Yesterday I had an interesting response to an email with someone I regard as a very intellectual individual. I asked his opinion on something and his response was excellent no doubt. Shukran to you Abu Hafidz. But, then I questioned him with regards to the constant negativity, violence and pessimism that we're subject to every single day. It is quite evident when you switch on the television and behold the daily events that have unfolded.
I am normally a very positive person but I suppose I have my days. What I'm trying to say, is that I was focusing on all the negativity instead of looking at all the good things happening. Two events shifted my perspective completely. The first one happened yesterday on my journey home from work. A couple of kilometres from my home, the bus I was travelling in was crossing a robot. As it made it's way across a car coming from the opposite side nearly knocked right into the bus!! It was like something out of a movie, everything happened in slow motion!! I had such a fright, my heart nearly popped out of my mouth!! The first thing that popped into my head at the time was my children at home. Who would see to them if anything happened to me now?? Everyone on the bus screamed as if that would make the car swerve away. It did, on the last minute though, to everyones relief!!
When I disembarked my legs were shaking and I had to stand still for a couple of seconds to regain my composure. When I arrived home, my kids could see something was amiss and enquired about my mood. I told them what had almost happened and they expressed relief that mummy made it home safely!! The second event happened this afternoon after a receiving an email from a very good friend, Sheeyaam. I have sent the email to everyone on my contact list, as I hope it would inspire them as it inspired me!! It is a lengthy read but well worth it!! The following is the email I received:
By: Zaytoon Akhalwaya Abed
A family that prays together stays together! The family you are about to meet lives and breathes this saying and serves as a source of inspiration to others especially for families in Islam.
Five years ago a close knit Christian family went about their daily lives preparing to move from the warm waters of the Indian Ocean of Kwa Zulu Natal to the frigid waters of the Atlantic in the Western Cape. This Anglican family did not realise the plan Allah SWT had for them as soon as they set foot in the Mother City. It would take the youngest son to take the first steps towards Islam and his bravery and love for Allah would cause a domino effect in this orthodox Anglican family’s path to accepting Islam. Iman the oldest sister shares their remarkable journey in searching and accepting hidayat and finding peace and unity in deen.
“Growing up in an orthodox Anglican family going every Sunday to Church becomes a mundane habit or way of life. I use to feel as if I could do anything I wanted with no restrictions or boundaries and that going to Church on a Sunday would rectify all my wrong doing. At Church it felt like all I ever did was sit, stand and kneel I felt no spirituality. My brother the youngest in our family decided at the age of fifteen to go on a camp, little did we know that it was an Islamic camp. On his return he broke the news to us that he is practising Islam. Nabeel Abdul Haqq began our Islamic quest for five years he learnt how to practise Islam and live Islam and at the age of 20 he took his Shahadah. When Nabeel told us about reverting to Islam my parents was shocked but supportive. We have always been open to other religions but when reversion happens in your home it can shake you up and almost feels like a betrayal. My mother told Nabeel that if he chose Islam and to be a Muslim he must become a very good Muslim.”
Allah’s plan already in motion spread further to the sister. Already engaged to a Muslim she saw Islam and not long after her brother took the Shahada. Nazreen Shukura recited Shahada and dedicated her life to Allah. Nabeel, after reciting the Shahadah knew that he had to spread the message of Allah to the family, Islam began to flow through their home faster than expected. Not long thereafter witnessing the Shahadah of both her children Zarina Quiaba (mother) began to get excited about learning more about this beautiful and peaceful religion of Islam. Zarina read a book `The Way of Muhammad (SAW)’ by author Sheikh Abdul Kader and the very next morning declared that she was ready to recite and accept the Shahadah. Even though Iman was witnessing her family submitting and surrendering to the Mercy of Allah SWT she still could not find herself interested or excited enough to accept Islam, Iman continues…
“Everything started to change rapidly in front of us. When my mum decided to accept the Shahadah my father a priest for 20 years was swept off his feet. He was so shocked he did not know what to do. It was more difficult for my mother because she knew that if my father chose the Church their marriage would end because as a Muslim she could not stay in that marriage. In the back of my father’s mind he knew the devastating truth too. Our family has always been close but as Islam embraced our home we began to feel even closer to each other. My mother would attend regular Zikr nights and at times I would join her. Before Hidayat came to me I partied hard and lived a very un-Islamic life. I always felt as if there was a void in my heart, a restless soul searching for spiritual and inner peace. During this time of change I suddenly found myself resigning from my job at a brewery company and decided not to re-new my contract, I attended more Zikr evenings and out of the blue I decided to take the Shahadah. My family was so happy they cried with joy. The day I read the Shahadah I felt as if there was this powerful light or noor enveloping me and in the morning I felt like a new born baby, intensely happy and at peace.
Iman’s father was shocked and never thought his oldest daughter would accept Islam but the family was in for an even bigger surprise when their father an Anglican Priest known fondly as Father Vishnu Appalasamy decided to meet with a well known Islamic scholar at a Masjid near by and when he returned home decided to recite the Shahadah. He found his family in tears as he completed the families move from Christianity to Islam.
“Ahmed Abdullah, my father watched us live and practise Islam and it was this visual feast that attracted him towards Islam. We received unconditional support from our Muslim community and the challenge now for us was letting the Church know. We have been living across the road from the Church and the house we live in belongs to the Church. We had to play safe for awhile in order to make sure our finances were in order and that we could make a clean break from the Church. My brother Nabeel was on Voice of the Cape Radio station and was part of a show on Revert Muslims when he openly spoke about my father’s reversion and invited the Muslim community to share in this honourable moment. My father had called a meeting with the Church since he had resigned earlier but the Church was not aware that his resignation had to do with his acceptance of Islam. The joke in this is that the Church had scheduled a farewell party for my father and when they heard we all had become Muslims they cancelled it. On the day my father took the Shahadah the Church asked us to leave the house but Alhumdulillah with Allah’s kudrat they showed some support and allowed us until the end of the month to leave. We already found a place and we hope to move insha’Allah before Ramadhaan. We are so excited about spending Ramadhaan together as a Muslim family. My nine year old son Dylan is at a Christian Boarding school. As a single mum it is difficult but Islam has strengthened me and my son is already learning about Islam and has chosen the name Irshaad. I will be taking him out of this school and he will return home and as soon as he is baaligh he will become Muslim insha’Allah."
“Our family is now stronger than ever. We pray together as a family and life is so much sweeter. I will not make it my life’s ambition to recruit new Muslims by preaching I would rather they saw Islam and witness it in its entirety and make the life changing decision themselves to accept Allah and follow the footsteps of our Beloved Muhammad SAW. Allah plans for us, we just go through each day as it comes…”
Makes you think doesn't it??!! Allah surely is Great!! And eventually good does out number bad or evil. If the media would stop concentrating all their energies on negativity and publish more stories like this one, there could be change!!