Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Once upon a time, in the kingdom of Arkanaan, a queen gave birth to twin boys. One was blind and the other was deaf. Even though they were different, they each had a gift. Hassan was blind but was gifted with powerful hearing. He could hear the slighted sound though it was far away. Hossam was deaf but had amazing sight. He could see things clearly from a great distance. The king and queen loved them very much and taught them to love and help each other. Together they were complete. As the twins grew up, they did everything together. They loved to go hunting, and they would often go hunting without their guards, each using his ability to help the other. After their parents died, they ruled their kingdom together with justice.

There lived a king in a neighboring kingdom. He envied Hassan and Hossam. He decided to wage war against them and take their kingdom. But together, Hassan and Hossam were undefeatable and the king’s army was crushed. “Together, they are strong and I can not take their kingdom,” the king said to his council, “so I must destroy their relationship.” First, the king sent his best soldiers to ambush Hassan and Hossam while they were out hunting. But they did not get far before Husam heard their footsteps in the dry broken leaves and twigs on the forest floor.  He alerted Hasim.  Hasim saw the would-be assassins crouched in an abandoned bear hole and captured them. Then, the king sent some of his men disguised as noblemen into the town. They began to tell evil rumors about each brother. But that did not work, the brothers stood together and disclaimed the rumors and their people chased out the disguised noblemen. The king sat on his throne fuming over his failed attempts.  While he was moping, a servant named Salina brought him his evening meal and drink.  She was the most beautiful girl he had ever seen.  Suddenly, he had an idea that would destroy the brothers and win him Arkanaan.   The king summoned Salina and gave her instructions and promised her that he would free her if she was successful.  Dressed as a beautiful bride, the king gave her to one of the brothers in marriage as a sign of friendship between the kingdoms.  Hassan told his brother to marry the princess since he was blind and could not see her. But Hossam loved his brother very much and gave the princess to him since he was the older of the two. So, Hassan married Salina. As a gift, she gave each brother a bow and quiver. Hassan’s bow was made of pure gold. It was beautifully decorated with gems of every color. Hossam’s bow was made of pure silver. His was beautifully decorated with pearls of different hues. Hassan loved his bow very much. It was a gift from his beloved wife. He took it everywhere he went.

One day, they decided to go hunting. Salina stole the bow of her husband and hid it among Hossam’s belongings. When Hassan could not find his bow, he became very angry. His wife mentioned that Hossam always admired his bow and perhaps he took it for himself. Hassan was infuriated. Hossam sent some guards to search his things and they found Hassan’s bow. Hossam tried to defend himself but Hassan would not listen. The brothers began to argue. Their arguing led to name-calling. Before a fight could break out, they each decided to go their separate ways. Hidden in the forest, the king was watching. He decided it was time to make his move. He ambushed each brother easily because they were no longer complete. He imprisoned Hassan and Hossam and took their kingdom. Hassan and Hossam lived the rest of their lives in prison regretting the day they stood against each other.

Saturday, April 12, 2008


A man came to Allah's Apostle and said, "O Allah's Apostle! Who is more entitled to be treated with the best companionship by me?" The Prophet said, "Your mother." The man said. "Who is next?" The Prophet said, "Your mother." The man further said, "Who is next?" The Prophet said, "Your mother." The man asked for the fourth time, "Who is next?"The Prophet said, "Your father."

When we were young, our parents gave not only their love, but their tireless efforts to raise, nurture and care for us. They (especially our mothers) spent sleepless night caring for us when we were sick or simply scared of the dark. Our fathers spent the best years of their lives working hard, struggling, making sacrifices so that we could live comfortably and have everything we need to succeed in this life and the hereafter often forgetting to take care of themselves. Allah (swt) says, 31:14 “And [God says:] ‘We have enjoined upon man goodness towards his parents: his mother bore him by bearing strain upon strain, and his utter dependence on her lasted two years: [hence, O man,] be grateful towards Me and towards thy parents, [and remember that] with Me is all journeys’ end.

As we get older and they get even older, the roles must change, it is we who should care for our parents. But sadly, many adult children often forget the hardships their parents went through and instead of caring for their parents when they become old, they stick them in homes for the elderly. Some are left to live on their own without hearing from their busy, career-minded kids. But even after all they have done for us, how many actually complain when left in nursing homes or on their own. Even after all they have given us, they still want what is good for their children, most will prefer to stay in nursing homes so as not to be a burden on their children.

My mom used to always say, "I don't want to be a burden on you when I get old, from today, you have my permission to put me in an elderly/nursing home. I want you to be able to live your life." I used to cringe every time she said it. How could I, as a believer, abandon her like that, it was unthinkable. The thought of her being sick or dying alone without her children by her side was appalling. When the time came and she became ill, everything in my life was put on hold. She came first. Sleepless nights were long over due. I can remember her falling asleep holding my hand and every once in a while I could feel her squeeze my hand to see if I was still there. As she was there for my first breath, Alhamdulillah, I was blessed to be with her for her last.

Our parents are a mercy from Allah (swt) as we are a mercy to our parents from Him. I can't imagine how my life would have been without my mom always being by my side. I was blessed to have been able to be by her side on her final journey to Allah (swt). May Allah (swt) reward her for all that she did for me, my family and every soul (needy or not) who crossed her path. May He cover her with His shade of Mercy and Jannah. Ameen

Something to remember from the Qur'an and the Sunnah:

17:23 for thy Sustainer has ordained that you shall worship none but Him. And do good unto [thy] parents. Should one of them, or both, attain to old age in thy care, never say "Ugh" to them or scold them, but [always] speak unto them with reverent speech.

Narrated Anas bin Malik
The Prophet said, "The biggest of Al-Kaba'ir (the great sins) are (1) to join others as partners in worship with Allah, (2) to murder a human being, (3) to be undutiful to one's parents (4) and to make a false statement," or said, "to give a false witness."

Love your parents, be kind to them, care for them. One day they will return to Allah (swt), spend as much time with them as possible. May Allah (swt) bless all our mothers and fathers.

Friday, April 11, 2008

An Eid Poem: The Best Gift

It was the night before Eid and all was well, until there came a knock on the door and a ring of the bell. Who could it be at this time of night, but no one could tell. It was an old man with tattered clothes. A stranger, he had no food or family and no home to go. "As Salaamu Alaikum, Can you help me?" he asked "Some food, a blanket or maybe an old coat?" Father opened the door wide, "Wa Alaikum As Salaam. Ahlan wa Sahlan. Please come inside." Mother entered the kitchen and it wasn't long, till she returned with some bread and hot soup to warm the bone. With a prayer of thanks on his lips and a fluffed pillow under his head, the stranger laid warm and cozy in a bed.
So always remember dear little muslims (and big ones too)- Eid is not just about receiving money, gifts, candy or even a new dress, but it is giving and sharing our hearts and homes with family, friends and the stranger in need. The best Eid gift is the gift of compassion, kindness, and mercy indeed.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Time waits for no one

Where is it going?? Does anyone know?? When I was young, I felt like I had all the time in the world. But as the years pass, it seems as if time is slipping away. Make the best of the time you have because you will never get it back!

In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful

By (the token of) Time (through the ages),

Verily man is in loss.

Except such as have faith and do righteous deeds and (join together) in the mutal teaching of the truth, and of patience and constancy.

Sura Asr 103