I had been Muslim no more than a few weeks when I remember going into the masjid one weekday and seeing this little baby boy, let’s call him Abdullah, waddle around and exploring by putting everything into his mouth like a 1 year old does. I recall how wonderful it must me to have a child growing up in Islam and I asked Allah to bless me with a son or daughter to raise up in this new deen I just accepted.
My wife and I had become friends with his parents, who we’ll call Ismaa’eel and Aaliyah, and found that we shared a similar background. They were both raised Christian and they both suffered ridicule for accepting Islam. I adored their little son because I saw this as a new beginning for the future for his family and later I found that my wife was pregnant with our soon to be first child.
The masjid we attended conducted classes on Sunday and a few nights during the week and being eager to learn our new deen, we attended a couple of times a week. At the beginning of our journey Ismaa’eel and I discussed how we want to raise our families and change so much so that our children wouldn’t suffer from the same ills we were brought up in like the alcoholism, domestic abuse, illegal drug use, fornication and adultery, and savage lifestyle that was considered part of the norm of society. We talked about our kids being righteous, learning the Quran, and being strong enough to stay away from the ever present temptations all around. We didn’t know how to do it, but we committed to find a way.
Ismaa’eel and I both got jobs working together as we were raising our budding families. We would enjoy iftaars at each other’s homes, practice kung fu together, memorize Quran, and spend lots of time with each other and other Muslim families. As time passed and our children entered school and we had more children, we didn’t spend as much time together and we both left the job we had in order to pursue other more profitable opportunities. Our children were enrolled in the local Muslim school and they were both excelling and we’d see each other at Jumuah prayer and at ‘Eid celebrations and sometimes an aqeeqah or two.
Ismaa’eel started a service business which was more successful than the job he worked and he supervised employees and for all intents and purposes was the boss. One year I noticed that his wife Aaliyah, son Abdullah, and his daughters were at the ‘Eid prayer attending the celebration but he wasn’t there because he was at work. I called him and asked why he wasn’t there and he told me he had a bunch of things to do. Our relationship was very close so I told him that I think that missing the ‘eid for work when he was the boss was a mistake and he should be around because if for nothing else, his children need to see him present at events like this as they build early childhood memories and we all celebrate the ‘eid, especially his son who is older now. Unfortunately Ismaa’eel brushed it off and said he was of the opinion that the ‘eid wasn’t fard/waajib and he had to take care of his business.
I was concerned about my brother and visited his place of business and noticed that Ismaa’eel had an earring and a new motorcycle. As we talked and I purchased his services I noticed that his language changed and sounded more like the street days of jahiliyyah. There were less alHamdulillahs and in sha Allah’s that are usually part of the Muslim who practices Islam vocabulary. I asked him what’s up with the earring and he replied that it was initially a masculine thing from history, I disagreed with him on that and reminded him where we came from and where we said we were going. When I was younger I had 3 earrings in my left ear and if you look closely you can still see the holes, but they didn’t represent anything noble and he knew this. I asked him what his son thought about it and he told me that he told his son that earrings were okay. Now this isn’t about a hukm (Islamic ruling) related to earrings at all so I won’t digress but it was about a way of thinking that had obviously changed.
Stay tuned for part 2
Don't be AVERAGE, that is simply the TOP of the BOTTOM and the BOTTOM of the TOP!
Remember a WISH changes NOTHING but a DECISION changes EVERYTHING!
Nazir binNaseeb Al-Mujaahid
Author and Parenting Coach
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