With A Sound Heart: Bi Qalbin Saleem

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There are those precious moments…rare and resolute when you feel every beat of your heart; hear the whisper of every breath; see every thought clearly in your mind as if they were boldly printed on a page before your very eyes.  It is in these moments that you deeply and truly comprehend the essence of yourself…your precious soul and it is in these moments that its temporary residence, your heart, feels safe, feels sound.

“On that day no wealth nor children will avail you aught, except he who comes to ALLAH with a sound/sincere heart.”(Surah Shu’arah: Verse 87-89)
The first time I truly reflected on this beautiful verse of Al Quraanul Kareem, my heart was moved.  A feeling of awe and wonder; a shiver and shudder as my physical body embraced and recognised the truth of the beautiful words of my Rabb-ALLAH as it coursed through my veins like an aneasthetic; calming and soothing as it travelled from sight to mind to tongue to heart and since that day, I find that these words continue to echo endlessly, day in day out…Bi Qalbin Saleem.

Unpacking, understanding, comprehending, reflecting and introspecting on any amazing verse of the Noble Quraan is a journey and task worth undertaking, as there can be no words more greater in impact and value than that of our Rabb; as there can be no way or path better and quicker to gain His Quroob/Proximity than through Al Quraanul Kareem…reading it, memorising it, learning it, understanding it, reflecting upon its revelation, inscribing it upon one’s mind and heart, living it…SubhanALLAH! 

Every single rhythmic verse revealed from Lowhul Mahfooz to Baitul ‘Izzah to our Beloved Nabi Muhammad SAW, descended with a pronounced purity and purpose.  It is sad and unfortunate that we as Muslims and the Ummah of Muhammad SAW, the lovers and reciters of Al Quraanul Kareem, have not fully attempted to delight in this treasure trove from the Realm wherein resides our Rabb, a Divine opportunity to listen to His Majestic Speech…SubhanALLAH! 

Each year when the month of Ramadhaan departs, we physically ache with the loss of it, exactly like the way we feel at the farewell of a loved one whom we yearn and pine for.  Yet, we can soothe this ache, with not only the continued attachment to the Quraan but also through continuing with similar and sustained acts of worship, towards Creator and creation, which will undoubtedly leave the heart feeling safe, sound and sincere…indeed the way we need our hearts to be when we meet our Lord on that Great Day…Bi Qalbin Saleem.

“Truly in the body there is a piece of flesh which if it be sound, all the body is sound and if it be diseased, all the body will be diseased.  Truly it is the heart, ” shared Muhammad SAW with his companions. (Bukhari) The state of our hearts determine what we do with the ‘ilm and knowledge we attain; how the Quraan and words of Nabi SAW affect our thoughts and emotions; how we are drawn or repelled by sins and if the heart is not sound and not sincere…it will indeed be as the Quraan describes such a heart, one that is sealed.  Such a heart is not only closed but sealed to the light of knowledge, the healing and mercy of the Quraan and goodness cannot reach nor penetrate it…ALLAH save us.

The heart then becomes an abyss of the darkness of diseases of the heart; filled with jealousy, malice, envy, greed, show, arrogance, hatred, anger, grudges.  A wise and pious man used to make the du’a, “O ALLAH, Purify me heart of everything but You.”
Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibn Kathir have conveyed that we think and understand not with the mind and brain, rather that we think and understand mostly with the heart.  That it is indeed the heart that is the centre of function. 

In fact ALLAH SWT has used three different words, throughout the Quraan when referring to the heart. Qalb- the general and more commonly used word.  It is derived from the root word or letters which mean something that turns around and changes easily.  Fu’aad- the root word means burning or flame, when the heart is inflamed with emotion. As ALLAH used this word in the Quraan to describe the state of the heart of the mother of Moosa AS.  And finally Sadr-meaning chest or bosom.  When ALLAH refers to secrets and motives that lie within the hearts, like in Surah Naas.

When and how do we know that we are with a sound heart-Bi Qalbin Saleem?  Signs of a sound heart are those that are inclined towards Salaah, Quraan, Dhikr and good deeds; wherein thoughts and emotions flow within the fountain of pleasing ALLAH; a physical and tangible pain is felt when disobeying ALLAH; repairing and returning to ALLAH easily and quickly in repentance when one errs, falters and sins; finding sweet solace in worshipping and pleasing ALLAH SWT; and a constant concern that ALLAH accept ones good words and good deeds…that is Bi Qalbin Saleem.

People who conveyed to us the aura of Bi Qalbin Saleem were undoubtedly the champions of Sunnah; those who strove to emulate and imbibe the teachings of Quraan and Hadith…the Sahabah RA.  It was in the time of Nabi SAW, on a few occasions as he sat in the Masjid, a certain Sahabi RA entered the Masjid and the Messenger of ALLAH SAW glanced at him, with a sweet statement fluttering off his blessed tongue, “He is a Jannatee.”  As this transpired on more than one occasion, Sahabah RA were intrigued to know why.

Another Sahabi sought the permission of the fortunate Sahabi, who had received such glad tidings from Nabi SAW, to stay with him for three days.  Hoping he would learn and observe, the reasons why Nabi SAW referred to him as a ‘Jannatee’.  After three days, he noted that he did all that the Sahabi did: praying on time as well as the tahajjud, fasting, doing good deeds.  ‘What did he do differently?’ He wondered.  And so he approached and questioned the Sahabi.  The reply he received would become and remain a learning curve for every generation of Muslims.  “I clean and clear my heart each night before I sleep.  And beseech ALLAH that He forgive me and tell  Him that I forgive those who have harmed and hurt me and I implore Him to forgive them too.”

To constantly and daily clean and clear ones heart from all else, so that nothing remains in it except ALLAH SWT…His Love, His Remembrance, His Connection.  As Asma bint Abu Bakr RA so beautifully said, “Truly my happiness is in my Imaan, my Imaan is in my heart and my heart only belongs to ALLAH.”

When that day arrives and we have no doubt that it will, let us endeavour to meet our ALLAH with a sound heart-Bi Qalbin Saleem.  Yet we know the way we live, is the way we will die and it will be the way we will be resurrescted.  Let Bi Qalbin Saleem become the vision statement by which we run the gauntlet of life by and sail the stormy seas of dunya with…for like that gauntlet and like that sea, it has a beginning and indeed it has an end. 

