When we parked the car, I saw a british man with white beard came out to greet us with a smiling and welcoming face. His name is brother Daud R. Mathew or previously known as David. I had high expectation of them as my daughter talked so much of them and their dakwah work - they are very much committed. We entered the house... a very lively and comfortable house, I should say. Across the room, I was greeted by a pakistani lady sitting on a sofa - smiling and eager for our hugs. She was not well for some days before - my daughter told me the last time she saw her, she was not that thin. She told me she had lost a lot of weight but alhamdulillah, recovering. She moves around in wheel chair - for many years now.
As we chatted along from one topic to another, I found them amusing. They are one of the most beautiful couple I've seen. Brother Daud told us that they are never bored of each other. They are two brainy people and very supportive to each other. They met in Oxford when the sister Anis was doing her PhD in nuclear physics and brother Daud was working at the university. She told us how she managed to impressed Oxford professors when she presented her PhD proposal ideas. Indeed, the professors were amazed of how good the idea was and as soon as she knew her idea was accepted, she asked for a permission to flee the room and pray 2 rakaat of solat to say thanks to Allah. How many of us would do that when we are grateful?
Brother Daud was attracted to Islam the first time when he saw her doing her solat at a corner of a room. She gave him a book of Islam so that he can understand more of the religion. How he embraced Islam can be read from his article "A Sleepless Night", published by the Brunei Times. He took shahadah in 1973, 18 months after doing solat and fasting. He thought he had not known much. They also told us how the family in Pakistan eventually accepted him and they got married in Pakistan. The things that they told us was really fascinating. They worked in Saudi Arabia for several years before they reside in the UK and have been doing the dakwah work ever since. Both of them are actively involve in giving talks about Islam and dakwah especially during the Islamic Awareness week, one of many programs organized by FOSIS (Federation of Student Islamic Societies) in the UK.
They invited us to stay for the night but since we had to drive to Leeds for my daughter's graduation, we had to turn down the offer but indeed, I was tempted. I told them that they have to write a book on their autobiography as I know for sure, they can really inspire many other muslims to do dakwah too, insya'Allah. Some of us are not doing it at all. May Allah forgive us for our negligence.
Time flew so fast when you are having a good time. Before we knew it, it's already time to hit the road again. Before we left, brother Daud gave us his book (newly published) as a souvenir and signed it. It says.....
From Abu Dawood, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Never do two Muslims shake hands except that their sins are forgiven before they depart.”