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Look Who Isn’t Dead Yet, Please Don’t Be Disappointed

Zeba Khan

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Hey, look! I’m talking about disability again! I began doing this openly a few years ago when I first experienced the implications of having a chronic, degenerative health condition myself. Whether I want to or not, I’ve been talking about disability ever since.

It seems to happen naturally when you have a child with special needs. My son has autism therefore I talk about autism, not only to educate other people but also to – InshaAllah – lay the groundwork for the cultural shift that my son, and thousands of other Muslim children, will need in order to survive their own futures.

I talk about other disabilities as well. I have what is considered an invisible disability called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. I have a genetic defect in my collagen that is responsible for a domino effect of secondary problems: Autonomic Dysfunction, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia, Mast Cell Activation Disorder,  etcetera, etcetera. My heart, lungs, and especially my joints exist in a state of gradual, invisible deterioration that will persist as long as I do. Currently, I am writing live from an enormous plastic boot meant to protect the tendon I tore in my foot doing nothing fast, dangerous, or remotely interesting.

Everyone Agrees

My advocacy has been an educational experience for myself as well. In talking to the Muslim community about disability, I’ve learned a lot from the Muslim community about disability. For starters, I’ve learned that everyone always agrees with me. It’s awesome!

I say, Muslims with disabilities deserve better! And everyone is always like yeah!

And I say, every Muslim has a right to the masjid! And everyone is like yeah!

And I say, please install a wheelchair ramp! And people are like …yeah.

I’ve learned that there is no difference of opinion — religiously speaking — when it comes to recognizing the rights that Muslims with disabilities have. Like the rights of the poor, the widowed, and the orphaned, the rights of Muslims with disabilities are indisputably part of our religion and our success as a believing community.

So we fundraise for Syria, Takbeer!

AllahuAkbar!

And we fundraise for Palestine, Takbeer!

AllahuAkbar!

But can we fundraise for that wheelchair ramp?

Allah… willing, sister. Make dua.

It’s weird. We all agree that Muslims with disabilities have the right to access and accommodation in our masajid and our communities, but why don’t we seem to be doing much about it? We all agree that fulfilling these rights are fard, but why do so many of us act like the rights of Muslims with disabilities are optional?

I don’t even mean optional like sunnah. I mean optional like the rights of Muslims with disabilities are some sort of extra, extra credit that we can get around to after we’ve taken care of everything and everyone else first – even when our religion teaches us otherwise. I’m trying to understand this disconnect, I really am. I have to ask, what are we, as a community, missing?

The 20%

The answer is — roughly 20% of us. Nearly 20% of people in this country are living with some form of disability. The Muslim population is included in that statistic, but is the Muslim community reflective of it? If 200 people pray Jumuah at your masjid, do forty of them have some sort of disability? Of the dozens of people that comprise your social circle, are even like four or five of them disabled?

Remember, 20% of people living in this country have some form of disability, and that’s this country. In places of conflict, more Muslims are permanently disabled through injury. In places of poverty, more Muslims lose their sight and health to otherwise preventable diseases. If twenty out of every hundred people that you knew suddenly stopped coming to the masjid, that would be reason enough for you to take notice. Muslims with disabilities are missing from our masajid, why are we not taking their absence seriously?

I’ve asked around and one of the most common explanations seems to be that people know, but don’t care. So why don’t they care? Maybe they don’t care because disability is not real to them. Maybe until they’re deaf, or their child or their parent is deaf, they don’t think about what it must be like – sitting in the masjid and no one speaking to you? Maybe they’ve never wondered what it feels like, sitting through a khutba that no one will interpret for you. Maybe they’ve never had to imagine never, ever attending Islamic classes because you need sign language interpretation but when you ask for it, no one is willing to provide it for you?

I don’t think that’s too big an assumption for the hearing community or for the neurotypical, able-bodied, and otherwise healthy Muslim community as a whole. Before my son was born with autism I didn’t even know what autism was, let alone how difficult it was to be part of the community if your child is treated like a shaytaan and you as the mother of his evils.

The $250 Quran

True, no amount of well-intentioned empathy or introspection could give a neurotypical, able-bodied Muslim the truest impact or experience of what living with disability is like. The world is full of much that we can never know until we experience it ourselves, but lack of complete knowledge is not an excuse for willfully maintained ignorance. When the collective will to do better is there, then the ways open up.

