This is Firdaus (standing far left), my sister's grandson.(my sister is sitting far right). He is on scholaship to study engineering in Japan. An ordinary person would say: "Luck has it that he missed the tsunami that occurred in Japan some weeks ago." He shared an apartment with several friends in Iwate. Iwate was one of the affected areas but the apartment was on high grounds and so the tsunami had no chance of reaching them. Alhamdulilah, prasises be to God Allah most High.
Firdaus and his siblings
He missed it only because he was away in Europe and at that particular time, he was in spain on a short holiday between semesters. There was nothing that he could do after going round Europe but to return home while waiting for further instructions from the Embassy as when to return to Japan to continue with hid studies. So the family took the opportunity to make up for lost time and took Firdaus to visit family circles. Young people these days has the tendencies to forget the older folks. If there is no effort on the family to make connection with the elders, people like Firdaus may soon forget their roots.(Allah forbids)
At the breafast table we took time to up date the family with recent happenings. My brother (Firdaus only uncle) received them at his home in Shah Alam and renewed ties with lost relatives for some reasons or the other. That is the beauty of being a Muslim who is willing to forgive and forget about things that could hurt feelings as ordinary human beings. As the saying goes: TO ERR IS HUMAN AND TO FORGIVE DIVINE. I am utterly happy that my brother is now back into the fold.
We talked about recent developments in politics but we refused to discussed the ugly sex scandals and brushed it off as utter nonsense because it is against the Islamic way of gaining political power. Instead we talked about great names like Fethullah Gullen, the late President Erbakan (both of Turkey) Ismail Haniyya and a few others who made personal sacrifices to establish Islam in its rightful place. They should be our role models together with other great people which we did not have time to discuss and learn about their strength and committment. May Allah protect us from evil deeds.
This is Firdaus parents (in red T-Shirt mother in blue-crossed jilbab)
The family traditions must move on. If the family is strong, so will the society and the nation at large. The strength of the family does not lie on material milestones only but more on good cultural and Islamic behavior that transgress opposing social and economic parameters.
And finally the family pictures. Firdaus is out. But we know he is around, may be still thinking of my last request of him to make sure that by the time he graduates he would have mastered the Japanese language to enable him to do dakwah in Japan in the near future. May Allah grant my wish and may Allah bless the whole family and may Allah make this family get- together as a step (small though it may be) towards strengthening the ummah in the realm of the Tauhidic paradigm.
May Firdaus have a safe trip back to Japan and may he be successful for now and the hereafter.