut of the burnt top and found the underneath was cooked perfectly.

“Next time we can set a timer to check on the cake if we get distracted,” said her mother kindly. “And if it takes a bit longer to bake we can put foil on the top so it doesn’t burn.”

This was something Yusra had never heard of and she couldn’t believe how much she was learning.

“How fascinating alhammdulillah,” she said with smile.

Eventually, after several more mishaps and some extra help from her mum, Yusra’s cake was covered in colourful buttercream. She stepped back and looked at it. Then she ran to get her drawing.

“Mama,” she asked excitedly, “please could I go ask Aunty Kawthar if I can have some flowers from her garden for my cake?”

“No problem, just make sure you take a slice when its finished for her.

Aunty Kawthar kindly gifted Yusra ten beautiful bright flowers which she used to decorate her cake.

The three children gathered in the kitchen to admire the final product.

“MashaAllah,” said Yusra’s father as he returned home from work. “What a beautiful cake! Who made it?”

“A professional mashaAllah,” said Yusra.

“A professional?” asked Amal, confused again.

“Yes. Someone who finds mistakes fascinating,” replied Yusra as her dad started to cut everyone a slice.