As Muhammad SAW raised his hands in du’a, he would beseech His Rabb indepth for a multitude of favours in the most eloquent words and of these du’as he said, “O Controller of hearts, keep my heart steadfast to Your religion.  O ALLAH Make Your love more beloved to me than myself, my family and cold water on a hot day. O ALLAH I ask You for steadfastness in matters of religion.  I ask You for the highest standard of integrity.  I ask You for gratitude over Your favours to me and excellence in worshipping You.  I ask You for an honest tongue, a sound heart and upright character.” (Munaajate Maqbool)

Bi Qalbin Saleem-with a sound heart, we implore ALLAH SWT exactly as our beloved leader and master Muhammad SAW did…Aameen Ya Rabbal ‘aalimeen

An article of mine extracted from the September  2016 edition of The Muslim Woman Magazine.

Stay Inspired
Envision your purpose and your paradise
RSB
Author, Journalist, International Motivational Speaker, Teacher & Student “Enough of a boast that He is my Lord;enough of an honour that I am His slave.”

UK 2016 Memoirs (Part 1)… 3000 Miles of Dawah in the UK

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An unquenchable thirst; an addiction that feeds the heart; a worthy past time…this is Da’wah, calling to the greatness of ALLAH.  And whose words can better motivate us than the Rabb of you and I, “Whose speech can be better than he who calls to the Greatness of ALLAH?” (S41:V33)
It is an undeniable truth that once you taste the sweetness of Da’wah, giving or listening to it…you will find yourself compelled to strive in the path of ALLAH…just to speak about Him, just to hear about Him and the beautiful way of life called Islam, called Sunnah…SubhanALLAH!

From eras and generations past till the present day and without a doubt spanning centuries to come…people will travel and spirit themselves across the seven continents and five oceans with the purpose and intent of only giving Da’wah.  Indeed it was over fourteen hundred and thirty six years ago that our beloved Nabi SAW made the greatest efforts in giving dawah, in calling people to ALLAH, in reconnecting creation to Creator.  And his efforts continue to flow and ripple throughout the ages as well as the efforts of those who emulate his legacy, this Sunnah of his and of all the Messengers of ALLAH (May peace and blessings be upon them all) of inviting to ALLAH, to Islam and to the Truth, like the continuous cascade of a waterfall.

How easy is it to plant a seed of life, of hope, of Islam when the soil has already been tilled and toiled, nurtured and prepared.  Having been invited and hosted for a women’s only speaking tour by Islamic Relief UK and Quraan Academy UK, I stepped into cities prepared to listen and learn, hearts eager and attentive, desirous and thirsty for the ‘ilm of our beautiful deen, to listen about the love of ALLAH and His Beloved, our Beloved…the Final Messenger Muhammad SAW.  Whilst I always feel unworthy of such an honour, being invited in SA and now abroad to address such noble gatherings…ALLAH and His Rasool remain worthy of being mentioned; worthy of being remembered and always always this endeavour brings honour to these very gatherings and to all those who attend such halaqahs and gatherings, Alhumdulillah.

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Everything has a beginning and the beginning of this journey, 7411.85 miles of air travel from SA to the UK and 3000 miles of road travel from city to city in the UK began for me when I made an intention, wrote out a goal and made a small dua.
Attending the two courses of Hifdh Dhowrah and Quraan Memorisation conferences with Sheikh Yayha Al Ghawthani of Masjidun Nabawi last year were life changing for my husband and I, Alhumdulillah-Masha Allah.  Not only with regards to our relationship with Al Quraanul Kareem and our journey of hifdh but even with other aspects of the brain and matters of the mind…SubhanALLAH.

Will I ever forget that Sunday, the second conference in August of 2015 as the Sheikh invited us to increase in our goals and intentions.  Having previously written five goals and intentions at the first Dhowrah in April 2015 and embalming it in positive thinking and dua, we observed these aspirations transform themselves from mere words on a page to tangible realities, SubhanALLAH! And yet again he invited and urged us to pen down, make dua and pursue positive affirmations for another ten goals.
“What to write?” I thought.  My goals for the year were satisfied.
“What more to ask and intend from such a Merciful Rabb?” I daydreamed.
And then raising my pen, I wrote.  One of these goals on this wonderful Sunday afternoon was to call to the Greatness of ALLAH, to give dawah, throughout the world.  My first choice…the UK.

Having shared my goals with no one besides my husband on our journey home from Pretoria that late Sunday afternoon, can you imagine my incredulous shock and wonder and absolute awe in the Power and Mercy of ALLAH, when the very next morning, Monday morning, I log onto my email account to reply to that morning’s emails and I find an email enquiring if I would be interested in addressing women on a speaking tour in the UK?! SUBHANALLAH!
And my favourite hadith and positive affirmation reverberated in the recesses of my mind, “I am to My servant as he expects Me to be; I respond to My servant when he calls upon Me; I am with My servant when he remembers Me.”

But the wheels of taqdeer and destiny had already being in motion as I was to learn that the Imaam of the Houghton Masjid, Moulana Arshad Fakir had taken a copy of my debut book, Falling In Love With Muhammad SAW as a gift for Sheikh Nagib Khan of the illustrious Quraan Academy based in the UK and taqdeer forged its way through the positive reference of Sheikh/Moulana Sulaiman Moola and the persistant hardwork of Salim Bhai Lorgat of Islamic Relief UK and his colleagues, Zia Salik, Ayesha and my dear tour co-ordinator, driver, personal caretaker and Ikraam supervisor, Islamic Relief fundraiser- Sister Sadia Saajid.  Allah bless them all, ameen.  And so began an amazing journey towards an awesome and most memorable experience…3000 miles of Dawah in the UK.

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Through the Mercy and Kindness of our Beloved Rabb my family and I were graciously hosted by Islamic Relief UK in conjunction with Quraan Academy UK, as I embarked on a speaking tour for women in the UK…my talk and the theme of the tour was based on an emotion that reasonates and reflects throughout the world…Discover the Power of Love.

First of all to be hosted by amazing organisations like Islamic Relief and Quraan Academy who are doing such inspirational work in the service of deen and humanity at large, was an honour that I find myself still making shukr for.  Islamic Relief’s goal, through our series of free talks and events was to create and maintain awareness and continuous fundraising for the tragic and heart wrenching situation which has become Syria…the perpetual plight of our dear mothers, sisters and children.
Every event, even though I heard the same fundraising pitch by the same sisters and watched the same clip, I found my tears meander a path down my cheeks and increase the pang of pain in my heart and compell me to want to give…of my wealth, of myself to ease the suffering of the Syrians.  And it was then that I knew another burning goal had been realised, to be a means of assisting somehow for my dear brothers and sisters of Syria, SubhanALLAH.

