I have a bayan at Glasgow today. My first there. There is this weight I feel on my chest. As I settle down in the flight, I fasten the seat belt and close my eyes. Life has brought me so far today.
Our’s was a typical Asian household. My mother was very pious and by the will of Allah, I think she worked very hard to teach me about my deen in the early years. Dad was a scientist. He always called himself “a moderate muslim”. I don’t really remember when I was so drawn towards Islam. People ask me that what made me chose to work as a dayee (preacher), what made me give up the comforts and travel so far, study for so many years and merely become a maulana?
I still get confused with my answer because I really do not understand why I should choose these wordly comforts knowing that Allah (subhanah wa ta’ala) has made Jannah for us to live in eternally! I am yet to understand what was so strange about the choice I made? Alhamdulillah, I am grateful that Allah chose me to be His servant and all I ever ask for is to die as a true servant.
The day I told my father that I wish to study fiqh, he was horrified. I was their son, he said. How would they get my sister married, he asked. All I had to say was why would they want my sister to marry someone who has a problem with studying fiqh? Why would we marry her in a way that was against theSunnah?
The words were ignored. It was assumed that I was too young to take such decisions at 13. They thought it was a phase and am having my whims. However, as time passed my love for Allah subhanah wa ta’ala only increased. My eagerness to meet Allah’s messenger (salallahu alayhi wasallam) grew. The more I read about him, the more I found myself in love with him.
I did not wish to become a scientist or engineer. I wished to become an aalim. At 17, I told him again. I was tagged as an extremist. Relatives started pouring in, explaining how difficult life was, how we need money to survive. I was made to understand that there is a lifestyle I was used to and Allah understands. That Allah subhanah wa ta’ala does not want me to take extreme steps.
“And lower unto them the wing of submission & humility through mercy and say: ‘My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was young.”[Qur’an 24:17]
Things got worse when my grades slipped. From an ‘A+’ student,studentto I came down to B. Finally, one day he caught me taking online Islamic courses. My card statements reflected payments to Islamic Universities and a thorough check of my desktop revealed much more. I was ashamed but more than that I was scared. My father though enraged, got my name enrolled in a residential madressah. I don’t know whether I was happy or sad. I was finally getting to study and be what I wanted to but the cost was heavy. My parents seemed unconvinced.
The day I left my home, nobody came to see me off. Things changed. My father and I barely spoke well. My experiences did not interest anyone. Alhamdulillah, it was still my duty to serve them and obey. I did it then and I still do it today. With a smile I try to put forth my best behavior. My sister also got married to a very noble man! SubhanAllah.
I won’t say that my course was over, because I still am and will forever remain a student learning mydeen, but soon after that I was assisting many scholars. I attended bayans, helped some in delivering anwers to fundamental questions and soon I was delivering khutbas and bayans in some masjids.
I feel happy to have submitted my life to Allah but that slight displeasure on my father’s face still gives me sleepless nights, it is still a cause of my tears insujood. Even today I search for one glance of happiness on his face, a forehead eased off the frown caused by me. Will that day ever come when my father will not regret over my choices? All I can do is make duaa.
“…And We have enjoined on man to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness & hardship upon weakness & hardship, and his weaning is in two years – give thanks to Me and to your parents. Unto Me is the final destination.” [Qur’an 31:14]
I will be going to meet them after the convention In Shaa Allah. I had sent an invite to this convention too, as before but I never saw them there. Indeed it is difficult to travel afar in oldage.
After we reach, we freshen up quickly and move towards the destination. Alhamdulillah there is a lot of crowd today. I thank Allah for again giving me a day to serve to please Him. I ask Him to guide me to the right path as I speak. As I stand against the mike, my eyes glance through the crowd searching for my father. Sigh. I lower my eyes in disappointment, make dua and speak to my brothers and sisters present there. Masha’allah, yet again I am with the finest ones amongst ummah- those striving for knowledge.
I am pleased and filled with gratitude in the end. My heart is immensely satiated after this interaction. I was speaking to a revert brother, when suddenly I felt a shaky hand on my shoulder. Before I even turned, I knew by the fragile touch that it was of someone very old.
-” I am so proud of you son.”, my father had tears as he said this.
Yes, it was my father. For a few moments I stood there merely staring at his face. Withered, old and glowing with noor . A warm smile gave way to fine wrinkles around his eyes. I saw the twinkle I have been awaiting for 20 odd years, I saw the smile and his words were dew drops in my ears.
He was right there- sitting all through the session. Behind him was my mother. There, in front of everyone my father hugged me. I was once again the 13 year old, seeking one approving glance of his father. The boy who awaited one pat of pride on his back. My father was happy with me. I don’t know what everyone around thought of me as I sobbed hugging my father. It was a moment where my duas were accepted.
That day for the first time we were laughing and chatting as a happy family. Everyone was interested in what I learnt, what I did and my experiences. Even though with meagre resources, that day we truly were content. Indeed, Allah alone is the controller of hearts. It was a long wait but hasn’t Allah given us the solution even before putting us in hardships? sabrand prayer my brothers.. sabr and prayer.
“How strange is the matter of a believer, there is good in all his affairs, and this is only for the believer. If something good happens to him and he is grateful, then this is good for him, and if a calamity befalls him and he is patient, then this is also good for him.” (Muslim, 27)
#a fictional tale