“He of the High Desire”

The road shall go with me...

The road shall go with me…

By Maryam Sakeenah

“I will go where no road goes, and the road shall go with me.”

When I first came across this verse by Joscelyn Ortt, it occurred to me how remarkably it fitted in with the story of Ibrahim’s (as) struggle to surrender. Courageously, honest to the innate truth within the self, he sought out the truest ‘God’ – beginning with the negation of false pagan godhood, he ultimately found Allah (swt). It is fascinating to read the account of his search for the truth:

“When he (Ibrahim) saw the sun rising up, he said: ‘This is my lord. This is greater.’ But when it set, he said: ‘…Verily, I have turned my face towards Him Who has created the heavens and the earth Hanifa, and I am not of Al-Mushrikun…’ And that (faith) was Our Proof which We gave Ibrahim against his people. We raise whom We will in degrees. Certainly, Your Lord is All-Wise, All-Knowing.” (Al-Anam 6:78-83)

Ibrahim (as) brings together in his person honesty and courage to proclaim it loud and clear. He attained the truth through his lone, relentless struggle and rejected once and for all whatever impeded the way to his Lord. He fearlessly showed that truth to the world with all his passion. The Quran quotes Ibrahim (as), while addressing those who rejected the truth:

“Who has created me, and it is He Who guides me; and it is He Who feeds me and gives me to drink. And when I am ill, it is He Who cures me; and Who will cause me to die, and then will bring me to life (again); and Who, I hope will forgive my faults on the Day of Recompense.” (Ash-Shuara 26:78-82)

Taking the road less travelled demands strength, persistence and honesty. Only the Hanif (uni-focal) can triumphantly go through the trials it involves and ascend to a higher realm of the contented self (Nafs-e-Mutmainna). Ibrahim’s u struggle was a struggle to win Islam (peace through submission). This struggle began with the negation of false gods (La Ilaha) and led the soul on to a recognition and acceptance of the only truth that brought with it the peace of Ill Allah.

“When his Lord said to him: ‘Submit (i.e. be a Muslim!)’ He said: “I have submitted myself (as a Muslim) to the Lord of ‘Alamin (mankind, Jinns and all that exists).” (Al-Baqarah 2:131)

Having internalized this faith and lived it out with his person, Ibrahim (as) becomes the embodiment of Tauhid.

“Verily, Ibrahim was an Ummah’ (a leader having all the good righteous qualities) or a nation, obedient to Allah, Hanifa (i.e. to worship none but Allah), and he was not among those who were Al-Mushrikun (polytheists, idolaters, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah, and those who joined partners with Allah). (He was) thankful for His (Allah’s) Graces. He (Allah) chose him (as an intimate friend) and guided him to the Straight Path (Islamic Monotheism, neither Judaism nor Christianity).” (An-Nahl 16:120-121)

For when the sweetness of Iman is tasted, nothing else satisfies, nothing else fulfills. Ibrahim (as) was possessed by this single idea, which gave meaning to his life and which enlightened, elevated, enriched and purified. Ibrahim’s u faith in and love for Allah (swt) rings through his beautiful prayers:

“My Lord! Bestow Hukman (religious knowledge, right judgement of the affairs and Prophethood) on me and join me with the righteous; and grant me an honourable mention in the later generations; and make me one of the inheritors of the Paradise of Delight.” (Ash-Shuara 26:83-85)

The achievement of the contented self brings out the soul in all the richness, beauty and grandeur that human nature is capable of, till the exclusive title Ahsan-i-Taqweem (the best of all creation) is earned and Allah (swt) Himself bears testimony of it:

“Salamun (peace) be upon Ibrahim (Abraham)! Thus indeed do We reward the Muhsinun (good-doers). Verily, he was one of Our believing slaves.” (As-Saffaat 37:109-111)

The faith of the contented self expresses itself in ways larger than life, much greater than what is humanly understandable. The patience of Ibrahim (as) in the trials he went through and his exemplary sacrifices were such an expression of the faith of the contented self, the intensity of which transcends the limitations of historical time. Ibrahim’s u faith broke free from the tethers that bind man to the pettiness of the minimal self (Nafs-e-Ammara) – from base desires and egoistic impulses.

