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A Grateful Son – In Memory of My Mother

A Grateful Son – In Memory of My Mother

Today marks one year since my beloved mother passed away; the day one of the biggest blessings from Allah was taken away from us. Many people have asked me to write about her but as I would sit and think about her: her devout generosity; her compassionate upbringing; her sacrifice(s); her heart-warming smile, tender gazes and radiant countenance; her motherly reproach and ire; her wisdom, so so many recollections and memories surge that I involuntary tear and realize the difficulty of this task. Today, a year later, before iftar, once again I attempt to put pen to thoughts.

As the one year anniversary of her passing approached, all I could I think about was her sitting on the living room couch, smiling as I would walk through the door. Just a few nights back, while reflecting over that thought, I fell asleep. In the dream I saw myself as a child in a desert on top of a hill crying at the pain of the loss of my mother. Suddenly, to my right I saw a young Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) sitting beside me. He pointed ahead and said, “This is where my mother passed away,” and then we sat together on the hill sharing tears.

I consider this dream to be another gift from my mother. She became the reason I was blessed with a few moments with the Prophet (peace be upon him).

Allamah Iqbal so beautifully wrote after the passing of his mother:

حیرتی ہوں میں تری تصویر کے اعجاز کا

رخ بدل ڈالا ہےجس نے وقت کی پرواز کا

I am amazed at the spell your portrait casts,
Which has changed the direction of the flight of time.

کس کو اب ہوگا وطن میں آہ! میرا انتظار؟

کون میرا خط نہ آنے سے رہے گا بے قرار؟

Now, who will wait for me, alas! in my homeland?
Who will be anxious when my letter does not arrive?

خاکِ مرقد پر تری لیکر یہ فریاد آوں گا

اب دعائے نیم شب میں کس کو میں یاد آوں گا؟

I shall come to the dust of your grave, bringing this lament.
Now who will remember me in midnight prayers?

تربیت سے تیری میں انجم کا ہم قسمت ہوا

گھر مرے اجداد کا سرمایۂ عزت ہوا

Because you brought me up, I shared the fate of the stars;
The house of my forefathers was gifted honor.

دفترِ ہستی میں تھی زرّیں ورق تیری حیات

تھی سراپا دین و دنیا کا سبق تیری حیات

In the scroll of existence, your life was a golden page.
Your existence, from beginning to end, was a lesson in religion and life

عمر بھر تیری محبت میری خدمت گر رہی

میں تری خدمت کے قابل جب ہوا، تو چل بسی

Throughout my life, your love served me,
And when I was able to serve you, you departed this world.

~ Allamah Iqbal

My mother was born as Gheeta Patel on June 17, 1952, to a Hindu family in a small village of Soyani (7 kilometers west of Bardoli, Gujrat, India). Her parents Natu and Rukhi Patel had 7 children, of whom she was the second oldest. Her family was practicing Hinduism, and her community was religiously segregated. When she was 20 years old, she arrived in Chicago in November of 1973, to join her family. Due to miscommunication with her itinerary, she was stranded at the airport, where she met my father, Abdur Razak Kamani. She was inspired by his manners and took an inclination to his religion. Soon after, she accepted Islam and married him. She once told me that she became Muslim so that her kids can be inspired by the character and belief that she saw in my father.

As a child, she had memorized the Bhagavad Gita: a sacred Hindu text. After accepting Islam, she had secretly made the intention to read the book from memory every night before sleeping; if she didn’t adjust to Islam, she could go back to her previous faith. The next day when she woke up, Allah had erased the text from her memory.

She gave birth to five children; 3 boys and 2 girls. She dedicated and sacrificed her life for us so that we could become what she dreamed to accomplish herself. Her eldest son, Rehan, was only six years old when he tragically drowned. It was at this same age that my mother sent my 8-year-old brother Shaykh Mubeen and me overseas to study Islam. Both of my sisters Reshma and Halima spent their early life under her care and now serve the Deen.

During the 15 years that I studied away from home, every time I would call her she would say, “I’m sitting on the sofa, looking at the clock, counting the hours until you come home.” Then when I graduated, she told me to move from our hometown of Elizabethtown, Kentucky to Chicago to serve the community there – once again sending me off.

Everyone knew of her generosity, kindness, and never-ending du’as. If someone had done anything for her children, she would make du’a for that person every day in Tahajjud salah. Even though she couldn’t read Arabic, she would read the Qur’an in her mother tongue and hadn’t missed Tahajjud salah in 30 years. Sometimes, she would make certain du’as for me that I never thought I’d be able to live up to and she would say, “Allah will surely listen to your mother.” Her du’as were endless and full of sincerity. After the birth of my kids, I sent each of them to her house for a few weeks at a time, hoping they would be beneficiaries of the same du’as I had received.

