It’s Not Mother’s or Father’s Day but… Imam Omar Suleiman

“The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.” This is a quote I first heard in 3rd grade. I remember the day very well. My teacher, Mrs. Smith, said it to my father as he brought me to school and updated her on the status of my mother (may Allah have mercy on her) as she was in an unresponsive coma.

Men like my dad are rare. My mom fought through diseases, strokes, partial deafness, cancer, and so much more throughout my childhood. Throughout that process, I watched my dad demonstrate what it means to be a devoted husband. He stood by her side, literally carried her around the house at times, never made her feel like a burden, and was the anchor of our home.

I remember the “suggestions” being made to my dad during that time period by uncles who claimed they were looking out for him. I cringed but held my silence as they thought I didn’t know what they were saying. They spoke of my mom as if she was damaged goods and my dad needed to be “happy.” But to him, happiness was in my mom still being able to smile despite the many close calls. It was in us having as normal of a childhood as possible, considering that our mom who showed us limitless love was unable to do things that other moms could do.

This to me didn’t just teach me to respect my father more, but the faith that he had to keep him going. My dad was and, still is, an important man in the community. He sat on the masjid board, helped found an Islamic school for which he served as chairman for a decade, gave khutbahs, represented the Palestinian cause in debates, participated in interfaith dialogues, participated in local politics, and so much more. Not to mention, he had a lofty academy career as a distinguished tenured Professor of Chemistry, an admirable laboratory, serious research credentials, and impressive inventions and publications. But with all of that, he was always dedicated to my mom and us. Due to his unique circumstances and my mother’s health, he would have to come home and still do plenty of work. But he never complained or showed an ounce of ingratitude. My mom was not a charity case to him, she was his queen. She was his wife who married him when he was a broke graduate student (sorry dad :-) ), and she was the mother of his children.

We all know how much Allah honors mothers in the Quran, as did the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) through the Sunnah. But do we only attribute that honor to the wombs that bore us? What about the mothers who gave us our own children? The mothers who gave us our sadaqa jariya (continuous charity) and most precious investment. The mothers who literally flirted with death in labor while giving birth to our children. Imagine if someone gave you a million-dollar investment with your name on it. How would you treat that person? Yet still we find the nerve to show cruelty to the women that have given us investments in our names that will far outlive us. Not only that, they refine those investments for us by teaching them the religion and upright character that they may grow to supplicate for their parents and pass on this legacy that we’ve inherited from our messenger ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him)

There is a reason that the Prophet (SalAllahu alayhi wa salam) mentioned of the many favors of Khadijah raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) to him that “she bore my children.” Fatima raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her), Al Hassan raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him), Al Hussein raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him), the Mahdi that will eventually come that is of their descendants, etc. All of that is a favor of Khadijah raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) to the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him)  and he did not fail to acknowledge that. So when Allah chides the ungrateful child who dares even to say “uff” to his mother or roll his eyes at her, what then of the man that antagonizes and belittles the women who gave him his own children.

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So thank you mom for being the most loving mother that a child could ask for. Even though you were physically limited for most of my childhood, your overwhelming love and compassion made up for all of that.

Thank you dad for teaching me how to be a husband and father. Your example of unconditional devotion gave me no excuse to fail. When I questioned my faith, I was brought back partly due the amazing demonstration of it that I saw in you. Thank you for never failing to remind me to do the same with my own family

Thank you my lovely wife for being an incredible companion, my greatest supporter, and the mother of my two children. Without you, they literally wouldn’t exist. And without you, they would not be the lovely children that they are today.

And yes, I’m pretty sure my dad loves my wife, who has become a daughter to him, more than me. And for good reason :-)

It’s not mothers or fathers day, but make sure you thank all of the mothers and fathers in your life today.

Our Lord, grant us from among our wives and offspring comfort to our eyes, and make us an example for the righteous. Forgive our parents as they raised us when we were young, and forgive us and help us as we raise our young ones. Ameen

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43 responses to “It’s Not Mother’s or Father’s Day but… Imam Omar Suleiman”

  1. Ameen, what a great man your father is Alhamdulillah!!

    • Faiza Ahmed says:

      SubhanAllah, this brought tears in my eyes. As for someone who never had a dad, I absolutely admire your dad. May Allah cure your mom fully and may Allah reward your amazing dad for that he did and grand all of our parents the highest level of Jannah. Aamiin

    • Usman Ali says:

      This is the way we should lead our lives for an example for the young ones to come. Great lovely story based on the Islamic values.