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We left a bright and sunny SA, 34 degrees to be exact, on Thursday the 25th of February and eleven hours and 7411,85 miles later reached the cold -7 degrees of the UK, landing at London Heathrow Airport.  The weather was a chilled cold, a bracing brrr…but the warmth and hospitality of the people of the UK more than made up for it.  To be quite honest my husband, kids and I enjoyed the change of weather and scenary, Alhumdulillah always.

With Sister Sadia, who was appointed to be with us throughout- playing a diversity of roles, ALLAH bless her, our journey of 3000 miles in the VW Tugore SUV began. From Heathrow to Hounslow, from Manchester to Blackburn to Bolton, from Batley to Rochdale, from Dewsbury to Blackburn and Bolton again, from Manchester again to Birmingham to London, from Bristol back to London, from Leicester to Naneton to Leicester and back to London-Heathrow and then another 7411. 85 miles back to SA…this was an amazing journey of Da’wah of 11 talks in 13 cities…3000 miles of Da’wah…SubhanALLAH.

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In an effort to Discover the Power of Loving ALLAH, Loving His Beloved Messenger Muhammad SAW and His creation as well as enlightening and fundraising for the Syrian Plight, we journeyed from city to city, event to event, hall to Masjid hall.  The programme lineup procured attentive audiences and receptive hearts…Alhumdulillah.  With Mcs and introductions; a Qiraat rendered by my beloved daughter or son, Zinneerah and Mohammed Usaamah; my hour talk and the finale of the moving fundraising as well as a ladies tea and booksales…Discover the Power of Love UK 2016 Tour hosted and co-ordinated by Islamic Relief UK and Quran Academy UK weaved its way throughout the cities of UK, Alhumdulillah-Masha ALLAH.

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Join me in UK 2016 Memoirs Part 2 as I share much more about the awesome organisations, Islamic Relief UK and Quran Academy UK and the outstanding efforts and work they are pursuing as well as the amazing people who form them, Alhumdulillah-Masha ALLAH

An article of mine extracted from the May 2016 edition of The Muslim Woman Magazine.

Stay Inspired
Envision your purpose and your paradise
RSB
Author, Journalist, International Motivational Speaker, Teacher & Student “Enough of a boast that He is my Lord;enough of an honour that I am His slave.”

UK 2016 Memoirs (Part 2)… In The Service of Deen & Humanity… Quran Academy UK & Islamic Relief UK

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In the canvas of all His artistry that surrounds us: from the relationship between the sun and the sky; the ocean and the land; mountains and valleys; and creatures and creations who co exist…we find a beautiful harmony, a sense of order and belonging.  And this beautiful harmony and sense of belonging is found elsewhere too…in being a part of a global family, the Muslim Ummah, SubhanALLAH!

I have always found it awe-inspiring and humbling, this feeling of truly belonging and  connecting to strangers I have just met; strangers who feel like family; not connected by the bonds of blood but by the bond of Eemaan…that’s the Muslim Ummah.  And each time I experience this, the words of our beloved Nabi SAW echo in the recesses of my mind, “The Muslim Ummah is like one body…”SubhanAllah!

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Travelling in the UK in the company of my amazing hosts Quraan Academy and Islamic Relief, this feeling enshrouded not only me but family too and over a month later, whilst back in SA, we miss them, the way we miss family.  The love  that ALLAH places in the hearts of believers for believers proves to be amazing, Alhumdulillah.  And it is in this train of thought, in this harmony and love that pulses through us as one ummah-one body, that we find multitudes of Muslims striving to be in the service of humanity and in the service of deen; to be of benefit to others…for the love of ALLAH; for the love of His Nabi SAW; for the love of the Ummah.

In the Service of Deen…Quran Academy
Allow me to introduce you to the dynamic founders and family of Quraan Academy, Sheikh Nagib Khan and his amazing mum Apa Yasmin and very hospitable wife Apa Anisa.  Sheikh Nagib Khan graduated from one of Britain’s most renowned and celebrated Islamic institutions, Darul Uloom Leicester in 2003.  Here he first successfully completed his memorisation of the Holy Quraan in 1997 and thereafter successfully completed the Aalim course. 

He has since then been an active member of the Muslim community in a number of different roles.  Currently he is based in Bristol and the South West where he has successfully established the first Quraan Academy providing a unique service to the Muslim community of the South West of England.  He also regularly delivers Islamic lectures at various locations in the South West.

Sheikh Nagib shared so many inspirational stories regarding the efforts and work of Quraan Academy.  Yet what that stood out for me, was how Quraan Academy was in fact the brain child of his dear mum, Apa Yasmin.  She enthusiastically makes effort for advancing Quraan Academy’s efforts on any front, SubhanALLAH!  And her passion for giving da’wah to Al Quraanul Kareem is amazing, something which I witnessed at our Leicester event first hand.  She has set phenomenal goals and standards of handing out the English translation of the Holy Quraan, to individuals and groups of non Muslims, in and around the UK.
Not even on holiday does she forsake this personal commitment of da’wah to Al Quraanul Kareem, having a minimum of Quraans packed in a bag to hand out on a daily basis. In 2015 she gave out 30 000 English Quraans…this left me awe struck and deeply inspired, SubhanALLAH!    

Quraan Academy usually partners with a fundraising organisation like Islamic Relief in order to assist one another in a relationship of mutualism, where the minimum of two objectives are realised…the Muslim communities of UK are enlightened and inspired with various scholars of deen from around the world and at the same time funds are raised and awareness created and maintained regarding the various plights and conditions facing the Ummah and humanity at large.  From my first hand experience, I viewed this to be a beautiful and beneficial relationship,  to truly establish the various facets of deen, like ‘ilm (knowledge) and ikraam (service to people).

In the Service of Humanity..Islamic Relief
Being a Muslim, being part of one global Ummah, the Ummah of Muhammad SAW, is not easy on the heart and mind.  For when the atrocities faced by our brothers, sisters and children around the world, comes crashing into our lives via the media, we become distraught and disturbed.  Our hearts physically ache for we are bonded by Eemaan; worry and sorrowful thoughts run rampant through our minds and we wonder, “What can I do to help them?  How can I be a means of soliciting solutions for my mothers and sisters?” And whilst du’a will always be the first and foremost weapon and wealth of a believer, we still feel the restless need to mobilise ourselves and do something…anything.