Allah (swt) reciprocates, blesses and preserves the glorious deeds of His righteous slaves. Hence, Ibrahim (as), having triumphed over all of life’s trials, received the boundless love of His Lord. The mention of Ibrahim (as) in the Quran resonates with love of the Speaker, the Lord of Ibrahim (as).

“And who can be better in religion than one who submits his face (himself) to Allah (i.e. follows Allah’s Religion of Islamic Monotheism); and he is a Muhsin (a good-doer). And follows the religion of Ibrahim (Abraham) Hanifa (Islamic Monotheism – to worship none but Allah Alone). And Allah did take Ibrahim (Abraham) as a Khalil (an intimate friend).” (An-Nisa 4:125)

“Verily, Ibrahim (Abraham) was, without doubt, forbearing, used to invoke Allah with humility and was repentant (to Allah all the time, again and again).” (Hud 11:75)

Ibrahim (as) was blessed with leadership, honour and respect. He is revered as the patriarch of the Jewish, Christian and Muslim people, from whom all monotheistic faiths spring forth. And yet, the position of Ibrahim (as) in Islam is unique. The pristine Tauheed of Islam, which accepts no resemblance of Shirk in any manifestation, is the continuation of the mission of Ibrahim (as). Allah (swt) insists in the Quran to follow the religion of Ibrahim, the pure monotheistic tradition:

“… it is the religion of your father Ibrahim (Abraham) (Islamic Monotheism).” (Al-Hajj 22:78)

Even before Islam, the Arabs were conscious and proud of their Abrahamic ancestry. Despite the corruption of polytheism and many rampant social ills, the concept of the one God of Ibrahim (as) was part of Arab tradition in one form or another. Islam purified, reinstated and revived that Abrahamic faith with its simple declaration of La ilaha il Allah (no god but Allah) and, hence, has a legitimate claim of being a consummation of the Abrahamic mission.

It will not be an overstatement to say that the ritual of Hajj is in many ways a commemoration of the extraordinary life and struggle of Ibrahim (as) and his family. It celebrates the edifying legacy of Ibrahim (as), who had prayed:

“Our Lord! Make us submissive unto You and of our offspring a nation submissive unto You … send amongst them a Messenger of their own (and indeed Allah answered their invocation by sending Muhammad e, who shall recite unto them Your verses and instruct them in the Book (this Quran) and Al-Hikmah (full knowledge of the Islamic laws and jurisprudence or wisdom of Prophethood, etc.) and sanctify them.” (Al-Baqarah 2:128-129)

The rituals of Hajj immortalize Ibrahim’s u faith and privilege the believers to take of the immensity of that boundless treasure. The Kabah itself speaks of Ibrahim’s u faith and his belief in the oneness of God.

M. Asad writes: “Never had I felt so strongly as now, before the Kabah, that the hand of the builder (Ibrahim) had come so close to his religious conception. In the utter simplicity of a cube, in the complete renunciation of all beauty of line and form, spoke this thought: ‘Whatever beauty man may be able to create with his hands, it will be only conceit to deem it worthy of God; therefore, the simplest that man can conceive is the greatest that he can do to express the glory of God.’… Here, in the Kabah, even the size spoke of human renunciation and self-surrender; the proud modesty of this structure had no compare in the world.”

Each time the pilgrim performs a ritual, he experiences again for a blessed moment that edifying legacy and revives within him again – in a minuscule proportion – that spirit. When he prays at the Maqam-e-Ibrahim, he as a monotheist reaffirms his association with Ibrahim (as), the Haneef, and realizes how the passionate faith of “those of the high desire” is immortalized by the Immortal, how the footsteps in the sands of time remain, leading, guiding, enlightening and blessing – always showing the way, the Sirat-al-Mustaqeem; going where no road goes, taking the road with them.

