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The Noble Intention of Parents

From Habib Kadhim Al-Saqqaf – Parenting in the Modern World Raising Pious Children

Translated by Shaykh Ahmed Abdo, during the Australian tour, 2017

The noble intention of mothers, fathers and grandparents has an effect on subsequent generations. That’s why we find great Imams, like Imam Bukhari, Imam Shafi’i, before they were born their parents made noble and pious intentions for their children and look what came of them. It is quite clear that good pious intentions of parents will impact upon their children.

The great Salahudeen Ayoubi, he was the one responsible for the re-opening of Jerusalem al Quds. His father was a little delayed in getting married, however he really loved the scholars and the Awliya and he used to frequently visit the scholars and pious ones. So they used to always say to him “Why don’t you get married?”, and he used to always come up with excuses trying to avoid marriage altogether. They wanted to take him to the various scholars and have explained to him why getting married is good, for you are going to get have children and get lots of rewards. And we have in a hadith that two rakats from a married man is more virtuous than 72 rakat of a man that is single. And he used to say, “I just can’t find the right match”, so the people just left him.

And so one day one of the pious men in the city came to this particular shaykh, and he said look every time someone comes to court my daughter I find that these men are just not good. So this father came with his daughter to the shaykh, in order to have the shaykh persuade the daughter to accept one of these proposals. She was from a poor family, but she was quite knowledgeable, she was quite beautiful, she was intelligent.

When she comes to the shaykh with her dad, he says to her “Why don’t you want to get married? Allah has brought different young men to wed you, however you reject them, you’re intelligent you are understanding, you are beautiful”. And she responds to this shaykh, “I don’t want to get married to any ordinary type of man, the man I want to get married to, I want him to be the father of a child that is not ordinary but is a really pious one that Allah is going to grant victory to the Muslims through.”

At this response the shaykh said, “My daughter, this is a good intention, just wait out until that right man comes who is going to be the father of your children, that will allow the victory of the Muslims. And so whilst this young lady was with her father and the shaykh, some of the men came saying that outside is Najmudeen Ayoub the father of Salahudeen, he wants to speak with you. So the shaykh said to the lady and her father, if you could just move to the side a little I’m going to have a discussion with some other people.

Some people came in with Najmudeen (who was the father of the great Salahudeen) saying that they needed some private time with him. So these other men who were with Najmudeen said to the shaykh, “This is one of our generals of the Ummah of the state, Allah has given him wealth power and control and he still doesn’t want to get married.” The shaykh said to Najmudeen “Why don’t you want to get married? Allah has given you all these things.” And so this man says, “Look shaykh, let me let you in on a secret, I can marry the greatest women of the greatest generals of the army of the Muslims, however I don’t want any ordinary girl. I want a women who understands the importance and value of marriage, I want a woman who will be the mother of a general — a leader of the Muslims. And so the man said, “Shaykh, I don’t care if this women is the daughter of some army general of the Muslims or is from a poor family, it doesn’t really matter, just a girl that understands the value of marriage and who wants to be a mother of a child that will be a general a leader of the Muslims.” The shaykh said, “Don’t you worry my son I have this lady here for you with the same intention.

And so we have here a perfect match of intentions of the man and women who want the same thing from their children and they became the mother and father of this great conqueror and general Salahudeen Ayoubi. Therefore the Muslim man and women should make noble intentions before the birth of the child for that piety, this is first, such that we can produce a generation that holds and bears good and benefit for all people and Muslims.

Notes by Ali Chaudhry ~ Parenting in the Modern World Raising Pious Children ~ Habib Kadhim As-Saqqaf ~ Australia Tour 2017

How Should I Deal With Family Members Who Have Left Islam?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam aleykum,

There are members of my family, including my father, who have apostated, openly hate Islam and make blasphemous comments. How am I supposed to treat him and the other family members, since I read that one should not have any contact to them anymore ?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us.

Family ties

Abu Ad-Dardh narrated that the Messenger of Allah said: “Nothing is placed on the Scale that is heavier than good character. Indeed the person with good character will have attained the rank of the person of fasting and prayer.” [Tirmidhi]

My advice for you is to dislike the apostasy in your family, but maintain family ties. Please make dua for your family members who have left the deen, and treat them with compassion and good character. There is still hope that they can return to Islam. Nothing is difficult for Allah.

Boundaries

While I encourage you to spend time with your family, it is important for you to still draw boundaries. Ideally, when you are all calm, politely ask them to please refrain from making such comments in front of you and your children.
If they ignore your requests and continue to make blasphemous statements, then politely excuse yourself and leave. Continue to reach out to them, and

It can be difficult to be assertive with family members, especially those who are older and extremely emotional. Bear in mind that all things can improve with time and practice. Assertiveness is a muscle that grows stronger with use.

