Briefly: i love animals and have had pretty much every one imaginable, alligators, newts/salamanders, frogs/toads/tadpoles, fish, rats/gerbils/hamsters, bunnies (not that bunny), guinea pigs (long haired!), ferrets, cats, dogs, baby squirrels, you name it.

And I have kept nearly all of them in the house or so desired. Islamically (and probably socially period) that isn’t really correct. I’ve had arguments with family/landlors/roommates/neighbors, but still it wasn’t til recently I finally surrendered these desires and understood what is really appropriate, so i wrote this story.  ENJOY.  BUT IT’S COPYRIGHTED. So “Swiper, Don’t swipe”!



Lil Muhammad and the Kitty Cat

By Siddiq Mujahid Khalifah



Lil Muhammad looked outside his window and saw all the other children having LOTS of fun playing outside.


So he went to ask his mother if he could go outside and play too! Lil Muhammad likes to play.


But when he was just about to ask to go out into the yard, he heard “Allahu Akbar” (God is the Greatest!). That meant that his father was praying.


No one could disturb his father, Jamal when he was praying, so Lil Muhammad would have to wait.  And wait.  Lil Muhammad didn’t like to wait.


Lil Muhammad knew that the Noon prayer around lunchtime was verrrrrrrrrrrryyyyy long.  So he went back upstairs to his room to look out the window again.


Only when he looked outside, all the children had left.  There was no one outside anymore.  Lil Muhammad was sad.


Jamal must have finished praying because Lil Muhammad’s mother, Kareema came into his room and asked, “Honey, why don’t you go outside and play with the other children?”


Lil Muhammad replied, “Because they all went ‘Bye, Bye’ mommy”.


His mother told him, “You can still go out and have fun, there are plenty of things to do outside!”


Lil Muhammad said, “Okay”, but didn’t know what to do to have fun all by him self.


So he went outside and saw an old ball and kicked it around a little.  It wasn’t full of air, but Lil Muhammad liked that, because it made a funny sound when he kicked it! BOOOOOP!  BOOOOOP!


After a while, Lil Muhammad got bored.  And the sun was hiding from him.  So Lil Muhammad decided to go back inside.  But then what will I do, he thought?


Lil Muhammad didn’t have any brothers or sisters to play with.  But mom always lets him play kitchen with her when she cooks and Lil Muhammad could already smell something delicious inside!


So he headed in.  As he started towards the house he heard something in the bushes.


At first it startled him.  What was it?


Perhaps it was a squirrel?  Lil Muhammad liked squirrels!


Perhaps it was a bird? But he would see its wings trying to fly away he thought.  And Lil Muhammad KNEW there was no bird’s nests in THAT bush.  Lil Muhammad liked baby birds, but hated eggs, any egg, chicken, ostrich, baby bird, PERIOD.


Maybe it’s a skunk Lil Muhammad thought?  Mom didn’t like skunks.  Lil Muhammad didn’t know why she didn’t like them, but he liked them!  “They walk funny and have a cool stripe”, he’d always say.


Lil Muhammad couldn’t figure out what it could be.  So he walked towards the bush.


All of a sudden, he heard, “MEEEEOOOOWWWW, MEEEEOOOOWWWW”.  Lil Muhammad had seen a big, fat ugly cat a few weeks ago, in back of the house, but hadn’t seen THAT cat since.


So he moved closer and a little kitty cat appeared and he “meowed” like he thought he was a lion.  Lil Muhammad laughed.  “Hi Mr. Kitty Cat!” Lil Muhammad said.  “MEEEEOOOOWWWW” sounded off the little kitten.


“Do you wanna play with me?” Lil Muhammad asked.  “MEEEEOOOOWWWW” replied the little kitten.


Lil Muhammad KNEW that meant, “Yes” and bent over to pet the little kitty.  But he kept watchful for his father, because Jamal HATED animals and told Lil Muhammad NEVER to touch a wild one (or any one at all for that matter).


But Lil Muhammad thought this kitty is in my yard, so it couldn’t be TOO wild.  And I really like how his feet and ankles are a different color that the rest of him!  The little kitty’s feet and ankles were dark brown, almost black and the rest of him was white, with a dark brown patch over his left eye.


Just then, Muhammad’s father, Jamal stepped outside and spotted him.  “Get away from that dirty flea bag”, Jamal screamed.  All Muhammad could do was wonder what a “flea bag” was?


Lil Muhammad said, “I was just playing father.”  “Go back in the house and help your mother” Jamal said.  So Lil Muhammad started running towards the door.


Lil Muhammad started crying.  His mother asked “Why are you crying Muhammad? He said “Because Daddy Abu won’t let me play with the kitty”.


Kareema told Lil Muhammad to have some cake while she went and put the clothes in the dryer.  Lil Muhammad noticed she didn’t go into the basement.  Had they moved the big washer and dryer he thought?  Lil Muhammad heard some shouting and then there was silence.


His mother, Kareema came back and cut a small piece of cake for herself and poured some tea.  Lil Muhammad only liked sweet iced tea, so he was drinking milk with his cake.


