Reconnecting With Family–Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Ustadha Raidah, now a mother of two, looks back at her Eid al-Adha, spent reconnecting with her estranged father.

Last Eid, my eldest daughter turned two. This year, she is three, and is now a proud big sister. My youngest daughter just turned 7 months. Alhamdulilah, this Eid, I am now a mother of two. I am elated. I am exhausted. I am grumpy. I am grateful.
I live with my mother-in-law, husband, and our two little girls in a green, leafy suburb in Malaysia. A few weeks ago, my mother-in-law, may Allah preserve her, reminded me to invite my father over for Eid. My initial response, as always, was mild panic. My parents divorced ten years ago after a tumultuous marriage. I didn’t want him to spend another Eid alone, but I still felt a little nervous.

Trying to Reconcile

So, I procrastinated for as long as I could, then casually asked him to spend Eid with us. And then he caught the overnight bus from Singapore to meet us in time. My eldest daughter was so excited to see her only grandfather, and my youngest gave him coy smiles from the safety of my arms. I am embarrassed I took so long to ask him, and I am so grateful for my mother-in-law’s commitment to family ties.
There was a time where I could not imagine ever reconciling with my father, but anything is possible through Allah’s Help. Falling pregnant changed everything. My husband’s father had passed away even before we got married, and so the only grandfather my unborn child would have would be my father. I wanted him to be part of my baby’s life. I decided then, with my husband’s encouragement, to give reconciliation another try. Our last attempt did not end well, but I knew we had to give it another shot.

Sharing the Joy

When I called him to share the good news, he was overjoyed. He posted me what must be the first edition of “Every Woman”, enthusiastically instructed me to consume green smoothies and walk like a duck towards the end of my pregnancy. It wasn’t all peachy, though. In my first trimester, I described to him how exhausted I felt. His WhatsApp responses were in excitable capital letters describing how my tiredness was nothing in comparison to the next two decades of child-rearing! I cried, told my husband what happened, took a break, and then resumed WhatsApp checks in with my father with only positive pregnancy updates.
Now that I am a mother, I understand how difficult it is to know that your child is hurting. Not all parents know how to self-regulate, keep calm, and validate your child’s pain – especially from the generation that came before the trend of self-care. I take the lesson from this – even though I cannot protect my daughters from pain, I can try to be there for them, as calmly and as compassionately as I can. My father did his best too, with what he knew. And so, one step forward, many steps back, rinse, repeat, and back again – this has been our dance of reconciliation since my first daughter was born over three years ago.

When he came yesterday to visit both my daughters, our Eid felt complete. My eldest daughter excitedly gave him a tour of our garden, showed him her books, and delighted him by eagerly eating durian while she sat next to him. He laughed as she licked the durian seed clean. My youngest daughter grinned at him from the playmat while she made tentative back-and-forth attempts at crawling towards him. “She is another extrovert! An alert baby,” he declared proudly.

Moving Forward

I was putting my youngest baby to sleep, and my husband sent me a photo of my eldest daughter praying behind my father. In this shot, she is wearing a mini prayer garment and looking up at him with the adoration only a grandchild can have for a grandfather. This is a balm for all of our weary hearts. It took me the birth of my daughter to find my way back to my father. Allahu Akbar.

Please make dua for my family, especially my father. Please pray that if it is khayr, that Allah reunites him with all of his estranged children, and their children, before the day he leaves this earth. And if that is not khayr, please pray that he will reunite with them in the Garden, where there is no more pain. May Allah grant us contentment with His Decree.

This Eid, may you also be blessed with beautiful reunions.

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi’i’ fiqh, Arabic, Seerah, Aqeedah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajweed. She continues to study with her Teachers through Qibla Academy and SeekersHub Global. She also graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales.

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Seeing the Bigger Picture: The Eternal Consequences of Faith–Eid Sermon by Sh. Faraz Rabbani

In this Eid reminder, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani advises us to look beyond the pain, suffering and hardship we encounter to see the true purpose and potential of our creation. Touching on key Quranic verses, he counsels us to look at the bigger picture.eid sermon

We see so much difficulty in our lives. We deal with our weaknesses, failings and challenges. One of the greatest blessings we have, is be becoming aware of others people’s suffering. This is not so we can be afraid, but so that we can do something about it. The point of hearing is not to listen, to point is to act.

The believer sees every situation as an opportunity to do good and get closer to Allah. Our approach should not be one of analysis and criticism, but one of action. After all, the purpose of every trial is to test whom will be the best in action.

What is the potential of the human being? To know one’s Lord, and to do good.

We are told in the Qur’an, “Is not Allah the Most Wise of the Wise?” This tells us that everything that Allah does is for a reason, and it is up to us to fulfil our potential as human beings.

Allah repeatedly reminds us to seek forgiveness. However, it is not a case where we ask, and He may forgive, or may not. He says, “Call upon Me, and I will surely grant you.” The forgiveness is waiting, and Paradise is waiting. Therefore, we ask Allah to help us fulfil our potential and make us from those who do good.

There is a Russian saying, “Yesterday was bad, today is awful, and tomorrow will be even worse.” However, that is not how a believer thinks. Allah has promised us Paradise, where all the pain and brokenness will be removed. We should let go of any negativity we have, and be grateful for these immense blessings.

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Eid Mubarak from Shaykh Faraz & the SeekersHub Global team

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In the Name of Allah, the Benevolent, the Merciful
May Allah make these days of true rejoicing
Dear SeekersHub Global students, supporters, and friends,
Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,
We pray this finds you in the best of health and spirits.
We pray to our Merciful Lord that your Eid is safe and with joy with each other, as you remember in your prayers so many others who are in distressful wars and poverty around the world. Please make your blessing of joy to resolve to help and serve others who are suffering.
The teachers, managers, and SeekersGuidance team would like to wish you Eid Mubarak. We ask Allah Most High to make these days of rejoicing in the blessings of Allah, worldly and spiritual, and days of returning to Allah through recognition of these blessings.
May this be a true Eid for us, insha’Allah. The Early Muslims (salaf) would say: “True Eid isn’t for those rely wearing new clothes. Rather, true Eid belongs to those whose obedience increases.”
The root meaning of Eid is, “That which returns, time and again; and rejoicing.”
The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said, “They are days of eating, drinking, and remembrance of God.” [Bukhari]
Making Eid a True Rejoicing & Return
Make these days of rejoicing and reconnecting with family and friends.
Repair strained relationships.
Visit and contact friends and family whom you have fallen out of touch with.
Do this as a spiritual action, seeking the pleasure of Allah, for the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) mentioned that from the best of faith is mending relations.
And make these days of rejoicing and reconnecting with Allah Most High.
Turn to Him in thankfulness.
Turn to Him in love.
Turn to Him with a sense of awe and awareness of both His Beauty and Majesty.
Look at where you are in your relationship with Allah, and do three things:
[1] resolve to leave those specific actions you do that are most odious to Allah–of the forbidden actions;
[2] resolve to begin doing (or becoming more consistent in) those actions that you are most remiss in–of the obligatory actions; and
[3] make a general repentance from all that is displeasing to Allah, and make a general commitment to turn to Allah in life, and to seek His pleasure through making good your submitting to Him, in accordance with the radiant, life-giving example of His Beloved Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him).
And Allah alone gives success.
Faraz Rabbani
on behalf of the teachers, managers, and team at SeekersHub Global
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