Taken from the book: Nubthatun Mukhtesiratun Min Nasaaeh…
The following two questions were posed to me (Umm Abdullah):
1- (What was) the extent of his (Shiekh Muqbil bin Hadee Al Wad’ee) focus on us while we were young?
As for the first question:
Our father did not neglect us, even though he was extremely busy. An example of this is his major concern for us with regards to learning the Quran. He would recite the Quran to us in order for us to memorize it and (he) would record (his) recitation on a (audio) tape in order (for us) to perfect the recitation. One time while my sister was memorizing, she went to him in order for him to record his recitation, but he was in the library. She called him and he left his research, came and recorded the recitation, and then returned to his library.
(translator’s note: In another place it was mentioned that the Shiekh stood under a tree and recorded the recitation for his daughter and then returned to his research)
When we began to understand the recitation he purchased a Quranic (audio) album by Shiekh (Mahmoud Khaleel) Al Housrey. He purchased one for each of us without a radio in order to protect us from listening to music. Once we became more mature, he purchased a recorder with a radio, but strongly warned us against music. By the praise of Allah we accepted that. We have never heard music, and we strongly detest it. Verily the Messenger(sallalahu alahi wa salem) spoke the truth when he said:
‘Every newborn is born upon the fitrah, then his/her parents make him/her a jew, a christian or a pagan’
He (Shiekh Muqbil) listened to what we memorized and we read to him much good. He would order us to memorize from one specific print of The Quran. This is because memorizing from one specific print assists (the individual) in memorizing with accuracy. If he saw us carrying a different print he would become upset and admonish us. May Allah have abundant mercy on him.
Amongst the students of knowledge, there were some students from Egypt and Sudan that had their wives accompanying them (in Yemen). Some of these women would teach us and our father would pay them a salary. This was done due to his specific focus and concern of our rearing and his general focus of the rearing of other (young) girls. This (manner of study) continued till (we reached) the fourth grade according to school standards. When he brought the books (curriculum/syllabus) that we were going to study with the female teachers, he would order us to erase all the pictures of living things. We would do so with hate for pictures.
After that we were taught Islamic knowledge. Knowledge of the Quran and Sunnah. We would memorize with our teachers and memorize hadeeths, all praise belonging to Allah.
Our father would entertain us and joke with us with that which Allah made permissible, contrary to what many people do today, except for those whom Allah has mercy upon. They (aforementioned people) entertain their children with television, music and crazy toys, and other than that from wrong and evil. (This is done) while our Prophet Muhammed -sallahu alahi wa salam- said, as it comes in Sahih Al Bukhari and Muslim on the authority of Ibn Umar, the Messenger said:
‘All of you are shepherds, and all will be held responsible over his flock’
He (The Messenger) also said:
‘There is no servant that Allah gives a responsibility and he is not sincere in it’s regard, except that he will not smell the fragrance of paradise’
Our father would forbid us from constantly leaving the home. He would order us to never leave except with his permission.
This was a summary of his care for us while we were children.
As for the second question:
Firstly, he was very concerned with our learning the religion of Allah and with our increase in Islamic knowledge. Due to this, he went through great means to provide us with everything that would assist the seeking of knowledge and free our time for it. May Allah give him a generous reward and enter him into His highest part of paradise.
He would designate a time to teach us, and on the following day he would question us concerning the previous lesson. If the previous lesson was difficult, he would lighten (the questioning) contrary to if it was easy.
From the private lessons that he taught in our home: ‘Qatru Nada’ (Arabic grammar), this was taught (completed) twice, ‘Sharh ibn Aqeel’ (Arabic grammar), also taught twice, and Tadreeb ar Rawee (Sciences of Hadeeth). We were studying: ‘Musil at Tallab ila Qawed al ‘Irab’ authored by Shiekh Khaleed al Azharee, but we were prevented from completing it due to his final illness. May Allah cover him with His mercy.
He also promised us a lesson in Balagha (Eloquence of Arabic), but his final illness also prevented the fullfilling of this. Allah is The Helper.
He would teach us in a cheerful manner, as was his norm during his lessons. This (characteristic) would allow the student(s) to inquire about any misunderstanding in the class. Our sittings with him were filled with good, review of knowledge and guidance, even during meal times and over the phone. Even during his illness while we were concerned for him, he continued to question us and bring joy to us. All praise is for Allah.
Note: She mentions a footnote during this paragraph, it reads:
That time while he was in Saudi Arabia before traveling to Germany, he telephoned me and said:
Assalam u alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu.
(She said) I responded without mentioning: wa barakatuhu.
He then said to me: Why didn’t you respond with that which is better?!
He was referring to the statement of Allah in the Quran:
‘And if you are greeted with a greeting, then return a greeting which is better or the same’.
He was very concerned with our statements and if we made a mistake, he would admonish us with gentleness and say: Don’t be like the people of Sa’da (city in north Yemen). One of them learns Arabic for years until he reaches the level of ‘Al Mugnee Al Labeeb’, but he still speaks on the level of a layman.
