This is my father’s study circle at the Solihull Islamic Education Academy – SIEA. He has been teaching this every friday non-stop for 14 years, not missing a SINGLE WEEK. He would schedule holidays, work and even weddings to fit around this. Over the years, he’s covered everything from tafsir, interfaith, fiqh, tazkiyah and now the names of Allah. He reads numerous books and lectures to prepare for each one and presents it in slides each week to people who attend. Alongside that, he’s always the first to come and set up the hall and the last to leave after tidying up. And all this is just a drop in the ocean of what he has done for the British Muslim and Non-Muslim community.
…and then there’s his hidden soldier in the background: my mum. Where I do I even start with her!
I take so much inspiration from them both. We all struggle to commit to something for a few weeks, never mind a year or more. When people have come and gone, they have both remained teaching and serving the community regardless of how many people come. As their son, I know they only do this for the sake of Allah. The sacrifices they make, the criticism they’ve faced and (at times) the under appreciation they’ve received have all been signs of this. Nothing stops them from continuing to serve the community, as its only God they seek to please. Nowadays, people serve because they seek fame, money or gratitude. Once they get their first knock, they’re down and out for good.
I know both my parents won’t be happy about me posting this (good thing they don’t check facebook!). They never take any credit for what they do. It is true that we have an amazing community in Solihull and there are many people who contribute towards it (often hidden from the public eye), but I know their role has been essential to it all.
I pray Allah gives them many more years of good health and life in this world, but I struggle to imagine what life will be like without them. How I will remain firm and serve for the next 40/50 years of my life – if I’m granted a long life! But what scares me most is how I can step up to the plate once they’re gone!