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This is where organisations like Islamic Relief UK, amongst many others steps in.  The phenomenal work that Islamic Relief do in assisting those in any need, Muslim or non Muslim, locally in the UK or anywhere else in the world is nothing short of amazing, SubhanALLAH!  And the passion and enthusiasm that drives them is very contagious, as my daughter and I found during our UK tour, Alhumdulillah-Masha ALLAH!

Encounter some of the IR team members I was blessed to meet and interact with during the tour: Sister Sadia Sajid (Tour and Challenges Co-ordinator), Salim Bhai Lorgat; Apa Hafsa Lorgat; Sister Ayesha, Brother Zia Salik, Sister Mariam, Sultan Bhai and many other committed volunteers.  Whilst their volunteer response in every area is superb, there are many who work for Islamic Relief on a full time basis.  And when I say full time, the long hours that they pull to complete projects, will render you speechless…just to benefit others and make that difference, SubhanALLAH!     

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The initiative that was apart of my speaking tour, was the raising of funds to feed poverty stricken families in Syria, with the suggested donation being £72 pounds feeding two families for two months.  With IR’s powerpoint presentation, of mothers being interviewed in Syria regarding their plight, literally evoking streams of tears, many happily opened their hearts and pockets, filling in pledge forms for monthly contributions for this noble cause, SubhanALLAH!  At one event, it was shared that a phenomenal £23 000 pounds was raised, Alhumdulillah-Masha ALLAH.

To be a part of such humbling, humanitarian efforts left me in a state of gratitude as well as feeling deeply compelled to continue to be a part of any like-minded initiatives.  Whilst my mind and notes are filled with many awe inspiring anecdotes regarding Islamic Relief-IR , I will share but a few with you.  In January of this year, UK faced some seriously damaging weather conditions like floods.  As weather forecast reports rolled out, IR teams and volunteers mobilised themselves to these various cities in which there were possibilities of their river banks flooding.  And in one such city, within a few hours five thousand tons of sand was packed and stacked around the river banks to prevent such flooding.

Another very interesting story was shared by my dear Tour Coordinator Sister Sadia, regarding an incident of the EDL’s hostility in the UK towards the Muslims.  In this specific situation threats were made against a Masjid in a certain locality and they intended to wreck it to the ground.  The Imaam discovering the EDL’s intentions, contacted the Islamic Relief workers and volunteers of that area.  Within an hour there was literally about hundred men, Islamic Relief workers and volunteers surrounding the Masjid.  When the EDL leader and his group arrived, they were shocked at the sight which awaited them.  Whilst the EDL’s initial stance was nasty and aggressive, the Imaam and the IR team engaged them in dialogue.  Late into that night, an amazing sight was witnessed, the EDL and Islamic Relief workers were playing a game of soccer…SubhanALLAH!

Islamic Relief is an organisation that has been established in many countries throughout the world, including here in SA.  And thus their efforts in serving humanity has been far reaching.  Currently campaigning for their Water For Life challenges, wherein people pledge funds and participate in unique adrenalin pumping activities…all for the sake of raising funds for water. From trekking the 9000km of the Great Wall of China, to the base camp of Mount Everest in Nepal, to Snowdon in England and Wales to Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa, to skydiving, bungee jumping as well…all in the spirit of raising funds for the Water for Life Campaign.  The reality check which IR commences this exciting leaflet with, is the sad statistic that,”Dirty water kills two million children every year.”

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We all can’t do great things, but we can all do small things with great love.  And when each of us step up, we invite others to step up too.  This is what it means to be in the service of deen; in the service of humanity, just like these inspirational organisations, Quraan Academy UK and Islamic Relief UK, whom I was blessed to be hosted by, Alhumdulillah.  And as I conclude this article I find the Quranic verse, IR’s slogan, reverberate endlessly in my mind, “And whoever saves the life of one person, it is as if he has saved all of mankind.” (S5:V32)
An article of mine extracted from the June 2016 edition of The Muslim Woman Magazine.

Stay Inspired
Envision your purpose and your paradise
RSB
Author, Journalist, International Motivational Speaker, Teacher & Student “Enough of a boast that He is my Lord;enough of an honour that I am His slave.”

The Realities, Reflections & Resolutions of time spent IN Prison

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I bid you dear reader take a moment….
Open your back or front door and inhale that crisp fresh air; step outside…as you wish, where you wish; step inside…move from room to room; doing as you wish, when you wish. Ah, the many simple freedoms you and I enjoy, yet perhaps take for granted.  Now imagine a life without these simple freedoms….

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Imagine a life of imprisonment, restrictions, confinement and limitation.
Imagine a life where you are told what to eat and what to wear; when to eat and when to sleep. Imagine a life where the performance of your salaah is such a difficult task, where you have to take turns and share a Quran with twenty other ladies, in concern of that Quran been mishandled. Imagine a life where you have been physically separated from those you love-your children, your spouse, your parents….

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This is indeed the reality of life in prison. Many of you may recall a previous  article sharing my first experience and visit to the ladies correctional facilties/prison during the month of Ramadaan. You may recall my description of the ‘Radiant Ramadaan Room’ as I have come to term it. You may recall the very postive terms I had used to describe it, “A fragrance of love, a glimmer of hope and the desire for peace.” However, as always in life there are two sides to every tale. In this article I share with you the other side…

Alhamdulillah, ALLAH in His Mercy had granted me more opportunities to address the ladies at the correctional facility. Ramadaan being the only month in which the three awesome and inspirational sisters, who are doing such excellent work, are allowed to take in guests to encourage and motivate the detainees.

Realities…
Returning at the end of Ramadaan 2011 was a revealing moment of what life in prison truly constitutes. This time I did not just visit ‘the Radiant Ramadaan Room’- the room given specifically for the Muslim women to share during the month of Ramadaan. This time I was taken to the awaiting trial section…
An area demarcated for those awaiting trial and sentence; where inmates can wait up to one and a half years for their trial date and it in no way comes off or affects whatever sentence they have been given.