It took me one conversation – just one – with a visually impaired sister to learn that putting your shoes up on the shoe rack and keeping the wudu area dry isn’t just about tidiness, it’s about safety for the visually impaired. I also learned that, for whatever reason, a braille Qur’an costs over a hundred dollars to print – and this is the Arabic braille – like a pure braille Mushaf. I learned that there are currently NO braille copies of the Saheeh International English translation freely available. If you wanted to buy one, it would cost you … guess. Twenty dollars? Fifty dollars? How much is too much to pay for a translation of the Qur’an?

A braille copy of the Saheeh International translation of the Qur’an costs 250 dollars. I didn’t know this before. Neither did you. But now that we know, are we ok with this? Can we accept free or affordable translations of the Qur’an as standard for everyone except visually impaired Muslims? Oh, and if you think your access to Islamic books is limited by lack of translation – try finding a braille copy of Sahih Bukhari or Diseases of the Heart or Fortress of The Muslim.

Allah made some Muslims blind – that’s the Qadr of Allah. But we’re the ones keeping them from religious education through our collective ignorance and apathy of their situation. Allah made some Muslims deaf, but we isolate them when we refuse to provide sign language they need to “hear” or learn from anything that is being taught in the masjid. Allah made some Muslims unable to walk, but we’re the ones preventing them from attending prayer and being part of the community. We decided that as long as we can get through the front door, that it’s no problem if other Muslims can’t. As long as we can do wudu and we can access the musalla, who cares if other Muslims can’t?

Twenty percent of Muslims live with some sort of disability. Are we the 80% saying – silently through our actions, even if not out loud with our words –that as long as we can learn our religion, we can be part of the community, and we can get married and get hired and live happily ever after – as long as we can do this, that we don’t care if other Muslims can’t.

Love For Your Brother

The Messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said:

None of us truly believes, until we love for our brothers and sisters what we love for ourselves. “

That is a very clear, very direct, very powerful statement. We are not people of true faith until we take care of all Muslims as well as we would like to be taken care of ourselves. Our own brothers and sisters face unnecessary social and religious isolation – not because of their disability – but because of OUR RESPONSE to their disability. And maybe none of these Muslims are your parents or your children, but all of these Muslims are your brothers and sisters.

You don’t have to have a special needs child to ask your masjid to provide Sunday School or a Hifz Program for children with special needs. You don’t have to lose your sight to make education and events accessible to those who have. You don’t have to be deaf in order to make sure that your masjid is teaching and speaking to those who are. You don’t have to know anyone with a special need of any sort to know that they deserve as much from the community as you do. All you need is the knowledge that another Muslim needs you. And then you just have to help.

Disability is a test. It has a start, and end, and a reward for success. And like all tests, disability is an opportunity for us to do right by each other by loving for each other, what we love for ourselves. Allah willed that twenty percent of us should be honored with the opportunity to earn extra blessings by enduring extra challenges. And Allah demands that the rest of us rise to the occasion and serve Him by serving His creation.


Please learn about and support the following organizations that are making progress in the arena of disabled Muslims every day:

MUHSEN: www.muhsen.org

Islam By Touch: www.islambytouch.com

International Services for Deaf and Hard of Hearing: www.isdhh.org

Zeba Khan is the Director of Development for MuslimMatters.org, as well as a writer, speaker, and disability awareness advocate. In addition to having a child with autism, she herself lives with Ehlers-Danlos Sydrome, Dysautonomia, Mast-Cell Activation Disorder, and a random assortment of acronyms that collectively translate to chronic illness and progressive disability.

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Ramadan

    July 23, 2018 at 12:56 PM

    Jazakillahu khayr

  2. Avatar

    Bayan

    July 24, 2018 at 7:14 AM

    Beautifully written. May Allah strengthen you.

  3. Avatar

    Ashley

    August 4, 2018 at 12:09 AM

    IA one day more people will become aware of us, the 20%

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#Current Affairs

The Duplicity of American Muslim Influencers And The ‘So-called Muslim Ban’

Dr Joseph Kaminski

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As we approach the beginning of another painful year of the full enforcement of Presidential Proclamation 9645 (a.k.a. ‘the Muslim ban’) that effectively bars citizens of several Muslim majority countries from entering into the United States, the silence remains deafening. As I expected, most of the world has conveniently forgotten about this policy, which thus far has separated over 3,000 American families from their spouses and other immediate relatives. In June 2019, the Brennan Center of Justice notes that: The ban has also kept at least 1,545 children from their American parents and 3,460 parents from their American sons and daughters. While silence and apathy from the general public on this matter is to be expected— after all, it is not their families who are impacted— what is particularly troubling is the response that is beginning to emerge from some corners of the American Muslim social landscape.

