'I was the only girl fasting in my class'
As parents, they were worried whether it would be too arduous on their daughter to take the full fast, especially in this harsh weather.
Zainab Shams Memon turned eight this week. And this little girl from Mumbai, India, had no wish to celebrate it with cakes and gifts. She instead, chose to continue her Ramadan fast, and cement her faith in god.
"I want to know how poor people who don't have anything to eat, live.
Also, I wanted to observe the full fast and grow closer to Allah," said Zainab, a grade two student of the Indian High School, Garhood, in Dubai.
"It is difficult, I know. I do feel hungry. But Allah gives me the strength. I could feel His blessings the first day itself as my exam was unbelievably easy."
"All my teachers and friends are proud of me, and they say I am a strong girl."
Zainab's parents Shams Memon and Nayala Murad said it was Zainba's own decision to take the full fast. "We were surprised. We did not want to discourage her at all. At the same time, we wanted to make sure she was doing it out of her own will," said Nayala, her mother.
And as parents, they were definitely worried whether it would be too arduous on their daughter to take the full fast, especially in this harsh weather.
"Usually, kids keep full fast after they turn 10. Zainab was just seven and we had our concerns as her exams had just started during Ramadan. But she kept assuring us that Allah will take her through this and will bless her. We feel lucky to have a daughter like her."
"We are glad that we have been able to make her aware of the amazing things about Islam, from a young age. Only if we as parents are spiritual, we can inculcate similar values in our children as they follow what we do.
Zainab's mother Nayala said it was tough at school as Zainab was the only girl fasting in her class. "She would come back from school ay 12pm, and would innocently pray to Allah that Iftar time comes soon," said her mother.
And with Eid round the corner, Zainab's parents have some big surprises planned for her. "She still does not know what all gifts we are planning for her. We really want to reward her and show our appreciation for her willpower and spiritual strength," said Nayala.
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