Community Matters


The basic question to ask yourself at this very point in time is: “What legacy do you want to leave behind? Consider the lives of the prophets, who brought significant change in their respective societies. Prophet Muhammad (sa) led the Ummah to success. Caliphs like Umar (rta) and scholars like Imam Ash-Shafi left their mark on this world. The question is: “What have you done? Besides personal achievements, what are your imprints in the society in which you live? What are you doing to bring about positive social change?”

Let’s talk a bit about change. As a member of the Muslim Ummah, bringing about positive change is a part of our mission. Anything that does not grow is considered to be dead, for example, a chair or a desk. On the other hand, even a small plant grows, because it is alive. Allah (swt) has designated us as the best Ummah, but being the best comes with a responsibility mentioned in the following verse:

“You [true believers in Islamic Monotheism, and real followers of Prophet Muhammad and his Sunnah (legal ways, etc.)] are the best of people ever raised up for mankind; you enjoin Al-Maruf (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam has ordained) and forbid Al-Munkar (polytheism, disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden), and you believe in Allah…” (Ale-Imran 3:110)

Consider the above verse. We are instructed to enjoin good and forbid evil, and this command has been mentioned before the one to “believe in Allah (swt)”. Why? It is because belief in Allah (swt) is not a unique quality of Muslims. A majority believes in God at some level. The Muslim Ummah differs in the sense that it believes in Allah (swt) and it is also concerned about others. A Mumin needs to consider not just one’s individual good deeds like praying and fasting; one needs to take into account one’s contribution towards the betterment of the Ummah. And the most effective way of contributing positively to the Ummah is to enjoin good and forbid evil. First, let’s find out how the prophets did it, and then look at what we can do today.

How did the prophets do it?

  • Story of Prophet Yusuf (as)

Prophet Yusuf (as) was a victim of his brothers’ evil plotting, when he was a young boy. We all know how he was thrown into a well, rescued by a caravan and sold as a slave in Egypt. We recall how he was placed in jail. We’ve read this story many times. Now, consider what happens when the king’s messenger comes to fetch him out of prison. What did he say to him? The Quran mentions:

“And the king said: ‘Bring him to me.’ But when the messenger came to him, [Yusuf (Joseph)] said: ‘Return to your lord and ask him, ‘What happened to the women who cut their hands? Surely, my Lord (Allah) is Well-Aware of their plot.’’” (Yusuf 12:50)

Prophet Yusuf (as) first asked about the women, who had wronged him. He cleared his name at the first opportunity he got. Thereafter, he asked to be made the state treasurer or finance minister.

“…Then, when he spoke to him, he said: ‘Verily, this day, you are with us high in rank and fully trusted.’ [Yusuf (Joseph)] said: ‘Set me over the storehouses of the land; I will indeed guard them with full knowledge’ (as a minister of finance in Egypt, in place of Al-Aziz who was dead at that time).” (Yusuf 12:54-55)

Once he was given this position, he created a system, whereby the country stocked up on good harvest for seven years and then, when they were hit by a drought for the next seven, people from other countries came to them for rations. The system created by Prophet Yusuf (as) is a good example of civic engagement. Now, ask yourself: how active are you in your community?

  • Story of Prophet Musa (as)

Prophet Musa (as) was a strong leader, who dared to ask Allah (swt) that he wanted to see Him. He brought a major change to Bani Israel, using two of his major strengths: powerful connections (he had grown up in the house of the Pharaoh) and physical strength. If Allah (swt) has blessed you with some positive quality, like intelligence or high IQ, consider it to be an Amanah from Allah (swt) and use it wisely.

