All praise is due to Allah, we praise Him, we seek His help and we ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides, there is none that can misguide him and whoever Allah misguides, there is none that can guide him. There is no God worthy of worship except Allah alone, there is no partner and that Muhammad (Peace & Blessings Be Upon Him) is His slave and final Messenger.
1) I start with these words to let my children know, my family know, that there is none, nobody, not a single living thing or single dead thing in this world that has the right to be worshipped except Allah. There is NONE other than Allah that can guide you and there is none other that can misguide you. There is NONE other that can help you in this world other than Allah. I start with the words of tawheed, I start with the words of oneness in Allah because there is only Allah. No other deity in this world can help you except Allah and only He has the right to be worshipped and asked for help.
2) Allah has set commands upon us in this life to help us become successful in the hereafter. The first command is to believe in Allah alone. The second one is to establish your salah. Why your salah? It is what you will be asked about first when you die and stand in front of Allah on the day of judgement. If you want to be successful in this life, be regular with your salah, hold onto it, and do not waver by the illusions of this world. If you want to be successful in this life and the hereafter, establish your salah even if you are amongst a crowd who will make fun of you for it or look at you strangely. The Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings be upon him) said: “Islam began as something strange and will return to as being strange.” [Muslim]
3) It is your manners that people will look at and not your beard, thobe, abaya, or hijab. Your exterior is just an image, but it is your actions that people will remember. You will see many Muslims today, who wear the Islamic attire but have very bad manners, whether it is online or in person. Improve your manners and work on them. People will remember you by them and come closer to you because of them. If you wish to run people away, be rude to them, speak about their secrets they entrusted you with, and betray others. These actions, I tell you, are not the actions of a believer.
4) Not everyone will be kind to you because you are kind to them. That’s just how some people are. They will use you for your intelligence, for your skills, for your hard work. But don’t ever look for a reward from them, for the reward lies only with Allah. Do things for the sake of Allah alone and you will be rewarded handsomely! The Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings be upon him) was mocked and hit with stones. His companions were tortured by the disbelievers and yet, they still kept faith in Allah. Patience does good as Allah says in the Qur’an: “Allah is with the As-Sabiroon (the patient).” [2:153]
5) If you want to feel good, serve others. The Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings be upon him) spent his life worshipping Allah alone and served others. He helped resolved issues, he built communities, he protected people, and continously preached what Allah had revealed to him, so they in return were better people. He didn’t do it for recognition nor to be praised. He did it for Allah first and then to benefit the ummah (nation) today.
6) To my son. Treat women with respect. They are not your servants even though they are commanded to obey you. The Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings be upon him) was the best of examples. The best of examples is his treatment of women, his wives. The messenger of Allah said: “The best of you are the best to his wives and I am the best to my wives.” [Tirmidhi] He said this as example to follow him in his treatment to his wives. He never hit them, so don’t raise your hand to your wife. Resolve your issues with communication, not with brute and physicality. Be kind, generous, loving, help her with the house chores, spend time together, be as a child with her and love her as I do this with your mother everyday, insha’Allah.
7) To my daughter. Just because you are a Muslim woman doesn’t make you any less of a person. The mothers of the believers, the mothers of this ummah, were strong, intelligent and brave women! Khadija (may Allah be pleased with her) was a wealthy merchant who owned her own business. Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) was teaching the companions about the life of the Prophet. She was an advisor to even the most strongest of companions and she also narrated over thousands of ahadith. Being a woman elevates you in Islam and doesn’t degrade you. Go out and pursue knowledge, get an education, learn and teach just as the Prophet wives educated the companions. Your beauty doesn’t lie in your make up or your clothing but it belongs in your ability to be BEST Muslim woman you can be and your inner faith. Allah says: “The most honourable among you in the sight of Allah is the pious one.” [49:13]
8) Life will be hard. It is not meant to be easy for anybody. The messenger of Allah had many hardships and the prophets before him had many hardships. Each and every single one of them turned to Allah and sought help. They prayed and made supplication to Allah. Each and every single time, Allah had answered, so be patient for the answer. Each answer may not be as you like but will be the BEST for you as Allah is the best of planners. You may not understand why you’ve been “rejected” but know Allah loves you more than your own mother and it is for your own good. One of the salaf used to say: “I make du’aa to Allah for something I want and if He gives it to me, then I am happy once and if he doesn’t, then I am happy ten times because the first was my choice and the second was Allah’s choice.”
9) When you make mistakes, which you will, turn to Allah and ask for forgiveness. Allah is the ONLY one that can forgive your sins. Turn in repentance for every sin you commit, He is forgiving and no matter the type of sin you commit, He will forgive you insha’Allah.
10) Take everyday one day at a time. Don’t stress about things that are not in your control. Go with the flow of life and follow your passion. Don’t worry about money because that is not in your control either. Allah is Ar-Razzaq, the giver of sustenance. Work for it and let it come how Allah has intended for it to come. Not everyone will support you, people will doubt you, but there is no need to give up! Keep your income halal, as it is means for your supplications to get answered. As long as you turn to Allah in every single one of your affairs, you will be tested, guided and rewarded, insha’Allah. This life is temporary so work on both.
11) Lastly and finally, be confident in everything you do. Set your goals and no matter what happens, Allah is always with you. Your mother and I will support you in the things you set out to do as long as it is permissible in Islam. Earning the displeasure of Allah will not guarantee you success. We love you and can’t wait to meet you all, insha’Allah.