Dear J……….Asalaam-o alaikum,
I asked you what should I give you as a gift? And you said…..surprise me! I have been thinking since then of what gift from me would fulfill all the criteria that I desire in a gift for you.
I would like your gift to be a gift of light. Something that you could hold in your heart and look at it every now and then to bring you joy and love. It should be something that when you think of it, it would bring a smile to your lips and it should be something that you could hold on to in moments of stress and strife and find strength.
Even though no material object fulfills these criteria, you will get something material, because Shireen recommends something tangible.
However in addition to the tangible gift I am going to give you something that comes close to the above mentioned criteria as much as possible ……..I am going to give you a dua that will be with you forever, held in the records of Allah to be granted as and when He deems fit.
You are to me like my son, very different from him in many ways, but at his death you have stepped into his shoes and eased my loss. I have not wanted to burden you with the load of memory, but when I look upon you, I am reminded of the love and unconditional affection Tariq had for you, and as I have gotten to know you better I now know why.
I remember how you visited me on the days that I was in the throes of grief as if you knew by telepathy. You comforted me with your sweet smile and serious eyes…… May Allah always provide you comfort in your life and may grief never touch you and your loved ones.
I remember when your mother told me of your father being critically ill with a prognosis that spelt “terminal”. You at the young age of ten or eleven sat with her in the waiting room of the Operating Room holding her hand and comforting her and telling her that you were there for her and that everything would turn out well…..….. May Allah Subhanawataala always be there for you in your moments of strife and difficulty if you ever have any. May he protect you and your loved ones from all harm and pain.
I remember when you brought me flowers on the first mother’s day after Tariq died and I was overwhelmed by your thoughtfulness………May Allah fill your life with the vibrant flowers of happiness and the end of your days with the fragrance of jannah.
I remember when you accompanied us to Swarthmore to get Tariq’s belongings and to attend the many functions the students and the college had put on to remember him……….When ever I felt that I could not bear it any more I looked at you and you had a gentle innocent, compassionate look in your eyes, which steadied me………..May Allah always be by your side to steady you in your struggle to remain on the Straight Path.
I remember how when we went to Aisha’s wedding few months after Tariq’s death, you stayed close to Shireen and me giving us a silent and steady support at all times………….May Allah always be at your side to support and steady you in all your work for Deen and make your passage through dunya easy.
I remember how you have helped me uncomplainingly with all my electronic mishaps …..stepping into Tariq’s shoes………….May Allah be your helper every step of your way and May you never want for anything from anyone except Him.
And finally…………..May Allah place mercy and love between you and your wife to be and may both of you always be showered with his rahma in this world and the Hereafter.
This is my dua for you…………..and your loved ones, May Allah accept it in its entirety.
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J…….Tariq would have wished you well in a more humorous manner, which would have brought a smile to your face.
I can hear him advising me and then reassuring me that you would like this gift from me.