  • Story of Prophet Ibrahim (as)

Prophet Ibrahim (as) questioned the age-old traditions of his family and community. He refused to accept them without any rationale. Unfortunately, Muslims today do the exact opposite. They follow their traditions and customs blindly, without thinking. Prophet Ibrahim (as) was very vocal about his beliefs. He recognized Allah (swt) and invited people to the best religion. Later, he broke their idols and was thrown into the fire by his own people. When Jibreel (as) came to ask him if there was anything he could do for him, Ibrahim (as) replied that he needed everything from Allah (swt) only. It was Ibrahim’s (as) faith that caused the laws of physics to change. Allah (swt) commanded the fire to cool down and protect Ibrahim (as). Subhan’Allah! What makes us think today that Allah (swt) will not protect us? Insha’Allah, He will, as long as He is on our side.

What can we do?                    

Positive change was the aim and message of every prophet. It is a fact that people are afraid of change. They are scared of others judging them, hurting them or taking advantage of them, if they try to do anything that is different. Yet the prophets worked around this challenge and invited people to Islam.

Today, when we get together as a community, we usually focus on the negative practices of others. We remain engrossed in the wrongs that others are doing. We never talk about the positive factors or how we can change the negative into the positive.

Here are some initial steps we can take to transform this trend:

  1. Take an initiative. Don’t remain passive; don’t feel you ‘cannot do anything’. Focus on ideas to serve your community.
  2. Think of micro problems around you that you can solve. For now, don’t dwell on macro problems, resolving which is not within your capacity.
  3. Remember you cannot force change. Guidance comes from Allah (swt), and if you coerce people, they will reject change.
  4. Be a role model. Start your day with Fajr Salah and the Sunnah supplications of the morning. Eat and drink the Sunnah way.
  5. Your children are tomorrow’s generation. Rise up to parenting challenges and raise them to be productive members of the community.
  6. Be careful about places that the community uses. Stop looking for shortcuts. In the Masajid, we see shoes scattered everywhere, while the racks for shoes are empty. Many people are careless about using public washrooms. This only reflects our way of thinking.
  7. Apply the principle of Al-Hubb or loving one another. The Prophet (sa) explicitly mentioned that those, who are not merciful to the poor, are not one of us. True believers are those, who love for others what they love for themselves. We can’t sit and watch our Muslim brothers and sisters suffer all over the Ummah. Supplicate for them. Help financially, if you can.
  8. Never put down a brother or sister in Islam. Don’t think of anyone as beneath you.
  9. Exchange gifts. Do this with a sincere intention. Don’t consider it to be a social obligation.

Today, the Muslim community faces many diverse issues. Work on developing micro solutions to solve the problems. May Allah (swt) enable us to reach our end with Khayr. Ameen.

Adapted from a lectureshop organized by “LiveDeen”. Transcribed for Hiba by Umm Ibrahim.


Lessons from the Life of Hajar (as)


Allah (swt) chose Hajar or Hajirah (her name comes as Hagar in the Bible) – wife of Ibrahim (as) and mother of Ismail (as) – to be remembered for all times to come. Her “Sunnah” is an integral part of an obligatory pillar of Islam – the Hajj. Why? Because, she was who she was: wife of Ibrahim (as) and mum of Ismail (as)?

No. She was chosen because of her faith and her complete trust in Allah (swt).

The top five lessons we can learn from this incredible lady’s example are:

  1. Tawakkul in Allah (swt) – complete trust in Allah (swt)

Tawakkul doesn’t come better than this.

Forget what trials you may have passed through (or are going through right now) and think of being abandoned by your husband, father of your baby, while you’re still breastfeeding. He leaves you with your child in the scorching heat of an uninhabited part of the desert, with you looking on while he walks away silently.

Part of Hajar probably wanted to run after him, grab onto him and beg him not to leave them there. But when he nods that this is from Allah (swt) what does she say? “If Allah has asked you to leave us here, then He will not abandon us.”

