September 3

Need Washing

A little girl had been shopping with her Mom in Wal Mart. She must have been 6 years old, this beautiful red haired, freckle faced image of innocence.



It was pouring outside. The kind of rain that gushes over the top of rain gutters, so much in a hurry to hit the earth it has no time to flow down the spout. We all stood there, under the awning, just inside the door of the Wal Mart. We waited, some patiently, others irritated because nature messed up their hurried day.



I am always mesmerised by rainfall. I got lost in the sound and sight of the heavens washing away the dirt and dust of the world. Memories of running, splashing so carefree as a child came pouring in as a welcome reprieve from the worries of my day.



Her little voice was so sweet as it broke the hypnotic trance we were all caught in, “Mom let’s run through the rain,” she said.



“What?” Mom asked.



“Let’s run through the rain!” she repeated.



“No, honey. We’ll wait until it slows down a bit,” Mom replied.



This young child waited a minute and repeated: “Mom, let’s run through the rain.”



“We’ll get soaked if we do,” Mom said.



“No, we won’t, Mom. That’s not what you said this morning,” the young girl said as she tugged at her Mom’s arm.



“This morning? When did I say we could run through the rain and not get wet?”



“Don’t you remember? When you were talking to Daddy about his cancer, you said, ‘If God can get us through this, He can get us through anything!’”



The entire crowd stopped dead silent. I swear you couldn’t hear anything but the rain. We all stood silently. No one left. Mom paused and thought for a moment about what she would say.



Now some would laugh it off and scold her for being silly. Some might even ignore what was said. But this was a moment of affirmation in a young child’s life. A time when innocent trust can be nurtured so that it will bloom into faith.



“Honey, you are absolutely right. Let’s run through the rain. If GOD let’s us get wet, well maybe we just need washing,” Mom said.



Then off they ran. We all stood watching, smiling and laughing as they darted past the cars and yes, through the puddles. They got soaked.



They were followed by a few who screamed and laughed like children all the way to their cars. And yes, I did.

I ran. I got wet. I needed washing.



Circumstances or people can take away your material possessions, they can take away your money, and they can take away your health. But no one can ever take away your precious memories … so, don’t forget to make time and take the opportunities to make memories every day.



To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven. I HOPE YOU STILL TAKE THE TIME TO RUN THROUGH THE RAIN.



They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, a day to love them, but then an entire life to forget them.



Take the time to live!!! Keep in touch with your friends, you never know when you’ll need each other ― and don’t forget to run in the rain!

August 17

My Mother’s Hands

Eid was nearing and I felt it was necessary to get my Mother a new Abaya (Cloak or Jilbab) as her other Abayas were frail and worn out. I stopped by on Saturday morning and told my mum to come along as I have a surprise for her.

I don’t normally like to go shopping and I’m not a patient person, but we set off for the mall together. We visited nearly every Islamic Clothing Store that carried ladies’ Abayas, and my mother tried on many. We were so undecided as some were too huge and others too small … some were just right but the colour was not so smart, etc.

As the day wore on, I grew weary. Finally, at our last stop, my mother tried on a lovely Brown Abaya that had lovely beige ribbon trimmings. The Abaya had some bows in front. As I stood in the dressing room with her, I watched as she tried, with much difficulty, to tie the bows. Her hands were so badly crippled from arthritis that she couldn’t do it. Immediately, my impatience gave way to an overwhelming wave of compassion for her. I turned away to try and hide the tears that welled up involuntarily. Regaining my composure, I turned back to tie the bow for her.

Our shopping trip was over, but the event was etched indelibly in my memory. For the rest of the day, my mind kept returning to that moment in the dressing room and to the vision of my mother’s hands trying to tie that bow. Those loving hands that had fed me, bathed me, dressed me, caressed and comforted me, and, most of all, prayed for me, were now touching me in the most remarkable manner.

Later in the evening, I went to my mother’s room, took her hands in mine, kissed them and, much to her surprise, told her that to me they were the most beautiful hands in the world. Tears started following profusely from her aged and weak eyes as I narrated how I appreciated all that her beautiful hands had done for me since I could remember. I could not forget how she stood at my bed side for days and fed me with those beautiful hands while I recovered from an accident. I was aged 17 at that time. Today at 33 and I can only pray that some day Allah will let my hands, and my heart achieve such a beauty of their own.

