Assalamu-alaikum (peace be upon you) avid blogger visitor,
If you think back in time to the people who had the greatest impact in your life, whom would you list? An elementary school teacher who taught you the basic fundamentals of reading, writing, or arithmetic? A coach who taught you how to kick a soccer ball, shoot a basketball, throw a football, or swim? A local religious leader or speaker who provided words of inspiration and guidance in a time of need? A close friend who was there to listen when nobody else seemed too interested to listen to your problems?
How about your mother and father?
In the 17th surah (chapter) of the Qur’an, in the middle of the 23rd verse, Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala, teaches us a valuable lesson as stated in close translation to the meaning:
“And your Lord has commanded that you do not worship (anyone or anything) except Him, and to (your) parents, (He has commanded that you show) good treatment. If one or both of them reach old age (while) with you, do not (even) say to them “uff,” and do not repel them but speak to them a noble word.”
Br. Ihsan recites Verse 23 from Surat Al-Isra (Chapter 17) as our youth listen attentively.
Many times when the topic of the relationship between parents and children is brought up, this verse is recited; and as this verse is being recited, in the background, you’ll see some youth rolling their eyes thinking, “here we go again…” Undoubtedly the relationship between parents and their children is a complicated one involving many different factors. Though no parent is perfect, there is a degree of respect, honor, and concern which we, as children, are expected to exhibit. After all, how many diapers did our parents change for us when we were helpless babies (we did the math, it is a lot!)? How many times did our mothers sacrifice sleep and their personal well-being in order to feed us in the early hours of the morning when everyone else was asleep? How many times did our parents drop us off to school or a sports practice or team meeting when we didn’t have a set of wheels to take us to our destination? How many times were they our best friend, mentor, and confidant when we needed someone to talk to and nobody else would give us a few minutes to listen? We are reminded in the Qur’an in multiple instances the sacrifices our parents have made for us because far too often we forget about these sacrifices and focus on other factors (allowing our relationship with our parents to deteriorate).
Though we can never thank our parents enough for all that they have done for us or ask for forgiveness for the many times we may have hurt them, we can at least take a moment every now and then to make them a box of love. What is a box of love you ask? A box of love is a goody bag or box full of your parents’ favorite homemade treats (cookies, brownies, cake, candy, etc.) plus a small note to let them know you appreciate them and keep them in your du’aas (supplications/prayers). On Friday night, our young men put together such a box for their families with a little bit of assistance from our mentors. As you can see from the pictures below, making a box of love can be quite fun!
Basim, Mustafa, Ahmed, and Raad divvy up captain responsibilities and cooking tasks. Teamwork, teamwork, teamwork!
Ahmed breaks open a bag of cookie mix and dumps it into the mixing bowl with help from his pal Mohammed.
Mustafa cracks open an egg causing a mini-earthquake in the ISGL kitchens. Ahmed holds onto the mixing bowl for dear life…
Shujath climbs the ladder to warm up some butter…
Abdelrahman pours the butter into the cookie batter…
Abdelrahman stirs the ingredients together under the watchful eye of captain Mohamed…
Look at our wonderful product! It is a muy magnifico!
Mustafa, Raad, and Ahmed roll their dough into 1 inch balls and gently place them on the baking sheet. Wise-guy Basim provides quality assurance that the cookie dough is good to go.
Bake cookies, bake! Anyone getting hungry yet? Yes, that is a peace sign near the oven..what it is doing there, we honestly have no clue…
Our youth working hard to create cards and letters for their parents as their cookies bake in the ovens.
Shujath proudly displays his awesome work of art!
A beautiful storybook for mom and dad from the Siddiqui brothers…
Ahmed flashes his million dollar smile ma shaa Allah as he proudly shows off his box of love for mom and dad!