Advice

Yahya Ibrahim | To My Children

My children, know that I and your mother love you. We agree on these words of advice to you. I pray that these words will be a part of you as long as you may live.

Author: Yahya Ibrahim, Source: muslimmatters.org

Bismillah wasSalatu was Salaamu ‘ala Rasoolillah – With the Name of Allāh, I begin by invoking Divine Greetings and Peace upon the Messenger of Allāh.

to my children

Shireen, my daughter, you are now 4 years old.

Omar, my son, you are now three years old.

Adam, my son, you are now 7 weeks old

My children, know that I and your mother love you.  We agree on these words of advice to you.  I pray that these words will be a part of you as long as you may live.

My children, there is only One God.  All that exists belongs to Him as He is the Originator of all.  He, subhanahu, alone is worthy of worship and all other deities are to be shunned. Laa illah illa Allāh. He, the Mighty and the Majestic, is the Creator of all things big and small.  Out of nothing, He, subhanahu (Most Glorious), made everything. He has knowledge of all things, not even a leaf flutters to the ground without His foreknowledge of its descent.  He, subhanahu, knows what was, what is, what will be, and what would be even though it will never come into reality.  He is the Provider for all. None can gain what He has not set. None can push back what He has brought forth.  Allāh is arRahman arRaheem – The Merciful to All, the Especially Merciful to those who distinguish themselves in obedience to Him.  Do not join anything with Him in that which Only He deserves.

My children, establish your prayers regularly and with humility. Nothing in your life is more important than your ṣalāh.  Prayer is your connection to Allāh.  Insha Allāh, I will teach you what to say and the Qurʾān to recite in your prayers. I will teach you the times and the rules and regulations. I will enforce it upon you by praying with you, and behind you as you mature. I will remind you often of its importance and form so as to remind myself of it.  There will be times when your faith fails and your ṣalāh begins to slip away from you.  Return to Allāh quickly and make up that which you miss.  I pray for your success in this.

My children, feel the hunger and thirst of others.  Wealth, health, prosperity are all governed by the Decree of Allāh.  If we are prosperous now, we thank and praise Allāh.  Tomorrow may not be the same as today.  If you are less fortunate in days to come, be patient and equally thank Allāh and praise Him.  Put your trust in Allāh and work hard as taught to us by His Messenger (s).  To avert poverty give to others from the bounties bestowed upon you by Allāh, treat your mother well, and spend your money in that which is permitted.  Give loans to those who ask, and repay quickly those you owe.  All the while, be content with the meagre and generous with your excess.  Speak well of Allāh’s Grace upon you and be charitable to your neighbours, family and community.  Ask forgiveness from those you harm and repent to Allāh.  If all you have is but a single meal and your neighbour hungers, split it in half. That, my children, is prosperity.

My children, seek knowledge and find ways to apply it. Learn something about everything. Familiarise yourself with all the sciences that surround us in life and the things you encounter regularly. All the while search for something you seek to know everything about and delve deeply into it.  Knowledge is a torch that illuminates your path. It is power. Develop a love for solving problems, unravelling mathematics and appreciating literature.  The more you read the better. I pray that Allāh grants me life to instruct you in the Qurʾān – the Sacred Truth.  Its message is peace, its words are holy and its script is revered. I will read with you, for many years the Qurʾān, page by page, āyah by āyah, and word by word, insha Allāh.  It is through the Qurʾān that you must view the world.  It will lead you upon the straight path that has been tread upon by the virtuous.  The limits you set for yourself and the boundaries I will establish are that of the Qurʾān.  The Qurʾān is Truth.

My children, as you mature you will come to realise that life is not easy and Allāh will test you every so often.  The more you read of the life of the Messenger Muhammed (s) and seek to follow his tradition of life, the more resilient you will be in the face of adversity.  Any kind of hardship you can envision and pray to never face was shouldered by him, Salaa allahu ‘alihi was Salim, simultaneously.  He experienced, in his 63 years of blessed life more tribulation than a cohort.  He, Salaa allahu ‘alihi was Salim, was an orphan, a widower, battle scarred, and unjustly outcast.  He outlived many of his children and buried some of his grandchildren.  His uncle, the Mercy of Allāh be upon him, was martyred and his body desecrated.  He, Salaa allahu ‘alihi was Salim, was defamed, mocked, lied to and about.  He was poisoned, stoned, and had to witness his companions tortured on account of their faith in his Message, Salaa allahu ‘alihi was Salim.

My children, know that your faith in Allāh must manifest itself in your character. Tawheed builds Character.  Speak the truth always, even if against yourself. Avert your eyes from immorality, pornography and junk TV.  Keep your chastity and guard yourself from any stage of sexual immorality. Know that a friend is a window to your soul.  Follow your heart and be true to your firasah (instint).  Be just, firm and gentle in your dealings.  When you are hurt, recover quickly and thank Allāh for the difficulty that extinguishes sin.  When you are well and all seems to be at peace, be vigilant and anticipate a brewing storm.

When you err, repent to Allāh and seek not to conceal it from me by lying or deception.  The greatest lessons you will learn will be through your naive misjudgement of peoples’ character, your over confidence and because you did not heed our advice as your parents.  When you err, we are there. As bad as you may think it is and as embarrassing as you may find it, step up to me and I will run over to you.  Know that you are brothers and sisters to one another. If your cousin slights one of you, it is as if he slighted all of you. Together you must remain as one.

My children, if pushed, push back harder.  In life you must hit back.  Let no one assume you weak on account of your spiritual inner peace. Learn to negotiate and compromise and dialogue while attaining your objective.  Violence is not a solution.  Peace does not mean fragility. Be sturdy, humble, durable and reflective.

My children, remember that your mother carried you and sustained you in her own body. For nine months she protected you and nurtured you.  She loved you with an amazing intensity all throughout.  The day of your birth and all that days that followed have only increased that love.  Your illness is our illness, your success is our success.  Know my children that I possess nothing of the dunya that is equal to you.  I love you and will continue to love you as long as I live.  Eventually, insha Allāh, you will have children of your own.  Make sure you write them a letter.

I ask Allāh to grant me life, health and ability to educate you as my father and mother educated me.  I ask Allāh to put love in your hearts for humanity and to use you in the assistance of others.

I ask Allāh to protect you and honour you with al-Qurʾān.

I ask Allāh to increase your rizq, lifespan and allow you happiness in this dunya and in the akhira.

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