While most Muslims and Muslim groups have been vocal in their condemnation of Presidential Proclamation 9645, other prominent voices have not. Shadi Hamid sought to rationalize the executive order on technical grounds arguing that it was a legally plausible interpretation. Perhaps this is true, but some of the other points made by Hamid are quite questionable. For example, he curiously contends that:

The decision does not turn American Muslims like myself into “second-class citizens,” and to insist that it does will make it impossible for us to claim that we have actually become second-class citizens, if such a thing ever happens.

I don’t know— being forced to choose exile in order to remain with one’s family certainly does sound like being turned into a ‘second-class citizen’ to me. Perhaps the executive order does not turn Muslims like himself, as he notes, into second-class citizens, but it definitely does others, unless it is possible in Hamid’s mind to remain a first-class citizen barred from living with his own spouse and children for completely arbitrary reasons, like me. To be fair to Hamid, in the same article he does comment that the executive order is a morally questionable decision, noting that he is “still deeply uncomfortable with the Supreme Court’s ruling” and that “It contributes to the legitimization and mainstreaming of anti-Muslim bigotry.”

On the other hand, more recently others have shown open disdain for those who are angered about the ‘so-called Muslim ban.’ On June 6th, 2019, Abdullah bin Hamid Ali, a Senior Faculty Member at Zaytuna College, Islamic scholar and the founder of the Lamppost Education Initiative, rationalized the ban on spurious security grounds. He commented that,

The so-called Muslim ban, of course, has us on edge about his potential. But, to be fair, a real Muslim ban would mean that no Muslim from any country should be allowed in the US. There are about 50 Muslim majority countries. Trump singled out only 7 of them, most of which are war torn and problem countries. So, it is unfair to claim that he was only motivated by a hatred for Islam and Muslims.

First, despite how redundant and unnecessary this point is to make again, one ought to be reminded that between 1975 and 2015, zero foreigners from the seven nations initially placed on the banned list (Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen) killed any Americans in terrorist attacks on U.S. soil and zero Libyans or Syrians have ever even been convicted of planning a terrorist attack on U.S. soil during that same time period. I do not think these numbers have changed over the last 4 years either. If policy decisions are supposed to be made on sound empirical evidence and data, then there is even less justification for the ban.

Second, Bin Hamid Ali comments that ‘the so-called Muslim ban, of course, has us on edge about his [Trump’s] potential.’ Whoa… hold on; on edge about his potential? For the millions of people banned from entering the United States and the thousands of Muslim families connected to these millions of people, this ‘potential’ has been more than realized. To reduce the ‘so-called Muslim ban’ to just targeting ‘war torn and problem countries’ is to reduce our family members—our husbands, wives, and children—to (inaccurate) statistics and gross stereotypes. Are spouses from Syria or Yemen seeking to reunite with their legally recognized spouses or children any less deserving to be with their immediate family members because they hail from ‘problem countries’? How can one be concerned with stereotypes while saying something like this? Is this not the exact thing that Abdullah bin Hamid Ali seeks to avoid? Surely the Professor would not invoke such stereotypes to justify the racial profiling of black American citizens. What makes black non-Americans, Arabs, and Iranians any different when it comes to draconian immigration profiling? From a purely Islamic perspective, the answer is absolutely nothing.

More recently, Sherman Jackson, a leading Islamic intellectual figure at the University of Southern California, King Faisal Chair in Islamic Thought and Culture and Professor of Religion and American Studies and Ethnicity, also waded into this discussion. In his essay, he reframed the Muslim ban as a question of identity politics rather than basic human right, pitting Muslim immigrants against what he calls ‘blackamericans’ drawing some incredibly questionable, nativist, and bigoted conclusions. Jackson in a recent blog responding to critiques by Ali al-Arian about his own questionable affiliations with authoritarian Arab regimes comments:

Al-Arian mentions that,

“the Muslim American community seemed united at least in its opposition to the Trump administration.”  He and those who make up this alleged consensus are apparently offended by Trump’s so-called Muslim ban.  But a Blackamerican sister in Chicago once asked me rhetorically why she should support having Muslims come to this country who are only going to treat her like crap.

