In memory of my father he who taught me to be an upright human being with the greatest morale values as diamonds never lose their brightness. We have been through so much together and the world gave up on me, but you kept me close to you to find myself in a world that I could have been lost eternally dead or alive. Thank you and thanks to the one who chose you as a father to me. You showed me the world in color and not so much so as others wanted me to see the world as black and white. It never crossed my mind that one day you and I would separate from one another as we were inseparable. I thought I never had a teacher, but you were the only teacher that I can now claim as one of my own. You gave me a light that I can walk with even in times of darkness. I never realized such things until you and I shook hands for the last time.
One particular story he told was of his treatment in Saudi Arabia as an employee. He would tell how he changed jobs constantly due to employers not willing to pay him for the hard work he did. Maybe it never occurred to them that, even though he wasn’t Saudi, they should be treating all employees with respect and should have given what each employee worked for, but they never have and probably never will. They always and mostly told him to come back, even though they could have paid him on the due and expected date that they promised to pay each employee. He never collected his paycheck from some of them; he said, “I forgave them and God gave me something better in exchange for it―a better employer who paid me before due date.” AK’s father would advise his sons and daughters not to take others’ belongings unless they had permission to do so. AK’s father was a man of honor, a man of character. It made AK wonder if he and his father would ever get along and understand one another. The plentiful advice given by AK’s father never really changed him. He felt like saying, “I know, I know, and I know.” He thought he knew or understood but never really grasped his father’s advice. He didn’t adhere to anything his father said, because he wanted all decisions concerning his life to be left to him, and he didn’t want anyone to have a say in it. His father would not leave it there; he continued even after hearing that. He would say, “You are my son; if you benefit, I too benefit. If you fall in harm’s way, it will hurt me to see you get hurt.” AK didn’t do things that were forbidden in Islam. He didn’t listen to music, he didn’t gamble, he didn’t eat pork, and he didn’t drink alcohol. By word of mouth, he heard from others that he shouldn’t do these and many other things but hadn’t learned it from the Quran. Because they were merely words, he didn’t understand their meanings. His father would wake him up for prayer, but sometimes he would oversleep, and other times AK would go with his father in a state of laziness. Sometimes he would wish his father would leave him alone, and his father did. One night before midnight, AK’s father came back from congregation; Ahmed asked AK if he had been to prayer, and AK said, “I’ll pray later.” His father said, “If you pray in congregation, you’ll get twenty-sevenfive times the reward than you get praying at home.” AK said nothing. Then his father went about, and AK got furiously mad and said, “You don’t tell me anything, nor wake me up for prayer.” From then on, his father stopped waking him, and he stopped telling him to pray or to join him to pray with him. After some nights of oversleeping, AK hated himself; he couldn’t understand the fact that he would eat, drink, and sleep and not rise for prayer. It bothered him a lot, and he knew there was only one man in the house who was capable of waking up without the help of an alarm: his father. He asked his father to wake him before he left. His father did, per his son’s request, but he didn’t wait for him to come along. AK got ready to go with his father, but his father was already gone. The next day, AK asked his father to wait for him so they could go together. AK was changing but didn’t realize it. He and his father were still different and they still had different views. AK’s father would say, “Know your tribe,” and he would say, “I only need to know them as Muslims.” He would say, “Fear Allah,” and AK would say, “Shall I fear others?” Ahmed would say, “You connect with your family,” and AK would say, “I know where they are.” He would say, “Look after your mother; I don’t need anything from you, just look after her.” AK’s father didn’t need anything from him; whatever he did or said was for the sake of Allah. If he worked, he worked and it was means to getting closer to Allah. If he prayed, which he spent doing most of the time of his life, it was to please his creator. AK started waking up for prayer on his own—with the help of an alarm clock. AK never woke his father for prayer, but he started to go; he and his father even went together. This change didn’t come to him overnight. Maybe AK asked God to guide him, “O my Lord! Make me one who performs prayer (Iqâmat-as-Salât), and (also) from my offspring, our Lord! And accept my invocation (Q. 14:40). “Our Lord! Forgive me and my parents, and (all) the believers on the Day when the reckoning will be established” (Q. 14:41). Maybe his father sought God’s help to help his son.