Monthly Archives: March 2012

To My Dear Beloved Child

Assalamualaikum my sweetheart, who may Allah love, guard and protect. I praise Allah for there is no god but Him. May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon Muhammad, who was sent as a mercy to all of humanity, upon his family, companions and on all those who hold fast to the deen until the Day of Judgement.

My child, I pray that you are in the pink of health and in the best of iman. As I write this, you are yet to be born. I have no clue what your name is, how old you will grow up to be and what age you will be when you finally read this. The only thing I know about you now is that I already love you so much and I am dying to meet you. If these lines could magically transform into arms, I would give you a big bear hug right now, and hold you tight. But I’m stuck in the past, and you’re stuck in the future.

I wonder sometimes, whether you will stumble upon this letter by yourself, or whether you are old enough to understand what I am penning down. If not now, then wait till you’re older and read it again. I knew that one day you would open up my old writings in this blog of mine, maybe to know what I was like back in the day. What sort of person I was before I became your dad, what used to occupy my worried mind.

If you’re curious, then know that I had dreams too. I was once young like you. I had a whole life ahead of me, just waiting for me. I wanted to be a scientist, a philosopher. I traveled, I met people, I tried out different things. I was a little foolish and naive. I have had my fair share of ups and downs in life. I have had false friends and real enemies. I still remember the time I left for New Zealand, at that time I felt like I was on top of the world. And that feeling lasted forever. But I met stumbling blocks along the way too, I learnt the true meaning of friendship, loyalty and trust.

I think about you alot lately, my dear. Am I a good father to you? Do I bathe you and put your clothes on for you? Do I feed you and read you to sleep? Do I teach you how to ride a bike? Do I braid your hair? Do I scold you too often? Do I tickle you too much? Do I hug you too little? Do I hold your hand when you cross the street? Do I pick you up when you fall? Do I kiss your paper cuts and plaster them? Do I get angry when you spill coffee on my shirt? I really want to know.

How am I to mom? Do I take good care of her? Does she pray beside me? The day she was pregnant with you was the happiest day of my life. Did you know she loves you like I do, if not more. I wonder how I managed to take care of her while you were still in her tummy, my world turned upside down and inside out. I’ve never taken care of a pregnant woman! For bearing with me, your mom is my hero. And for bearing you, she is your queen.

My child, this is my first letter addressed especially for you, and if Allah wills, there will be more to come. Dearest, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon you when you live with a proper intention and a noble purpose, and when you seek knowledge with a sound endeavor and to a dedicated cause. May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon you as you serve Islam with the finest fruits of your talents. Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.

Missing you, from the past,
Abah

Best of You

خَيْرُكُمْ مَنْ تَعَلَّمَ الْقُرْآنَ وَعَلَّمَهُ

 “The best of you is the one who learns the Qur’an and teaches it.” (Hadeeth)

“Ha mama, this is Lutfi,” he said, pointing his finger to me. “Ohh, ni lah dia Lutfi,” replied his mom, studying me up and down through her thin glasses. I felt awkward, what she was looking for in me, I didn’t know. “Ajar Hafiz agama banyak-banyak tau,” she continued, then wound up the car window, and soon after drove off with her son.

Wait a minute, pause. That’s it? What a short meeting, barely an introduction. The night was cold, I was in my pajamas and winter jacket outside my house on College St. OK, rewind.

Hafiz had told me earlier to come meet his mom that night. She might not get another chance to see me, since she would be leaving New Zealand soon. She had come to spend time with her son here and decided she wanted to see me in person. So by hook or by crook I had to make some time to see her. I humbly agreed, but was wondering what the big deal was. Was she going to give me something?

“Dah sampai. Kat luar.” read the text on my phone. I left my room and hurried outside. There was a Daihatsu, the small white rickety car they rented. In the dark, I could barely make out two figures inside the car, the one at the driver’s seat was recognizably Hafiz.

I dashed to the passenger side of the car and a woman who wore a shawl wrapped around her head appeared through the window, now wound down. She looked familiar, sort of like Kak Norzam, our masjid caretaker, in her facial features and figure.

She told me to teach her son more of the deen. I didn’t expect that, no, not from her. Not from someone who had traveled out of her way to come see me. Not from someone who was rushing to catch a plane soon. Not from someone much older and more experienced. Not from my friend’s mother.

And then she left just as unexpectedly. She left me there standing in the dark, confused, trying to make out what had just happened. A minute and it was all over. I walked slowly to my flat, passed through the front door and straight to my room. I closed the door behind me and sat down.

“What does she mean? Teach him the deen? Me? Who am I to teach? Why me? What has Hafiz been telling his mom about me? She had obviously been mistaken. I need to explain myself!”

I had been teaching Hafiz how to recite the Qur’an for some time, since he didn’t know much on how to read it. He didn’t have the privilege to attend any formal Qur’anic classes in Sweden. And as with teaching the Qur’an, I naturally had to teach him other things that went along with it like adab (manners) and some seerah (Prophetic way of life). I had also persuaded him to get involved in the MSA, and he had been the secretary for a whole academic term in Massey.

I fell to my knees and cried with my palms covering my face as I remembered our Prophet’s words, “If Allah intends good for someone, He gives him understanding of the deen.

And my thoughts were rushing back to me. I was right, she did come to give me something. She gave me an amanah (trust). That was the heaviest thing I could ever bear. And that she placed it upon me, made my spine shiver in fear, what if I was not able to uphold it?

Alhamdulillah, that was years ago, and I am now able to write about it. Hafiz has now managed to complete half his deen, he is happily married and I was able to be there and witness it first hand. I foresee a long lasting friendship between us Hafiz. And I hope I will live up to that amanah, inshaAllah.

Hafiz and Hafizah’s wedding reception. I am to his right.