(She continued to say) I said to him one time on the phone: Now, we no longer find someone to correct us in our mistakes as you used to do. He responded: Supplicate to Allah for me. (She said) I pray that Allah raises him in the high parts of paradise and I pray He (Allah) makes my sister and I from those whom He (Allah) said (in the Quran) concerning them:
‘And those who believe and their children follow them in belief, We will join them with their children (in paradise), and We will not waste their actions’
(end of footnote)
Occasionally, he would be firm in his questioning in order to test our understanding. He would also do this with his male students, and at times he would give us difficult questions. I (Umm Abdullah) said to him one time: These questions are not on my level. He responded: I know, but I intended a benefit from them, but I placed them in the form of questions.
I (Umm Abdullah) say: What he used to do has an origin in the legislation. It has been recorded in Sahih al Bukhari and Muslim on the authority of Mu’ath bin Jabal, he said: I accompanied the Messenger (sallalahu alahi wa salam) on a riding beast when he said:
‘Oh Mu’ath! I said: I answer your call and I’m continuously at your service. He (the Prophet) repeated this 3 times and then said: Do you know what is the right of Allah upon His servants? I said: No. He said: The right of Allah upon His servant is that they worship Him and don’t associate partners with Him. Then some time passed and he said: Oh Mu’ath! Do you know what is the right of the servants with Allah, if they do that (worship Him without associating partners to Him)? Their right is that He will not punish them’.
Presenting a benefit in the form of a question strengthens comprehension of the information, and is understood better than presenting it in any other manner. This is because the student will gather and focus his attention to what is being presented to him.
He would occasionally direct questions to the females that were listening to the lessons, and then he would check which answers were correct or false. From those questions that he asked (them): What is (the ‘Iraab) analysis for the following sentence:
The two Abdullah’s came riding (camel, horse, etc).
And (the likes of the question) what is the meaning of their (teachers of the Arabic language) statement explaining ‘Itha’ (if): it hides (the doer of the action) because it is (used as) a condition. It is (also) mansoob (carries a fatha) due to the response of the condition.
(translator’s note: I apologize for my inability to translate the last example accurately. It deals with Arabic grammar that is very difficult to explain in English. Allah knows best)
We would ask him concerning doubtful matters or confusion related to our lessons or research, and if we did not fully comprehend his explanation of the matter, he would request us to continue researching, or he would accompany us to the library and assist in researching the matter. This is something that indeed brings sadness to us, because who after my father would lend such assistance!
(A poet said):
Who can compare to your kind soft way?! You walk gently and without haste, but arrive/come first.
Verily from Allah we come (are created), and to Him we will return. I (Umm Abdullah) ask Allah to give us a firm statement (La illaha ill Allah) in this life and the hereafter.
He would admonish and direct us with gentleness and ease, and by the mercy of Allah, we had no choice but to obey him. Verily (his orders) were for our own good and well being, and all of them (his guidance and admonition) were precious pearls attached to and supported by the Quran and Sunnah.
From his astonishing mannerism was that he was not strict /harsh against our opinions and deductions that were possibly correct. If we held an understanding different from his in a matter, he would not be harsh toward us. This was his normal character with his students, as was known. He would not act cruel or stern toward them (his students) if their opinions or understanding could possibly be correct. This (character) is something; oh respected reader, difficult to find (in a teacher).
* He warned us of the society, because it is one that is deviant and astray. It (is a society) that races toward that which is incorrect and does not benefit, except for those whom Allah shows mercy.
He would say: Do not busy yourselves with preparing food, what is easily available, we will eat.
* He (constantly) encouraged us. He was not from those fathers who discourage their daughters and families. He made our level (of work) simple in order that we continued to progress and prepare ourselves with learning and obtaining beneficial knowledge.
From his statements to me was: “I hope that you become a faqeeha” (female grounded in religious legislation).
Oh by the One who we hope from no other than Him, I ask you Oh Allah to make his wish/hope a reality.
As for discouraging (your daughters or family), this only brings about laziness and hopelessness, and may lead to a regretful result.
At other times, if he noticed from us a deficiency in answering questions, he would admonish us. This was from his ways of wisdom. He would do this with the purpose of protecting us from conceit and pride, these two matters are diseases and they are fatal. May Allah protect and save us from them.
Several years ago (while the Shiekh was still alive), I (verbally) wished (in his presence) to see a palm pith. (Later) He saw some people digging up a palm tree, when they pulled out the palm pith from the heart of the tree; he brought me one to the house and said: Here is a palm pith.
(translator’s note: I believe she intendeds here to illustrate her fathers gentleness and willingness to take some time out of his extremely busy schedule to fulfill his daughters wishes)
In conclusion to this answer, (I would like to mention) I saw a dream of my father after his death. He and Shiekh Ul Islam Ibn Taymiyyah were present in a place that I am not certain of. I believe it may have been the lower library (in Dammaj). Shiekh Ul Islam was standing with his beautiful white beard. It almost fully covered his chest. My father was also very handsome and strong. I ask Allah to place them in His highest paradise.
(end of translated text)
This is what we had to offer of the translation of her work. We encourage everyone to read the full version of her father’s biography. Indeed she has placed in her book jewels and pearls that were only seen and witnessed by her. May Allah increase her in knowledge and understanding.
May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon our last messenger Muhammed, and upon his family members and companions.