These are baffling comments to make about ‘Trump’s so-called Muslim ban.’ Jackson creates a strawman by bringing up an anecdotal story that offers a gross generalization that clearly has prejudiced undertones of certain Muslim immigrants. Most interesting, however is how self-defeating Jackson’s invocation of identity politics is considering the fact that a large number of the ‘blackamerican’ Muslims that he is concerned about themselves have relatives from Somalia and other countries impacted by the travel ban. As of 2017, there were just over 52,000 Americans with Somali ancestry in the state of Minnesota alone. Are Somali-Americans only worth our sympathy so long as they do not have Somali spouses? What Jackson and Bin Hamid Ali do not seem to understand is that these Muslim immigrants they speak disparagingly of, by in large, are coming on family unification related visas.

Other people with large online followings have praised the comments offered by Abdullah bin Hamid Ali and Sherman Jackson. The controversial administrator of the popular The Muslim Skeptic website, Daniel Haqiqatjou, in defense of Jackson’s comments, stated:

This is the first time I have seen a prominent figure downplay the issue. And I think Jackson’s assessment is exactly right: The average American Muslim doesn’t really care about this. There is no evidence to indicate that this policy has had a significant impact on the community as a whole. Travel to the US from those four countries affected by the ban was already extremely difficult in the Obama era.

What Haqiqatjou seems to not realize is that while travel from these countries was difficult, it was not as ‘extremely difficult’ as he erroneously claims it was. The US issued 7,727 visas to Iranian passport holders in 2016 prior to the ban. After the ban in 2018, that number dropped to 1,449. My own wife was issued a B1/B2 Tourist visa to meet my family in 2016 after approximately 40 days of administrative processing which is standard for US visa seekers who hold Iranian passports. On the other hand, she was rejected for the same B1/B2 Tourist visa in 2018 after a grueling 60+ day wait due to Presidential Proclamation 9645. At the behest of the Counselor Officer where we currently live, she was told to just finish the immigration process since this would put her in a better position to receive one of these nearly impossible to get waivers. She had her interview on November 19, 2018, and we are still awaiting the results of whatever these epic, non-transparent ‘extreme vetting’ procedures yield. Somehow despite my wife being perfectly fine to enter in 2016, three years later, we are entering the 10th month of waiting for one of these elusive waivers with no end time in sight, nor any guarantee that things will work out. Tell me how this is pretty much the same as things have always been?

What these commentators seem to not realize is that the United States immigration system is incredibly rigid. One cannot hop on a plane and say they want to immigrate with an empty wallet to start of Kebab shop in Queens. It seems as if many of these people that take umbrage at the prospects of legal immigration believe that the immigration rules of 2019 are the same as they were in 1819. In the end, it is important to once again reiterate that the Muslim immigrants Jackson, Bin Hamid Ali and others are disparaging are those who most likely are the family members of American Muslim citizens; by belittling the spouses and children of American Muslims, these people are belittling American Muslims themselves.

Neo-nationalism, tribalism, and identity politics of this sort are wholly antithetical to the Islamic enterprise. We have now reached the point where people who are considered authority figures within the American Islamic community are promoting nativism and identity politics at the expense of American Muslim families. Instead of trying to rationalize the ‘so-called Muslim Ban’ via appeals to nativist and nationalist rhetoric, influential Muslim leaders and internet influencers need to demonstrate empathy and compassion for the thousands of US Muslim families being torn apart by this indefinite Muslim ban that we all know will never end so long as Donald Trump remains president. In reality, they should be willing to fight tooth-and-nail for American Muslim families. These are the same people who regularly critique the decline of the family unit and the rise of single-parent households. Do they not see the hypocrisy in their positions of not defending those Muslim families that seek to stay together?

