Day of Reflection
Peace and blessings to all. This is Hamza Abdullah writing my last blog for the Abdullah Brothers Ramadan Tour. Alhamdulillah (All praises are due to God). This Ramadan was the best Ramadan of my life. I am so fortunate and blessed in many ways. This was honestly, the easiest Ramadan I’ve had. Muslims are permitted to break their Fast while traveling, but we felt it a bit hypocritical if we designed this tour to speak to Fasting people, and we weren’t fasting. We asked Allah (God) to make it easy for us, and thats exactly what happened. We had an opportunity to visit different states and communities. We saw very large communities, and very small ones. But what all of these places had in common was Islam.
Islam is universal. Islam is simple. Islam is peaceful. On our trip, we found ourselves offering our Salah (Prayer), at a number of places. At rest stops, college campuses and even parking lots. We would notice people stopping and wondering what we were doing. I’m sure it was some of their first times, seeing a Muslim pray. We met people who came to the Masjid for the first time. We met people who had never met a Muslim before. What stood out among the ones we interacted with, was the level of peace and serenity in Islam. The reason is simple. We aim to be in constant remembrance of God. Every act and action should be to seek the pleasure of God. We are not perfect, nor do we claim to be. I am trying to do my best to earn the pleasure of God. Please forgive me if I have wronged you, upset you, or not been honest with you on our tour. I ask that every step I take is in line with being a great Muslim, man, father, brother, son and neighbor. God willing we all have learned something and gotten better this month.
I have learned the respect and hospitality, one must show their guest. We’ve literally been given the shirt off peoples backs. I febreezed it first, but it still was great gesture. The Qureshi family in Lexington, KY and the Kidwai family in Houston, TX have an extended son. They basically copied a key for us. The Zaidi brothers in Boston, Subhan and Omar in New York, Shaizan in Chicago, and brother Abdullah in Seattle, all gave us the keys to the city. They fed us signature foods and guarded us like they were the secret service. These brothers stopped at nothing to make sure we had anything and everything we needed. The Canadian Dawah Association made sure our trip was first class, and all we had to do was show up. It was good to see family friends like Jerome Harrison, Erik Coleman, Ibrahim Bengali, Joshua Salaam, Abdul-Malik Ahmad, Karl Paymah, and George Green. We had an opportunity to see our sister Hajirah, our grandmother and of course the “Street Sheikh”. The street Sheikh is nationally known as a promoter of Islam, but we simply know him as our father. He’s been at it since we were young, and he shows no signs of slowing down. God willing, he is rewarded for all of his efforts.
We met people who I can now call my friend and brother. AbdarRahman from Santa Clara may be my new best friend. He was a young guy full of energy and promise. He had heart, intelligence and respect. He admired and listened to his older brother Abdullah. I saw a lot of myself in him. God willing, he’ll be very successful in any and every field he chooses. I had a chance to rekindle some relationships, and see some of my very good brothers from around the country. To all my brothers in Arizona, I love you. To all of my brothers, that held us down during this trip, and all of the individuals who aided in this effort, I love you for the sake of Allah. To all of the sisters who were behind the scenes, taking care of us, we truly appreciate it. All of the sisters who cooked that wonderful food, gave us that free candy, and made those beautiful welcome signs. We truly appreciate it. To the sisters who set up a lot of the trips, thank you. I know sisters did most of them, because our handwriting is not that good. And men don’t have the level of empathy, that women have. So thank you for all your efforts. Thank you to the sisters who spread the news of our tour to their families, friends and communities. Without our sisters help, where would we be? I wouldn’t be able to leave the house, eat, sleep, get dressed or keep appointments if it wasn’t for my wife. So I understand the value of our sisters.
As Men we must continue to strengthen our faith, ourselves and our love for our women. We must strengthen our knowledge in Islam so we understand the platform women are on. Paradise, which is the goal for us all, lies at the feet of the mother. In the famous Hadith (Teachings of the Prophet, peace be upon him), the Prophet, peace be upon him, was asked about who is most deserving of their companionship, and three times He replied “Your Mother“. The fourth time He replied “Your Father”. The mother is the key. Respecting our women is key to us getting better as a community, society and world. We must learn about the great women in Islam. Mariam, Asiya, Khadijah and Fatimah. Learn about the way the Prophet loved and took care of his wives. The way He showed a special emphasis in making sure His Companions understood how to treat and respect the women in their lives. How Muslim men are to be of the best of character, and we must protect our women.