Walk with me….
Extreme noise, the banging of gates, shouts and screams.
Concrete floors and walls…dreary, dark and yes, frightening.
Food handed out in the canteen once a day, only at lunch…no stoves to reheat their food for iftaar, no cold glasses of milkshake, no hot cups of tea.  While they make attempts to survive, like keeping hot water in plastic bottles in their bed and placing their food next to it in an effort to heat it, life is hard beyond imagination.
My thoughts a jumble of emotion…what words could I say to encourage these women, what branch of hope could I hold out to them?
The rooms, made up of ghastly metal beds, 40 women to each with two toilet facilities…so offending to the senses of sight, smell and sound…how did my Muslim sisters bear it? 
My throat constricted and I was indeed emotionally overwhelmed.
After returning that day, while I couldn’t sleep for nights on end my duas centred on shukr/gratitude. Shukr for the simple things in life: to feel the sunlight caress my face, every sweet breath of fresh air, the company of my family and yes, freedom of movement. And my thoughts…dua upon dua for my fellow Muslims sisters and brothers who have been imprisoned, not only in SA but throughout the world. Whether victims of their own actions or victims of circumstance.

Reflections…
Returning this Ramadaan once again to the “Radiant Ramadaan Room” was but moments of deep reflection. For now having abit of knowledge and insight as to the realities these women face, I could appreciate more the depth of their struggle… to hope and perservere. Indeed it was a moment of deep realisation and reflection that knocked me…When the ladies gifted the precious Apa/Sister with a beautifully handcrafted canister set, with so deep and sincere emotion for her efforts in providing them with hope, love and deen.
Indeed every little effort for the sake and deen of ALLAH will never go unacknowledged by the Creator and the creation.

However, I am compelled to share with you, dear reader, the vital message conveyed to me, by the inmates and the sister who has spent years working at this facility: One day in prison is enough to change the rest of your life. For time spent in prison has the ability to make or break you, there exists no middle ground.
In the male section a young man had been sentenced for four months because of his non payment of a multitude of speeding fines. After two weeks in prison, he shared, “My life will never be the same.” This statement needs no explanations; it is ominous enough. 

Resolutions
The narrative of this one specific incident stands out for me personally and has undoubtedly highlighted the necessity of following the laws of our country.
And the desperate dua of the sister, who has made the khidmat of deen in prison her life’s work, is for ALLAH to save our youth. I leave you with this dear reader-young and old, we need to understand the law of physics, that indeed, “for every action there exists an opposite but equal reaction.” As Muslims it is imperative that we “Obey the Rules…the rules of ALLAH and the rules of the country.” For as ALLAH has urged us in the Glorious Quran,

“Oh You who believe, obey ALLAH and obey the Rasool and those in authority from amongst you.”

(S4:V59) 
An article of mine extracted from the December 2011 edition of The Muslim Woman Magazine.

Stay Inspired
Envision your purpose and your paradise
RSB
Author, Journalist, International Motivational Speaker, Teacher & Student “Enough of a boast that He is my Lord;enough of an honour that I am His slave.”

Leaving Legacies… A Scattered Pearl…Rabia Basria RA

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Like the north star, outstanding and brilliant, some people, pious predecessors of eras past continue to mesmerize the mind and heart.  Their tales create waves of awe and wonder; yearning and hope for the next life, the Eternal life…the life filled with luminous light.

Personally for me, this series could never exclude the legacy of a woman from centuries past, seas apart, who had inspired me at the very onset of my journey as seeker of ALLAH’s Love.  Her stories shook me to the core; turned me inside out; her gaze firmly focused on loving ALLAH first, last and foremost; passionately worshipping ALLAH with a passion that remains to be contagious centuries later.  A lasting legacy, a scattered pearl…Rabia Basria ra.

Rabia al-Adawiyya al-Qaysiyya was born between 95 and 99 Hijri in Basra, Iraq.  She was the fourth daughter of her family and was therefore named Rabia, meaning “fourth. She was born free yet in a poor but respected family.  Her parents were so poor that there was no oil in their house to light a lamp, nor even a cloth to wrap her with.  Her mother requested her husband to borrow some oil from a neighbour, but he had resolved in his life never to ask for anything from anyone except the Creator. However, to satisfy his wife, he went to the neighbour’s house, knocked on the door and came away before anyone opened it. On his return, he told his wife that the door was not opened. Grief-stricken, he fell asleep. In a dream, he saw Rasulallah SAW telling him, “Do not grieve, this girl born to you is exceptionally fortunate and holy.  By her intercession 70,000 people of my Ummah will be forgiven. Go to the governor of Basra and convey to him this message written on a page:
“Every night you recite 100 Durood on me and on Friday night 400 times. Last Friday night you forgot to recite the Durood. As a compensation for this omission, give this person 400 dinars.”
 
Rabia’s father woke up crying in joy. He wrote out the message and went to meet the governor. He handed the letter to a guard. When the governor read the letter, he was moved by the fact that Rasulallah SAW had remembered him. He ordered 10,000 dirhams to be given to the poor as a token of gratitude. He went out to meet Rabia’s father. After presenting him with the 400 dinars, he said, “In future whatever your needs are come to me without any hesitation.”
 
After the death of her father, a famine overtook Basra and Rabia ra parted from her sisters. Legend has it that she was accompanying a caravan, which fell into the hands of robbers. The chief of the robbers took Rabia ra captive, and sold her in the market as a slave. The new master of Rabia Basria ra worked her hard with household chores each day, yet she would pass the entire night in prayer.  Of course, after she had completed her household jobs. She would also spend many of her days observing fast.
 
Once the master of the house got up in the middle of the night, and was attracted by the sorrowful voice in which Rabia ra was praying to her Lord. When he looked, he saw a great light surrounding her as she entreated her Lord in these terms,“Lord! You know well that my keen desire is to carry out Your commandments and to serve Thee with all my heart, O Light of my eyes. If I were free, I would pass the whole day and night in prayers. But what should I do when you have made me a slave of a human being?”
 
At once the master felt that it was sacrilegious to keep such a saint in his service. He decided to serve her instead. In the morning, he called her and told her his decision; he would serve her and she should dwell there as the mistress of the house. If she insisted on leaving the house, he was willing to free her from bondage.  She told him that she would prefer to leave the house to carry on her worship in solitude.  He granted her this and she left the house.

Throughout her life, her Love for ALLAH, poverty and self-denial did not waver. They were her constant companions. She did not possess much other than a broken jug, a mat and a brick, which she used as a pillow. She spent all night in prayer and contemplation, chiding herself if she slept because it took her away from her active Love and worship of ALLAH.
 
As her fame grew, she had many disciples. She also had discussions with many of the renowned religious people of her time. Though she had many offers of marriage, and (tradition has it) one even from the Amir of Basra, she refused them as she had no time in her life for anything other than ALLAH. 
 
