Today was better than yesterday, alhamdulillah. I didn’t mention this in my last post, but I haven’t completely given up on my no-kpop-videos goal. Yeah, I slipped up once, but today is a new day, and I’m going to continue the goal inshaAllah until the end of Ramadan.
I kept myself pretty busy today. In the morning I was writing for a bit, then my mom and I started planning Eid gifts for the cousins. We finally decided to take advantage of online shopping. Now the hours of walking in a store while fasting can be replaced with surfing online, while listening to some Islamic lecture, for virtually unlimited variety of gift ideas. Things online are also much cheaper. Ah, the beauty of technology. MashaAllah.
The rest of the day was spent volunteering at an interfaith community iftar that my grandma helped organized. While I hadn’t been particularly looking forward to this event, knowing I was going to be working for most of it, I had a nice time, alhamdulillah. I met some nice people, ate really good food, and did a good deed. Alhamdulillah, the work wasn’t difficult at all.
SubhanAllah. It used to be the case where everyone at the mosque only knew my parents and grandparents, but I think people are finally starting to recognize me. On both sides of my family, my grandparents were extremely involved in the community, and seemingly everyone knew and respected them. Now that all but one of them have passed away, I can only hope to be able to make a difference like they have.
I stopped at a cliffhanger today in Muhammad! The Prophet (S) and his followers have settled themselves in Medina, and we are now on the cusp of the first battle in the war between the Quraysh and the Muslims: The Battle of Badr. Similar to when I read fictional action novels, I got a bit lost in the sections detailing the strategy of war and the bit leading up to the first battle. It is pretty suspenseful though. Martin Lings gives us the story of both sides, the Muslims and the Quraysh, as they prepare for the Battle of Badr.
The section that I want to share today is a very small point, but one that has caught my attention again and again while reading this book. Before the Muslims began their march to Badr, Prophet Muhammad (S) was reluctant to leave Medina because his daughter, Ruqayyah, was very sick at the time. This alone is worth smiling over, because so far, I haven’t read a whole lot in this book about Muhammad as a father. It was sweet reading about how worried he was about her. When the Prophet (S) does decide to leave:
“At the time there were seventy-seven able-bodied Emigrants in Medina and all these were present on this occasion [leaving for the march] except three: the Prophet had told his son-in-law `Uthman to stay at home and tend to his sick wife; the other two were Talhah and Sa`id, who arrived back from the coast too late to set out”
Ruqayyah and Uthman have been minor “characters” in the story, but the few times they are present, I have noticed that they are always together. When the Muslims were facing difficulties in Mecca, the Prophet encouraged them to take refuge in Abyssinia, and Uthman and Ruqayyah went together, and later came back together. When the Muslims first starting migrating to Medina, “Hamzah and Zayd went, leaving their wives in Mecca for the moment, but Uthman took Ruqayyah with him” (Lings 113). There have been so many instances of families being separated during the religious persecution, but Uthman and Ruqayyah stuck together through it all. After reading today’s bit of Uthman staying home from the battle to take care of Ruqayyah, I went back to the point in the book where they got married and grew to love their relationship even more. After Abu Lahab, another enemy of the Prophet (S), broke off the betrothal of his son to Ruqayyah, “`Uthman ibn `Affan, had asked for the hand of Ruqayyah and had married her. This marriage was most pleasing to the Prophet and Khadijah. Their daughter was happy and their new son-in-law was devoted to her and to them” (Lings 70).
From what I have read since then, it is clear that Uthman was devoted to Ruqayyah. I have never really learned anything about their marriage, and now I’m so curious to know more about them. Their relationship and devotion to each other seems beautiful.
*IFTAR PICTURE OF THE DAY*