Bismillahir rahmanir raheem
Why I don’t do birthdays
I don’t celebrate birthdays. I follow the opinion that it is not permissible to celebrate anything outside of the two Eid’s and Jummah on a Friday which is like a weekly Eid. So, when my birthday rolled around this year, I wasn’t prepared to receive any special treatment.
I always say the same thing to my family every year, I don’t do birthdays, but every year my closest family members always try and make an effort in some way or another.
And then I opened a very special card.
13 years on…
My parents split when I was 14 and after 2 bitter years, divorced when I was 16. I stubbornly refused to speak to my dad but reconnected with him a few years ago. Up until a year ago they hardly ever spoke, let alone bought gifts for me together.
It’s been a rocky few years trying to get the two of them in the same room. An important moment to me was on my wedding day. I had prayed to Allah swt and asked him for the opportunity to have a picture taken with me, my mom, my dad and my husband and He answered that dua. Unfortunately, somewhere along the way it got lost but just to experience it was a blessing.
I never imagined that 13 years on, I’d receive a card on my birthday that would make me weep like a child.
Forever Grateful on my birthday
I was sitting in my car when I opened it. My husband and I had just been for a meal at Jimmy Spices. I was already in a reflective mood, as I always am at this time of year, and had been quiet most of the evening mulling over my thoughts.
I am now 27, married and have my first child alhamdulillah. Where had the time gone? It’s so amazing to see how my life has transformed, how I’ve transformed since becoming a Muslim. Grateful didn’t even begin to cover how a simple family meal was making me feel inside.
When my mom mentioned that she was going to buy me a card I told her not to bother but I knew she’d buy it anyway. I had picked the card up earlier, and had it waiting in my bag.
Something told me to open my birthday car by myself (well, while the baby was asleep).
I knew my mom would have put effort into picking a birthday card. Alhamdulillah she’s been doing English classes for adults for years after finding out she had dyslexia and dyspraxia and was just getting the hang of it. The message she had written inside was simple,
“To Christal, Love from Mum + Dad. I love you xx xx”
I haven’t received a card from my mom and dad for over 13 years. My mom, who I know struggles with spelling and writing wrote the whole thing out herself. I knew it must have taken her ages. When she said she got me a card from her and “dad” I thought she meant my granddad, as we often all refer to him as dad.
Tears started to flow.
I sat in my car and I cried tears of joy overwhelmed by the mercy and glad tidings Allah swt had blessed me with.
parents are a blessing
My Lord, have mercy upon them as they brought me up [when I was] small. Surah Al Isra ayah 24
Parents are a blessing. I’ve written about my mom a few times already, what it means to me to have my own little blessing, and what lessons I’ve learnt from motherhood so far. I never imagined a simple card, bought with the best intentions would result in me crying my eyes out.
I could not have asked Allah swt for better parents despite the ups and downs. The status of parents in Islam is HIGH, and that of the mother is one of the highest. Jannah lies at her feet. And fathers are indispensable, to you as a child and as a society. When the two are working in harmony beautiful things happen. When that bond is broken, when families are broken, lives are change forever.
Just like my mom and dad, maybe it doesn’t have to be broken forever. Maybe by the grace of Allah swt, amazing things could happen.