The Puppy

Originally Published in October 2009

We had just finished dinner. A group of us American girls who were studying in Egypt had decided we would eat at a local restaurant and when we finished, we had twenty Egyptian pounds leftover from the pool of cash we had put together. Figuring out what to do with the money, one of the sisters suggested, “There’s that boy who sleeps outside that one 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 realized whom she was talking about. There was a teenage boy who slept on the grass across the street from the grocery store. There was no trace of family, money, or anything—just a boy and a stray puppy who kept him company. “Let’s give the money to him!” the sister exclaimed. With purpose, our group began to head over.


From the restaurant, it took us about twenty minutes to get to the location of the boy. But he was nowhere to be seen. His puppy, however, was there…and he was thirsty. The puppy had in his paws a closed water bottle that he unsuccessfully attempted to open. Imagine the torment of feeling intensely thirsty, staring at water in paw’s length, and not being able to access it despite immense struggles and efforts. 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, and not stopping for some time. Finally, relieved, the puppy eventually ran off to play.

We did not find the boy that night. As we walked back to our apartments I began contemplating the situation. We had walked about twenty minutes in search of a specific boy. We could not find him, and instead we found a puppy in extreme thirst, making great efforts to access water. Allah, The All Wise, 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 instead, guided us to a puppy who needed our help to drink water. Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala (exalted is He) had written for us, a group of foreigners from across the world, to have been in that place, in that moment of time, simply to help a puppy quench its thirst.

What about you, dear worshiper of God, who is struggling to please Him, stumbling upon blocks of heedlessness and difficulties? What about you who are trying to keep it together, find a job, get married, do well in school, deal with domestic issues at home or societal pressures all around? Dear believer who struggles to make your prayers, complete your fasts, lower your gaze and preserve your chastity—if that is the mercy that Allah, The Ever Merciful, has written for a small puppy, that He would subjugate human beings to simply help quench the thirst of a creature amongst His Creation…then what about the Mercy of Allah `azza wa jall on you, His struggling worshipper?

 “Therefore flee unto Allah…” (Qur’an 51:50)

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  1. Veronica says:

    Subhannallah, I just happened to stumble across this piece as I was looking for something beneficial to read. Alhumdulilah, what a beautiful and simple reminder. This goes to show anything can be of true benefit if we stop to reflect. Thank you for sharing

    salam alaikum

  2. Rabia says:

    SubhanAllah!!! what a beautiful story!! I love it!!

  3. Mohammad Amin says:

    Jazaki Allahu khayran

  4. Fatima says:

    This is an amazing piece of work!!

    Jazakallahu kheiran! :)

  5. muslimah says:

    Assalamu alaikkum sister,
    What to say except that it was awesome……
    Allah sends help to us in times of trouble and its so
    amazing at times…. HE knows what we need and when it
    needs to be given and will provide us with the right things at the right time….All that is required is
    reliance(tawakkul)on Allah that HE will help.

  6. Haajar says:

    Subhana’Allah. Allah (swt) is indeed kind.

  7. Yasmin says:

    Jazakallah khair for sharing this great story and connecting it to a great lesson!

  8. Farida says:

    Simply heart-opening. I hope Allah (swt) accepts all our acts of kindness and inshallah we all reach out to help out all of Allah’s creations: plants, oceans, Humans, planet and animals. :)

  9. Aziza says:

    I had a huge smile on my face when I read that last sentence, SubhanAllah it is sooo true. JazakAllah Khair for this beautiful reminder!!!

  10. hud says:

    that the most simplest most beautiful piece ever

  11. az says:


  12. Shamsiya Noorul Quloob says:

    I cannot express how timely this is!!

    “Allah is the ally [Wali] of those who believe. He brings them out from darkness into the light…” (Qur’an, 2:257)

    Jazak Allah khair :)
    Maryam may Allah make this deed heavy for you on the day of judgment – you are such an inspiration.
    Love you fillah <3

  13. Sameeha Rafeek says:

    I jsut might cry…. Jazakallah for the reminder!!!

  14. Hafeez says:

    May Allah s.w.t grant you Jannatul Firdous

  15. AQ says:

    i love u sister Maryam!!!! Jazakallah for the touching reminder!!! Just as the story goes, Allah inspired u to write this piece which came in time to help me overcome a difficulty & remind me tht Allahs help is always near!

  16. Subhan Allaah sister!

    I do not know what to say, speechless!

    May Allaah reward you, ameen!

  17. Shurufa says:

    Love this. Jazakillah khair sister. I would love to meet you one day, in sha Allah :D

    Uhibbuki Fillah <3 :)

  18. Shazia says:

    It is a great motivating article- ALLAH bless you sister!

  19. Student of the Creator says:


    This really touched me. Thank you very much for sharing.

    Jazakallah khair


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