Zafar Siddiqui

Zafar Siddiqui is a co-founder of the Islamic Resource Group (IRG), an educational outreach organization dedicated to building bridges between Muslims and people of other faiths. He currently serves as the director of interfaith and civic relations at IRG. Read more about Zafar Siddiqui.

A Tribute to Fathers

Posted by: Zafar Siddiqui Updated: June 17, 2012 - 10:42 PM

I dedicate this blog entry to all the fathers who are making a difference in the lives of their children. Mothers and fathers are the pillars of any healthy society. Islam acknowledges their great contributions to human civilization. Respect, love, compassion, and obedience to parents is not an option but an obligation in Islam.

“Your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him, and that you be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honor.’ (Qur'an 17:23)

Here I feature two Minnesota Muslim dads and their reflections on fatherhood.

 

Hammad Bajwa
 
My name is Hammad Bajwa. I was born in Pakistan and raised in Saudi Arabia. I am a Rheumatologist in a private practice and am blessed with three beautiful daughters, Mahum, Malaika and Zara. Being a father is a great experience and requires an understanding heart. My daughters are like angels and their love keeps me going. Every joy we share becomes a lifelong memory and there is never a dull moment!

Despite having a busy work life, I try my best to be home for a family dinner and to listen to all the drama filled stories of the day. It’s almost a daily ritual for me to create a “new princess story” for bedtime and to wake them up with a kiss. It makes their day, when I wear a pink shirt or a tie. On the weekends, we enjoy activities like boating, swimming, golfing and skating.

To me, being a father is about raising and relating with my daughters in changing times and varying circumstances. Giving my daughters the strength, support and confidence in life is an important part of fatherhood. I try to be a good mentor to them by both word and example. I have to thank my own father for setting the bar so high. Thanks Abbu! And thanks to my wife, Naureen for being my better half and making it easier for me to balance everything in life.

Being a father means changing your life to create a life. In my opinion, the father for a daughter is more than just a parent.
 
Omar Merhi
 
I am blessed to be a father of 3 amazing children (Abdullah 6, Suhaila 4, and Muhammad 8mos). Having a child is a life changing experience. Being a father has given me a new perspective on life. It has enriched my life in ways I never imagined. To me, fatherhood can simply be about responsibility, protection and friendship.
 
My son and I enjoy playing basketball together and my daughter loves riding on my back. She'll ask me to braid her hair but it doesn't quite turn out to be what she expected! My 8 month old boy is still into the sleep all day, party all night mode. He quite often invites me to his parties :-)
 
My favorite activity with the kids is making them a good breakfast in the morning.  We'll create shake combinations, flip pancakes and chop up healthy vegetables with my all famous omelet. I thank God for my beautiful children. I thank God for being a father.
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