When Zakariyyah (alayhi salam) prayed for a righteous child, not only did Allah (swt) give him the tidings of a son, He also gave this son a unique name from above seven heavens which no one had had before; Yahya!

Allah (swt) said: “O Zakariyyah, indeed We give you good tidings of a boy whose name will be Yahya. We have chosen this name for no one before him.” (Surah Maryam, verse 7

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Do not underestimate the power of Dua

Although we hear a lot about the benefits of Dua and tell others about it too, I feel that we turn to it as a last resort, or don’t make it often. We have more belief in our capabilities. We only turn to Allah upon reaching a dead end, whereas supplications should be a constant and integral part of our lives.

This applies to parenting as well. We depend more on our own knowledge, capabilities and intelligence. We think that we can raise extraordinary children with all the books and lectures we’ve heard about parenting. We think we have the necessary skills to raise righteous kids. However, we miss out on the most important ingredient – making abundant supplications for our kids. We can fulfill our goals only with the help and tawfeeq of Allah; we must never forget to humble ourselves before Him. Whether you are having trouble teaching your children to pray their Salah or they are spending too much time on the screen, whatever it is, ask Allah for help and you’ll see help coming in magnificent ways.

The first few verses of Surah Maryam depicted for us the scene of the praying place (Mihrab) of Zakariyyah (alayhi salam). Verses 12- 15 unveil the physical embodiment of his fulfilled supplication; his son Yahya (alayhi salam). Today, we are going to spend some time in the company of Yahya (alayhi salam), another of our champions, and learn two important success tips from him.

1. Hold fast to the book:

Allah swt starts telling us about Yahya (alayhi salam) in the following words, “[We said], ‘O Yahya! Hold on to the Scripture firmly.” (Surah Maryam, Verse 12)

The verse indicates that Yahya (alayhi salam) was granted prophethood and Allah (swt) instructed him to hold firmly to the scripture, the Torah. Fulfilling this command, Yahya (alayhi salam) held it with determination, acted upon it, and preached it. When the ruler of the time was involved in something impermissible, he spoke openly against it and highlighted the correct ruling regarding it in light of the scripture. Yahya (alayhi salam) accepted the imprisonment and execution that came due to this, but he did not bow down to the desires of the ruler and strongly upheld the commandments of Allah.

The question we need to ask ourselves is: was only Yahya (alayhi salam) ordered to hold fast to the Book? Do we not find a similar instruction for ourselves too?  

Allah swt orders us in the Quran:  “Hold fast to what has been revealed to you – you truly are on the straight path- for it is a reminder for you and your people: you will all be questioned.” (Surah Zukhruf, Verse 43-44)

Allah (swt) also says: “Hold fast to Allah’s rope all together; do not split into factions.” (Surah Ale Imran, Verse 103)

Prophet Muhammad clarifies what is meant by the rope of Allah. He said:Behold, for I am leaving amongst you two weighty things, one of which is the Book of Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, and that is the rope of Allah. He who holds it fast would be on right guidance and he who abandons it would be in error. (Muslim)

This was the counsel given by Prophet Muhammad while he was on his deathbed. He told us, the people of his ummah, to hold firmly to the Quran. How exactly can we do that? Am I and my community holding fast to the book? Unfortunately, many of us haven’t even studied the whole Quran. If we don’t know what the Quran is telling us, how can we adhere to it?  

But it is never too late, let’s begin today! Grab a notebook and pen and assess your situation with regards to the Quran. Answer the following questions:

1) Have I studied the Quran completely with meaning and understanding? Where do I stand? If not, how do I plan to study it now?

2) How much time do I give to the Quran each day? How much time should I give if I’m planning to hold fast to it?

Make a practical plan for moving forward. Allocate some time each day for learning the meaning of Quran. Remember that our ultimate goal is not only to memorize the Quran or learn its recitation; rather it is to gain the understanding of the Quran and abide by its teachings. We want to become an embodiment of the character highlighted by Quran. Moreover, we do not have to hold the Book with weak, feeble and hesitant hands. We must gain enough knowledge to take pride in it and its teachings. We should be confident enough to share this precious gift with those around us.

Let’s hold fast to our scripture like Yahya (alayhi salam)! Let’s build in ourselves the spirit to uphold the commandments of Quran even if it means facing hardships.

2. Be dutiful to your parents 

Allah swt describes some of the characteristics of Yahya (alayhi salam). He says: “While he was still a boy, We granted him wisdom, tenderness from Us, and purity. He was fearing of Allah, kind to his parents, not domineering or rebellious. Peace was on him the day he was born, the day he died, and it will be on him the day he is raised to life again.” (Surah Maryam, Verse 12-15)

We must aim to follow all these characteristics as we aim to follow the path of those who were favoured by Allah. However, in this meeting with Yahya (alayhi salam) we are going to focus on one quality to take home with us today: being kind and dutiful to our parents.

Honouring our parents is of the best deeds in the sight of Allah. Whoever wishes to gain the pleasure of Allah cannot ignore this. Prophet Muhammad said: “The Lord’s pleasure is in the parent’s pleasure, and the Lord’s anger is in the parent’s anger.” (Tirmidhi; Hasan)

We entered this world as crying babies, dependent on others for our every need. It was our parents who took the troubles to raise us. How can we belittle them and disobey them? Let’s be like Yahya (alayhi salam) who received the praise of Allah for being good to his parents.

Task: Talk to your parents in a humble manner, do not be rude. Give them time and help them with their work. If they are no more, remember them in your Duas and be a form of continual charity for them through good deeds.

You may also want to read about the first 4 parts of Surah Maryam. Check below:

Surah Maryam – Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

Related Video: Surah Maryam – Complete Recitation

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