The Gardens of Paradise

I sat there after a tiring day full of breakdowns, setbacks, motion and commotion. My mother’s feet were in my hands and I basked in the glory of Heaven on earth. My fingers moved rhythmically with technique and bumped against the rough patches and cuts on her swollen feet. She flinched with pain and I felt utterly helpless and indebted.

Indebted to the woman who kept me in a haven safer than any other place in the whole devastating world.

Indebted to the woman who bore my troubles with patience.

Indebted to the woman who raised me and played with me and gave me sweet memories.

Indebted to the woman who, even after I reached strength and independence, never ceases to be my cornerstone.

And it was there, at her tired feet, that I felt the weight of my dutiful position and the humble realization of a parent’s undivided love.

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Gateway to Heaven

Shaykh Nasir Al-Umar writes in his book, “Buyoot Mutma’innah” about a young girl and her devotion to her mother.

He states that he vividly remembers what happend when the mother had grown old and the girl had matured and started receiving many marriage proposals. She was a serious and respectful young woman and was interested in Islamic civilization. She was extremely religious and measured everything against the yardstick of her faith.

She had only one condition for a suitor, that he agree to let her live with and serve her mother after marriage. She soon soon received a proposal from a young man who agreed to this condition and the marriage then took place.

In keeping with the agreement, she stayed at her mother’s house and did not go to live with her in-laws. She devoted herself to her mother. Many envied the mother for having been blessed with such a dutiful and faithful daughter. This situation continued for some time until her mother died.

The young woman was grief-stricken at the loss of her mother. When someone asked her why she was so sad, she replied:

“How can I bring back my mother now? Who can I call mother and serve? Paradise lies under a mother’s feet. Now the gateway to Heaven has been closed to me forever.”

The young woman thought it was a major blessing to have a mother to care for. She felt this was a guarantee for success in the Hereafter. She never thought that her old mother was dependent on her, but rather that she needed her mother.

Her mother was certainly pleased with her at the time of her death. If parents are pleased with their children at the time of death, their success is guaranteed both in this world and the next world.

The young woman then had two sons who grew up into pious and virtuous people. This was a reward from Allah for serving her mother so devotedly.

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Resources: 

1- Loving Our Parents, By Abdul Malik Mujaahid (Darus Salaam Publication)

-The Sahara Bloggers (Umm Saifullah)

Loving Our Parents – Book Review 2

Loving our parents Cover       

   Title: Loving Our Parents: Stories of Duties & Obligations Author: Abdul Malik Mujahid, Published by Darussalam Pages: 299

Loving Our Parents is an enjoyable collection of stories, which highlights our duties and obligations towards those who have sacrificed a great deal to raise and educate us. The author, Abdul Malik Mujahid provides a vast variety of stories and accounts from the lives of the Sahaba and the Salafas well as individuals of our day and time, reflecting role models of obedience. Each story incites the reader to ponder over the extremely elevated status of parents in Islam, and motivates him to improve his treatment towards them, for they are his middle gate to Jannah. The book also sheds light on some of the golden ways to please our parents and explains the countless rewards awaiting those dutiful children in this life and in the Hereafter.The author also presents the flip-side of the coin with descriptive accounts of unfortunate, defiant adults who cause harm to their parents and consequently pay the price for their disobedience in this life. Such true stories shock the reader and call him to reflect upon his own actions.He also touches upon our responsibilities towards our grandparents, close relatives and our elders- essential values lost in today’s self-centered society.

This hardcover book is loaded with enhancing pictures, attractive colors and key quotes, making the book all-the-more heartwarming and inspirational. Captivating to young hearts and minds, this is a “must-have” for every teen and adult. Believe me, it’s one book that you won’t put down till you’ve read it from cover to cover. 🙂

Residents in KSA may purchase “Loving Our Parents” from any Darussalam bookstore or Dawah Corner Bookstore (Makkah Hilton Mall or Clock Tower Mall in the Haram), as well as some of the mini bookstores in front of the Haram. Price: SR70 apprx.

~The Sahara Bloggers  (Niqabinja)

May Allah make us obedient to our parents, the comfort of their eyes in this life, and the raisers of their status in the Hereafter. 

I Wish I Were Young…

scaleAccording to a news story published in Ar-Riyadh newspaper, in the capital city of Saudi Arabia, a dispute between two brothers escalated to such an extent that it was brought before the high court. It was a peculiar case which was extensively covered by the Arabic press:

In the crowded court, an old man named Heezan, was crying so bitterly that tears were dripping from his beard. Some onlookers wondered why he was crying so much. Did his sons mistreat him? Was he going to lose a piece of land? Did his wife file for divorce at this late stage of his life? It was none of the above. In actual fact, he was extremely distressed because he had just lost a case, filed against his own brother, for custody of their mother, an old woman who owned nothing but a brass ring!

