Day 12 – Villa Park, IL
Day 12 Chicago, IL
Peace and Blessings All. This is Hamza Abdullah checking in for the Abdullah Brothers Ramadan Tour. When the trip first started I had a few destinations circled. And of those, I put stars next to an even smaller few. Chicago was one of those circled and starred spots. Let me say, they did not disappoint. Brother Shaizan Malik along with Abdul Rahman, were our hosts. They took full care of us. From the moment we arrived at the Islamic Foundation, till the time we drove off, they were right by our side. God has blessed us with some great hosts, on our engagements, and we are truly appreciative of that.
The day started with our Brother Ibrahim Bengali meeting us at the hotel. He was to accompany us for the night. He was part secret service, part head coach, and part chauffeur. He has experience in all areas, and he’s who we called on. The main reason we had a star on Chicago, is because of Ibrahim. He was a part of the Northwestern University board, that extended an invitation, to come speak to their MSA (Muslim Student Association). It was our first invitation, and since then, we’ve had a multitude of invitations. He’s always offered his words of wisdom, and he always has keen insight. I trust his judgement, and He’s taken care of Husain and I. I love him for the sake of Allah, and I pray God blesses him with bounties and blessings, unimaginable by the human mind. Wanting for his brother, what he wants for himself. I thank him for that.
Northwestern University started the trend, and one of the schools that followed suit, was the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. U of I was amazing. I had two wonderful hosts, Nighath Hussain and Mehmood Siraj. If I said they took care of me, I would be doing them a disservice. They did everything short of dress me. So I couldn’t wait to see them, upon my return to Chicago. Nighath couldn’t make it, but Mehmood did, and he helped with the security detail. He’s a great brother, and I admire his humility and kindness. I pray for their continued success as well. Chicago has some of the most beautiful people in the country, and if you haven’t been, your cheating yourself.
I thank all of the brothers and sisters for coming out and making it a special night for us. We had great food, great conversations, and an even better Salah (Prayer) experience. If you’ve only read the Quran, or parts of the Quran, or had someone read the Quran in English, you’re missing out. Arabic is the most beautiful and eloquent of languages. When the Quran is recited, you can tell this is no work of man. Imam Faisal recited the very Surah, I read earlier that day. Listening to him, makes your eyes water, and your heart fill with emotions. As I stood in formation, staring at the carpet, all I could think was, “How blessed am I”? I don’t deserve this. To be among this beautiful group of people. In this most beautiful Mosque. Listening to this most beautiful recitation of God’s word. God has been so good to me. He has blessed me in ways, I couldn’t have imagined. Despite all of my shortcomings, He continues to bless me. I ask my forgiveness, and I ask, if I have ever wronged you in anyway, please forgive me. May God bless Imam Faisal, Shayhk Abdul Rahman Khan of the Islamic Foundation and the members, for inviting us.
Chicago is definitely a place, I could see myself living. My wife’s family is from here, and the thought has been there. I thank everyone for making this a beautiful experience. I thank my young brother Hamza Ahsan. This young brother has been emailing me and tweeting me for years. Thank you for being there tonight for us. The night was special, but it may not have been made possible if it weren’t for the Sheikh family. The family sponsored the event in the name of their son, Nasir Sheikh, who passed away two years ago. I ask that you say a special prayer for brother Nasir Sheikh, and his family. I pray God blesses them with patience, and continues to bless them to do good, in their son’s name.
As I read my Juz (section) today, I came across an Ayah (Verse), that God willing, we can learn from. It is in Surah (Chapter) 11 Hud, Ayah 115:
“And be steadfast in patience; for verily Allah (God) will not suffer the reward of the righteous to perish”
God willing, I can work on my patience, and be more consistent. I understand I will continue to be tested, and I pray that I can get better. If I have wronged you in anyway, or made you feel uncomfortable, or feel as though I have ostracized you, please let me know my wrong, and please forgive me. We have a few more obligations in Chicago, then it’s off to Detroit. God willing. I thank you for your time and consideration, and I ask that you forgive me my shortcomings. Please keep us in your prayers. Peace and Be Blessed.
- Hamza Abdullah