She was the first in a long line of female Sufi mystics. Once while she was in the service of her Sheikh, she was sent on an errand. Along the way a man pursued her. In fright she fled, slipped and broke her hand. Praying to Allah Ta’ala she cried, “O Allah! I am forlorn, without mother and father. Now my hand too is broken. But I do not mind these things if Thou be pleased with me. But make it manifest to me that you are pleased with me. “
A voice called to her, “On the Day of Qiyamah, even the Muqarrab (very close) Angels will envy your rank.”
 
When she went for Hajj she took along an emaciated donkey on which was loaded her few belongings. The donkey died along the journey. The people accompanying her offered to carry her belongings, but she refused, saying, “Proceed! I did not come relying on you.” The caravan continued, leaving her behind. With her perfect trust in Allah Ta’ala she supplicated for His aid. Even before completing her dua, the donkey came to life. Rabia ra continued her journey and reached Makkah Mukarramah.
 
Once she was overcome with tiredness and fell asleep. A thief entered and took her shawl, but he was unable to find his way out. When he replaced the shawl, he saw the exit. Again, he took the shawl and lost the way. He replaced the shawl and again saw the way out. He repeated this process several times.  Then he heard an unseen voice saying, “Why bring a calamity on yourself? She whose shawl this is, has handed herself over to another Being. Even Shaitaan cannot approach her. A thief is not able to steal her shawl. Leave it and depart.”
 
It was said to Rabia Basria ra that,“Hassan says that if on the Day of Qiyamah he is deprived of Allah’s Vision for even a moment, he will lament so much that the inmates of Jannah will take pity on him.”
Rabia ra response was, “True, but this claim is appropriate for only a person who does not forget Allah Ta’ala here on earth for a single moment.”

People would often ask her, “Why do you not take a husband?”
And her response would leave them amazed,“I am saddled with three concerns. If you remove these worries from me, I shall take a husband. Firstly, tell me, will I die with Imaan?  Secondly, on the Day of Qiyamah, will my Record of Deeds be given in my right or left hand? And thirdly on the Day of Qiyamah, will I be among the people of the right side or the left side?”
Certainly no one was able to give her assurances regarding these issues. She said, “A woman who has these fears has no desire for a husband.”
 
One day, she was seen running through the streets of Basra carrying a torch in one hand and a bucket of water in the other. When asked what she was doing, she said, “I want to put out the fires of Hell, and burn down the rewards of Paradise. They block the way to Allah. I do not want to worship from Allah from the fear of punishment or for the promise of reward, but simply for the love of Allah.”
 
Malik Bin Dinaar went once to visit Rabia ra. He found in her home possessing only a partly broken jug which she used for wudhu and drinking water, a very old straw-mat on which she slept and a brick which she used as a pillow. Malik Bin Dinaar ra said, “I have many affluent friends. Shall I ask them to bring some items for you?”
Her reply was intriguingly astounding, she questioned “O Malik! Is my Provider, your Provider and the Provider of the wealthy not the same Being?”
When Malik ra replied, “Yes.”
She simply said, “What, has He forgotten about the needs of the poor on account of their poverty, while he remembers the needs of the wealthy?” Malik Bin Dinaar then affirmed, “It is not so.”
And Rabia ra continued, “When He never forgets anyone, why should we remind Him? He has wished this condition for me and I am pleased with it because it is His pleasure.”
 
A beautiful supplication of hers was, “O Allah! My duty and my desire on earth are Your remembrance and in the Aakhirah, Your Vision. You are the Master. O Allah! Maintain the presence (i.e. concentration) of my heart or accept my ibaadat, devoid of concentration.”

When her time to depart from earth was near, the illustrious Mashaikh gathered by her. She said, “Go away and leave place for the Angels.” They all went out and closed the door. While they were waiting outside, they heard from within a voice reciting:
“O soul at rest! Return to your Rabb.”
For a long while thereafter there was silence. When they went inside, they discovered that Rabia ra soul had taken flight from this world and had reached Allah.
 
In a dream someone asked her, “What happened when Munkar and Nakeer came to You?” 
She answered, “When they asked me, ‘Who is your Rabb?’ I said, “Go back! Say to Allah: When You had never forgotten this weak woman despite Your remembrance of the entire creation, how can she forget You when on earth You were her only remembrance? Why do you send Angels to question her?”
 
Rabia was in her early to mid eighties when she passed away, swimming in the ocean of Divine Love and Mysticism till her very end. She would always say, “My Beloved is with me…always.” She passed away in Jerusalem in the year 185 A.H.
 
May our Kind ALLAH be pleased with Rabia Basria RA, a luminous light, a scattered pearl whose legacy of loving ALLAH SWT inspires throughout the ages, SubhanALLAH!  

An article of mine extracted from the March 2016 edition of the SA based print magazine The Muslim Woman.

Rehana Shah Bulbulia is an author,  journalist, International Speaker, teacher and student.

Live In The Now…Make It All Count

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How would you describe yourself? In like a whirlwind and out even faster, rush, rush-busy, busy…the future beckons and you race forward ten steps at a time or perhaps the typical daydreamer, living very much in a fantasy world and many times finding yourself astounded at the pace at which reality is moving?  Natures and dispositions aside, sometimes it feels as if we are viewing life through the accelerated process of a time lapse lens, and we find ourselves regularly bemoaning the too swift passage of time; that there is, “no barakah/blessings in time.”  Yet, truth be told, there must still be barakah in time, since Time is indeed the creation of our Magnificent ALLAH SWT! However, let’s reflect on this, perhaps the reality is that we feel the lack of blessings in our time because we are not utilising our time to its optimum best and perhaps we are not experiencing it to its fullest either.

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As the sands of time fill the hour glass of our lives, have we lived our lives to its fullest potential? Have we made every moment count? Knowing and fully understanding that every second is so vital in our lifespan of years just as that single thread linked with a million other single threads are so vital in the formation of that garment.  And how do we endeavour and attempt to live life to the fullest? Simple enough…Live in the Now and make every moment matter…Make it all count!