    • Afshan says:

      I was very moved on reading this post. SubhanAllah so much love n respect for ur parents! It reflects ur upbringing n character. Thats why i am a great follower of ur lectures n dawah!
      May Allah preserve u n ur family n the happiness u share. Ameen

    • Asma says:

      Firstly I want to make dua for u May Allah bless ur mother best of health and keep in his protection Ameen
      I admire u for ur love and respect for ur parents and May Allah guide every child and husband Ameen

  2. Zahida Raja says:

    Speechless! I hope this reaches every single man. I hope it reforms them.

  3. Nayissa says:

    Beautifully lined..Well this is my imam!.. Ameen thumma ameen. stay blessed.

  4. Jaye says:

    MashaAllah may Allah bless your family!

  5. Hamida Bithi says:

    ma shaa Allah, Al’hamdulillah, it was so beautiful so read!
    May Allah bless all of us, our family members, and grant all of us Jannat-Al-Firdous, Ameen.

  6. Iddris says:

    Mashaa Allah! Soo touching,
    Nice piece.

  7. Amina Ishaq says:

    I pray that this reaches every man and touches some cord in their hearts. To love the way your father did is truly rare. May Allah elevate the rank of your mother in jannatul firdaus and may your father always be blessed in di yah and akhirah. Ameen!

  8. Mehboob says:

    Most beautiful words, coming from heart and going into hearts.

    Jazak Allah khair

  9. nouranbintamin says:

    Mashallah. Beautifully said, I hope I can learn from the example of you and your father imam.

  10. Hajira says:

    I love to read reminders like this because it gives me hope, that even though I have no personal experience of such a father figure, my future husband and I can through our own examples show our children how to be the best of parents and spouses. That devoted husbands and loving relationships DO exist and they are something that Islam not only encourages but demands. Thank you for sharing this beautiful piece with us Sheikh. :)

  11. Faraash says:

    Incredibly beautiful, mashaaAllah. May this mindset implement in all of us, ameen.

  12. SHELEEZA DEEN says:

    SubhanaAllaah Alhamdulillah Allaahu Akbar!!! What an amazing example you had. May Allaah SWT continue to bless you entire family. May we all thrive to be better persons with all the different hats we wear fisabilillah!

  13. Najma says:

    Your parents raised a gracious son. What a lovely tribute to your parents!

  14. Farhan says:

    Subhan Allah May ASWT bless you and your family and your parents.
    JZK for the beautiful reminder about the importance of our wives and parents. May Allah SubhanAllah waTallah also make us better husbands and children.

  15. Aziza says:

    Beautiful masha Allah. This is a story i must share with my family. Insha Allah. May Allah reward ur dad abundantly and grant ur mom a high abode in Jannah. AAMEEN

  16. Shehana says:

    Ameen. Beautifully said.

  17. Somayah says:

    Ma sha Allah.
    ذرية بعضها من بعض
    May Allah keep you blessed, safe and sound and may He make us and our children follow the steps of our blessed Prophet (pbuh) and yours.

  18. Ali says:

    Masha Allah Beautiful Story. Your dad is a great man and your mum is a great woman coz she would have also lived on the teachings of Allah and our prophet (SalAllahu alayhi wa salam) with your dad in order for your dad to love, adore, and cherish her the way he did. I only pray and hope that when women want a man to learn a lesson from this story and be like your dad then men also want women to learn lesson & live on the teachings of Allah and our prophet (Sal Allahu alayhi wa salam) and to love, adore, and cherish your man and to show it – “Actions speaks louder then Words”

  19. Shiaz says:

    As it was written about good investment, reading this whole para was only again a good investment, yes you have got a blessed person as your father and role model to copy paste. Subahanalla

  20. Sajiya says:

    Alhumdulillah, beautiful.
    May Allah bless you and your family more. Thankyou for sharing a part of your life with us. May Allah Allow us to understand and benefit. Aameen.