Kareema told Lil Muhammad, “Your father is right Muhammad.  You can’t have a cat in the house, not even a little one because Muslims can’t live in the same area as animals.  But if you like cats I will take you to the zoo and you can see some really BIG CATS!”


Lil Muhammad stopped crying and said “Oh Boy!  I love you mommy.”


The next day, they got up very early and Lil Muhammad even got to pick out what HE wanted to wear to the zoo.  He and his mother ate pancakes with butter and lots of maple syrup.  Lil Muhammad REALLY, REALLY, REALLY liked his mother’s pancakes.


They got in the car and drove to the zoo.  They stopped at a market and got some fruit on the way, to pack in their cooler to take with them.  They got fresh plums and bananas and even kiwi fruit. Lil Muhammad didn’t understand why they called it a market, since there were no walls and everything was outside, but he liked the market anyway.


Oh did Lil Muhammad enjoy the zoo.  He got to eat funnel cakes and ice cream and fudge and the cold fruit they put in the cooler was almost like natural Popsicle’s!  He was stuffed.  Lil Muhammad liked being stuffed.


He got to see lions and tigers and YOU guessed it BEARS.  Lil Muhammad liked bears.  The zoo had plent yof bears, black bears, grizzly bears, panda bears even koala bears (though Lil Muhammad didn’t think those were REALLY bears) and a really big man that Lil Muhammad thought LOOKED like a bear!


Then they passed the petting zoo.  Lil Muhammad saw the other children petting all the animals, but KNEW he wouldn’t be able to pet them because his Daddy Abu, Jamal didn’t allow him touch animals.


Lil Muhammad was shocked they were stopping at the petting zoo.  Well at least I’ll get to see the animals that EVERONE else can pet, even if I can’t touch them he thought.


Then Lil Muhammad got the surprise of his life.  “Wash your hands very thoroughly, so we don’t give the animals any of our germs,” said Kareema.  “Like when Daddy Abu makes wudu and washes for prayer?” Lil Muhammad asked.  “Exactly” replied Kareema.


So after they both washed their hands, they pet ALL the animals.  Lil Muhammmad even pet some of them more than once.  There were sheep and lambs and goats and mini ponies (Lil Muhammad called the ponies “baby horsies”)


And when they were all done and about to leave the petting zoo,  Kareema stopped suddenly and said “Now we’ve got to wash our hands again thoroughly.  Lil Muhammad asked, “Why, I didn’t give the animals ANY of MY germs?”  Kareema answered, “No Muhammad, this time we are washing our hands to make sure the animals didn’t give us any of THEIR germs!”


Lil Muhammad said, “Oh, I get it, once to protect the animals and again to protect us!”  “Exactly”, responded Kareema.


On the way home, Lil Muhammad said, “That was fun!”  Kareema asked, “Did we learn anything?”  Lil Muhammad replied “Yes, all about the animals and where they live and what they eat and how they have babies!”


Kareema asked “Did any of them live in the house?”  Muhammad smiled and said “Yes, the FISHIES!” Kareema said “Only the small ones Muhammad and even then they live in an aquarium or fish tank, right?”  “Exactly”, Muhammad answered.


“It’s important to keep a barrier between animals and people to protect them both from each other Muhammad.  I hope you understand your father was not being unkind, just doing what was right.  But your Daddy Abu loves you very much!”  


“I understand NOW mommy and I love him too!” Muhammad said as they began to pull into the driveway.


Jamal’s car was already home.  But it was too early for him to be home, Lil Muhammad thought.  I hope he isn’t sick or didn’t lose his job.  Mommy is always talking about the plant he works at closing down, Muhammad remembered.


Then Lil Muhammad and his mother got out of the car.  “As Salaamu Alaikum- Peace be unto you” said Lil Muhammad’s father and Kareema and Lil Muhammad responded “Walaikum Salaam- Unto you be peace”.


Just then Lil Muhammad noticed a little cage on the patio, with a bowl and some toys.  As he got closer, he saw a kitty cat.  HIS kitty cat!  Only the kitty had a collar and a bandage.


Lil Muhammad asked, “What happened to the kitty?”  Jamal replied “Sabir had to get his shot and flea collars so he is healthy and doesn’t carry insects if he is going to be this close to the family, IF YOU are going to keep him.


“KEEP HIM DADDY?!” Lil Muhammad shouted and asked at the same time, as he almost began to cry again.  “Thank you Abu.  Shukran, Shukran, Shukran.”  Lil Muhammad uttered repeatedly.  “Afwan Muhammad, you are welcome.”


“But there are rules Muhammad.  Sabir is YOUR responsibility, to be fed, caged, and washed if necessary and to be cleaned up after.  He will never come in the areas we eat, sleep or bathe and you will wash your hands before and after each time you handle him,” stated Jamal.  “It’s a deal, I promise to do all that AND my homework, too!”  Lil Muhammad erupted.


Kareema and Jamal smiled at each other.  Then Lil Muhammad asked is ‘Sabir’ and ‘Socks’ the same kitty cat?  And they all laughed and hugged. 

Allahu Akbar!!! 









~ by siddiq khalifah on July 17, 2008.

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