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T-O-Y-S-S Teaching Our Youth Survival Skills – A Riddle

It was after Jumuah when the family returned home. The parents watched their daughter rush to the front door to look at the big brown box. She read the letters “T-O-Y-S-S” out loud.  

Leila asked “Are the T-O-Y-S-S for me? “ Her parents looked at each other. Neither one knew anything about the box. Father lifted the box to move it inside. He raised his voice over the children’s chatter, “It’s time for salah, go make your wudu.”

The children sat waiting on their prayer rugs, listening to the adhan. When their father entered the room the boys stood beside him, the girls stood up forming a straight line behind them. They stood shoulder to shoulder, their feet touching side by side. At the end of the salah (prayer), the siblings whispered “As salaamu alaikum” hugging and kissing each other on the cheek. Then they ran through the house shouting . . . “Daddy where are the T- O- Y- S- S?”

Teaching-Our-Young- Survival- Skills

The parents wondered where the box had come from. On the delivery label was: “International Family Resource Network.” The postage stamps were from a place far away.  Father used his box cutter. As he opened it his wife looked inside. There was another box wrapped in silver paper with a shiny rainbow-colored ribbon. The box smelled like a flower bouquet. Mother smiled, opening a large three ring notebook and seeing that each section had photographs of her family.

Underneath the album were brand new laptops, mobile phones, digital notepads, USB cables, charging connections, desktop speakers and headsets. At the bottom they found a third box, locked with two keys and a message taped to the outside: 

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“URGENT!  You must be able to READ, RECITE and REHEARSE the contents in thirty days. Then box will lock automatically.”


Mother sat back breathing deeply. Father sighed with relief and said, “After Isha we’ll show the family.”
Three days before Ramadan, Leila was on her way to the mailbox when the telephone rang.  Her mother answered. Leila asked her father “Do you have the mail?”

“Yes,” he answered “please take it inside.”  

Her Mother stood waiting at the door for her. Father came in after his daughter to give his wife an opened envelope. She told him about the phone call. “Imam called to say Salaam Alaikum to our family.”     

The children were busy examining the box. They found 70 rolls of quarters, (1 roll =$10.00) with a note, “Your children can use the quarters as they wish.  Each one must first answer one question: Will you spend or save the money?”

When Mother looked inside the envelope she saw a $5,000.00 check. There was a handwritten note at the bottom: “Ramadan Mubarak!”

After dinner, the family sat around talking. The oldest son said he wanted to cook for Iftar and use the rest of the money for zakat.  The other children decided to make gifts and bake cookies for Eid ul Fitr.

What about the parents?  Did they decide to keep the check or the box of T-O-Y-S-S? By Laylat al- Qadr, they found their answers.  

What do you think was inside the locked box?

T-O-Y-S-S Teaching Our Youth Survival Skills - A Riddle - About Islam


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About Khai'dah Muhammad
I am (65+ years) a wife, mother, Childhood Cancer Advocate, Education Consultant and Writer. My ancestors were “sold/stolen” from Africa. My father, a descendant of our “enslaved” family, was shipped to South America (Caribbean). My mother, also a descendant of our “enslaved” family members was shipped to North America (east coast). Both were indoctrinated in Christianity – A Catholic and A Methodist. I made “My Shahada” in New York, USA. My husband embraced Islam after serving in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War (1965). Our youngest daughter married a Muslim. His family lives in West Africa. Twenty-seven years ago she was diagnosed with EYE cancer. Today she is Childhood Cancer Survivor.