A majority of us acknowledge at an intellectual level that, yes, God is there. But do we know that we can trust Him? Do we realize that He will catch us when we fall?

Allah (swt) says: “Whoever puts his trust in Allah; He will be enough for him.” (At-Talaq 65:3)

Hajar (as) has given us the explanation of this verse.

  1. Deep faith in Allah (swt)

This kind of trust can only rise from a deep-rooted faith in Allah (swt). We need to examine our Aqeedah (faith) and ask ourselves: Who is it that we think we believe in? What is our concept of Allah (swt)? Do we believe in a ‘Creator God’ only, Who doesn’t have much to do with our day-to-day living?

Faith in Allah (swt) means believing firmly in His existence, His Lordship and Divinity, and in His names and attributes. We must not take our Aqeedah lightly, as it is the foundation of all our actions. We must believe in Allah (swt) the way He wants us to believe and the way Rasoolullah (sa) believed, without following self-created whimsical ideas. Deviation in faith is the root of such serious problems as Kufr, Shirk (attributing partners to Allah) and Nifaq (hypocrisy).

We must also remember that faith is not merely a lip service: I say ‘La ilaha Illa Allah’, and that is it? Faith not confirmed by actions is hollow – it is like a car with no fuel, which won’t get you anywhere!

  1. Trust Allah (swt) but tie your camel

Did Hajar just sit and cry and pray to Allah (swt) for miraculous sustenance? No, she didn’t. Rather, she ran back and forth with whatever energy was left in her body, still continuing to breastfeed her baby intermittently, searching for civilization with hope and belief in Allah (swt) and His mercy.

This is very important to understand because we often think that reliance on Allah (swt) means doing nothing. Sahl ibn Abdullah Al-Tustari has said: “Tawakkul upon Allah (swt) was the state of the Prophet (sa) – how he was – and taking the means was his Sunnah – was his way in life.”

Reliance upon Allah (swt) is how you have to be, and taking the means is what you have to do.

One day, Rasoolullah (sa) noticed a Bedouin leaving his camel without tying it. He asked the Bedouin: “Why don’t you tie down your camel?” The Bedouin answered: “I put my trust in Allah.” The Prophet (sa) then said: “Tie your camel first, then put your trust in Allah.” (At-Tirmidhi)

  1. Patience during times of trials

We see Hajar being patient not only about Allah’s (swt) decree of being left with a suckling baby in a desolate wilderness – we see her patience also towards her husband. He does not give her any explanation; he does not utter even a single word – but she is not losing her cool or going ballistic. Subhan’Allah, amazing patience!

We don’t know if Ibrahim (as) returned to Hajar to continue spousal relations with her; however, he did later return to visit their son and to complete his duty to Allah (swt) as a prophet and a messenger.

Patience is the key to Tawakkul. According to scholars, patience is a core virtue of a believer. We need to understand what it really means. A simple definition given by scholars is: to hold ourselves firm in what we are supposed to do and hold ourselves firm in staying away from what we are supposed to leave.

Patience has many aspects to it and is sometimes given different names, depending on what it relates to: for example, if related to trials, it is referred to as Sabr; if related to steadfastness in danger, it is called courage; if related to remaining resolute on proper conduct when others provoke you, it is called Hilm (forbearance); if related to acting in a good manner when you could be firm or hard with someone, it is called clemency.

We have to bear each trial with patience, and the more tests we pass, the greater patience we would need for the upcoming tests. No difficulty will last forever, and no two tests will be the same.

  5. There is Khayr (good) in every trial for a believer

Rasoolullah (sa) has said: “How amazing is the affair of the believer. There is good for him in everything, and that is for no one but the believer. If good times come his way, he expresses gratitude to Allah, and that is good for him, and if hardship comes his way, he endures it patiently, and that is better for him.” (Muslim)

Let’s reflect upon the moment when Hajar was running between the two hills.

