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The Effort to Instil Imaan and Deen

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(Mother of Mufti Ebrahim Salejee [daamat barakaatuhum] – Part Two)

Makkiyyah Aapa (rahimahallah) was always concerned regarding the Deen and imaan of her family and progeny. It was out of this concern that she would perform two rakaats of salaah, every day, making du‘aa to Allah Ta‘ala to safeguard the Deen and dunya of all her children. Likewise, every morning, she would take out some money and set it aside as sadaqah for her children and family.

She would commence teaching her children from a very young age. Hence, one of her children commenced the takhtee (the first stage of learning Arabic letters) and completed learning to recite the Quraan Majeed in just one year, from when the child was four until he was five years old.

She was very particular about the daily ta’leem at home, and would encourage one-and-all to be punctual on the daily ta’leem. After the Asr Salaah, she would gather all the members of the home and ensure that ta’leem was conducted by reading from the kitaabs Fazaail-e-Aa’maal and Fazaail-e-Sadaqaat. Before the ta’leem would commence, she would ask someone to first recite the 40 Durood and Salaam, and after the ta’leem was concluded, she would instruct everyone to engage in zikr for some time, after which a collective du‘aa was made.

On one occasion, she mentioned to her son, Mufti Saheb (daamat barakaatuhum), “On the day when ta’leem is not conducted in the home, I feel as if something is wrong. I sense a void and emptiness on that day.”

In the morning, she would conduct a separate ta’leem from the Behishti Zewar of Moulana Ashraf Ali Thaanwi (rahimahullah) – particularly the section on “Upbringing of children”. If anyone in the family was getting married, she would encourage them to read this section repeatedly.

She would also make her granddaughters read the sections “The correct method of raising children” as well as “Obedience to the husband” from Behishti Zewar so that they would learn to conduct correctly before their husbands and would learn to give their children the correct upbringing. She also advised her granddaughters saying, “No matter what situation your husband may be in, never belittle him in front of anybody – especially his children, your family and his family.”

Her concern for her children was such that even in their absence, she remained worried about them. Hence, after she had sent her sons to Mia’s Farm to study Deen, whenever she would be reading Fazaail-e-Aa’maal and Fazaail-e-Sadaqaat or any other kitaab, and she would come across a section that she felt would benefit them, she would place a marker in that place. Upon their return, she would read these sections to them.

She would emphasise the importance of good character to her granddaughters, and time and time again, she would make them read the ahaadeeth regarding good character from the kitaab “The Sublime Conduct of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam)”. She would also make them read the hadeeth regarding the Sahaabi who was given the glad tidings of Jannah as a reward for not having any malice in his heart.

She would teach her daughters and granddaughters to honour, respect and serve the elderly. In order to instil this quality within them, if there was any old woman present, she would make them bring water for her, fetch her shoes, hold her hands to give her support while she walked, etc.

She would not tolerate wastage in any form, and hence would ensure that the plates and pots be wiped clean. She would explain to her children that even if it is just a little food, it can still feed a poor person and should not be wasted. When encouraging children to clean their plates, she would remind them of the hadeeth which says that the plate makes du‘aa for a person when he cleans it.

She taught her children the importance of du‘aa saying, “Allah Ta‘ala’s treasures are unlimited and He has everything we desire. So, always ask Him for whatever you need.” On a Friday specifically, she would encourage her children to engage in du‘aa, reminding them that there is a special moment on a Friday wherein du‘aas are accepted.

On Fridays, she would also encourage the household to recite Aayat-e-Kareemah (i.e. the du‘aa of Nabi Yunus [‘alaihis salaam] - “Laa ilaaha illa anta subhaanaka inni kuntu minaz zaalimeen”) together, after which they would all engage in du‘aa. 

When it came to arguments, she advised her children to avoid any conversation or discussion which could evolve into a misunderstanding or quarrel. Furthermore, she advised them that if any such discussion was underway, then they should immediately leave on some pretext e.g. the need to go to the toilet. She once advised one of her sons saying, “If anyone starts discussing a controversial topic with you, reply by saying, ‘Salaah is fardh.’” (i.e. let us rather speak about something that is free of controversy and accepted by all.) Similarly, if she saw any women quarrelling, she would immediately encourage them to commence making ta’leem from Fazaail-e-Aa’maal.

She was once asked, “How do you live with so many daughters-in-law in one house?” She replied, “We should all make ourselves blind, deaf and dumb (to the faults and weaknesses of others by overlooking and forgiving).” Similarly, she would advise the women living in one house to ask each other for forgiveness every week (on a Friday) for anything that might have occurred during the week. She would also emphasize that tales should not be carried between members of the household. She would say, “If someone speaks ill of me, then do not tell me about it. This is the recipe for happiness.”

She never regarded her children to be too old to be corrected. In particular, she would emphasize the importance of sincerity and warn regarding pride and haughtiness. On one occasion, one of her sons came to her and mentioned to her that since his business was not doing so well, he had started making an effort to market and promote his goods. When she heard this, she said, “Instead of praising the goods, you should rather praise Allah Ta‘ala.” In other words, even though it was permissible for him to market his goods, she reminded him that his greater concern should be to please Allah Ta‘ala.

Lessons:

1. The greatest concern in the heart of Makkiyyah Aapa (rahimahallah) was for the safety of her children’s imaan and Deen. Hence, it is clear that this was her main focus in their upbringing, as she understood that a correct Deeni upbringing would assist the child in remaining firm in Deen, thus acquiring a safe passage to Jannah.

2. When teaching values to children, then instead of merely speaking and discussing the values, they need to be practically taught and implemented. Thus, Makkiyyah Aapa (rahimahallah) would make her daughters serve the elderly, make the children clean their plates, make du‘aa on a Friday, etc.

3. The importance of daily home ta’leem can never be emphasized enough. It is through punctuality on the daily home ta’leem that the spirit and mindset of Deen is instilled into the household. Furthermore, engaging in zikr, du‘aa etc., as a family, causes the special mercy of Allah Ta‘ala to rain on the household.

4. When the parent plays an active part in the Deeni education of the child, the child progresses in leaps and bounds. However, if the parent relies on the maktab to ‘work wonders’, and there is no corresponding effort or support given at home, then in most cases, the child struggles to progress and does not reach his potential.