I was FaceTiming my own mother during the wedding of our brother, Ali. Whenever I feel happy and she is not a part of the occasion, I always want to involve her so she can share the moment of joy. At the wedding, while we made the usual du’ās for barakah in the marriage and between the two families, during that special hour of Friday we all made specific du’ā for Ali’s mother, who was in hospital. She insisted that the wedding go ahead with her joining over the internet.
Upon returning home from the walīmah, my mother welcomed a close friend and me, made tea and some small snacks for us, laughed and joked as we sat and reflected on the wedding and the blessings around us. My mother loves to serve her guests and I take her hosting and her kindness for granted.
Then the news came. Ali mentioned his that mother had passed away. We all stood there, shocked, repeating
إنا لله وإنا إليه راجعون
To Allah we belong and to Him we are returning
He was going to cancel the wedding earlier in the week but she insisted he went ahead. He had put his own marriage off for years as he served his mum through her illness. It was almost as if she knew her time was coming; that once her beloved eldest son had married, she was at peace and she left this world to the next.
One of the brothers, as he hugged Ali on his wedding day, whispered to him, “May this day of yours be the happiest day for your mother.” For her to leave, so suddenly after such an auspicious occasion, perhaps his du’ā was answered. She left after her eldest son was wedded off and provided with a family that will take care of him, just as she would. Inshā’Allāh she was given the good news of her destination being the gardens of Paradise, and thus her son’s happy day became her happiest day as she departed on this final journey with those glad tidings.
Many of us take the presence of our parents for granted, imagining they will live forever, not thinking that they could ever pass away. That they will never leave us. That we will always have opportunities to make amends, apologise, do more, or change.
Our parents may be from a different culture, or they may not always understand us, some things they do we may even find annoying. We might find it difficult but by Allah, they raised us with great hopes and smiles. Their īmān is unlike ours. Their sacrifices to grant us relief and comfort are beyond comparison. By Allah I learnt real aqīdah, practical tawhīd and tawakkul by observing my mother, which no book and no teacher could ever have taught me.
Our parents looked at us as we were helpless infants and made us their reason for joy and happiness for their own existence. Can you imagine the plans they had for us, their hopes and dreams? How we have let them down!
By Allah, I remember like a movie to this day actions I did as a 5-year-old that I regret, because I could not apologise in time to my father. I asked my father before he left to work one day to buy me some colouring pens. When he came back he brought me the most amazing pencil case as well as a set of colouring pens.
However, those specific pens he purchased weren’t the ones I wanted. He tried to explain to me and show me how good they were, taking them out the packet and colouring with them. But I was too upset and angry. I regret it now because he passed away the following year, Allah have mercy on him.
He had the most beautiful beard and the most beautiful smile and that day for me is like a movie that was played back in my head over and over again. Only after a few years did I realise that he purchased that set of pens for me because he couldn’t really afford the ones I wanted. In fact, he couldn’t really afford the ones he purchased either, yet he bought two pencil cases along with them, the other for my elder brother.
By Allah, every day I wish I could go back and say I’m sorry. I’m sorry I didn’t understand. I’m sorry I didn’t know. I’m sorry I was upset. I’m sorry I was angry. I didn’t do that, and that chance never came again.
I loved my father. When I came home from school being told he passed away, I called the uncle a liar. When a dandelion would ever come my way I would grab it and make a wish to Allah to have my dad back. I would make du’ā that Allah gives him half of all my good deeds.
For the children who have their parents with them, this day is a sign for us all to hold our parents close, to beg them for forgiveness and to apologise to them for being ungrateful and impatient. This is a wakeup call to ask ourselves whether we make our parents smile or shed tears.
How can we expect to be grateful to a Creator we cannot see, when we cannot appreciate the creation we see? May Allah make us obedient children.
We are beings created with the need of companionship and although no relationship like the one between mother and son can be replaced, Ali’s mother passed just as he was provided with a spouse. She has a great responsibility ahead of her—a responsibility to become a grand woman in this great man’s life—a woman who is to support and provide for Ali, for Ali’s family, for his relatives and beyond. It’s no easy feat for any woman and so we pray that Allah grants them all strength, patience, and ease. May Allah allow us to serve our mothers and forgive and rectify our shortcomings.
A man came to the Messenger of Allah ﷺ and said,
Never see your laziness as only affecting you, but instead like this: perhaps we could have been the reason our parents were forgiven, had we not chosen to be lazy. We know that all our parents have some shortcomings but perhaps through our effort Allah will honour our parents, and give them crowns to wear on the Day of Judgement shining brighter than the sun, celebrating the news that they have been given glad tidings of Jannah. Allāhu Akbar. Can you imagine celebrating the glad tidings of Paradise with your family?
Has the time not come for us to be obedient and dutiful children?