بسم الله ألرحمن ألرحيم
To my daughters:
My dear daughters, I am so blessed that Allah chose me to be your mother. Just thinking about it makes my heart beat fast. Of all the people in the world, He chose you all, to be with me. I have no doubt that His reasoning was far more about what I would learn from each of you, rather than about anything I could offer you girls.
You are all so very unique in your own ways. One day I will go further and compose a letter to each one of you individually, honouring those individual souls that you have. Until then my daughters, this letter is for all of you…
Your dad and I always knew we wanted many children. I know there are times that this decision meant you each had to go without. Thank you for giving something up for the sake of your siblings. Thank you for giving up your physical space. Thank you for sharing things dear to you, when you didn’t want to. Thank you for giving up more one-on-one time with your parents for the sake of your brother and sisters. I know there were days when this felt burdensome, or you wished you could be an only child. I pray that your experience in a big family will have been the first in many lessons on how to deal with others with love and compassion. That you will have learned how to stand up for what is yours when you need to, how to compromise when it is necessary, how to share when someone has less, and how to forgive when you have been wronged. I pray that you are able to do all of these from a place of love and respect for both yourself and the other person. That somewhere instilled inside of you is the feeling that you ‘want for others, that which you want for yourself’. Take care of each other. Cherish each other. Rely on each other when days are difficult and loneliness sets in. I pray that while I am alive, you always feel you can come to me and I will accept you with open arms. Inevitably there will be days when you will have to rely on each other. On those days, hold each other tightly.
Pursue your dreams, even when it is hard. When those dreams feel out of reach, get up and move closer to them. Nothing good comes without effort. Don’t be afraid to do the work. Never forget that seeking help from Allah is part of that. Pray, and ask from Allah… then get to work at whatever it is that motivates you. Look at the amazing role models from our past to find inspiration. I mean that seriously. There are so many strong, amazing Muslim women in our history. Read their stories. Learn their names. Find strength in their struggles and use it to write your own story. Scholars, business women, artists, doctors, athletes, inventors, writers… they are all there. Don’t let society or other’s perceptions get in the way of your pursuits. Prove people wrong, exceed expectations, get your name in the history books.
Allah tells us that “The Fire has been surrounded by lusts and desires and Paradise by hardships”. Don’t get deceived or distracted by the glitter of this world. I am not saying don’t have fun, or don’t like nice things… Just don’t lose sight of the end goal. One day you will meet your Creator. Remember this every night before you go to sleep and every morning when you wake up. Try to emulate the mothers of the believers: Khadija, Sawda, Aisha, Hafsa, Zaynab, Umm Salamah, , Juwayriyya, Zaynab bin Jahsh, Umm Habibah, Safiyah, and Maimoona. They are some of the best examples of how we should live our lives. Two of you were named after them. The other two of you were named after women mentioned in the Quran. We gave you strong names, from strong women in history, hoping it would inspire you to become one of them. These women were all from diverse backgrounds, but they never lost sight of Allah and faith. Work hard to avoid things that will take you away from your faith. Such things are just temporary. Choose what is forever.
There will be times when you struggle, forget or lose sight of your goals. Times that your faith will take a dip. Know in those moments that Allah is waiting for you to call on Him. He is always waiting. You are never too far gone.
The one thing that can always be your constant is prayer. Plan your day around the prayer and not the prayer around your day. Make it a priority. Never abandon it. This is one of my sincerest prayers for you. It makes me so emotional to think that when you stand before Allah, and are asked about your prayer, you could say “I prayed each and every one!” Keep a prayer mat in your car when you get older, or something small in your purse, and never be shy to step out when the prayer time comes in. It is your connection to Allah, never let it go.
Respect yourself and your body. Know that you don’t need to seek approval from others. Your truest friends will love you no matter what you look like, wear, do or don’t do. The pursuit of self-love and acceptance is far more important than the pursuit of love from others. I am speaking from a place of truth and experience. I spent years living my life trying to fit in with others. I know you might not understand, or you might think listening to your mom isn’t “cool” right now, but inshallah one day you will. Don’t ever sacrifice your values for the approval of others, it will only lead to pain and regret.
This life is a journey. There will be so many exciting and wonderous times ahead of you. Be bold and don’t be afraid of failure. When you do fail, know that those moments are just part of the learning process. Take the lesson, brush yourself off, and keep going. If only I could tell you how much faith I have in each of your abilities.
I could write pages about the hopes and dreams I have for each of you. For now, I want to end by seeking your forgiveness. Forgive me for all of the mistakes I have made. I was learning as I went… I am still learning. Forgive me for all of the times I was quick to anger, and slow to understand. Forgive me for all of the times that I have and will make you feel unheard or even unloved… know that I have and always will love you. Forgive me for all of the times that you heard me complain and I made you feel like a burden. You girls are a gift from Allah. It breaks my heart to know that I may have made you feel any less than that. The Prophet (SAW) said that there will be those in Paradise who will be raised in some degrees. The person will ask for what reason he/she is being raised. It will be said “your child is asking for forgiveness for you.”
Ask Allah for forgiveness for me dear ones.
I love each of you fiercely.
– Your Mom