Eid morning came and before the Eid prayer I entered my aged mother’s room and requested the honour of tying the bow on her beautiful Abaya. She gently nodded her head. My eyes soaked with tears … my heart filled with gratitude. I thanked Allah for this great honour on this beautiful day of Eid.

“We have enjoined on man kindness to his parents: In pain did his mother bear him, and in pain did she give him birth.” (Quran- Surah al-Ahqaf; 46: 15)

The Prophet Muhammad is reported to have said: “Jannah lies under the feet of your mother”.

The Noble Messenger of Allah (saww) said, ‘Come near the pulpit,’ and we came near the pulpit. When he ascended the first step of the pulpit, he said, ‘Ameen.’ When he ascended the second step, he said, ‘Ameen.’ When he ascended the third step, he said, ‘Ameen.’

When he descended, we said, ‘O Prophet of Allah (saww), we have heard from you today something which we never heard before.’

He said, ‘When I ascended the first step, Jibra’eel appeared before me and said, ‘Woe to him who found the blessed Month of Ramadan and let it pass by without gaining forgiveness.’ Upon that I said: Ameen.

When I ascended the second step, he said, ‘Woe to him before whom your name is mentioned and he does not read / send blessings on you’. I replied: Ameen.

When I ascended the third step he said, ‘Woe to him in whose presence his parents or either one of them attains old age, and (through failure to serve them) he is not allowed to enter Paradise’. I said: Ameen.”

August 8

Please Send My Son Back!

A poor couple who lived in a small village in Pakistan. They had only one son, so they gave him the best education. The son graduated as an Engineer in the nearby city.

Eventually, he got married to a rich girl. Initially, they lived with his parents in the village. Soon the wife got tired of village life and persuaded the husband to move to the city leaving the old parents in the village.

As time went, the husband saw an advert in the newspaper about a vacancy in Jeddah. He applied and was successful. He lived in Jeddah for years with his wife. Regularly he used to send money to parents. Eventually with time he stopped and forgot about his parents ever existed.

Every year, he performed Hajj, but immediately after that he used to see someone telling him in a dream that his Hajj is not accepted.

One day he related the story to a pious Aalim who advised him to go back to Pakistan to visit his parents. The man flew to Pakistan and reached the boundary of the village. Everything had changed. He could not find his house.

He asked a small boy about the whereabouts of so and so. The little boy directed the man to a house and said: “In this house lives an old blind lady who lost her husband a few months ago. She has a son who migrated to Saudi Arabia years back and never came back again. What an unfortunate man?”

The son enters the home and finds his mother on the bed. He tip-toed as not to wake her up. He hears the mother whispering or mumbling something. He gets closer to hear her voice. This is what the mother was saying:

“Ya Allah! I am now very old and blind. My husband just died. There is no Mahram (near relative) to lower me in my grave when I die. So please send my son back to fulfill my last wish”.

The moral of this dua is that the sincere DUA of a every mother is accepted.

“O Son, love your mom till the end of your life. The lady who suffered so much pain just to give you a beautiful life!”

February 2

The Wooden Bowl

nonameI guarantee you will remember the tale of the Wooden Bowl tomorrow, a week from now, a month from now, a year from now.

A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law, and four-yearold grandson. The old man’s hands trembled, his eyesight was blurred, and his step faltered.

The family ate together at the table. But the elderly grandfather’s shaky hands and
failing sight made eating difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor. When he grasped the glass, milk spilled on the tablecloth.

The son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the mess.

‘We must do something about father,’ said the son.

‘I’ve had enough of his spilled milk, noisy eating, and food on the floor.’

So the husband and wife set a small table in the corner. There, Grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner. Since Grandfather had broken a dish or two, his food was served in a wooden bowl.

When the family glanced in Grandfather’s direction, sometimes he had a tear in his eye as he sat alone. Still, the only words the couple had for him were sharp admonitions when he dropped a fork or spilled food.

The four-year-old watched it all in silence. One evening before supper, the father noticed his son playing with wood scraps on the floor.