The elderly woman used to live with Heezan who treated her extremely kindly and tried to serve her to the best of his abilities. The old mother was happy to be with him. When Heezan grew old, his younger brother who lived in another city, visited him and proposed that their mother live with him. He told Heezan that he had come from the city to take his mother.

This news was very disturbing for Heezan, who said: “Brother! Although I’ve grown old, you should understand that I can still look after our mother as well as I used to. You’re mistaken in thinking that I’m unable to do the job. I won’t let my mother be taken away from me. I will not let it happen, over my dead body! If you do so, I will be restless for the rest of my life. So please do me a favor and don’t try to take our mother to your city.”

The younger brother said respectfully, “O my older brother! You’ve been serving our mother well for a long time. You did an excellent job. But now you’ve grown old and depend on your children to care for you. I therefore ask you to let me take our mother to the city. I’m still young. My children want their grandma with them and my wife wants to serve her mother-in-law. Please give us an opportunity to serve our mother.”

The two brothers argued but neither of them was prepared to lose their mother. When people in the neighborhood heard about the dispute, they tried to intervene to settle the issue. But they were amazed when neither of the brothers were prepared to back down and part with their mother. When the matter could not be settled and all efforts at reconciliation failed, the case was referred to the high court.

When the case was presented to the judge, he was very surprised. He studied it over and over, but did not know what to do. He then called the two brothers to his chamber but failed to persuade them to agree to share custody of their mother. The judge then asked that the mother be brought before the court to voice her opinion.

In compliance with the court order, the two brothers produced their mother in the court in a wheelchair. The old woman weighed a skeletal 20 kilograms because she was very old.

The court was crammed full of people who were anxiously waiting for a verdict in this strange case. The judge addressed the elderly woman, “O lady of honor! Both your sons are more than willing to keep you with them so that they may serve you to the best of their abilities. Neither of them is prepared to part with you. I’ve tried my hardest to persuade them to withdraw from their respective positions, but they’re sticking to their guns. I’m having a lot of trouble deciding this case. I’m not going to make a ruling, so now it’s in your hands to make a decision. My decision will be based on what you wish. My question to you is who do you want to live with?”

In truth, it was far more difficult for the mother than for the judge to decide the case. Both sons were the apples of her eye. She loved both of them. The two had proven very sincere in serving her. She was tongue-tied. With the judge impatiently waiting for a reply, the old woman finally opened her mouth after some time and said: “Dear judge! What can I say? I’m their mother. Both of them are my children. One of my eyes is on Heezan while the other is on his younger brother. It’s very difficult for me to decide what to do.”

Now the case was even more complicated for the judge but he knew he had to make a decision. After much thought, he announced the following: “Heezan has served his old mother for a long time and is old himself. In contrast, his brother is still young and has the capacity to look after her. Therefore the court announces that from now on the old mother will live with her younger son who has the capacity and means to serve her.”

When he heard the decision, Heezan cried out in agony and burst into tears. He sobbed uncontrollably in the packed court.

“I wish that I was young so that I could have the pleasure of serving my mother all over again!”

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This true story reminds us of the genuine love that should spring from children towards their parents. The individualistic world we are engulfed in today has lured us away from our duties towards them and has widened the gap between our understanding of each other. With Blackberries and iPhones being our major time-consumers (or time-wasters more precisely), we often forget and ignore the beautiful concept of spending quality time with our parents. The amount of text messages we send in a day is far more than the number of times we sit with our parents for a friendly chat or cup of tea. It’s shameful, yet true. We fail to realize that our service and care for them is the secret to reaping baskets full of Hasanaat and a guaranteed way to gain Allah’s pleasure. Their company is a blessing for us, which no other luxury in the entire world could replace. They are the self-sacrificing candles that burn their wax day in and day out to light up our path throughout this life. Our debt to them is so great that we are incapable of repaying even a single dime of it. But let’s snatch the opportunity of earning their pleasure before it’s too late. It’s as simple as giving your mother a cup of tea and massaging your father’s feet. These small effortless tasks are what matter to them most- it shows you love, it shows you care. So the next time your iPhone beeps with a new message, pause and rush to serve your mother first. You’ll be amazed to see the changes in your life due to the blessed duas of your mother and father. May Allah make us of His righteous slaves who are dutiful and obedient to their parents and are a comfort to their eyes in this life and the Hereafter.

رب ارحمهما كما ربّياني صغيرا

My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was small. Ameen [S. Israa:24]

Story taken from the book, “Loving our Parents: Our Duties and Obligations” By Abdul Malik Mujahid.

-The Sahara Bloggers (Niqabinja)

Dedicated to my mother (May Allah protect her)

Umar ibn Al-Khattab Weeps

Umayyah Al-Kanani, a chief in his community, had a son named Kalab, who was very faithful and obedient to him. His son would always find time, day or night, to do whatever he wanted. Umayyah Al-Kanani was very happy and proud to have such a good child. He loved his son so much that he did not want to let him out of his sight. Many people knew about the love this father and son had for each other.

