Qadr of Allah my grandfather on my father’s side just passed away at the age of 96. He lived in in the Guangzhou Province in Southern China, in a very poor village with most of my father’s side of the family living there as well. When I went to China a few summers ago, I was going to meet him for the first time. Qadr of Allah I never made it to Guangzhou – I was extra sad because this is also where the first Masjid in China was built by Saad ibn Abi Waqqas (radiy Allahu anhu) and I really wanted to visit it with my father. Next time Insha’Allah.
When I phoned my father to ask how he was doing, he told me he would be flying to China in 2 weeks for the burial. When I asked why they were waiting 2 weeks to bury him, he replied, they had to look at the calendar for the best day (there are “good luck days” and “bad luck days” to perform certain actions like getting married, moving, burying a deceased, etc), and then everyone attending would go and make certain ritual prayers to the gods. Subhan’Allah – these are but 2 common cultural traditions, totally based on shirk, that I grew up with almost ALL my life. By Allah’s favor He has taken me far away from it to the point where I even forgot about them. So when I was reminded about it from my father, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I used to live and follow these types of beliefs as if they were mere instructions in a manual, without even thinking twice about them. without even thinking that anything was even wrong with it. Now Alhamdulillah I realize the magnitude of these baseless, DARK practices, and the great harm in them. On one hand I was so grateful to reflect on where I was and how Allah SWT took me from that darkness into light, and how Allah SWT has guided me to Tawheed, for my son and myself Alhamdulillah. Then on the other hand I listened to my father speaking and became very sad, because I understood my family’s mentality very well as I was raised by them with the same exact mentality.
I understood how my family sees there is nothing wrong with these things, as they are just cultural traditions. I understand and greatly appreciate how Allah freed me from those shackles and guided me to Islam. As much as I am thankful, I am also sad that my family is still in that state of darkness. Hediya is from Allah SWT, and He will guide only those whom He wills. I will not stop making du’aa for them and trying with them, as anyone can be guided at any moment if Allah wills – and I do not question His Qadr either way. But this whole incident was a huge reminder to me on how temporary life is in this Dunya. The means to Jannah are spelled out for us and through His mercy we can attain it, yet there are so many internal and external deterrances that distract us from our purpose here. We fight so many demons and weaknesses on a daily basis, and without Allah’s mercy we would be losers. Allah SWT gives us so many favors. Although I am grateful for them, I personally feel I fall short in many ways and can do much more to show my appreciation. May Allah SWT help us all to thank Him, remember Him and worship Him in the best way. Subhan’Allah things can change in a person’s life in a split second, but when the angel of death comes, there is no turning back. Whatever we have done in this life will earn us punishment or reward by His mercy, but our ending is what counts. Death is always a reminder especially for the believers, and this was particularly a big reminder for me, as I reflected on my family and my personal path, by Allah’s will. May Allah keep us all firm on the Deen and help us all to die in a state of Islam, leaving this Dunya with a good ending. Please make du’aa for me and all of our Ummah. Please, also make a du’aa for my family’s guidance Insha’Allah, as well as all of our families. You are all in my du’aa as well.
Jazaka Allah Khayran