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My friend: What is the story of Ka‘b and how can I relate it?

I: Don't you know the story of Ka‘b, my friend? It is one of the most effective stories which will help your child stop lying.
My friend: How?
I: Stories have a profound impact on changing bad behavior into upright behavior, and even adults themselves love to listen to stories and doing so can often change their lives. Thus, Allah The Almighty relates a number of stories in His noble Book for us to derive lessons from and to be motivated to change our wrong behavior. My friend, tell me: Don't you like to listen to stories?
My friend: Yes, you are right. I love to listen to the stories that the Khateeb (preacher) relates in the Friday Khutbah (sermon), and they often cause many things in my life to change. By the way, what is the story of Ka‘b? Do you think that it will help my children to stop telling lies?
I: Of course, but you must narrate it in an interesting, exciting, and simple way which at the same time accomplishes the needed goals in every stage of the story. Perhaps we hear many stories, but they do not attract our attention or change our behavior because the narrator relates them in an incorrect manner. The narrator may be engaged in exciting and motivating the audiences, yet he forgets to focus on the aims of the story. On the other hand, another narrator may focus too much on the aims of the story and highlighting its lessons without excitement or motivation. Moderation is optimum in all cases.
My friend (smiling): Stop exciting me, my friend, and relate the story of Ka‘b to me!
I (smiling): No, I will teach you how to relate it.
My friend sat down listening attentively to the story and pondering on it.
 
Father: Do you know the story of Ka‘b?
Son: Who is Ka‘b, Dad?
Father: Do you not know who Ka‘b ibn Maalik  is, my son?
Son (attentively): No, I don't. Father, please tell me his story.
Father: Ok, I will tell you. My son, Ka‘b ibn Maalik  was one of the Companions of the Prophet, .
Son: What was his story?
Father: He was the Companion whose truthfulness saved him from the punishment of Allah The Almighty.
Son: How?
Father: In the Battle of Tabook, Allah The Almighty wanted to test the believers by asking them to go out for Jihaad (armed struggle). However, joining the Prophet, , in this battle was so difficult. Do you know why, son?
Son: Why was it difficult, Dad?
Father: It was a long journey, the weather was very hot, and the fruits were ready to harvest. Everyone would love to sit in the shade and enjoy eating the fruits. Going out for Jihaad at that moment was a command from Allah The Almighty to ward off the enemies and fight the polytheists who did not like Islam.
Son: What did the people do, Dad?
Father: The true believers set forth with the Prophet, , because they sought martyrdom to enter Paradise, while the hypocrites lagged behind.
Son: Who were the hypocrites, Dad?
Father (after a long sigh): Son, the hypocrites are the evilest of people – may Allah save us from hypocrisy. The hypocrites are the liars who say and do what they do not believe.
Son (alertly): How is that, Dad?
Father: The hypocrites told lies to the Prophet, . Each one made up an excuse and told a lie to the Prophet, , in order to evade going out for Jihaad.
Son (amazed): What did the Prophet, , do with them?
Father: The Prophet, , did not judge them for their intentions but for their apparent actions and he accepted their excuses.
Son (carefully): Why did the Prophet, , not expose their reality?
Father: Because Allah The Almighty postponed their punishment till the Day of Judgment, my son, and how severe the punishment of a liar on the Day of Judgment will be! You must have heard of the Quranic verse (that means): {So who is more unjust than one who lies about Allah.} [Quran 39:32] Also, you must know that the Prophet, , said, "The sign of the hypocrite is that he tells lies when he speaks."
Son (attentively): What is the connection between Ka‘ab ibn Maalik  and all of that?
Father: My son, Ka‘ab ibn Maalik  did not tell a lie.
Son: How?
Father: When Ka‘b ibn Maalik went to the Prophet, , the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi was sallam, asked him: "Why did you not join us, Ka‘b?" Ka‘b was certain that Allah The Almighty sees him and knows what is in his heart. He realized that he might get out of this situation, but he would not be saved from the punishment of Allah The Almighty on the Day of Judgment. At this moment, Ka‘b ibn Maalik  said to himself, "By Allah, I will tell the truth."
Son: What did he say to the Prophet, ?
Father: He said, "O Messenger of Allah, I did not have any excuse and I was able to go out with you." He told him the truth, son.
The son (excited): What was the reply of the Prophet ?
Father: The Prophet, , said: "This man has told the truth. Go away till Allah decides on your matter."
Son: What happened, Dad?
Father (sadly): My son, imagine! The Prophet, , ordered the Companions to shun Ka‘b ibn Maalik  and none of them talked with him. Imagine, nobody spoke to him for fifty days to the extent that Ka‘b  was walking in the streets and greeting people, but nobody returned his greeting. Even his closest relative, his cousin, did not return his Salaam when Ka‘b  offered it.
Son (amazed): Why was all of that? Did he not tell the truth, Dad?
Father: Allah The Almighty was testing him, son, in order to see whether or not he would keep firm on his truthfulness despite these pressures.
Son: Did Ka‘b ibn Maalik  remain firm, Dad?
Father: Yes, my son. Ka‘b  remained firm on his truthfulness till Allah The Almighty accepted his repentance and revealed Quranic verses to be recited concerning him.
Son: What did Allah The Almighty reveal concerning him, dad?
Father: Fetch the Mus-haf (copy of the Quran), son. Let me read the verse for you. (The child brings the Mus-haf and the father opens it at Surat At-Tawbah and starts reading the verses.)
Father: Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {And [He also Forgave] the three who were left behind [and regretted their error] to the point that the earth closed in on them in spite of its vastness and their souls confined them and they were certain that there is no refuge from Allah except in Him. Then He turned to them so they could repent. Indeed, Allah is the Accepting of repentance, the Merciful.}[Quran 9:118]) Do you know what Allah The Almighty Says after this verse, son?
Son: What does Allah The Almighty say, Dad?
Father: Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {O you who have believed, fear Allah and be with those who are true.} [Quran 9:119]
Son: Did people talk to Ka‘b  after that, Dad?
Father: Yes, they did. Ka‘b  returned to Allah The Almighty with stronger faith and promised Allah The Almighty not to say anything but the truth. The truth was the thing that saved him, whereas Allah The Almighty disclosed the reality of the hypocrites in His Book and they will taste a painful torment on the Day of Judgment. Now, son, let us make an unbreakable promise with Allah The Almighty not to tell lies ever.
Son: I promise Allah The Almighty not to tell lies ever.
Father: Whatever the circumstances might be?
Son: Whatever the circumstances might be!
Father: Well done, son. Be sure that truthfulness brings about salvation even if it apparently involves destruction.
At this moment, my friend said: Excuse me! Let me go home to tell my child the story of Ka‘b  before he goes to sleep. Assalaamu alaykum.

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