She hadn’t visited India in  over 11 years and after her remaining child was married, she fulfilled my father’s lifelong dream to travel to Kashmir, visit family in India, and spend the Holy month of Ramadan in Makkah. When we dropped her off at the airport, I kissed her on the forehead and she said to me,

“ اگر پرورش میں کمی ہوئی تو معاف کرنا”

(If I was ever negligent in your upbringing, please forgive me).

It was on this trip, a few days before Ramadan, a few hours before her flight to Umrah, that she suddenly, yet, peacefully passed away. Thousands of kilometers away, after completing her Tahajjud prayers, making du’a hours long, in the lap of a scholar, surrounded by huffaz reciting for her, with her tongue moist with the Shahadah, she left to meet her beloved Lord.

Inna lillaahi wa inna elayhi raajioon.

It was the poetry of Amir Khusru Dehlawi in regards to Kashmir that I constantly think about:

اگر فردوس بر روی زمین است

همین است و همین است و همین است

If there is paradise on earth,

It is here, it is here, it is here

She went to visit the paradise of this world as she transitioned to the one in the Hereafter, Allah-willing!

She lived most of her life in a small, isolated town, and when she passed away in a foreign land, only 15 people stood at her grave. She was unknown to the people of the world, but the Angels in the Heavens awaited her. The influence of her sincerity and du’as have reached the corners of the world and will continue through her children. The morning after she passed, my teacher Shaykh Yusuf Motala (may Allah prolong his life) marveled about how Allah chose her from such a small, unknown village and picked her to be a beacon of light for the entire ummah. He said that because of her sacrifice for the Deen, I will find her on the Day of Judgment next to the mothers of Imam Bukhari and Imam Malik.

My father chose for her the name “Radhia,” meaning ‘content,’ and we pray that Allah makes her the recipient of the call:

يَا أَيَّتُهَا النَّفْسُ الْمُطْمَئِنَّةُ

To the righteous soul, it will be said, “Oh, fully content soul!”

ارْجِعِي إِلَىٰ رَبِّكِ رَاضِيَةً مَرْضِيَّةً

Return to your Lord, content with Him and well-pleasing to Him.

فَادْخُلِي فِي عِبَادِي

Enter among My [righteous] servants

وَادْخُلِي جَنَّتِي

and enter My paradise.”

(Surah Fajr, 89:27-30).

A grateful son,

Hussain Kamani

Ramadan 5, 1438 A.H

May 31, 2017

 

Far far away

Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts. Separated they live in Bookmarksgrove right at the coast of the Semantics, a large language ocean.

A small river named Duden flows by their place and supplies it with the necessary regelialia. It is a paradisematic country, in which roasted parts of sentences fly into your mouth.

Even the all-powerful Pointing has no control about the blind texts it is an almost unorthographic life One day however a small line of blind text by the name of Lorem Ipsum decided to leave for the far World of Grammar.

 

Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

 

Qalam Seminary Blog: Muslim in America

By Syifa Sjah

I spent Wednesday night reunited with my people – high schoolers. On campus at the seminary, I’m always struggling to finish my homework or struggling to keep up in class discussions. At Plano East High School’s MSA event, I lived it up amongst my true peers. Sheikh Abdul Nasir and my classmates Jannah and AbdulRahman spoke about Muslims in America that evening. To be precise, they taught us that being a Muslim means fulfilling the rights Allah has over us and fulfilling the rights of others, and they taught us how to take that from its ideal to its reality. Masha Allah, every single thing they said was so beneficial and rang completely true, and gem after gem I was scrambling to take notes.

The first thing that stuck with me was actually something an MSA brother said: Our faith shouldn’t have to depend on anyone else – it’s just you and Allah. Taking that idea further, I always thought Muslim identity meant being an island. Sheikh Abdul Nasir described it as “The more Muslim you are, the more alone you are.” It never occurred to me that this shouldn’t be the case. It’s true that being a believer is about your relationship with Allah, but it’s also true that the Prophet (S) said you won’t believe until you love one another. He also said, “المسلم من سلم الناس من لسانه و يده”. The Muslim is the one from whom people are safe, people aren’t afraid that the Muslim will hurt them with his hand or with his tongue. Part of being a believer is your relationship with people, being good to them. Making sure to forgive others when they hurt you, and to apologize and make things right when you hurt them. It’s tough to be good to people, it requires being generous with your time and energy, two very limited resources. It’s only possible when no matter what the situation, your relationship with Allah comes first.