Prayer

I encourage you to give in charity and perform the Prayer of Need. Ask Allah to continue to grant you guidance, and to guide your family members. Listen to podcasts and lesson sets to nourish you. Consider doing courses such as
Introduction to Islam: What It Means to Be Muslim to strengthen your own foundation.

I pray that Allah guides your family members back to Islam, keeps you steadfast, and draws you closer to Him.

Please see:

Reader on Patience and Reliance on Allah
Apostasy Archives

[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

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 in Malaysia and online through SeekersHub Global. She graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales, was a volunteer hospital chaplain for 5 years and has completed a Diploma of Counselling from the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors. She lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with her husband, daughter, and mother-in-law.

An Exhausted Mother’s Eid Reflections, from Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil gives thanks for the little things in life.

As I began to write this from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, my daughter sat beside me, playing with her Lego Duplo train set. Alhamdulilah, she turned two on Eid, and I am constantly reminded of the innumerable blessings and changes she has brought into my life.

On the morning of Eid, we drove to the nearby Kampung Tungku mosque to pray. I smiled at the families walking to the mosque ; young children were carried by their parents, the elderly were supported by their children, and everyone wore festive traditional clothes cut from the same bolt of cloth,

When we approached the mosque, the elderly were given the ground floor to pray, while the rest of us went up the stairs. To save time, I carried my toddler up, and got her settled in before Salatul Eid began. I sat closer to the back, next to another mother with her small children. My daughter was eager to wear her small telukong (prayer garment) after she saw me put mine on, alongside all the other women.

Right after I raised my hands in prayer, my daughter’s telukong slipped off her head. She’s still figuring out how to put it on by herself, so she repeatedly called out to me,  “Mummy, help Taskeen wear telukong.” I worried that ignoring her could lead to a tantrum, so I made dua that the imam would read one of the shorter chapters. I was reminded of this beautiful hadith:

It was narrated from ‘Abdullah bin Abi Qatadah, from his father that the Prophet (upon him be blessings and peace) said: “I stand in prayer, then I hear a child crying, so I make my prayer brief, because I do not want to cause hardship for his mother.” [Sunan An-Nasai]

This is the mercy of our Beloved Prophet (upon him be blessings and peace) who acknowledges the helplessness of a praying mother while her baby cries.

Last year, when my daughter was one, she cried and cried as I performed the Eid prayer. She was still so little then, so I broke my prayer, out of my own distress and my fear of distracting the rest of the congregation. Alhamdulilah, one year later, there was no crying, and she was able to wait until I finished two cycles of prayer. Progress! This is how I measure how far we have come: how much uninterrupted time I get in the bathroom; how many cycles I can pray before she starts calling for me, how long she can play with her toys on her own – these are the fruits of our hard, loving, real work together, as a family. My part-time jobs as a teacher and writer are my break from my full-time job as a mother.

Sadly, across the world today, we live in a time that does not value women’s work. There is no GDP or dollar sign attached to the countless tears we wipe away, the meals we lovingly prepare, and the endless diapers we change. And yet, these daily, loving acts of nurturing helps to build secure and loving human beings.

I am intimately connected now, to the brutal truth that comes with raising a child. It is relentless, everyday toil that brings both joy and pain. On good days, my toddler warms my heart with her memorable antics. On bad days, I struggle to stay calm in the face of the emotions that overwhelm her.

In the light of my all-consuming stage of motherhood, I look back wistfully to my past Ramadans of long nights of worship and Qur’anic recitation. I cannot help but compare these blessed times to the bare bones Ramadan since my baby was born. I can only pray and hope that Allah will accept the little that I do now, help me do better, and overlook my imperfections.

There has been so much tragedy this past Ramadan. I reflect on the violence perpetrated by ISIS and other extremists, and I wonder what went wrong. What broke inside these young men, to make them such vessels of violence? How can they commit these atrocities, in the name of a religion that cares deeply for the welfare of plants, animals, children, women and men? I can only pray that the light and mercy of Islam reaches their veiled hearts.

If you are an exhausted mother reading this, then trust that Allah knows every ache of your tired heart. Nothing is lost on Him – every tear you shed, every smile you bravely wear for your children, and everything you have sacrificed for them. God willing, your loving presence with your children will plant seeds of Prophetic mercy in their hearts. Your innumerable hours, days and years with them are never, ever wasted.

May these seeds we plant sprout strong, deep roots. May our children be the vanguards and sources of light and peace in a world so fractured by hatred and violence.

Resources for seekers on motherhood and parenting

How to Deal With a Verbally Abusive Father?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam alaykum,

Throughout my childhood, I witnessed my father beat my mother. I have reach the point of hitting him. I regret this so much and have asked him for forgiveness, but he continues to verbally abuse me to the point where I want to commit suicide. What do I do?

Answer: Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well.

Help

Dear questioner, please seek out professional help. You are in a lot of pain, and it sounds like you need a culturally-sensitive counselor and psychiatrist.

I am so sorry that your father hit your mother until she bled, and that you and your sister have resorted to self-harm. You have been through a tremendous about of pain.