If we were to hold the crystal ball of fate in our hands and we had knowledge that tomorrow would indeed be the last day we had to live, we would make it the best day- loving and living with every ounce of fibre that we possessed. The great muhaddith Abdur Rahman ibn abi Nu’am(ra), when asked what would he do if he knew that it was his last day to live, did not provide a wish list of virtuous deeds.  His inspiring response was, “There is nothing that I could change in my daily schedule learning that it is my last day, I already spend everyday in my life as if it is my last day.” (FTF: Khalid Baig)

Subhanallah! With regards to our Sahabah RA and pious predecessors we learn that they were unselfish in all that they possessed except one possession, their time.  For they realised the value of each second and we are witness to this in the unparalleled intensity of their worship; their ability to do good; their devotion in prayer; their continous effort in accumulating hasanat/good deeds.  They lived their lives very much in the now…they made every moment matter.
“Abdullah bin Hasn RA reports that whenever two companions met they would not depart until they had recited Surah Asr, “By the Time, Verily man is in a state of loss.  Except such as have Faith and do righteous deeds and exhort one another to Truth and exhort one another to patience.” (Al-Asr, 103:1-3), reminding themselves of the eternal loss that everyone faces if we waste away our time in foolish pursuits.  They did not waste any moment of their life in gossip, useless talks or meaningless pursuits.” (FTF:Khalid Baig)  

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We have heard and witnessed during the era of our times that, “those who live by the gun, die by the gun.” Whatever your daily life is comprised of, almost certainly will you die doing the same.  Which brings to mind the saying of the Sahabah RA in mind, “How you live is how you are going to die and will indeed be how you will be resurrected?”

If we live everyday as if it is our last day; if we make every moment matter and count by being totally absorbed in the present and by giving our very best to ALLAH and those around us, every day will be the best day of our lives…the flowers will smell more fragrant; the air we breathe will feel purer ; the smiles of our beloved children, spouses and family members will be more cherished and valued; the sweetness of our Imaan will be tasted and the ecstacy of prayer and worship will be experienced.  All this beautiful accomplishments and more because of the simple action of living in the now with every atom of our beings and every one of the senses we possess.  

We take lesson from the examples of our pious predecessors, like Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi ra, who ran a small religious school and would spend long periods of time in individual worship.  But he also authored 1200 publications ranging from small booklets to encyclopaedic works like the Behisti Zewar.  He also used to answer mail everyday, which would go up to hundreds of letters sometimes.  And he taught generations of scholars!
What was his secret? As Khalid Baig writes in First Things First, “ Ml Ashraf Ali Thanwi ra secret was a strict discipline born of a deep concern about accountability for time.” 

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So while the sands of time continue to pass through the hourglass of our lives and we may either be rushing or daydreaming our way through life, we realise one day our time will be up and we will leave this world forever.  And truly what happens thereafter, in Al Aakhirah will solely depend on whether we made every moment matter and count in the life of Ad Dunya.  And as Baig writes, “Time is Life and what is at stake is an entire eternity.”
Stop the clock; smell the roses, be the very best you can be, live in the now and make it all count.

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Stay Inspired…
RSB
Author, Teacher & Motivational Speaker

Leaving Legacies… In Memory of Her Patience, Gratitude &Generosity

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As the splendid sun rises each morning only to set each evening; as the luminous moon appears each night only to disappear each day; as every single creation and creature created by the Creator is born with the purpose of dying one day, similarly do we find the journey of our lives, to exist and then… to cease to exist.  The inevitable reality is that we were born to die; to return to wherefrom we came…the ‘Aalem e Arwah, the Eternal Life and Jannah. As ALLAH SWT has beautifully shared with us, through the ahaadith, “O My servant whilst I have created Dunya for you, I have not created you for Dunya; I have created you for Jannah.”
This life is a striving, an effort, an endeavour, a journey to reach and return Home. 

Many who traverse alongside us leave us inspired to follow their footsteps; to pursue their paths, for the light reflected by the lives they lived, leave us with lasting legacies…inspiring us, encouraging us, teaching us.   Qualities maketh a man or a woman.  If  someone were to describe you in the wake of your death, what qualities, what legacy would you have left behind? In the first installment of this new series, Leaving Legacies, we journey the legacy of  Zubheda Wahad (aka Beloved Mummy & Ma & Aunty Juby)…in memory of her patience, gratitude and generosity.

Born in 1938 to the Wahad and Khan family, she was one of thirteen children.  Growing up in poverty was the beginning of her lessons in patience and sabr; lessons she learnt so well that if a mark could have been attained for beautiful patience in all conditions, she would have achieved a distinction.  What is beautiful patience? To accept what ALLAH has decreed; to perservere in all conditions; not to complain or become depressed due to circumstance and throughout to remain always grateful…this was her legacy.  Generations later we don’t understand poverty: what it is like to sleep hungry; to only eat homegrown spinach in a water gravy as a curry and not to eat meat for months, except when guests arrive and a chicken is slaughtered to serve them, hoping that something remains even just the bones to suck on.  Yet her mother taught her a further lesson in sabr, don’t tell the world what you don’t have…keep your father and husband’s honour and izzat.  So when you don’t have food, put an empty pot with water on the stove, for should your neighbour visit, she would think you and your family have food to eat.

At the age of fifteen she married into a home that used and abused her; still she didn’t share with her parents and her dear father to whom she remained his pet.  Sabr, her mother taught her well.  Until the days her elder sister (from a different mother) found her in such a deplorable state, forcibly took her home and her ailing father ensured her talaq.  Not long after, he passed away. His heart weakened by all that had transpired.  She was seventeen at the time.  Marriage no longer held the hope of a better life and she rather wanted to help people and become a nurse.  Her sister advocated this too yet her mother was too worried and weary that her young daughter would not be taken care of unless she was married.

It was at the age of seventeen she was to marry the man who would become the father of her children, a learned aalim and Imaam from India.  In fact the same Moulana who assisted in securing her talaaq, a friend of her father and also almost three times her age.  He took care of her, spoilt her and their four children, the eldest child having passed away in infancy.  Though she grieved, but yet again patiently.  However, this time of complete happiness was to be shortlived.  For it was in her early twenties that her husband was deported back to India to return to his first wife and children, which sadly she and her family had no knowledge of until she was married.  It was not many years thereafter that she became a widow too.  So young, yet left to fend for herself and her three year old daughter, two year old daughter and six month old son and she remained for the rest of her life a single mother and widow…again patiently. 

Whilst she was young and beautiful, her concern was always her children.  And after her first two marriages left her weary, marriage no longer featured in her life plans.  Her focus was to work hard and to raise her children all by herself and this she did well, Alhumdulillah.  Whilst the first few weeks after her husband’s deportation were sometimes filled with begging at rich people’s houses for milk for her three young children, she made effort to find some work that she could do. With a mere standard one education and knowing the basics of reading and writing, she began by selling her furniture to purchase a sewing machine and taught herself how to sew.  The first garments she practised and sewed were simple skirts for the black workers in their area.  Charging fifty cents a skirt, as she learnt and taught herself how to cut and sew different garments thereafter.   Over fifty years later she became known as a professional dressmaker having sewn beautiful wedding dresses and matric ball outfits that were unique and affordable. 