Putting Allah first might seem like the lifestyle of someone with superhuman strength, or maybe an occurrence that springs up in the rare moment of a spiritual high. But what about those days where you feel like you don’t care about anyone or anything? Don’t worry, you’re not broken or doomed to Hell. Just like a lamp needs a power source, we need a power source – not an electrical source, but a spiritual one. Reconnecting with Allah is the key, and it’s the mundane little things that are a really big deal in maintaining your connection with Allah throughout the day. Counting your blessings, saying words of gratitude for even the littlest things, acknowledging that it’s Allah who’s taking care of your needs every single second of every single day. The least we can do is thank Allah.

And what takes your relationship with Allah from rare moment to lifestyle habit is dua. Again and again, Jannah and AbdulRahman brought in the power of dua. We all have a long way to go when it comes to fulfilling the rights of Allah over us and fulfilling the rights of people over us, so ask Allah to help you, to make it easy, to make things happen. Jannah shared a beautiful dua, one that the Prophet (S) taught us: اللهم كما حسنت خلقي فحسن خلقي. Allah, make our characters beautiful, just like You made our appearances beautiful. And if you feel like your character is far from beautiful, follow Sheikh’s advice: do whatever little things you can do, like counting your blessings throughout the day, or remembering the one who gave you your food before you bite into it. He says it’s like painting a house. You could worry for weeks about which end of the house to start painting from, but if you start painting a little here and a little there, you’ll eventually get the whole house done. May Allah make us true believers, make us people of the Prophet (S)’s character, and furnish our houses in jannah.

 

Qalam Seminary Blog – Hadith Week

By Ayesha Baig

Sometimes we’re so caught up in what we are doing, we forget why. Why am I doing this? Day in and day out our routine continues but we forget to remind ourselves why.
Last week Sheikh taught us a collection of 40 hadith فَيضُ المُعين about the virtues of the Quran by Mulla Ali Al-Qari. The class was taught at the Bayyinah campus attended by both Qalam and Bayyinah students. Studying the hadith of the virtues of Quran was very inspiring and motivating. It was a great reminder as to why we are doing what we are. It was not only about the virtues of the Quran but also about the benefits of being among Ashaabul Quran, people of the Quran.
The first hadith we learned was خَيْرُكُمْ مَنْ تَعَلَّمَ الْقُرْآنَ وَعَلَّمَهُ
The best among you is one who learns the Qur’an and teaches it.
(Narrated by Imam Ahmed)
We learned that the word مَنْ in the hadith gives a very general meaning; this could refer to male or female, a young child or an adult. Anyone who is either learning or teaching the Quran in any capacity would fit in this category. The first qualifier is to learn the Quran, the first step is to seek knowledge and first thing to seek knowledge from is the Qur’an. Also the word تَعَلَّمَ (to learn) comes before the word عَلَّمَ (to teach) this shows that it’s not enough to just know something before we teach it, but we have to learn it properly first. We should be a student first before we can become a teacher. Being a student puts us through tarbiyya or training and teaches us restraint and self-discipline.
We have examples of the sahaba who memorized Quran only 10 ayaat at a time in order to practice what they learned. Abdullah ibn Umar for example was one of greatest narrators of hadith, who had practically memorized the Prophet (S)’s sunnah. It took him 8 years to memorize Surah Al-Baqarah. Why? Not because he didn’t have a good memory, but because his goal was to practice and live those ten ayaat before moving on. The sahaba approached learning Quran with quality over quantity.
Aside from learning how to be a good student, we also learned the etiquettes of teaching. Teaching should be done with the same type of care and concern, love and respect for your students as you would want for yourself. Sheikh also touched upon the importance of sincerity while teaching. Our sincerity shows through our preparation. We may think we already know the material, yet preparing so we can teach with excellence shows sincerity.
The last Hadith we studied was narrated by Anas ibn Mailik from the Prophet (S):
أَهْلُ الْقُرْآنِ عُرَفَاءُ أَهْلِ الْجَنَّةِ
The people of the Qur’an are the most well-informed within the people of Paradise.
They will be visible prominent figures, the most well-known people in paradise, people of distinction and honor. Although learning and teaching is very fulfilling, it comes with its challenges. The question does cross our minds, “Why should we put ourselves through all this?” Studying the collection of ahaadith was a great reminder, it put things into perspective. By the end of the week when we finished the 40 hadith, trying to become among the Ashaabul Quran was the thought that overwhelmed our minds.May Allah increase us in terms of knowledge and make us Ashaab ul Quran. Ameen.

 
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