Short Story

Today’s Speech: Something About Islam

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Seven minute talk, just a seven minute talk. No big deal.

Salah. Praying five times a day. That’s a good topic, right? It’s simple, there’s a lot of stuff I could say about it, and there’s no way I could mess it up. It’s salah.

Well, I mean, that’s kind of boring, though. If I were listening to a talk just about salah, I might fall asleep. Okay, it’s gonna be a bunch of guys my age and I don’t wanna be boring. I do want this to be good. How often do kids like me actually get to talk? This is kind of a big deal, actually.

I gotta talk about something relevant. And I gotta have something to grab their attention. Maybe I could start with like a MashaAllah recitation of some Qur’an, like Hafidh Hisham does when he gives talks. That guy’s epic. I wish he’d come do a seminar here. But man, I’m not that great of a reciter. I could practice, but I don’t know if I have enough time to get it down. Plus I gotta plan the rest of the talk.

A story? Stories make people listen, right? I’ll tell a story. I remember there was some really cool story about an imam and a chef or something like that. Where is that clip? I think it was on Islam Stream’s channel, but I can’t find it. I don’t remember if it was Sheikh Zaahir or Brother Ilyas Bassem. Anyway, I think I remember it. It was something about how the imam stayed by the chef’s house because he didn’t know where to stay and the point of it was that you’re supposed to make du’a a lot. I think. You know what? Stories are for kids.

Oh! I got it! I’ll do that thing where you ask a question that’s, like, really thought provoking and rhetorical and then they wait for the answer but then I won’t answer the question until the end. I think that’s how it works.

Okay, so I’ll ask an epic question, and then go into the reminder. And then…well, you know what always annoys me? When they don’t tell you exactly what to do. Like it’s all this inspirational bit, and that’s cool, but then there’s no practical steps of what to do next. It’s like, “I’m inspired! I’m pumped! I’m ready to go out and do something!” But then I don’t know what to do. I think I’ll do some action items. Yeah, I’ll do those as my last set of points and then come back and answer the question.

I wish they gave me a topic. I have everything I need except a topic. Let’s see, what’s good to talk about to young Muslim brothers? Girls? I don’t know, that might get me in trouble. Maybe I should talk about what’s happening in the world, like the Islamic State or something, like what’s going on in the news and how we should deal with it. That might need a lot of research, though. Let’s go back to something simple.

Something simple. Simple.


But let me make it something specific—concentration in salah. Yeah, that’s good. I have notes from a seminar I took about that. I gotta find that notebook. I think it’s in my closet somewhere on the floor.

All right, so the notes pretty much only have the meanings of what you say in salah. I could go over that, but I don’t have too many notes other than the printed textbook they gave. Man, that was a long weekend. We had to sit on the floor of the masjid because they couldn’t fit enough chairs for everybody. It was rough. All right, I’m getting too technical. The importance of praying salah on time. That’ll be good.


No wait, that’s not really thought provoking, and I don’t want them to answer. I want to answer it myself at the end. Wait a minute, what was that ayah again?


That. Is. Awesome! They’re gonna be shocked when I yell that. And then they’ll wonder what the answer is and then I’m just gonna go straight into the whole thing about praying salah on time. And then I’ll finish with that ayah like, “Allah says, ‘I did not create jinn and mankind but to worship Me.’” Boom. Mic drop. InshaAllah hopefully they’ll get inspired.

This talk is kind of a huge deal. I mean seven minutes is a pretty long time for a talk. Usually after salah the imam only talks for like four or five minutes, but this is SEVEN minutes. This is gonna be epic. InshaAllah.

All right, let me start figuring out the middle part.

Oh my God, is it dark outside?

What time is it? Shoot!

Picture by Clifford Skarstedt/Peterborough Examiner/Postmedia Network

Jawaad Khan was born and raised in sunny South Florida to a family of creatives and Islamic workers. He went on to complete a film degree at the University of Miami, one year of improv classes (which he’s very proud of), and he studied Arabic and Islamic studies at various institutes in Dallas, TX, where he now resides with his wife and cat. He serves on the board and is an editor for Muslim Youth Musings. His debut collection of short stories, titled "No Old Ladies in Jannah" was published in 2023.

1 Comment

  1. This happens ALL the time while I’m working on a khutbah lol. Thanks for sharing it in a way we can easily relate to!

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