You need to learn better ways of coping with your strong feelings. A healthy, sound mind does not contemplate suicide, and the fact that you are reveals your deep trauma. Please look into the trauma healing work of Hakim Archuletta and Peter Levine.

Father

Your father sounds extremely volatile and unwell. I pray that Allah grants him shifa.

Please keep yourself safe from his harm, but please do not cut ties with him. If you are still living in his house, then please do your best to find a better living situation. Do you have any other family members you can stay with? Find a group of good housemates you can live with.

Limit interaction with your father to a point which you can handle. Your sanity and emotional health matter to Allah. I pray that over time, you can heal, and then slowly increase your exposure to him.

Repentance

Never despair in the mercy of Allah. The door of repentance is wide open for you. I urge you to wake up in the last third of the night and perform The Prayer of Need as regularly as you can.

I pray that Allah helps you transform your trauma, heals you, and makes you a means of good in this world and the next.

Please see:

A Reader on Tawba (Repentance)
Selected Prophetic Prayers for Spiritual, Physical and Emotional Wellbeing by Chaplain Ibrahim Long
Dealing With a Dysfunctional Relationship With Parents

Wassalam,

[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

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 in Malaysia and online through SeekersHub Global. She graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales, was a volunteer hospital chaplain for 5 years and has completed a Diploma of Counselling from the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors. She lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with her husband, daughter, and mother-in-law.

Parents – Your Door to Allah’s Acceptance, by Ustadh Uthman Bally

Sometimes a door to Allah is opened in the form of a good deed, such as praying or giving charity but then the door of acceptance is still closed. Through parents, this final door can be opened. parents the door to acceptanceUstadh Uthman Bally recounts story upon wonderful story of how the relationship with our parents can have a major effect on our futures.

From a companion of the Prophet who couldn’t say the kalima on his deathbed until his mother forgave him for his harsh tongue, to the grandson of the Prophet who would never share a plate of food with her mother for fear that he would take a piece that she wanted. Then there’s the people who gave joy to others that their joy became angels that praised God until the Day of Judgement, and the man who gave away his one good deed.

“You might do a very small act, which then becomes your opening.”

We are grateful to Ha Meem Foundation for this recording

Resources for Seekers

Our Children: Nurturing the Prophet’s ﷺ Spiritual Intelligence, by Anse Tamara Gray

Anse Tamara Gray on how we should nurture the spiritual growth in our children and how we can plant the seeds of Islam in them.

Our thanks to Rabata for this recording. Anse Tamara’s photo is from Altamish + Hannan Photograpy.

 

Resources for Seekers

Muslim Convert: Was the woman wearing a scarf to hide her cancer?

Laila from Mexico started asking “insolent” questions which led her to leave the Catholic faith at the young age of 13. She went from one Christian denomination to another always finding holes instead of answers. Later, she met a Muslim woman whom she thought was suffering from cancer and hiding her bald head with a scarf.

Laila eventually converted to Islam when she was 17 years old and found patience and empathy in her new faith. Watch on to learn more about Laila’s conversion to Islam. If you have concerns or confusions that are keeping you back from converting to Islam, email Overcome TV or send a YouTube message.

Resources for Seekers

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Muslim Convert: Would My Family Be Okay With Islam?

Do you think about converting to Islam, but have obstacles that hold you back? Petra, a Muslim convert from the Czech Republic, was once in the same position and we hope that hearing from a Muslim convert inspires you to push forward in your conversion to Islam.

Before every flight…

Growing up as a Christian in a Communist country, Petra’s had little exposure to religion. But when she became a flight attendant in a Middle Eastern airline, the prayers she heard before every flight impacted her heart. Watch on to see how God guided her to Islam and helped her overcome any concerns she might have had.

If you have concerns or confusions that are keeping you back from converting to Islam, email Overcome TV or send a YouTube message.

Resources for Seekers

Why Married Couples Struggle and How to Respond Successfully

Why Married Couples Struggle and How to Respond Successfully. A Muslim Perspective from Ustadha Shireen Ahmed & Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

The closest relationship a person will ever experience in their lifetime is with their spouse. In this SeekersHub seminar, we learn how to cultivate this union to the fullest, how to overcome common hurdles, and how to maintain a high degree of moral conduct and excellent character.

For more info and FREE registration for our upcoming seminars – wherever you are in the world, visit SeekersHub Toronto.

Cover photo by Azlan DuPree.

How To Manage Problems With In-Laws – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

How To Manage Problems With In-Laws. A Muslim Perspective from Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

The closest relationship a person will ever experience in their lifetime is with their spouse. In this SeekersGuidance seminar, we learn how to cultivate this union to the fullest, how to overcome common hurdles, and how to maintain a high degree of moral conduct and excellent character.

For more info and FREE registration for our upcoming seminars – wherever you are in the world, visit SeekersGuidance Toronto.

Cover photo by Azlan DuPree.