The Gift of a Child

My father pulling my daughter Salma in her wagon in the backyard

My father pulling my daughter Salma in her wagon in the backyard

By Wael Abdelgawad | IslamicSunrays.com

A friend of mine recently wrote about her son:

“There are moments in parenting that break your heart open with boundless love, where you see your child so clearly navigating their own space… a funny mix of pride, empathy and fall-over-yourself love and gratitude for the gift of your child ensues, followed by tears….watching Wilder walk up to a new friend on the playground at a new school and navigate the space between shy and easy was just such… thank you universe for giving me that moment.”

I know what she means. Earlier this morning I told my daughter Salma a joke and she gave me a smile as sweet as a mango that made my heart melt. And just now she climbed into the chair next to mine and said, “Baba, cover your eyes.” I did but I peeked between my fingers because sometimes she leaps onto me full bore, with her knees pointed at me, as if I’m a trampoline. But this time she climbed into my lap, and kissed me on the cheek.

Of course she followed it up by telling me she was bored, and asking me to buy her a new doll. Still, having this child has taught me to love as I never did before. I have learned patience, sacrifice, and aspiration, not for myself but for another.

I recently listened to a lecture by Umm Sahl of Damascus in which she remarked that our children do not belong us, but to Allah. They are given to us in trust, and we are their shepherds.

I can see that. How could I own or possess something so beautiful, and powerful, so unique? No one but Allah can hold a human being in their hand, seeing the essence of that person, knowing and appreciating every atom.

What a tremendous responsibility a child is. What a tremendous gift. May Allah make us all equal to the task, and help us to fulfill our roles as shepherds, providing tarbiyah and love, and ushering in a better generation than our own, Insha’Allah.

 

 

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Article by Wael

Wael Abdelgawad is an Egyptian-American living in Fresno, California. He is the founder of several Islamic websites, including Zawaj.com and IslamicAnswers.com, and also of various technology and travel websites. He is a writer and poet, and has been a web developer since 1997. This project, IslamicSunrays.com, is very dear to his heart, as it has allowed him to express ideas that have growing inside him for many years. Wael is divorced and has one lovely young daughter. He practices and teaches martial arts (somewhat obsessively), and loves Islamic books, science fiction, and vanilla fudge ice cream. Wael is an advocate for human rights and blogs about these issues at AbolishTorture.com. He is also a volunteer with the MyDeen Muslim youth organization in Fresno. Wael tagged this post with: , , , Read 266 articles by
3 Comments Post a Comment
  1. SisterZ says:

    Beautiful display of powerful feelings.

    May Allah(swt) grant myself and us all with the blessing of having children to raise in His(swt) path, aameen a thousand times over. The world would surely be a dull and colourless life without the pitter patter of their tiny feet, their innocent questions, their cute jokes which make no sense but are funny all the same, their unconditional love, their hugs and smiles and pure hearts.

    Oh Allah, bestow on us pious, healthy and happy offspring and let them be a path to Jannah for us and themselves. And Ya Rabb, grant little Salma with the great fortune of being a strong believing Muslimah and let her walk into Jannah al Firdous hand in hand with her loving father and him with his Parents infront of him too…and us all with our Parents and Children and all those we love, Aameen.

    SisterZ

  2. Faith says:

    “.. having this child has taught me to love as I never did before. I have learned patience, sacrifice, and aspiration, not for myself but for another.”

    Indeed many of us feel this way. SubhanAllah, I cant think of anything in life that teaches you as much as having a child does…with every single passing day, not only does our child grow but so does (or should!) our experiences, knowledge and compassion as a human being. May a lessons are learned.

    Sometimes, my daughters actions remind me to be better even though she is ever so young – when I see her forgiving heart, it makes me melt. You tell them off for something and get angry sometimes and then two minutes later, they are hugging you and have forgotten all about it. The innocence of a child is inspiring.

    Was salaam

    • wael says:

      You tell them off for something and get angry sometimes and then two minutes later, they are hugging you and have forgotten all about it.

      Yes, this is so true and I also find it very sweet and touching. And it’s reassuring, because as parents we make mistakes all the time, so it’s a relief that our children forgive and forget so easily.

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