Beliefnet
Stories connect us to the time-tested wisdom of the world's peoples--and teach spiritual and moral lessons we want to pass on to our kids. Each week, Beliefnet will present a spiritual story from a different faith tradition, followed by simple activities that bring the message home. We invite you to share the stories with your children, do the activities together, and make "Teaching Tales" a joyous part of family life.

Reprinted with permission from "How the Children Became Stars" by Aaron Zerah, published by Sorin Books.

The prophet Muhammad (peace be unto him) was reading from the Qur'an, the holy book, to a large group of eager listeners in the desert. A sickly cat walked up to Muhammad (peace be unto him), sat down on the hem of his very precious robe and went to sleep.

All day the prophet Muhammad (peace be unto him) shared talk with the believers, the sun rising to its greatest strength and falling again, and none of the assembly, nor the prophet Muhammad (peace be unto him), moved from this place. The cat as well remained asleep and still, healing in the way cats do, in the protection of the prophet Muhammad (peace be unto him) and the softness of his robe.

At last, the day was coming to its end and all, along with the prophet Muhammad (peace be unto him), were now to return to their dwelling places for the night.

Without a word, the prophet Muhammad (peace be unto him) took a knife, cut off the hem of his robe on which the sick cat still lay sleeping, destroying the finest of robes, and left the cat undisturbed.

Bringing It Home

To Do This Week

  • Draw or paint a picture of Muhammad's wonderful robe, then draw or paint a picture of the cat at the end of the day.
  • What would you do when the sick cat walked up to you? Pretend you are one of the people listening to the holy prophet. What would you do when the cat sat on his robe?
  • Share a story about when you asked somebody to help you. Have you ever sacrificed something to help a friend? Share a story about when a person or an animal needed your help.
  • Think and talk about a way to help someone in your neighborhood school or workplace.
  • Join the Discussion
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