Dear Readers, peace be upon you all,
It has been several months since my last post, and several life events have unfolded during this time. My last post was the day I moved out of my long term apartment in Canada, and then followed a long nomadic period of shuttling back and forth as we dealt with the worsening condition of my beloved mother whose cancer took a sudden turn for the worse.
She passed peacefully, in her sleep, on October the 21st, early morning of the night of Friday, the last Friday in Muharram, one of the sacred months of the year. We conducted a khatm for her globally and locally and her janaza was prayed in two different continents. Allah SWT blessed me to write something about her remarkable journey in this earthly realm that I shared with close friends. For various reasons I cannot post it publicly yet. But I will put in a short paragraph from that below, as some of you may find in it the guidance and strength I did.
I will leave you with something my dear mother said to me one evening recently, she said ‘If God wants me darling, I will go, if He wants me to stay, I will stay, and we will hope for the best’, she then asked me if that was right. I was not able to speak and only nodded, thinking to myself that once more, she has in one sentence captured all the meaning of so many religious books, lessons, commentaries; perfectly summarizing the attitude of a believer; being constantly in taqwa, content with Divine decree, and always being positive and working for the best. For all my book studying, my mother always taught me more! Allah irhamha! Ajr inshaAllah.
I have only thanks when I think of her, thanks to God for His beautiful unfolding of her life, and thanks for allowing me to be part of it for so long and thanks for her beautiful, honorable and blessed ending. May God bless her soul and rest her. I cannot also but help being thankful she is not around to witness the troublesome global news that I am sure none of you, my dear readers, are immune to. I know recent events would have troubled her greatly. I promised not to be political in this blog. So I won’t say more except to pray that we maintain light in our hearts in these ever-darkening times. She has indeed done exceptionally well, with very little resources, and passed if I pray, ‘with flying colors’. May God grant us all, that much prayed for boon, that God blessed her with – “khatm al husna” (=the beautiful/perfect/emaculate/graceful ending”
It is not appropriate I write about anything else except to end with Quran. To my Muslim readers, I ask that you please read ‘Fatiha’ for her. For my dear non-Muslim readers, Muslims find their strength in the recitation of Quran in difficult times. We believe the recitation benefits all who hear it, and it has always been considered to benefit the soul that has left the earthly realm and begun the journey in the spiritual one. So I ask my brothers and sisters who read this to recite the first chapter of the Quran, called ‘Fatiha’ for my beloved mother.
I will post a short video of these beautiful ayat (=’signs’ literally, the word used to mean a verse of the Quran, as each verse is considered a ‘sign’ of God. Muslims don’t give the same honorific contemplation to the Quran in any other language as it is understood that the Arabic meaning can only be interpreted into another language but never captured. So verse would be verse in the English Quran… and thus Muslims often use Arabic phrases when refering to Quranic matters, to denote a more well fitting meaning, even when speaking English) to end.
This is surah (=chapter) Fajr (=dawn), a short chapter, the 89th in the Quran. I will give an interpretation of its meaning below from the translation of Marmaduke Pickthall, one of the earliest Muslim Englishmen. It is recited by Qariah (=female reciter of the Quran, an honorific title given to those who recite the Quran), Sumaiyyah Ed-Deeb, a talented little girl from Egypt, who if Mumsy had seen her, she would have said ‘isn’t she so sweet darling!’ 🙂
I end with the phrase Muslims remind each other with, when faced with any calamity… ‘Inna lillaahi wa inna ilaihi rajioon’ (=verily, to God we belong and to God we return).
Bism Allah Al-Rahman Al-Raheem
- By the Dawn
- And ten nights,
- And the Even and the Odd,
- And the night when it departeth,
- There surely is an oath for thinking man.
- Dost thou not consider how thy Lord dealt with (the tribe of) A’ad,
- With many-columned Iram,
- The like of which was not created in the lands;
- And with (the tribe of) Thamud, who clove the rocks in the valley;
- And with Pharaoh, firm of might,
- Who (all) were rebellious (to Allah) in these lands,
- And multiplied iniquity therein ?
- Therefore thy Lord poured on them the disaster of His punishment.
- Lo! thy Lord is ever watchful.
- As for man, whenever his Lord trieth him by honouring him, and is gracious unto him, he saith: My Lord honoureth me.
- But whenever He trieth him by straitening his means of life, he saith: My Lord despiseth me.
- Nay, but ye (for your part) honour not the orphan
- And urge not on the feeding of the poor.
- And ye devour heritages with devouring greed.
- And love wealth with abounding love.
- Nay, but when the earth is ground to atoms, grinding, grinding,
- And thy Lord shall come with angels, rank on rank,
- And hell is brought near that day; on that day man will remember, but how will the remembrance (then avail him) ?
- He will say: Ah, would that I had sent before me (some provision) for my life!
- None punisheth as He will punish on that day!
- None bindeth as He then will bind.
- But ah! thou soul at peace!
- Return unto thy Lord, content in His good pleasure!
- Enter thou among My bondmen!
- Enter thou My Garden!