If these people are not willing to advocate on behalf of those of us suffering— some of us living in self-imposed exile in third party countries to remain with our spouses and children— the least they can do is to not downplay our suffering or even worse, turn it into a political football (Social Justice Warrior politics vs. traditional ‘real’ Islam). It seems clear that if liberal Muslim activists were not as outspoken on this matter, these more conservative voices would take a different perspective. With the exception of Shadi Hamid, the other aforementioned names have made efforts to constrain themselves firmly to the ‘traditional’ Muslim camp. There is no reason that this issue, which obviously transcends petty partisan Muslim politics, ought to symbolize one’s allegiance to any particular social movement or camp within contemporary Islamic civil society.

If these people want a ‘traditional’ justification for why Muslim families should not be separated, they ought to be reminded that one of al-Ghazali’s 5 essential principles of the Shari’a was related to the protection of lineage/family and honor (ḥifẓ al-nasl). Our spouses are not cannon fodder for such childish partisan politics. We will continue to protect our families and their honor regardless of how hostile the environment may become for us and regardless of who we have to name and shame in the process.

When I got married over a year prior to Donald Trump being elected President, I vowed that only Allah would separate me from my spouse. I intend on keeping that vow regardless of what consequences that decision may have.

Photo courtesy: Adam Cairns / The Columbus Dispatch

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Raising A Child Between Ages 2-7 | Dr Hatem Al Haj

Dr. Hatem El Haj M.D Ph.D

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children drawing crayons

This is called a pre-operational period by Jean Piaget who was focused on cognitive development.

Children this age have difficulty reconciling between different dimensions or seemingly contradictory concepts. One dimension will dominate and the other will be ignored. This applies in the physical and abstract realms. For example, the water in the longer cup must be more than that in the shorter one, no matter how wide each cup is. Length dominates over width in his/her mind.

Throughout most of this stage, a child’s thinking is self-centered (egocentric). This is why preschool children have a problem with sharing.

In this stage, language develops very quickly, and by two years of age, kids should be combining words, and by three years, they should be speaking in sentences.

Erik Erikson, who looked at development from a social perspective, felt that the child finishes the period of autonomy vs. shame by 3 years of age and moves on to the period of initiative vs. guilt which will dominate the psycho-social development until age 6. In this period, children assert themselves as leaders and initiative takers. They plan and initiate activities with others. If encouraged, they will become leaders and initiative takers.

Based on the above, here are some recommendations:

In this stage, faith would be more caught than taught and felt than understood. The serene, compassionate home environment and the warm and welcoming masjid environment are vital.

Recognition through association: The best way of raising your kid’s love of Allah and His Messenger ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) is by association. If you buy him ice cream, take the opportunity to tell them it is Allah who provided for you; the same applies to seeing a beautiful rose that s/he likes, tell them it is Allah who made it. Tell them stories about Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him). Statements like: “Prophet Muhammad was kinder to kids than all of us”; “Prophet Muhammad was kind to animals”; ” Prophet Muhammad loved sweets”; ” Prophet Muhammad helped the weak and old,” etc. will increase your child’s love for our most beloved ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him).

Faith through affiliation: The child will think, “This is what WE do, and how WE pray, and where WE go for worship.” In other words, it is a time of connecting with a religious fraternity, which is why the more positive the child’s interactions with that fraternity are, the more attached to it and its faith he/she will become.

Teach these 2-7 kids in simple terms. You may be able to firmly insert in them non-controversial concepts of right and wrong (categorical imperatives) in simple one-dimensional language. Smoking is ḥarâm. No opinions. NO NUANCES. No “even though.” They ate not ready yet for “in them is great sin and [yet, some] benefit for people.”

Promote their language development by speaking to them a lot and reading them books, particularly such books that provoke curiosity and open discussions to enhance their expressive language. Encourage them to be bilingual as learning two languages at once does not harm a child’s cognitive abilities, rather it enhances them.

This is despite an initial stage of confusion and mixing that will resolve by 24 to 30 months of age. By 36 months of age, they will be fluent bilingual speakers. Introduce Islamic vocabulary, such as Allah, Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), masjid, Muslim, brothers, salaat, in-sha’a-Allah, al-Hamdulillah, subhana-Allah, etc. (Don’t underestimate the effect of language; it does a lot more than simply denoting and identifying things.)

In this pre-operational period, their ability of understanding problem solving and analysis is limited. They can memorize though. However, the focus on memorization should still be moderate. The better age for finishing the memorization of the Quran is 10-15.

Use illustrated books and field trips.

Encourage creativity and initiative-taking but set reasonable limits for their safety. They should also realize that their freedom is not without limits.

