For My Dad. My Quiet Hero

I have three sisters. My house was usually overflowing with girlish giggles, chit chat about hair, shoes and even sensitive topics that would make any man writhe in his seat. Our girlfriends would often come to visit, adding to the weight on the feminine side of the scale in our home.

But my father, although often quiet and reserved, didn’t fade into the shadows. His example and support shaped each one of our lives. From the honest integrity with which he ran his business, to his passion for cars, he provided an independent, brave example that was unwilling to compromise on ethics to get ahead.

Some of my fondest memories are the exciting swap meets I enjoyed with him as a child, and watching him restore regal, but dated cars to their original glory in our garage on weekends. I grew to love all the smells of oil and polish, grease, and metal. I loved when he would take me with him on an errand, like a trip to a special parts supplier far away, or to job sites for his business.

In Highschool I wound up the only girl in car care class, where I learned how to change the oil and brakes on my ’87 Monte Carlo. I was proud to hear its small block 305 engine rumbling as I drove it into the high school shop. My Dad’s influence is clear in many of my own passions and aspirations.

He taught me about how to handle turns on a race track and I think of him everytime I take curves on the parkways (even in my minivan). But more than love of cars, hard work and getting dirty, he provided numerous other examples and a special kind of support. My Dad never pushed me to go in any particular direction. Instead he listened, and payed attention to what mattered to me. What I was passionate about. What made me happy. Then, with his quiet demeanor he stepped in to make it happen. He never announced his favors, or reminded me about them. They were always just there. Just right.

Like many fathers, my Dad worked hard (and still does!) for his family. Successfully running his own business, the stress of which I recognize more keenly now. Even with the ups and downs and uncertainty of that difficult endeavor, we were his primary concern, before himself.

He invested so much in my family – in me.

I’m sure when I announced my decision, that I had become Muslim, it couldn’t have been easy for him. But he put my happiness first. He affirmed that I could believe whatever I wanted to.

The stage following my decision to enter Islam was tough for me and my family at times. When I moved back to my parent’s house after a year or so developing as a Muslim away from home, there was inevitably some tension.

I knew my mom felt uncomfortable about me covering my head. It must have been hard, seeing her daughter looking so unlike the girl she had raised.

I was torn between not hurting my mom and wearing a piece of cloth – an identity that had become beloved to me. So, When I would go off to work in the morning, I’d wear the hood on my jacket from the house to the car. Once in my car I would awkwardly struggle to fix my hijab in the rearview mirror. Upon returning home, I would remove my scarf and replace it with my hood once again.

I thought no one knew.

But, my Dad was so aware. He always seemed to somehow know what was going on. One day he approached me and informed me, he had seen what I had been doing.

“You don’t have to do that.” He gently told me.

He assured me I didn’t have to hide my hijab. I saw the compassion in his eyes.

Though all my family has gradually become somewhat more comfortable with my Muslim identity and my choice  to cover more of my body, my Dad has perhaps shown the most support. Warning me when a Man is coming over or at the door and making sure I am dressed before he allows them in.

When he met my then to-be husband, he asked “How are you going to take care of my daughter?”

He held my hand at my marriage. kneeling on the floor in a mosque, he facilitated yet another happiness for me.

That is real love. The kind of love to ponder – that boggles the mind and fills the heart.

I pray I will grow to be a better daughter, to express that same kind of love to my father. To give back a little, even a fraction of what he’s provided me. To make him know that he’s my hero.

dadwedding

My Dad and I, on my wedding day

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27 thoughts on “For My Dad. My Quiet Hero”

  1. Danielle nice piece. May the almighty Allah bless us all. Proudly muslim. Hope to be in america one day to propagate islam Insha Allah. Ramadan mubarak to u

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I found your blog by accident. On second thought its not by accident actually, but by the will of Allah. I love it. You touch on simple tips for everyday living as a Muslim. I’m promoting your blog in my facebook to Malaysian readers.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. I read your story on ‘The Deen Show’ and it made me emotional. I was glad to see that you’re active on the internet as to me you’re an interesting person masha Allah.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Alhumdulillah. Thanks for seeking me out. It’s great to know my work is beneficial to someone! Alhumdulillah. I was so glad the Deen Show picked up my story. My blog was nearly silent for a year! But my intended audience is those who are not Muslim. Reaching them is still a challenge. Jazakum Allahu khairan – ma salam.

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  3. Assalamualaikum ,
    i discovered your article on my facebook wall today,it was shared by my friend…and then i had to read your blog and i just loved it….i ve been reading till my eyes are beging me to go to sleep…God bless you sister and thankyou so much for sharing your thoughts …
    your dad sure is an awesome guy…mashaAllah..this reminded my of my parents who have done so much for us that no matter what we do we can never really pay them back,may Allah have mercy on all our parents Ameen

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ok this made me cry… mainly because I had to think about Hamza Tzortzis’ video (https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=287388vONrs). We ‘born muslims’ are indeed so extremely ungrateful. May Allah guide your parents to Islam and bless them, amin. Thank you for sharing this beautiful article. We all should strive to become the best of children we can possibly be. Was salamu alaikum wa rahmatullah!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Your story made me cry. May Allah comfort your heart and open your parents and family’s hearts to surrender to their creator. May Allah guide us and our children to His path. Yarab…May Allah comfort our hearts watching our children back and steadfast on the right path.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I found your blog after reading your story on the deen show web site.

    Your story about your father made me want to become a better father for my kids. Thank you for writing the story with such compassion and love.

    Liked by 1 person

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