Salaam Alaikum,

I was told by a sister to write a blog about something important that has happened in my life or a small autobiography about my life. So, I decided to choose one aspect of my very young life: My Dad.

As a very young child, I was distanced away from my dad not only emotionally, but also physically. For the first 5 years, I had never met him and it wasn’t a big deal to me because I never thought about it. I just felt as though it was something that some people had and others didn’t. But when I do look back upon it, I do remember longing and missing certain things, like being picked up when I fell, getting a hug or being talked to by a fatherly figure. It was definitely something that used to get me upset because I would see my cousins getting hugged and everything and I was only a few feet away, standing back and watching and always wondered why I would never get a hug.

However, during that time, the most influential person to me was my Grandmother, my Dad’s mom. I spent all my time with her. Fast forward five years and it’s her funeral. Guess who decides to show up unannounced? Well, I remember sitting in the yard with everyone else from our town that gathered for the ceremony and seeing my sister run across yelling “Oh look, Daddy came” and I’m like “Wtf is she talking about?” while I’m weak in the knees. Seeing all those people, he definitely knew what had happened and had no choice but to accept it. Well, at least Allah Swt had it in his kismat to bury his own mother, Alhamdulillah.

During his short time at home, he tried getting close to me but the more he tried, the more I pushed him back because I had no idea who he was nor did I want to let any man enter in all of a sudden, unannounced and acknowledge to me that he’s my Dad. It was just weird having a stranger walk in suddenly and accepting everything to change. I would wake up in the middle of the night and find myself being cradled by him, hugged and sleeping in between Mommy and Daddy. All that anger made me even more resistant to him and I would end up crying at night, wake up and go sleep in a different house only because I hated living in a house with someone I have never met. As the days went by, I found myself avoiding my own house just so I wouldn’t have to make any eye contact with him. I even went as far as to leaving town to get away from him, despite how much he tried to coax me with gifts, candies and toys. And then, a short while later, he left again and all that anger rose in me again and this time, I felt extremely guilty for pushing him away.

I later saw him at an airport and finally held in my breath and decided that I would now have to live with him and as much as I would hate it, no force on Earth could ever change it. So, I gave in. It was the strangest week. Living and sleeping in the house with a man I had never known before really took it to the next level. Years later, things changed and I became more accepting of him and found a new compassion for him.

Never has he raised his hands on me in discipline or physically hurt me and I am extremely grateful for the love and support he has shown me throughout my days living with him. When I wanted to try fake nails, the first thing he did was go out of his way to get them for me. I came back home from Tajweed classes and found him surprising me with nails and nailpolish and all that good stuff. Each time I wanted to get a piercing, he took me himself. He sat with me through the painful moment of getting piercings. And each summer, when I went to get another one, he was extremely supportive and never questioned my motives and again, he sat there holding my hands while the needle pierced me. When I needed to get vaccinated, he would hold my hands and tell me to just look at him and squeeze his hands despite how hard I might hurt him. And even now, when I need to get vaccinated, he lets me hold his now warm and soft hands and there’s not much I could ask for.

The day he left me for boarding school was the first time I had seen my Dad cry in front of me and seeing him cry made me tear up and cry even more. Even though all I wanted to do was climb back into the car and leave, I just stood firm and waited till he removed his hands from my face. And when I looked back, he was still standing there. See, he was always there when I look back.

But the most important reason as to why I love my Dad is because of his imaan, and he has such a strong one. I just don’t get how he can live by the book, word for word and I’m pretty sure it gets tough, but he just doesn’t show it. There might have been times where he wanted to just blow up but he held in his fury and spoke with love and kindness and such a behavior makes me question his further capabilities: If he’s able to resist anger, he probably resists much more. SubhanAllah.

He insists on loving me unconditionally even when I don’t ask for it. Sometimes I feel like a burden to him because he has to work alone and pay for my tuition and books and extra fees but each month he reminds me to never worry about such a thing but all I wonder is how he can say that. I can never pay him back because no matter the amount, it will never add up to how much he has spent on me. I remember when I couldn’t sleep at night and he would come over and ask me if I’m okay and stroke my head, remove the hair out of my eyes and tell me to recite suras. My Dad has truly helped me in so many countless ways.

Because of him, I love Islam. If he had never pushed me in such a direction, I would have never begun reciting Qur’an, learning Tajweed or even practice Islam a bit. His modesty and humbleness is just amazing.

Wa Alaikum Salaam