It is December the first and I am sitting in the living room. The ultrasound shows that we are going to have a boy. It has been a challenge to come up with a name for a boy that we both like. In naming our first born it had was easy, Shireen was an instant favorite. After discussion, we decide to name the baby Zain or Zane. I do not much care for the name. Zain ul Abedin in Islamic History was a sickly child, and a weak and sad man who came to a sad end. I do not care for the name as well as the alphabet; it is the last in the series.
I decide to look for names in the Quran. I recall when Bhaijan was looking for the name of his eldest daughter we had opened the Quran and there it said ”Hoor –e – Iram! Hoore she is! I pull out Yusuf Ali’s translation of the Quran, and open the book randomly and it opens at Surah Tariq. The literal meaning of the Surah is complex but the summary is riveting and holds great promise:

Through the darkest night comes the penetrating light of a glorious star. Such is the power of Revelation: It protects and guides the erring.
For what is man? But a creature of flesh and bones!
But God by His power doth raise
Mans state to a life beyond!——–when Lo!
All things hidden will be made plain.
Mans help will then be but the Word of God, which none can thwart.
So wait with gentle patience___for His Decision

I close the book and muse. Tariq! The hero of my childhood. He conquered Spain and brought culture to the ignorant. He was also very handsome, debonair and brave. What a lovely name. Paul and Ammi agree. We have a new name for our baby: Tariq. Ammi is off to the printer to gets a new set of announcements printed.
This pregnancy has been easy physically. I have done prenatal aerobics and feel physically fit. I have eaten more melon in the summer than imaginable. However, my professional life has not been easy. I am being denied paid pregnancy leave because my medical school does not have a history of such a leave. I check into that and it is true. In the last fifteen years, there has been only one woman of childbearing age on the faculty. Its says something about being in the Deep South. My place in the research grant that I was developing is being stolen, and my husband who is also on the faculty has been placed on my health insurance. Thus in a fit of frustration if I decide to resign I cannot, for we will both be out of health insurance.
My delivery is easy, Paul is with me, Ammi is with Shireen, Tariq is in my lap. Life and love is secure for all. I smell his head and inhale his own unique fragrance. Each of my children has a unique fragrance perhaps discernible only to a mother. A fragrance which I can sense when I kiss their head at bedtime or on their way to school. A fragrance, that was gone when I kissed Tariq’s head on July 14 two years ago. A fragrance that only I can sense and bonds me to my children in life.
Tariq’s birthdays, Whitney’s birthdays, Teepu’s birthdays have been a time for Thanksgiving and cake eating galore. Latter that cake eating doubled with what became a tradition: Ims and Tariq’s birthday together. Lots of cake, lots of laughter and lots of friends. There was a lot of joy around December 2, and the spirit of Thanksgiving continued into that time.
Unbenow’est to me what was to come. Had I read the first line of the Surah carefully and with cognizance, perhaps I would have had an inkling of my future with Tariq.
By the Sky and the Night Visitant

Who is the Night Visitant? In the explanation by Yusuf Ali, “it is the star of Piercing brightness, in the darkest sky shines out brilliantly the light of the most brilliant star. So in the night of spiritual darkness—whether through ignorance or distress —-shines the glorious star of Gods revelation”.

Yusuf Ali continues:
The star of piercing brightness is understood by some to be “The Morning Star”

The Morning star shines brightly though briefly with great intensity illuminating the darkness on earth and then disappears. It has a very short life though it brings very bright light to many, and promises the advent of dawn.

The Name chosen has a very profound effect on the person. Thus was with Tariq! In his nineteen years, he has illuminated many a hardened heart and brought joy and laughter using his own brand of humor to ease the stress for many.
It is December 2, and he would have been twenty-two counting in this world’s numbers. He is ageless where he is. He will not be touched by time or disappointment, nor will the light he brought into our lives dim with time. May Allah bless him and keep him in the best possible place.
What is with us will vanish, What is with Allah remains. (Quran: Surah Baqarah)

And for Tariq’s friends and family, Allah subhanawataala says:

Be sure we will test you

with something of fear & hunger,

some loss in goods or lives,

or the fruits (of your toil)

but give Glad Tidings to those who patiently persevere——–

who say when afflicted with calamity: “to God we belong, and to Him is our return”

Quran 2:155-156

13 thoughts on “THE MORNING STAR

  1. Pingback: iram islam

  2. Allah’s Apostle said, “if Allah wants to do good to
    somebody, He afflicts him with trials.”

    “He is the One Who has created death and life so that He might put you to a test [and thus show] which of you is best in conduct …” (67: 2)

    It is not your choice of name
    that determined the course of events.
    But behind every beginning
    lies a hidden end to which there is no escape.