  21. Mansoor Ahmed says:

    My dear brother,You are an Inspirational person. This personal story of your family is worth reading and extracting many points to implement in our life’s may Allah S.w.t bless your family and unity you all in Jannah again.Aameen

  22. Mohammed Ibrahim says:

    Your esteemed parents MA blessed with the greatest beauty of the life in this world instilling the abundant and the most admired qualities, noble and gentle behaviour. In Shaa Allah they would also enjoy the life in Jenna with all the amazing beauty and blessings of their life and with their Saleh children and everlasting bliss and happiness! AH

  23. Elisa says:

    Ameen ya Rabb.
    Thank you for these so inspiring written words. May Allah bless your family and unite you in Jannah. Ameen

  24. Mahmood Akhtar says:

    It is real Islam. Islam demands devotion. Unfortunately we have limited religion to only a few things. Rarely our Imams & preachers talk about this beautiful culture of Islam. They seldom talk about real family issues. I never listened any Imam ever stressing for love of ailing wife. Rarely they talk about common nuisance in our society like misuse of roads & foot paths, noise pollution and even corruption. That is why we have dual personalities, one inside mosque and just opposite one outside mosque. Imams are the institution for keeping our society clean free of social evils.

  25. NuhaSara says:

    Sounds good..! Nicely pictured the role and duty of members in Islamic Family which’s major goal is attaining Jannah while getting Allah’s satisfaction. Yah.. Its your family.! Barakallah.. May Allah bless your family and forgive your visionary parents…. Exactly your Parents are Lucky to give birth for a son like you…!!

  26. Arinola says:

    Awesome, emotional. Your dad is just like my dad. Very selfless. I am inspired by your post. My Dad wasn’t privileged to be the breadwinner of our family but he was there and is still there in ways money could never equate to. May almighty AlLah have mercy on our parents.

  27. AZ says:

    Masya Allah! He earned my respect!

  28. Shajia says:

    Inspired me just like your speech”My role model”
    May Allah Jannatul Firdous to your mom ,and may He (SWT) shower His blessing upon you and your family . Aameen

  29. Maureen McLallen says:

    This is such a beautifully written article I have seen on social media. Thank you for sharing and God bless you and your family.

  30. Aqeel siddiqui says:

    Subhannallah, your father is an angel. A role model for all men.

  31. Uj says:

    What a beautiful piece of writing . You realy are a sadqa jaria for your parent mashaAllah.

  32. Abdul Sammad says:

    Ameen
    Very Nice subhan Allah

  33. Abdul Sammad says:

    Ameen
    Very Nice subhan Allah
    your father is roll model for u.

  34. Badr says:

    Allahuma Ameen Ya Sheikh….it all comes down to the very Core unit of our Ummah, The Family. If it’s not right then the Ummah is not right.

  35. Tuffah Nurein says:

    So touching… This article brought tears into my eyes, mainly so I remembered how my dear father (rahimahu ‘Llah) was, and how much he was taking care of my mother (may Allah give her good health), similarly as same as what you have explained to us. Oh Allah… I’m so touched by this story. Oh yes… my father was amazing! This truly is how Islam has taught us in both ways as regards father and mother. But my father was ‘a m a z i n g’.May he be granted the best place in Jannat, A’miin.

  36. Muhammad Siddique says:

    Is this the same Imam Omar Suleiman who shared the stage with George Bush, Jr. et. al after the fatal shootings of cops in Texas by an African American?

  37. Sayed M. Husaini says:

    I’m impressed by the main theme, yet I find the below part disturbing.
    Quote: There is a reason that the Prophet (SalAllahu alayhi wa salam) mentioned of the many favors of Khadijah raḍyAllāhu ‘anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) to him that “she bore my children.” Fatima raḍyAllāhu ‘anha (may Allāh be pleased with her), Al Hassan raḍyAllāhu ‘anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him), Al Hussein raḍyAllāhu ‘anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him), the Mahdi that will eventually come that is of their descendants, etc. All of that is a favor of Khadijah raḍyAllāhu ‘anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) to the Prophet ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) and he did not fail to acknowledge that.
    Unquote.
    Sayyidah Khadija bore Sayyidah Zainab, Ruqayyah, Umm Kulthoom, besides Fatimah.
    Also, any reference about him (slaw) mentioning al-Mahdi as a favor from Sayyidah Khadeejah?

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