Kalab ibn Umayyah Al-Kanani migrated to Madinah during the caliphate of the leader of the faithful, Omar ibn Al-Khataab. Islam had become so popular that people were converting in droves in the capital of Islamic rule. Kalab adopted the lifestyle of the city’s inhabitants and spent a great deal of time learning about Islam.

He learned that the greatest act in Islam was Jihad in the way of Allah, so he went to Omar radhiAllahu ‘anh to enlist in the Muslim army. The caliph agreed and later included him in the Islamic army which was going to Iran.
When Kalab’s parents heard he had joined the Muslim army, they implored him not to go. They said they needed him to look after them because they were getting old. Kalab replied,

أترككما لما هو خير لي

“I’m leaving both of you to achieve a better objective.”

After persuading his parents and receiving their blessing, he left with the army to Iran.

After many weeks, his parents started to miss him terribly. Whenever they thought about him, they would burst into tears. One day they were relaxing and talking in the deep shade of Kalab’s orchard of fruit-laden date palm trees, with the birds singing in soft voices and darting from tree to tree, when his elderly father saw a pigeon flying playfully around its baby.

This reminded Umayyah Al-Kanani of his son. He sighed and tears started rolling down his cheeks. When Kalab’s mother saw her husband crying, she also started weeping. They sobbed their hearts out in that pleasant atmosphere that day. According to some historians, the old


When Umayyah Al-Kanani could not bear being separated from his son any longer, he approached Omar radhiAllahu ‘anh, who was sitting in Masjid an-Nabawwi, and said to him,
and feeble Umayyah Al-Kanani wept for such a long time that his wrinkles appeared to get deeper and his eyesight grew even weaker.

.و الله يا ابن الخطاب! لئن لم ترد علي ولدي لأدعون عليك في عرفات

“O son of Khattab! By God, if you don’t call back my son, I will pray against you on the Plain of ‘Arafah.”

Omar radhiAllahu ‘anh was a very wise and farsighted person who could instantly gauge the mood of his subjects. Having seen that the old father had reached the limits of his endurance, he sent a representative to the army for Kalab to be relieved of his duties and sent home immediately. After a few days Kalab presented himself to Omar radhiAllahu ‘anh who asked him,
“What’s the story of your kind treatment to your parents?”

Kalab replied,
“I always did everything for my father, before looking after my own needs. Whenever I milked a she-camel for him, I would choose one that had the most milk. I would first feed it, let it rest for a while, wash its udders so that it would cool down, and then milk it. I’d then give this milk to my father.”
Omar radhiAllahu ‘anh then sent for Kalab’s father. He had grown much older, his eyesight weaker, and his back was bent over because of old age.

Omar radhiAllahu ‘anh asked,
“Abu Kalab! How are you?”

Umayyah Al-Kanani replied,
“Ameer al-Mu’mineen! I am what you are looking at.”

Omar radhiAllahu ‘anh asked,
“What is the most beloved to you today?”

Umayyah Al-Kanani replied,

.ما أحب اليوم شيئا.  ما أفرح بخير و لا يسوءني شر

“I don’t like anything today. I will neither be pleased with some good nor aggrieved by any evil.”

Omar radhiAllahu ‘anh asked,
“Don’t you want anything other than your son in the world?”

Umayyah Al-Kanani said,
“My only wish is that the piece of my heart, my son Kalah, should come to me because I want to see him before I die. I want to kiss and embrace him.”
When Omar radhiAllahu ‘anh saw the profound love of the father for his son, his eyes filled with tears. “Don’t worry, if Allah wills, the desire of your heart will be fulfilled.”

Then Omar radhiAllahu ‘anh called Kalab and sent him to milk a she-camel as he had described earlier.
Kalab chose a she-camel and milked it. When he brought the milk to Omar radhiAllahu ‘anh, the latter presented it to Kalab’s father Umayyah Al-Kanani saying,
“Please drink the milk.”

Umayyah Al-Kanani took the milk bowl in his hand and brought it to his lips. The moment he smelt the milk, he said,

.و الله يا أمير المؤمنين! إني لأشم رائحة يدي كلاب

“By God, O Ameer al-Mu’mineen! I feel the scent of my son Kalab’s hands.”

The instant he heard this, Omar radhiAllahu ‘anh burst into tears and said,
“Here’s your son Kalab. I’ve called him back for you.”

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Umayyah Al-Kanani rushed to his son and embraced and kissed him. This scene moved everyone. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

Then Omar radhiAllahu ‘anh said to Kalab,
“O son, go perform jihad by serving and living with your parents as long as they are alive. When they pass away, think of your future only then.”

Resources: 

1- Loving Our Parents, By Abdul Malik Mujaahid (Darus Salaam Publication)

-The Sahara Bloggers (Umm Saifullah)