    People come into our lives,
    and leave with sweet memories.
    May your dear one’s thought
    light up your life forever.

    Words do not heal our pains of losing someone so dear,
    but time is the Great healer;
    and Allah is our ultimate refuge.
    I am sure of your strong faith in Him.
    It is He who grants the strength to accept things
    which are otherwise so difficult.
    It is He Who directs our path
    to proper undertaking and peace of mind.

    Address Him as you always do:
    Allah grant me strength to accept things I cannot change,
    courage to change the things I can,
    and wisdom to know the difference.

    Oh Allah!
    I am your servant,
    son of Your male servant,
    and son of Your female servant;
    my forehead is in Your Hand;
    Your judgment is exact;
    Your decision about me is just;
    I ask You by every name of Yours which You have called Yourself,
    or revealed in a Book of Yours,
    or taught to any of Your servants,
    or reserved within Your unrevealed Knowledge,
    to make the Qur’an a spring to my heart,
    a light in my chest,
    that it removes my sadness,
    and erase my anguish.


  3. I remember when he a was an infant and teething we took a long road trip (maybe to Charlotte) in your blue Honda. I remember he would take my finger and chew on it. I still remember that as if it was yesterday.


  4. What a lovely memory! I can see him in your kitchen enjoying your special dish. I learnt from him to go to friends homes impromptu. May Allah bless him, Im and Ebad.


  5. Thank you for sharing your precious memories with us. Tariq was special. He was extremely quick and witty. His intelligence was unparalled. And sooooooooooo handsome. I was so touched when he called Jameel because he had broken his leg.

    He came to my house one day when Aisha was teaching me “pot stickers”. He was on crutches. He stayed for a while and was starting to leave when Aisha finished cooking the pot stickers and I told him to eat some. He said ” Al right auntie” and stayed for about an hour. I later find out that he loved this dish. I am so glad that he came for that last visit. May Allah give him, Imran and Ebad the best place in Jannah. Ameen! and sabr to all of their family and friends. I miss them.


  6. What a beautiful memory and explanation of the Tariq’s brilliance! In my own memory, I will always remember Tariq on my wedding day. Not only do I remember him by my side throughout the reception, but his was the last, sweet and innocent face I saw as our limosine drove off from the Savannah Rapids Pavillion in the late Autumn of 1995.


  7. SubhanAllah, I remember that Ramadan night and Suhoor well and will share it with you on Imrans birthday coming up. To remember them together and to keep the tradition.


  8. This post was a beautiful and heart-warming story and I am so happy you shared it with us. Alhumdulillah, I consider myself so lucky to have gotten so close to Tariq over the past 15 years of our friendship. I know I’m not the only one who can say that, because Tariq touched so many hearts and really was the brightest star in the sky. His smile was charming and his jokes were almost always lame, but would get everyone in the room laughing. Joint birthdays with Tariq and Imranbhai were unforgettable and were the highlights of the year. I remember one specific birthday, I think it was Imranbhai’s 13th or 14th, it was during Ramadan, and we all got together at your house at 5:00AM to indulge in cake and cookies for suhoor. Probably the best birthday ever. Sure enough, Tyler, Jackson, Jeff were all there, eating suhoor with us, at five AM, just to celebrate with their best friends. At least we have our memories that can keep us going…


  9. Asma Auntie, Thank you for sharing this glimpse into your memories of baby Tariq. This is a beautiful perspective, which made me smile as I read the the interpretation of the Sura and the essence of the Morning Star. Tariq surely was a Morning Star; his personality was always so bright and glowing. He always seemed to know what to say to keep his friends and family laughing with him. Tariq, Imran, and Ebad will be remembered in our duas and memories inshAllah.


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