People asked me: “When you were a teenager at high school, I went to secular schools in Australia, were you a religious person or not?”
Alhamdulillah I was. But it was very difficult, it’s not that easy… You have to be challenged.
I went in year 7 and year 8, and the students who were there bullied me… they bullied me because I was talking about Islam all the time.
The people who hurt me the most were not the non-Muslim ones, they were the Muslim friends. I used to be friends with them in primary, but there were no Islamic schools in high school.
When we went in, they couldn’t identify themselves as Muslims; and when I came around, they avoided me and they even made fun of me.
I went through misery. As a young child, it’s like a prison but without the lethal side of it. Teenagers go through a lot. I feel sorry for them sometimes because they go through a very big hardship.
As a teacher, I counsel them every day… It’s very difficult for them what they go through.
What kept me strong was one thing.
My father used to teach me so much about the companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and I used to remember them about what they went through. I used to remember Khabbab ibn al Aratt when he was captured by Abu Sufiyan, and he was tied to a tree. He said to him:
“Oh Khabbab, if you just say, ‘I wish that Muhammad was here in my place and I was with my family comfortable at home’, I will let you free!”
But Khabbab said to him: “I wish that I will be tortured here and not to even hear that Muhammad (peace be upon him) is hurt with a prick of a needle.”
So, he cut off his right arm. He repeated it to him again and Khabbab repeated the same thing… They cut up his left arm. He repeated the same thing until they cut off his legs, then his nose, then his eyes, then his ears. And in the end he stabbed him.
Then, Abu Sufiyan looked around and he said: “I have never seen people who love their master as much as what this youth loves their master, their Prophet.”
What kind of love is this?
They stood firm with their identity, and they are our greatest role models Allah has left them.
If I ask the youth today: “How many celebrities do you know?”
Masha’Allah! They count a hundred just by sitting there.
How many companions do you know?
Read about them my brothers and sisters, they are something beyond this world.