The Puppy

The Puppy

Maryam Amir-Ebrahimi | October 11, 2009 12:36 pm

We had just finished dinner and had 20 genay [Egyptian currency] left over from the pool of cash we had put together. While discussing what to do with the money, one of the sisters suggested, “There’s a boy who sleeps outside Awlad Ragab [the local grocery store]. You know, he’s got that puppy! And whenever he’s with that puppy, he’s like the happiest kid in the world.”

I remembered who the sister was speaking of. There was a teenage boy who slept on the grass across the street from the grocery store. There was no trace of family, no trace of money, no trace of anything – just a boy, and the stray puppy who kept him company. “Let’s give the money to him!” the sister exclaimed. Our group began to head over.

3461154131_8590b42a0fFrom our dinner location, taking into account the number of girls who were with us and the fact that the streets of Cairo are crazy busy at night (Allahu Akbar – God is the Greatest – Egypt, I miss you!), it took us about twenty minutes to get to the location of the boy. But subhan’Allah [God is above all things they associate with Him], he was nowhere to be seen. His puppy, however, was there…and he was thirsty. The puppy had his paws around a closed water bottle, and he was unsuccessfully attempting to open it. Imagine the torment of intense thirst – staring at water at a paw’s length – and not being able to access it despite immense struggle. Realizing his dilemma, we quickly opened the bottle of water we had and began to pour it out for the puppy. The puppy came immediately, drinking the water in huge gulps, not stopping for some time. Finally, relieved, the puppy ran off to play.


We did not find the boy that night. As we walked back to our apartments I began reflecting on what had taken place. We had walked about twenty minutes in search of a specific boy. We could not find him but instead we found a puppy in extreme thirst, making a great effort to access water. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala had written for us to have extra money, helped us remember the boy in that moment, given us the strength, ability and time to take the twenty minute walk to find the boy, and guided us to a puppy who needed our help to drink water. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala had written for us, a group of foreigners from across the world, to have been in that place, at that moment of time, to help a puppy quench its thirst.

Ya servant of Allah who is struggling to please Him, stumbling upon blocks of heedlessness and difficulties… Ya Muslim or Muslimah who is trying to keep it straight, find a job, get married, do well in school, study overseas, deal with domestic issues at home or societal pressures all around… Oh one who struggles to make your prayers, makes effort to complete your fasts, fights to lower your gaze and preserve your chastity… If that is the Mercy of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala on a small puppy, that He subhanahu wa ta’ala would put all these things into place to help quench the thirst of a creature amongst His Creation – then what about the Mercy of Allah, The Most High, The One in control of everything, on you, His worshipper?

So flee to Allah…”

(Qur’an, 51:50)


as published here:


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