My dad’s birthday is coming up and he turns 72 this year. Alhamdullilah, his health is still well (despite a few stents in his arteries). His mind is also still strong, intellect and wisdom very much in tact and sense of humour very well alive.
In celebration of that, I thought of writing down as many things I can remember that my dad has told or taught me throughout my life. He is a force to be reckoned with, and many of these quotes are a result of his life ideologies rooted in discipline, security, modesty and purpose. I eventually saw the wisdom behind what he said and they have become sort of a guide to my adulthood.
10 of my favourite sayings:
1. Your hard work is not my hard work
I once complained that I had tried my very best to prepare for an exam but still did not get an A. He said this very line to me then walked away. I was reminded of his academic accomplishments and the level of perseverance he said he had given in order to succeed. I guess it was no match, so I stopped complaining.
Yesterday I attended a lecture given by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf (SHY), an American Islamic scholar, and deemed one of the most renowned Muslim thinkers in the Western world. He is the author of Purification of the heart.
My best friend told me about this event and really, made sure I did not miss the opportunity. We both attended and as nerdy students of life as we are, we both took notes. When you have an opportunity to listen live to a prominent thinker, you don’t want to let the wisdom pass by.
The event was titled “An Evening with Shaykh Hamza Yusuf: Where is Your Heart? A Prophetic Guidance in an Age of Confusion”. SHY addressed the fundamental problem facing Muslims in modern society today and coupled it with encouraging reminders to get through such “turbulent” times.
There were many tear-jerking moments, mainly because SHY has an ability to transcend your heart with the purity and calmness of his words.
Here are the main takeaways:
“Don’t take it out on me just because you’re upset with the other person”
I believe we have all been victims of other people’s anger/grouses at some point in our lives. We’ve also probably made other people victims of our own. I’d like to think it’s unintentional and for some reason or another, just something that tends to happen.
For the most part, the people we’re dealing with are our loved ones. The classic case is they were upset about something or someone else in their life, and they took it out on you unintentionally.
Many people have friends. Few have real friendship. This is something I’ve come to realise about myself and people in general. Social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram especially give the impression that a person has many friends. But they don’t. Nobody has 700 friends in real life. At least not ones they regard meaningfully.
On that note, I’ve never really had many friends. Friends in school, sure. But the ones I actually want to call, text or keep in touch with, very few.
Interestingly, I used to want many friends. In high school I wanted to be a social butterfly who would be friends with everybody. I tried and it backfired when I found out that not everyone had the same intentions. It was a good reality check.