This not being enough to sustain and bring up her three children, she found work in a bakery as well and would on her lunch hour even sell roti and mince rolls outside a factory, that she and her children had prepared at night.  Also  packaging them off with popcorn and sweets to sell at school each, that would also help out with milk and bread in the home and maybe some spending for them.  Then on weekends it was time to make koeksusters and send her five year old, four year old and three year old to sell in the neighbourhood.  She worked hard her entire life educating her children, making beautiful weddings for them and even buying her seventeen year old son his first car.  She patiently persevered, never stopping to complain, to beg, to ask for help…ALLAH was enough for her.    

She never forgot where she came from, a poor home and always and many times quietly too, she helped others in so many different ways, even by giving the new clothing she had sewn straight off her childrens’ back, though they didn’t possess much, to those she believed were worst off than her.  Stories abound in the week after her death, memories filled with tears of how she helped and assisted in her unique way.  Always sharing what she had, even the last of it, even the best of it…sometimes leaving little or nothing for her and her children.  Her generosity did not flow because she possessed much; it flowed because she possessed little.  Yet in the latter years to come, ALLAH was to meet her every need with ease; through those who loved and surrounded her; through unimaginable sources…He was her Sustainer and Caretaker throughout. Her blessings included much: performing Hajj of which the memories she would fondly recall; owning her own home, which she truly enjoyed and loved and regularly enjoying vacations in South Africa as well as a four month visit to the UK, which she could not stop reminiscing over…the people and the place, Alhumdulillah.   

She showed that patience and gratitude belonged together; also that it was what made you lucky because it invoked ALLAH’s continuous blessings to rain down upon you.  She was patient even though she had no companion and partner to share her life and to comfort and support her; to share her wonders and her woes; to share her children and grandchildren, whom she loved dearly.  She was patient when she was diagnosed with womb cancer and had to undergo a hysterectomy in her late forties.  She was patient when she broke each of her arms twice over the period of twenty years.  She was patient, even though it knocked the ground beneath her, when she lost her only surviving son, her youngest, her hope in a car accident when he was just thirty years old on Mother’s day, when she was in her early fifties.  She never forgot him for a day in a her duas, performing a two rakaats nafl salaah after maghrib for esaale thawaab for him and all her marhoom family for the past twenty three years.  This legacy now bequeathed to her daughter, grand daughters and great grand children.

Her legacy of the love for the Quraan was another light that reflected brightly and will continue to inspire her family.  She would recite upto ten Quraan Khatams each Ramadhaan and would never hesitate to read a khatam for anyone and any need that arose.  When her eldest daughter explained to her that she could still become a haafidha in her late sixties, her journey began to learn tajweed and memorise Quraan with her grand daughter and grand daughter in law ( from her husband’s first marriage…his entire family from the first marriage she lovingly later embraced as her own, upon a mere meeting with them.) She memorised all the big surahs with tajweed (Yaseen, Mulk, Waqiah, Sajdah, Dukhaan and abit of Kahf) until her eyesight had greatly deteriorated by June of 2015, whereupon her hope was that the cataract operation would help improve her eyesight and she could return to her hifdh.

Sadly, the retina of her right eye was completely damaged and there existed no hope of regaining sight in that eye.  In the interim  she had fallen too many times injuring herself, breaking her shoulder and yet not complaining that her eyesight was in fact the cause and not the suspected frailty and old age.  After different check ups the reality of her deteriorated vision came to the fore. 

Througout it she was witty and cute and simply loved people…her family and extended family.  She lavished her love on all those who were ready to accept it…her daughters, sons in law, grandchildren and their spouses, great grand children, extended family and friends, customers and neighbours…always bestowing gifts of what she made, what she bought, her duas, her help, her phonecalls of care and concern…she never accepted generosity without returning generosity in the various shades of beauty that she could; in whatever form she could…it was amazing to watch and now to recall.
 
Her legacy was a lifetime of patience, exercised throughout all moments and challenges and an independance and reliance on ALLAH and constant shukr for all that He had granted and bestowed upon her.
Who she was and all her experiences weren’t shared by her, it was shared by her mother to her daughter and her daughter, her children, her grandchildren, her family, her neighbours, her customers, her friends; who she was, was felt through her actions and words.  She never spoke of her patience and gratitude, she displayed it, she conveyed it; she expressed it. 

Even in the last few weeks of her life, she showed such patience and persevered to be strong, continuing to live life as she knew how to.  In the worship of ALLAH, with independence and hope; with generosity and gratitude; with patience…even after the cataract op, with little and recovering vision in but the one eye; even with vomiting buckets of blood and undergoing scopes which pointed to oesophagus cancer and promised much more hospital trips and scopes which she dreaded. She said one evening, “Even if they say I have cancer, I’ll make shukr.  I say shukr ALLAH, you gave me two hands and two feet and I can still see.”

SubhanALLAH! My heart aches as I pen these thoughts, as I write these words; my tears gush down in torrents as memory upon memory floods my mind…
Who she was?  She was my beloved Ma, my Nani and to her I was her ‘bachu ka bachu-her baby’s baby’.  She would call my dear mum her baby and me her bachu.  Her passing leaves a huge hole in my heart and in my life…in all our hearts and our lives but the beautiful legacy of who she was spurrs us on to persevere as she did: to be patient, no matter what ALLAH decrees; her display of gratitude guides us to understand where true sustenance and blessing comes from, through such gratitude; her generosity in all circumstance, when she had and especially when she didn’t have, urges us to follow suit; her forgiving and gentle nature conveys to us how easy relationships could be, if we could choose to simply forgive; her love for the marhoomeen through her daily special salaah for their esaale thawaab,  reminds us how to maintain an eternal bond with those who have journeyed before us.

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We were blessed to have had her presence on this earth for seventy seven years; to have sipped from the spring of her love and care and to have been bequeathed with her legacies of patience, gratitude and generosity.  And as she promised, we have hope that “We will meet in Jannah, in sha ALLAH.”

In memory of and dedicated to my Beloved Ma, who passed away peacefully on Monday the 2nd November 2015/ 17th Muharram 1436…May our Kind ALLAH fill her qabr with noor and grant her a most beautiful abode in Jannatul Firdows Ameen.
Article & Dedication by Rehana Shah-Bulbulia in her new series ‘Leaving Legacies…’for the SA based print magazine The Muslim Woman.