Izzou, My Dear Son…

I Wish I am There to See You Off...

My son is going for his first school camping ever. I’m not home to witness his preparation for one of his life milestones, nor see him off to it. I decided to write him this message. I’m sharing it with my readers too, in the hope it inspires (young) parents with kids in the age of my child.

Izzou, My Dear Son,

Izzou My Dear Son - 1BabaSalam.com

Assalāmu ‘alaykum warahmatullāh,

My prayers are that you read this message in īmān and good health.

Tomorrow, you will be going for the first school camping in your life. Although it is going to last for only three days and two nights, you will find it as long as a month, if not a year. Therefore, I find it necessary to write the following lines for your reference. If you miss me (and I know you will, because I miss you dearly) when departing, read this again.

I know you enjoy reading. Hence, I am making this a little lengthy. Also, I know you are already a big boy. Therefore, I will not sound like when I talked to my P1 handsome boy 😀.

Izzou, My Dear Son,

I was looking forward to be the one to see you off to the camp. But Allah has different plans for us. That different plan is that I will not be home to see you preparing for your first camp. For the same reason, I won’t be there to see you off.

As a young man who is transitioning from P4 to P5 soon, this is the first life lesson you should learn. That is, we plan, but Allah always has His plans. And His plans are always the best for us. It may take us years to grow, mature and then understand the wisdoms behind His plans.

Izzou, My Dear Son,

All this while, you have had your Ummī, your Abī, your Ukhtī, your Aunty, your Tok Sam, Aqilah and others to be there, whenever you needed something. Although strict, firm and fierce, your Ummī showers you with the utmost love a child can ever dream of. To the best of his knowledge, your Abī guides you towards the correct path. Your Aunty covers you with a warmth heart filled with love and generosity. Your Ukhtī entertains you when you study and plays with you. Tok Sam makes everyone happy in his own way. Aqilah makes you smile with her presence. In the next one year, I mean the next three days, none of them will be there for you. You will be with people you have never spent a night with before. You only knew them at school. That’s the second life lesson you should learn. That is: in life, no matter how the people you love the most care for you, they can’t be with you everywhere and every time.

Izzou, My Dear Son,

When your Ummī is not there to make for you your bed or read for you bed time stories, when your Abī is not there to stare at you to ensure you focus on reading your Qur’an or doing your work and to ensure you go to the toilet alone, when your Ukhtī is not there to entertain you when doing your homework, when you can’t welcome your Aunty in the evening at the door, that is when you will appreciate and realize the value of your Ummī, your Abī, your Ukhtī, your Aunty, your Tok Sam, Aqilah and your family.

Izzou, My Dear Son,

Your Ummī, Abī, Ukhtī, Aunty, Tok Sam, Aqilah and the rest are not going to be there with you at the camp. However, your teachers and peers will be there. A day will come that none of them, too, will be with you. Therefore, you should learn to be independent starting from now. This is why camps like this is important for you. This should also teach you to learn something in any situation you find yourself in.

Izzou, My Dear Son,

You are going for camping. You are not going for an excursion or sight-seeing. You are familiar with excursion and sight-seeing, and their estimated activities. Tomorrow, Inshā Allah, you will start learning and experiencing, first hand, what camping is all about.

But, know that camping is going to take you out of your comfort zone. Your confidence is going to be challenged and then rebuilt. Your fear is going to be replaced by courage. You can’t bargain with your teachers for additional two or five minutes of sleep, just like you do with Ummī every morning. Of course, there will be no way for you to argue with your teachers (and you shouldn’t!) regarding their decisions. I leave the rest of your new realizations for you to share with us after your return, Inshā Allah.

Izzou, My Dear Son,

By the time you return from this camp, you should learn to organize yourself and have a better understanding of what teamwork is all about. You should value food more, as you are going to eat only what will be provided. Not necessarily what you want or desire. You should also appreciate the time you spend to read the Qur’an. And most importantly, you should learn to value the convenience you have when prayer time comes. By the time you return from your first camp, Inshā Allah, you should be able to go to the toilet without any fears, especially at night 😀. In fact, when you recite the du’a for entering the toilet, which you learnt since K1, then you don’t have to be afraid except from Allah.

Izzou, My Dear Son,

When Allah grants you protection, none can scare you.
When Allah grants you happiness, none can take it away.
When Allah grants you knowledge, none can make you ignorant.
When Allah grants you strength, none can make you helpless.
When Allah grants you guidance, none can lead you astray.
Allah has all you need. So put your trust in Him, and do your best.

In order to attain all that from Him, you must do what pleases Him. That is why, if you remember, during your P1 and P2 (afternoon session), what was the first question I used to ask you when you returned from school?

Izzou, My Dear Son,

When neither your Ummī, Abī or Aunty will be there to remind you, to watch over you, or to scold you to pray properly, to recite your Qur’an with focus and passion, to do your work or to behave appropriately. Allah will always be there to watch over you. Allah will be there to watch over you, whether your teachers are observing you or not. And whether your teachers remind you to do good or not.

Izzou, My Dear Son,

You are one of the student leaders of your cohort. Aren’t you? Neither your Ummī, nor your Abī chose you for that. It was your teachers who chose you for that. They chose you for that since P1, because you have been a good boy all this while. They have chosen you for that, because you have proven to be responsible. Because you are respectful. Because you are caring. Because you like to share what you have. And because you take initiatives and you are hardworking.

Just like your Ummī and Abī, your teachers also have a great trust in you. Please, make them more proud during this camp. Just like you made them proud in your academic performance, and in your performance for Teachers’ Day celebrations, make them proud with your good character during the camp, after the camp and throughout your life. Every teacher wants to see someone they once taught to grow and be responsible. So, start being one from now.

Izzou, My Dear Son,

You are a good boy!
Your Ummī knows you are a good boy.
Your Abī knows you are a good boy.
Your Aunty knows you are a good boy.
Your Ukhtī knows you are a good Abang.
Atok, Nenek, aunties and uncles (back in Ghana) all know you are a good boy.

Of course, you are… You are a good boy because…
You have never lied to me, to your Ummī or to your Aunty. That is why we all trust you dearly.

We trust that you will behave.
We trust that you will not follow your friends blindly in whatever they do.
We trust that you will only learn good characters from your friends.
We trust that you will share your food with your friends.
We trust that you will invite your friends to pray together.

Izzou, My Dear Son,

Allah is the One who gave you to us.
Allah is the One who gave us to you.
If you please Allah, He will make Rasūlullāh to be proud of you.
If you please Allah, He will make your parents love you more.
If you please Allah, He will make your teachers love you more.
If you please Allah, He will make your friends love you.
If you please Allah, He will make the world love you.
If you please Allah, He will grant you happiness at all times.
If you please Allah, He will grant you success in Dunyā and Ākhirah.

To please Allah:

  1. Constantly invoke Him (in Du’ā) to inspire you to please Him at all times.
  2. Take your prayers seriously, and focus when you pray.
  3. Take your Qur’an at heart. Read, memorize and study it with passion.
  4. Be kind to everyone.

Remember to take your Qur’an with you to the camp. This camp is your first. It should be your best. It has to be the best because it is going to be the foundation for your success. When the foundation (of any thing) is at its best, whatever you build on it shall produce the best outcome.

I love you, Izzou!
I love you!

Allāhu Ḥāfiẓ,


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Baba Salam is a lifelong seeker of knowledge, a writer and blogger. He writes here at 1BabaSalam.com. He's also the man behind GSalam.Net. He's also the founder of TVQ.Academy. You can find him on Twitter @1babasalam, Facebook @1BabaSalam, and Instagram @1BabaSalam.