Parenting in America, and a never-ending chain

Today we had a small devotional session to remember my grand-shaikh, Hz Zauqi Shah (RA)’s passing on 9 DhilHajj (during Hajj 1951).

My teen is learning Urdu so I also took a moment to translate for her two lines from our Chishti shajrah. Nice opportunity to introduce some highfalutin Urdu on top of the basic conversational lessons. Some sacred hilarity ensued 🤭

“In the first 13 days of DhilHajj, we should remain مشغول بحق ” =literally, busy with The Truth*; idiomatically=remembering God
(*al-Haqq, The Truth=One of the Divine Names).

So now I ask her “kya tum Mashghool bi-Haqq ho?” and she bursts out laughing, because it’s a far cry from her usual lessons of “the table is clean” and “I am sad.”

Once upon a time, we thought that if we just taught them a simplified religion, namaz and roza, and taught them to insert these things in an entirely American life, that would be enough. But there just isn’t the furniture for a full life. The atmosphere is needed. There are no surfaces for the namaz and roza to rest upon. The zikr has nothing to breathe.

I make a point to have these little ceremonies, because we live on the moon, as it were. So I connect her with my shaikh, and his shaikh, and the spiritual lineage, and their lives.

As we watched Moana today, I repeated to my daughter:

“We tell the stories of our elders
In the never ending chain”

We are trying to create this chain of jasmine flowers, connecting our children here in this land, to a never ending chain.

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