” We had another prison mate who was an elderly one. He used to be a driver of a passenger car and was charged with being a part of a car accident which caused the death of many people. He only knew about Islam what he learnt in his youth. He once came to me and told me that it was the anniversary of his mother’s death and that he always made an offering on this day, made food and invited Sheikhs to read Surat Yasin and sing Mawalid nasheeds, dedicating it all to his mother’s soul.
But since he was in prison, he asked me to do him this favor and to pray for his mother. I didn’t know what to tell him. If I refused to do it because it’s an innovation he wouldn’t understand me or accept my excuse. He might think I was arrogant or unsympathetic, or else why wouldn’t I pray to Allah to show mercy towards his mother? Not to mention the possibility of me being labeled as a Wahhabi. So I thought of a way to sort this out. I assented to his wish and following Maghreb prayer, I asked him to gather those he wanted to share this anniversary with. So he gathered four of his mates. We sat together and I read Surat Yasin besides some small Surahs. Then I made dua for his mother, ourselves and the Muslims. When I finished, he was the happiest I’ve seen him. He thanked me immensely and told me how much it meant for him. So I took the opportunity to clear things out for him.
I told him: Your mother has a massive right upon you. Dedicating only one day a year to make du’a for her is not acceptable. You have to pray and ask forgiveness for her every single day. He gladly listened and agreed to what I told him”.
– Dr Ayman Al Zawahiri Speaks of his Experience in Russian Prison in Dagestan.