My Dear Son,
I’ve dreamt of you many times, of what you’ll look like, sound like, act like. In my dreams you are everything I had hoped you’d be – energetic, playful, polite, respectful. You are a scholar and an athlete. You’re strong, determined, and hardworking. You’re also patient, passionate, and gentle. The Ummah has many athletes, many scholars, artists, poets, doctors and engineers. It needs more men. In my dreams, you are a man.
There will be many struggles in your life. I pray you are patient and that you remember your Lord during those times. You will be given strength over others. I pray that you will treat them with gentleness and compassion. You will be given things that others don’t have. I pray that you will give from what Allah has given you. Others will be given things while you are not. I pray you remain thankful. I pray that your hands, your eyes, your ears, your tongue, your mind, your passion, your soul, and everything you have and everything you are is used for good.
I pray that you become a man. There will come a time when you long for affection, when you will want someone to hold, kiss, and touch. But you may not be ready for it. You will desire it. It will tempt you and pull you toward it. You will see many beautiful women, and some of them may see you as well. I pray you become a man like Yusuf (peace be upon him).
I pray you’ll remember when your Prophet ﷺ answered a companion, “your mother… your mother… your mother… [then] your father.” I pray that you find affection in and give it back to your mother and your sisters. I pray you will never be too shy or feel too old to hug them, kiss them, and tell them “I love you”. Just as you will long for affection, so will they.
As a man you will have responsibilities over your sister. You will be her guardian. I pray that you do not become focused solely on the way she dresses or whom who she hangs out with. I pray you understand that telling her what to wear is not your duty. Controlling where she goes and what she does is not your right. I pray that you can advise her with kind words and actions. And remember that one day she will long for affection, just as you will. And the farther you push her away and the colder you are with her, the farther she may go to find affection. Be gentle. Speak kindly. Respect her and honor her. She will one day be a wife. She will one day become a mother. Make her feel loved and important. Show her what a man is and how a man acts so that she will never be confused or tricked. Treat your mother and sisters as the queens of your world.
My son, I may not set the best example for you. The advice I give you may not be the advice I follow myself. I pray that I can be the man I dream you will be. I pray that I can show you, not only tell you.Despite all this, the best advice will not come from me. The best advice will come from Allah and His Messenger ﷺ. Seek knowledge. Have fear of Allah. Have trust in Allah.
My son, I end this letter by asking you to remember the following words of advice from your Prophet ﷺ:
“Be mindful of Allah, and you will find Him in front of you. If you ask, ask of Allah; if you seek help, seek help of Allah. And know that if the nation were to gather together to benefit you with anything, they would not benefit you except with what Allah had already prescribed for you. And if they were to gather together to harm you with anything, they would not harm you except with what Allah has already prescribed against you. The Pens have been lifted and the Pages have dried.”