Between 3-6 years, kids have a focus on their private parts, according to Freud. Don’t get frustrated; tell them gently it is not appropriate to touch them in public.

Don’t get frustrated with their selfishness; help them gently to overcome this tendency, which is part of this stage.

Parenting: Raising a Child from Age 0 to 2 | Dr. Hatem Al Haj

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Reflection On The Legacy of Mufti Umer Esmail | Imam Azhar Subedar

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“An ocean of knowledge which once resided on the seabed of humbleness has now submerged below it, forever.”

“Why didn’t you tell me!! You call me your younger brother, but you couldn’t even tell me you were ailing?!”

I could’ve called you or visited you so I could apologize for all the pain I caused you; thank you for all the good you did for me throughout my life despite all that pain. if nothing else, just so I could say goodbye to you.”

(My selfish mind continued to cry out as I stood in front of his grave— praying.)

As I sat down to compile my thoughts, upon returning home, I put my feelings of loss aside and tried to analyze your decision of not informing me about your illness from a different perspective.

Possibly, your own.

Why would you tell me?

This was just like you. You never wanted to hurt a soul; forget about making them worry about you, augmenting their own worries. For you were the sponge for our worries, the shock absorber of our concerns, and the solid wall that shouldered the pain of those around him.

You weren’t just a big brother, my big brother, you were a true human. A lesson on humanity.

You were always there for me.

“I GOT A QUESTION” sent at 2 AM.

“Sure” was your response.

We spoke for over 40 min.

That night.

Your strength reflected my weakness- always urging me to do better, be more like you.

I was told you were in hospital by a close family member early Friday morning before Jummah prayers. I was supposed to call you. That was my responsibility. However, the preparation of the Friday Sermon was my excuse not to do so.

As I exited from delivering the Friday services, I received a message from you, the one who was spending the last days of his life in a hospital, never to be seen outside of the confines of those walls ever again.

That message you wrote- you knew me so well.

“As-salaam alaikum, I thought you were already American?”

(You were catching up with me as I had become an American citizen the day before. You wanted to congratulate me, without complaining to me.)

“I heard you are in the hospital?! How are you? What’s going on?” I asked immediately.

“Getting some treatment done. Mubarak on your American citizenship” was your response.

Diversion. A stubborn man with a heart of gold. You wanted to celebrate people even at the cost of your own life.

Your last words to me were digital, even though your connection with me spans a lifetime. As much as I wish I had heard your voice one last time, I try to find the beauty in that communication too as I can save and cherish those last words.

We grew up together in Canada in the ’80s- Mufti Umer and I. Our fathers were tight- childhood buddies. He ended up becoming the inspiration for my family to trek towards a path devoted to Islam, beginning with my brother and then myself.

He was my support from the time when I came to England to study at the Dar Al Uloom and wanted to call it quits and go home, to when he hosted me when I visited him in Austin in 2002, all the way till 2019, after I was married and settled with kids he loved like his own.

He visited us here in Dallas and had met them in his unique way of showering them with love. And why wouldn’t he? My wife and I are here under one roof all because of his earnest desire to help people.

He introduced us to each other.

“I want you to marry my younger brother.” A message he sent to my wife over 17 years ago.

She was his student. He was her mentor, support beam, confidante, and best friend. (Well, we all feel like he was our best friend, only because he truly was.)

I am sharing my life story not only because he was an integral part of it, but throughout (he was also a major part of my wife’s life when she really needed him) but because that final text message wrapped it all up- the gift that he was to me and my family. It showed how much he was invested in us as individuals, as a couple, and as a family.

That message wrote:

“I thought you’ve been a citizen since marriage.”

(FRIDAY, AUGUST 30TH @ 3: 07 PM)

This is just my story featuring Mufti Umer Ismail.

I am confident that there are thousands more out there without exaggeration.

I’ll conclude with a word he corrected for me as I misspelled it on my Facebook page a few months ago when Molana Haaris Mirza, a dear colleague, passed away in New York. He didn’t do it publicly, he did it through that same Facebook text messenger that kept us in touch- with love and sincere care for me in his heart.

“As-salaam alaikum the word is Godspeed. Sorry for being [a] grammar freak.”

(MARCH 28TH, 2019 @6: 04 PM)

Godspeed, my dear brother. Godspeed.

Azhar Subedar

imamAzhar.com

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