To protect our women we have to know what it takes to be a man. A man is not someone who can boss someone around and control them because they are physically superior. A man is someone who protects, provides, loves, nurtures and cares for the ones under their protection. We are shepherd’s to our sheep. This is a fact. We have to be physically, mentally and emotionally strong for our women. Women are tougher than men. That’s a fact. There is no pain, like the pain of childbirth. And I for one, am glad I’m a man. To see my wife in constant pain, but continuing to say “Alhamdulillah”…I couldn’t do it. I’m not that strong. Let us make a commitment that it starts with us. We will be stronger for our women. Our sisters need us. We need to be stronger in our Deen (way of life), and stronger in our Islamic presence.
Every time a sister steps outside, everyone knows their Muslim. What about me? I think about this constantly. I need to work on not only my physical appearance, but also the way I carry myself. It needs to be a constant form of worship, and a constant presentation of Islam in a positive light. To all my sisters who wear a Hijab (Head covering), I thank you. You are doing more work for Islam, than anything I could ever do. You’re walking the walk, and talking the talk. You are a constant reminder of Islam, and God willing I can get to that point. To my sisters that don’t wear a Hijab, please continue to be good examples of Muslim sisters. A sister who wears a Hijab is not better, or more of a Muslim, than a sister who doesn’t. We’ve met sisters from all over, some covered and some didn’t. And their Eman (faith) was not tilted either way. They were set firm in the Deen (way of life) and promoted Islam well. As a Muslim man, there is no way I can say I know what sisters go through when it comes to the topic of covering or not covering. Whatever your decision is, please just always be a Muslim. If there’s a sister holding up 7 eleven, but she’s wearing a Hijab, am I going to be proud? Probably not. If there is a scholar at a conference breaking down the importance of Interfaith communication, but she does not have a Hijab on, am I going to discount everything she said? No. Who am I? I’m a servant of God. Who are they? A servant of God. Do they answer to me? No. They, along with me, answer to God. So I can keep my two cents, and save it for a Coke. I pray God has mercy on all of us, and makes it easy on us.
I say all that, to get to my final point. We need to get married. As a society we look down on marriage, and we promote the single life. It’s all a facade. Ain’t nothing fun about cooking a grilled cheese sandwich on your iron, in a hotel room, alone. You can have that. No thank you. We need to promote and encourage ourselves, our families, our friends and our community members, to get married. We don’t need to wait for someone who is from our city, and is a Doctor, who graduated from Harvard, with a 720 credit score and dimples. The reality is, they’re not there. If a man asks for your daughters hand in marriage, and you are pleased with his Deen and his character, you can’t turn him away. We need to readjust our standards, not lower them. Just make sure they’re realistic. If you’re young and you are thinking about marriage, talk with your brothers and sisters (friends) who are near in age with you. Then talk to your parents, with a comrade preferably, about marriage. Let them know you are serious. That you are trying to live your life in accordance with what will please God. Then you must work on yourself. A woman doesn’t want a boy, and a man doesn’t want a girl. A wife doesn’t want a dictator, and a husband doesn’t want a nagger. We can all get better and work on ourselves. So let’s enjoin good, and get married. I would love to go to a few more weddings. God willing we can all get better and be a better support system for our brothers and sisters.
Finally the goal of the trip. To educate, communicate, promote and show what “Want for your brother, what you want for yourself” means. We have tried our best to be good examples, but we are not perfect. Please forgive us for our shortcomings. We understand that we have a platform where we can promote other individuals who are doing some amazing things. I would like to personally thank them for their efforts and their sacrifices. I would also like for you to support and follow them in their careers. Ibtihaj Muhammad, Sadam Ali, Sarah Attar, Wojdan Shaherkani and Woroud Sawalha. They are all Professionals in their respective fields, they stand up for what they believe in, and they’re even better people. I pray that we can continue the dialogue and further our relationships with these special individuals. God willing, please look out for all of our future endeavors.
I am truly appreciative of every single person I met. Every person that read a single line of our blog. Every person that hit “Like”, “Share”, “Tweet” and “Email”. Every person that uttered a good word about me, my family and Muslims everywhere. I am truly appreciative of this honor. The honor to communicate with all of you. I am truly blessed, and I really feel as though I was the big benefactor on this tour. I pray I was able to do more good than harm. Please forgive me for any inconsistencies and for my shortcomings. May God bless you and your family to be of those He is pleased with. JazakAllah Khayren (May God reward you with goodness). Peace and Be Blessed.
Assalamu Alaikuum (Peace be upon you)
Thank you to Ihsaan Fusion for this beautiful website, the trailer and the apps. We know only God can repay you what you deserve, but we still thank you very very much. You do great work, and God willing, you’re day is coming. Just remember us when Google comes along.
To LisnUp Clothing and Kamani Online, thank you for keeping us fresh during the tour. We hit em with a whole lot, but that’s not even the tip of the iceberg. We look forward to future collaborations. Thanks again. Salaams