He asked the child sweetly, ‘What are you making?’ Just as sweetly, the boy responded,

‘Oh, I am making a little bowl for you and Mama to eat your food in when I grow up.

‘ The four-year-old smiled and went back to work.

The words so struck the parents so that they were speechless. Then tears started to stream down their cheeks. Though no word was spoken, both knew what must be done.

That evening the husband took Grandfather’s hand and gently led him back to the family table..

For the remainder of his days he ate every meal with the family. And for some reason, neither husband nor wife seemed to care any longer when a fork was dropped, milk spilled, or the tablecloth soiled.

On a positive note, I’ve learned that, no matter what happens, how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.

I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles four things:

A rainy day, the elderly, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.

I’ve learned that making a ‘living’ is not the same thing as making a ‘life..’

I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.

I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands.You nee d to be able to throw something back sometimes.

I’ve learned that if you pursue happiness, it will elude you

But, if you focus on your family, your friends, the needs of others,
your work and doing the very best you can, happiness will find you.

I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.

I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one.

I’ve learned that every day, you should reach out and touch someone.

People love that human touch — holding hands, a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.

I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn.

January 29

Coffee Bean

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up, she was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil.

In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last, she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil; without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes, she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, ‘Tell me, what do you see?’

‘Carrots, eggs, and coffee,’ she replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft.

The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg.

Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked,
‘What does it mean, mother?’

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting.

However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak.

The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.

The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

‘Which are you?’ she asked her daughter. ‘When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity, do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavour.

If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you.

When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

January 29

Beautiful Poem on Lady Fatema (AS)

Author of this article: Masoumah Murphy

Brandishing their torches
They stood outside her home
"Come out; plead thy allegiance!"
We want power for our own.

The assailants pounded even harder
And against the door they thrust
Between the wall and entrance
Our flower, she was crushed.

The assault, it wasn’t over,
Of that lady, mild and meek
The enemies of her husband
Struck her hard across the cheek.

She cried out loud, "O Father!
They’ve snapped the stem of your bud!"
She miscarried her unborn infant
And fainted in her blood.

Her health rapidly diminished
Our lady grew quiet, pale.
She knew her time was coming
She ached and she was frail.

She later called upon her husband,
"Ali, stay by my side.
I have some things to tell you.
My words you must abide."

"One request that I have for you
Is that once again you wed.
My niece, who loves my children,
I have chosen in my stead."

"Heed these words of mine, O husband!
Please don’t let them attend
My funeral – those who’ve done this –
When my life comes to its end."

"O Ali! When you entomb me,
Don’t dig a lonely grave.
Dig several all around me
So they don’t know where I’m laid."

"And, husband dear, you wash me
And wrap me in my shroud.
With your two strong arms embrace me
And lay me in the ground."

"Once I’m there do not forsake me.
Sit by my lonely tomb.
As my soul, like any mortal’s,
Is fearful of its doom."

"God’s will, you cannot alter.
I entrust my children unto thee.
This, maybe, will console you;
Of this world, I will be free.

She asked for her new garments
And camphor her father had given;
The scent of Paradise that Gabriel brought
As a gift to him from heaven.

As her strength subsided,
And she knew her time was nigh,
She made her ablution
And towards the Qiblah lay, to die.

She addressed her companion, Asma
On her lips, a secret smile
"I am fatigued and want to rest.
Call me in a while."

After an hour, when Asma called her,
Silence was the reply.
She knew her desert flower
Had wilted and had died.

As the news spread through the city,
Wailing women gathered near.
And men, impatient to carry the body,
Of Ali’s Zahra dear.

Abu Dharr called to the people,
"Please, in vain don’t you wait!
Today her body won’t be buried,
As it is very late."

Then quietly, in the moonlight,
With the chosen by his side,
Silently, they bore the coffin
Of Ali’s holy bride.

And as Ali lowered her body
To its final place of rest
Two arms just like the Prophet’s
Gathered her to its breast.

Inconsolable, grieving,
Ali’s courageous heart then broke.
And he gathered his motherless children,
All tearful, beneath his cloak.

At the break of dawn, his house grew silent.

As promised, he didn’t disclose
Nor answer any questions

Of where he buried his Arabian rose.