“Let there be a community among you who call to the good, and enjoin the right, and forbid the wrong. They are the ones who have success.” ~ Quran (3: 104)
“You are the best nation ever to be produced before mankind. You enjoin the right, forbid the wrong and have iman in Allah.” ~Quran (3: 110)
So every year during Ramadan he takes time out to leave behind, work, home and his own comfort to travel and teach, lecture and engage in community work. Last year he spent Ramadan in Germany and the year before two months in South Africa. This week he left home to spend seven weeks in America: in Los Angeles for a short time and mainly in San Francisco.
I cannot explain how proud of him I am. He has faced so much criticism over the years for the work he undertakes, for leaving us behind and for shutting his business. But I can see the courage it takes to do this and the level of trust in Allah (SWT) as the Provider and Protector. It takes a deep belief that Allah (SWT) will take care of your affairs while you are doing the work He has ordained.
I also love the fact that he is well-travelled and an experienced man of the world. My respect for him has increased because of this. He once said the he would like for his sons to travel through Europe, Africa, Asia and South Africa for at least one year before they marry. He would like them to see what the rest of the world really looks like, what the reality of people’s lives is and how blessed we are.
While he is away, I fill up my hours with childcare, housework, work and my hobbies. As a family we use this time to be gentle with ourselves and tend to spend more time at home, declining invitations and engaging in small pleasures like reading and good food (when the older three kids were smaller we used to have a midnight picnic, a tradition I look forward to reviving for my two little dolls). I also use this time to reflect on what I have been doing through the year and think deeply about how I want to spend my time moving forward. This is usually a really fertile time for me regarding self-development and planning.
This doesn't belie the fact that I miss him, lots. My diary is marked from now to the day he returns, and my mind turns often to daydreaming about the excitement in our home when he returns a day or two before Eid. A day that will be spent in anxiety listening for the key turning in the door.
But I once read that you should give up those things for Allah (SWT) that are most precious to you and they will be safeguarded for you in the next world. I can think of little more precious in this world to me than the kind, generous, brave man I married.