So your father has every tool in the shed, a new barbecue grill, and enough aftershave to swim in and you’re thinking, this is it – time to settle for a dad joke greeting card or one of those singing fish. Don’t worry! There are plenty of gifts which don’t require talking animals or knock knock jokes. Here are a couple of ways to thank your dad for all those hours playing catch and all those unnecessary, but always welcome jokes.
1. Reference Risalat al Huquq
Risalat al Huquq, translated as The Treatise on Rights, is an informative and eloquently written piece by Imam Zayn al Abidin. This work of literature is short, easy to read, and well-organized for those of us who only have time for a quick skim. However, if you don’t have a chance to enjoy it in its entirety, make sure to take a look at the portion on the rights of the father. Imam Zayn al Abidin writes,
“The right of your father is that you know that he is your root. Without him, you would not be. Whenever you see anything in yourself which pleases you, know that your father is the root of its blessing upon you. So praise God and thank Him in that measure. And there is no strength save in God.”
I wasn’t exaggerating earlier, Risalat al Huquq truly is beautifully written – I guess we can’t expect anything less when it comes to the words of our Imams. You can use this snippet to just put you in the mindset for a day devoted to your father or you could even frame these words and gift them to your dad as a sort of acknowledgement of his high rank in your eyes and the eyes of God. Feel free to decide how fancy your DIY photo frame will be but just note that the quote will do all the talking so don’t worry too much about your handiwork.
2. Cook up a blessed storm!
It’s the month of Ramadan and, for those of us who don’t normally have their priorities straight, this month really provides a newfound appreciation for our favorite dishes. So take this chance to head to the kitchen, turn up Dua e Iftitah, and get in the Bobby Flay zone. I truly believe basically any dad (or human being) would love anything with extensive amounts of meat and potatoes – something hearty and delicious. Or perhaps your dad is more of the finger food kind of guy – kebabs, samosas, grape leaves, tapas, mozzarella sticks, bajiyas, etc. Whatever the dish may be, your father is going to LOVE this surprise come iftaar time. And I’d like to just note here that this is a viable option for everyone – brothers grab a spatula because last I checked it’s not haram for men to cook. Also, if you’re unmarried, adding some cooking experience to your resume is sure to shoot your profile to the top of singlemuslim.com.
3. Host a family prayer session
This particular gift is for those of us whose fathers or grandfathers have passed away. Invite your family and friends over to your home an hour before iftaar time and host a gathering that will fill your father’s grave with light. For those of you who are unsure what this entails, I attended my first session a few weeks ago and we can walk through it briefly right now. First, start the night off with a recitation of Hadith e Kisa and Yasin while, inevitably, your aunts and uncles begin filing in 15 minutes late. Then place pairs of shallow bowls or platters around the room. Fill one of the bowls with Jordan Almonds, Hershey’s Kisses, Chocodates, or really anything tiny and preferably edible – these will act as a sort of tasbeeh counter. Give each of your guests a tasbeeh and then ask everyone to recite a tasbeeh of istighfar, salawat, dhikr, or any religious recitation you choose, for the soul of your father. After each person finishes one full tasbeeh of the recitation, they place one of the items in the nearest full bowl into the empty bowl. By maghrib time you all should have emptied the initially full bowls and you can now open your fast with your tasbeeh counters! This is an incredibly relaxed way to get in some extra prayer time because everyone recites slowly and at their own pace. Feel free to tailor your prayer session to your preferences or needs!
4. Recite The Supplication for Parents
Imam Zayn ul Abidin is at it again in his complitation of whispered prayer entitled Sahifa Sajjadiya. Sahifa Sajjadiya consists of 54 beautiful supplications and covers a myriad of topics from praying for parents and neighbors to paying back debts, dealing with sorrow, and repelling fear (yeah, come at me cockroaches). A simple gesture like reciting the Dua for Parents either in front of our fathers or even quietly in our rooms serves not only to shower our parents with blessings but also to help us better ourselves as children. The dua is beautifully written so definitely give the translation a read through. If you want to take it a step further, consider writing your dad a heartfelt letter and include the translation of this dua – papa bear will be crying in no time.
5. Plan a Ziyarat/Umrah trip
This is perfect for those of us with retired fathers or perhaps dads who are teachers and enjoy a long summer holiday. Steal your dad’s passport and start the paperwork to fly him back to the universal motherland. Whether it’s just a week in Mecca or Iraq, or two weeks covering all of the shrines of the Imams, this gift is bound to be well received and bountiful! Not only does this mean your dad will probably get to enjoy an Iraqi Airways meal – they are quite delicious – but he’ll have the opportunity to wipe the slate clean and get himself prepped for the hereafter. It doesn’t hurt that he’ll probably pray for the person who booked his ticket too – Lord knows we all need it! If you think about it this is actually a pretty common thing to do for fathers day. If your dad is a Rafael Nadal fan you might get him a tennis ball with Rafa’s signature or front row tickets to an exhibition match. So if your dad is an Ahlulbayt fan, what’s better than tickets to a one on one conversation with them in person!
6. Have a(nother) child
Dads love kids. Islam is all about making children and passing on the religion. This is the perfect gift – just make sure you’ve planned around 9 months in advance…and that you’re married!
These are just a few ideas but, if all else fails, wrenches and screwdrivers will always be welcome gifts to our fathers! Just a quick sidenote, feel free to use this fathers day to also commemorate the fathers of the Ummah. Try reciting Ziyarah of Ameenullah – it’s a quick and poignant way to acknowledge that we would be nothing without them.