Her heart must have been broken; she must have been crying due to the pain of seeing her son dying in front of her eyes. She was a believing and a righteous woman, and Allah (swt) was testing her; He was hiding from her something of the future. Imagine Hajar is resurrected and gets the chance to see what Muslims from all over the world are doing today at the time of Hajj.

Rasoolullah (sa), while talking of Hajar going up and down Safa and Marwa, said: “And that is why we go between Safa and Marwa.” So we are following the footsteps of Hajar.

If Hajar knew that a time will come, when people would come in millions from all corners of the world to follow her footsteps, she would have gone through this, between Safa and Marwa, with a big smile on her face. This is a gift from Allah (swt) for Hajar in this world. We cannot even imagine what He has saved for her in the Hereafter!

This is a lesson for us, too. As believers, when we go through some trials and tribulations, let’s remember that Hajar went through the same. Allah (swt) provided her with something better; something Allah (swt) was hiding from her. Let’s have patience and be successful in such trials and tribulations.

When you feel deserted and alone with no one to talk to, there is Allah (swt) and there is the story of Hajar to remember for taking you through those bleak moments. Hajar – the woman of complete faith in Allah (swt) and His mercy. Hajar – a great reminder.

Allah (swt) says: “And He provides for him from (sources) he never could imagine. And if any one puts his trust in Allah, sufficient is (Allah) for him. For Allah will surely accomplish his purpose: verily, for all things has Allah appointed a due proportion.” (At-Talaq 65:3)

How the Righteous Taught their Children

July 11- Righteous children

By Maryam Sakeenah

In Surah Maryam, we are told of Prophet Zakariya’s (as) invocation to Allah (swt) for someone to inherit his prophetic legacy. His prayer was stimulated by his desire to see his mission continue after him and to pass on to the future, the treasure of wisdom, knowledge and faith he had acquired over the years. Allah (swt) blessed him with a righteous, noble son to inherit his legacy and to make it live beyond human mortality. It highlights the importance and role of parenthood as a means to reach out to the future and make the best in you live beyond your limited span of life.

The family lives of prophets give us important insights into their roles as parents. The manifestation of Luqman’s wisdom that Allah (swt) chooses to record in the Quran is what he taught his son. These words of advice are perhaps the best example today for Muslim parents.

The primary thrust of Luqman’s teaching is on belief in the Creator. His words are warning against associating with Allah (swt) anything of the creation. The tone, however, is not overassertive but explanatory, describing Shirk as the ‘greatest injustice’ against the Lord of the universe. Parents must teach their children the rights of Allah (swt) along with His attributes of absolute uniqueness and incomparability, so as to build in the consciousness of their children, recognition of Allah (swt) from their earliest years. It teaches complete reliance on Him for all needs and roots out all likelihood of Shirk.

The centrality of Tawheed in teaching the young recurs yet again in the words Ibrahim (as) and Yaqoob (as) say to their sons. Allah (swt) quotes them as saying: “‘O my sons! Allah has chosen for you the true religion, therefore die not save as men who have surrendered (unto Him)’… Yaqoob said to his sons: ‘What will you worship after me?’ They said: ‘We shall worship your God, God of your fathers, Abraham and Ishaq, One God and unto Him we have surrendered.’” (Al-Baqarah 2:132-133) Also, in this instance, the strong concern to ensure that their inheritors are saved from misguidance is very noticeable. It emphasizes that fear of Allah’s (swt) displeasure is the most powerful restraint against sin. As parents, it is our prime responsibility to plant in our children from their earliest years this seed of Taqwa (God-consciousness), motivate them to do good and restrain them from evil. Yaqoob (as) stresses the importance of staying forever in a state of submission to God by instructing his children to hold fast to faith and “die not, except as Muslims”.

