It is a random Jumma, but unlike all other Fridays, I am restless, even after Juma prayers, I want to go somewhere soothing, and yet nothing and nowhere comes to mind. I count all the usual places in my head and discard them one by one.
Finally I think and convince myself that may be if I got something to drink it would help so I drive to the local Pakistani store and get my favorite Pakola.
A sugary green carbonated drink that has nothing nutritious in it except the fact that in the can it holds timeless memories of home and usually serves as a comfort food, but not today!
I find myself heading towards the cemetery, find myself sitting on the bench and reading Surah Yaseen. As I proceed aloud the wind chimes join in and the breeze makes music with the leaves.
036.012: Verily We shall give life to the dead, and We record that which they send before and that which they leave behind, and of all things have We taken account in a clear Book (of evidence).
Standing on this very spot in front of Tariq’s grave a while ago I had cried and asked Allah SWT why did he take him before me? My son was supposed to pray at my grave not me at his…………and today I look at my hands, and realize that what ever these hands send forth, that is what I will be rewarded for, Inshallah!.
As the sun sparkles through the leaves I realize that this is my Qadr, this is what Allah Subhanawataala has written for me. My son will precede me to the grave and I will have to work for my own salvation, as I will have no son to pray for me. Perhaps my daughter will pray for me like I pray for my mother,,,,,,but that is a presumption, life changes every moment. I have to accept, submit and become sabir to the fact that these hands are all I have to send forth my petition for jannah.
I have left the sound waves laden with Surah Yaseen for all the muslim residents of the graves that surround Tariq and Ammi…….and as I part I think with wonder…………….once upon a time I had a son.
The sun is sparkling in this fall evening; the solace that I was searching was here with the dead, not the living. As I drive around the cemetery, I see the flowers on the graves, and I realize the significance of what my dear friend S said to me:
“ Every Friday the angels arrive with gifts for the dead. All the souls look expectantly awaiting their gifts, some get gifts some don’t.”
“What are the gifts?” I ask
Duas, prayers, reading of the Quran, by righteous kin and friends left behind in dunya. She replies.
At a later date I read a Hadith which I paraphrase: “ Righteous children praying for their parents, is one of the three things a parent benefits from after death”.
Flowers are to please the living, but a true gift for the dead is a dua, a prayer, a nafil salaat, and recitation of the Quran from the heart followed by a dua of Maghfirah for the dead person.
My mother is very fortunate, all her children pray for her Maghfirah, I pause to think of my brother H awaiting a gift from his daughters, are they praying for him? Allah knows best.
I leave the garden of truth and meander through the Gardens of Love, and Memories and find myself heading home, some degree of solace replacing the earlier restlessness.
Meanwhile hundreds of miles away a father grieves over the loss of his young son, restless and seeking solace.
I wish I could give him the key to the entrance of the Garden of Truth.