Daughter #1: “Mommy Mommy! Shaykh Abdul Aziz Ash Shaykh is speaking!”

This said, merely from voice recognition – while in another room – not even paying attention. The girl knows her Shayook! Masha’Allah. Now had that been me at her age, it would have went a little something like this:

“Mamaaa! Stevie Wonder on…they playin’ yo song!”

My second daughter, is rather anal retentive. Alhamduillah, it works in her favor when it comes to the remembrance of Allah. She can not do anything before she does the prescribed dua (supplication) for it. The only time it becomes problematic is when she has to go to the bathroom. She is the type to wait until the very LAST moment to go to the bathroom, but she will stand outside that door even if I am shoving her in and won’t budge until she has said the dua for entering the bathroom. I have to wake her up at night to go potty and sometimes she doesn’t wake up and I will just carry her and put her on the potty. She’ll jump off of it, run out of the bathroom screaming the dua for exiting the bathroom and stand out side making the dua for entering it and then go back. Once, she cried the entire time I was in the bathroom because I make the dua to myself or mumble it and she did not hear me and was afraid that a jinni would get me.

Masha’Allah, at her age I was afraid that the Atlanta Child Murderer * would come to Chicago and get me. However, I did not know any duas for protection or how to seek refuge in Allah.

My son. My little Shaykh. He’s only two years old, and  is better than my husband about making it to the masjid on time for the prayer – Masha’Allah! As soon as the athaan is called my son is putting on his shoes and dragging my husband to the door. He gets upset and impatient with my husband, who will wait until he hears the iqama to leave out. He also knows what the Quran is, in any form – masha’Allah. Whether it is the actual Mushaf, the student booklets, recitation on the Quran station, or one of his toy Quran reciters – he knows that it is Quran and will tell you, “shhh Quran.”

At his age, I can not tell you what I was doing. However, I’m sure I didn’t know what the athaan (call to prayer) sound like, or how to recite small surahs (chapters) from the Quran.

I can not thank or praise Allah enough for guiding me to Islam and the Sunnah. I have so many faults, shortcomings, and failures. There are so many areas in my life that need improvement – to make me a better slave servant to Allah, wife to my husband, parent to my children, daughter to my parents, and neighbor to my neighbor. I could use a complete make over. My children are a constant reminder to me that I can not afford to screw up with them. They are an amanah (trust from Allah) so we must be careful with that trust, as we will face Allah one day and answer for the choices we made. How often, do I make sure to return a neighbors dish, in the same condition they gave it to me? How often have we moved from one home to another and make sure that we have left the place immaculate…more likely in a better condition than we kept it on a daily basis? How much more important are our children, who do not belong to us, but are a loan from Allah?

It’s memories of the above mentioned actions of my children, that lift me up when I am feeling down. Sometimes, I look at others and think I am not doing a good job. I’ve been questioned on why I don’t have my daughter pray ALL of her prayers ALL of the time. I’ve been questioned about why I don’t have my daughters in hijab. Nobody has ever tried to make me feel like a bad Muslim mother, but I know I can do better. Nonetheless, these are the things that give me hope – that make me feel like maybe I’m not doing so bad after all. My children have a genuine and sincere love for Allah, Prophet Muhammad, Islam, Muslims, Mankind, and all of Allah’s Creation. They glorify and exalt him to such a degree that I am amazed, children their age can be so observant. None of it is pretentious. It’s their fitra, it’s how Allah made them.

O Allah grant us from our spouses and children such who are a source of the coolness of our eyes, and make us leaders for the righteous.

*Wayne Williams terrorized Atlanta’s African-American neighborhoods for two years (in which 29 people were killed) in what became known as the Atlanta Child Murder case.