Just as the Quran often instructs believers to obey parents right after the command to obey Allah (swt), Luqman teaches his son the importance of kindness to parents. He adds that the command of God is of the highest importance – if an order by parents violates this, they are not to be obeyed. However, in this case, children should not abandon kindness and gentleness in dealing with their parents. It is this unconditional attitude of respect towards parents that keeps filial ties intact and vital and, hence, protects the moral fabric of the society by giving every individual a personal source of authority and guidance to fall back on and seek recourse to.

After sowing in the heart the seed of faith, Luqman teaches his son to worship Allah (swt) with the heart and soul, fulfilling all the rites of His worship perfectly, for prayer is the best expression of submission to Him. He also prepares his son for the hardships that come in the way of the struggle to establish virtue and eliminate vice, advising him to stay steadfast, to persevere and to trust in Allah (swt): “… bear with patience whatever befalls you.” (Luqman 31:17)

Next, Luqman takes up character-building, which is closely connected to faith in God. Faith in the heart is the fountainhead of humility and gentleness in dealing with others; the source that impels one on the path of righteousness and good conduct. He teaches moderation, gentleness, etiquette and mannerism and warns against the hateful sin of pride, which does not befit man. What strikes one about Luqman’s advice to his son is not just the comprehensive nature and content of his teaching but also how it is ordered, linked and prioritized. As parents, we must likewise prioritize what we teach our children, keeping central to all teaching faith in Allah (swt).

Prophet Muhammad (sa) taught and trained his cousin Ali (rta) as his own son, and it was under his guidance that Ali (rta) grew into a living treasury of immense knowledge. Fatima (rta), his youngest daughter, brought up under his love and protection, became a woman of extraordinary perseverance and patience. What must be taken note of is how her blessed father insisted that her relationship with him could not guarantee salvation; it could not be taken advantage of, and that individual effort and personal sacrifice had to be made to gain Allah’s (swt) love and find a place among the righteous. When Fatima (rta) came to her father to request for a slave-girl to help with household chores, the Prophet (sa) instead taught her words of remembrance of Allah (swt) to give her ease. What is obvious here is fatherly wisdom to make his children go through toil and labour and achieve a higher station of faith by facing all the rigours of life and learning to rely on Allah (swt) alone. We also see how the Prophet (sa) rejects for his children all privilege that came with his spiritual and worldly position.

Anas Ibn Malik (rta) reminisces, how in his years of service to the Prophet (sa), he was never reprimanded even slightly for his mistakes, and was always gently instructed and taught by example. He mentions his mildness of nature and readiness to forgive and overlook faults; such traits make one learn and grow, without any feeling of being ordered and instructed. It creates in the learner a fondness for the teacher that makes obedience and learning a continuous pleasure.

Ibn Abbas (rta), who was also honoured by being taught by the Prophet (sa) and grew up to become one of the greatest scholars of Islam, reminisces: “I was riding behind the Prophet (sa) one day, when he said to me: ‘O son, I am going to teach you some advice: Observe Allah (swt), He guards you. Observe Allah (swt), you will find Him ahead of you. When you ask, ask Allah (swt). And when you seek help, seek the help of Allah (swt). And be certain that were the whole nation to collaborate to benefit you, they would never benefit you, except in a thing, which Allah (swt) has already foreordained for you, and if they were to collaborate to harm you, they would never harm you, except in a thing which Allah (swt) has already foreordained against you. The pens are lifted and the sheets have become dry…’” (At-Tirmidhi) The child is being taught complete trust in Allah (swt) and submission to His decree, a belief which makes one courageous, steadfast, patient and full of hope.

Parenting is a sacred duty we owe to the future. A righteous child is our gift to the future of the Ummah. In order to instill in our children the values that can make them a means of Sadaqa-e-Jariya for us in our afterlife, we must follow the ways and methods by which the prophets and the righteous taught their progeny. As parents, teachers, and elders we have a tremendous responsibility towards those who will live out our legacies after our time is up.