May 23, 2017

Amal and Pocahontas

Amal and her neighbor Lisa are having a nice time reading through a storybook. Amal is a Muslim girl, though, so she can see that the storybook princesses have major problems! Somehow she ends up in the story, calling the princesses to Allah’s way, shedding the light of truth on the fairy tale world. In this segment, Amal encounters Pocahontas.

Published Oct 1, 2004
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Amal and Pocahontas
Illustration by Aisha

“Now it’s the story of Pocahontas,” Lisa said, flipping to the pages near the end of the book.

The story of Pocahontas is taken from a real story of a brave native Indian princess who helped stop a war between the European settlers and the Indians. She saw what has happening between the two groups and realized they were getting ready to start a big war with each other. So she got into her canoe and paddled hard to a special place. She got out and knelt down at the trunk of an old tree.

“Oh, grandmother, there may be a war. Help me to prevent it,” Pocahontas prayed.

“Wait a minute! This is too much!” Amal said, standing up from the couch.

Any good ideas that come to you are blessings from Allah.

“What?” Lisa asked.

“She’s praying to a tree that she thinks is her grandmother,” Amal said, “That is the most evil thing in this whole book!”

“Worse than fairies?” Lisa asked, puzzled.

“She is openly worshipping others besides Allah. That’s the only sin Allah says He will not forgive,” Amal explained. Then Amal heard birds singing and river water flowing. She looked down and saw her feet were standing on a bed of leaves. Then she noticed Pocahontas, kneeling near the big old tree. Amal remembered about Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) and the idols of his people, and got an idea. She walked over to Pocahontas.

“Why do you talk to someone who can’t hear you?” Amal asked the Indian princess. Pocahontas stared.

This girl wasn’t an Indian or a European settler.

“How did you come here?” Pocahontas asked.

“Ask your grandmother, if you think she’s there, listening,” Amal suggested.

Pocahontas smiled. “Oh, she doesn’t talk to me like that about little things. Her spirit is in this tree. When I have a problem, I ask her about it, but she tells me her answer in my heart.” Pocahontas said, “She’s so wise.”

“Any good ideas that come to you are blessings from Allah. Your grandmother can’t say anything to you, out loud or in your heart, because she’s dead,” Amal said, sitting on a stump.

“But spirits live after we die,” Pocahontas said.

“Of course. But they live in a different world than us. Then on the Judgment Day, Allah puts our souls back together with our bodies. Then we live another life; a good nice one, or a painful, miserable one,” Amal explained. Pocahontas seemed confused.

“The One Who created all things created it all for a reason. To worship Him. The trees and the stars and the planets prostrate to Him. They all obey Him, and so do the animals and the birds and fish. The mountains and the seas all work with the rest of creation in a perfect plan helping each other, feeding each other, working and resting. The One Who plans all this doesn’t ever need help from His creation,” Amal said.

“Many times my grandmother has helped me solve my problems,” Pocahontas argued.

“Stop saying other things help Allah. Stop saying things are wise instead of Allah,” Amal said.

“But you said everything was created to worship Him. Doesn’t He need our prayers and sacrifices?” Pocahontas asked.

“No! Here, let me read you Allah’s words which will help you see what I mean:

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Say: (O Mohammad (peace and blessings be upon him)) He is Allah, (the) One.
Allah the self-sufficient Master, Whom all creatures need, (He neither eats not drinks)
He begets not, nor was He begotten.
And there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him.

“So you see, Pocahontas, He has made us all so that we can be the best of humans when we act like we know who He is, and who we are in relation to Him. We can be the best of creation when we do what He told us. We need to find out how we can worship Him and get the rewards of Paradise. We hurt our souls when we ignore His commands for us. Anything which tells you different than this is from the devil, trying to keep you from Allah’s rewards,” Amal said.

Pocahontas was listening very carefully.

“When I pray, my prayers are answered sometimes, no matter who I ask for help,” Pocahontas told Amal.

“That is a blessing from Allah. He is so Merciful that He answers your prayers, even if you didn’t pray to Him alone. But He is the only One who has the power to hear you, and the ability to answer your prayer,” said Amal.

“So He’s near to us,” Pocahontas asked.

“He knows everything about us without having to be near us. He helps us when we want to worship Him. He is the highest and the Greatest,” Amal said. Pocahontas was quiet for a while, and her face showed that she was thinking deeply.

“For many years,” Pocahontas told Amal, “I’ve been coming to this tree to speak to Grandmother.”

Pocahontas stood up.

“So it’s time you stopped. Your grandmother, even if she was wise, cannot help you any more. She is in her grave, waiting for her judgment. You still have a chance to start praying to Allah alone. You can still change and leave the worship of trees for the worship of the Creator of trees, Allah,” Amal said, and she stood, too.

“So I’ve been wasting my time,” Pocahontas said seriously, “Tricked by the evil spirits.”

“If you die without submitting to Him, then yes, it will all have been a waste of time. Any thought you had to come out here and ask help from the soul of your grandmother instead of Allah, is from the evil jinns, trying to keep you from Allah’s mercy,” Amal explained.

“This tree is dying anyway,” Pocahontas said, breaking off a dried branch. Again Amal remembered about Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him), how he broke his people’s idols when they were away. He had asked his people why, if these idols deserved to be prayed to, did they not defend themselves against being destroyed?

Amal kicked at a rotten root of the tree and became dust. Pocahontas grabbed a little axe she had with her, and began chopping at the tree’s trunk.

“If there was any power in this tree, from your grandmother or anyone else, would it be easy for you to chop the tree?” Amal asked, as chips of wood went flying away.

“I believe in the Creator, Allah. I can’t let this tree stand so more of my people would be led on the wrong path,” Pocahontas yelled above the noise of the falling tree.

“Allahu Akbar!” they both shouted

“That was a big tree, but pretty easy to bring down,” Pocahontas remarked.

“Allah helps you as long as you are trying to come closer to Him,” Amal said, “You should say the shahadah, to start,” she advised Pocahontas. Amal taught her to say it, and Pocahontas repeated it back.

“I should go home and tell my people about the right way,” the Indian princess said, getting back in her canoe.

“Yes, you should. Feyamanillah,” Amal called.

“What does that mean?” Lisa asked. Amal was still thinking about the sparkling river and Pocahontas paddling away.

“What?” Amal asked.

“Feyamanillah,” Lisa said, “what does it mean?”

“Oh. Um, it means ‘I leave you in Allah’s protection,’ it’s like saying, ‘May Allah take care of you.’” Amal told her. Lisa smiled.

“What a nice thing to say,” Lisa said. “Thank you.”

“Um, you’re welcome,” Amal said.

The next part of the story is the very last. If you thought that without princesses, the story of Amal would come to an end, and her fantastic dawah would finish, read the surprising ending next!

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Story (c) Sakina bint Erik Marx. See sister Sakina's website at: www.altilmeedh.com

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