I am in a darkened conference hall filled with women in hijabs and men with kufis, and suits and he asks the question: Have you ever placed your self in the time, circumstance and emotional state of our Rasool……..pbuh?
Imagine! He says and I do………….
He had never seen a father. Others had fathers he only had uncles. He had gone to live with Bibi Halima and had come back and was just getting to know his mother. Burying his six-year-old face in her flowing jilbab brought such peace and security to him……….and then she dies! Suddenly he is bereft. A six year old in the intensely patriarchal tribal society of Arabia with no father and now no mother……..
How does one feel when one loses ones mother? He asks the audience:
Especially when you are just getting close to her after being in the desert in the early years of your life, you are just feeling what it is like to be immersed in her love and affection? What does it feel like to have just gotten it and then lose it?
How does one feel when one loses one’s mother? I try to remember.
I had my mother for all of my childhood and my adult life, I never really knew how blessed I was. I did not know or could even imagine the pain of losing your mother as a child and becoming a rudderless boat shuttled from place to place at the hands of the secondary caretakers. I realized how blessed I was. Not only had Allah given me a mother to be close to but I had never seen death at close quarters in a loved one till recently, and yet…when I lost her it seemed that the Rahma of Allah that she carried with her just for me, dissipated in the harsh realities of dunya.
Imagine he says and I do………..
He (pbuh) lives in his uncle’s household, given extra attention by his grandfather to compensate for his losses. His Aunt the wife of his uncle is Fatima. She gives him love and his uncle treats him with gentleness. Yet he feels he needs to contribute to his adopted family. He finds a job as a shepherd……….
Imagine………He pbuh as a child climbing the hills around Mecca with his flock during the sweltering heat of the day. At the end of the day shepherding his flock down to the plains in the chilly evenings of the desert. The Quraish who owned the sheep would give him pittance for his efforts which he would save like found gold and at the end of the month bring it to his uncle and offer it to him saying “Here is what I earned” with I think the smile of a child who has accomplished a project successfully.
Then the time came when his aunt Fatima, wife of Abu Talib, passed away. She was the mother when he had none. Even when the embargo of the Quraish came upon Abu Talibs family, they sent their own children away to other people’s homes but kept him pbuh. Such was the love and affection between him and her.
She the mother, holding him when his mother would have, wiping his brow and setting hot food in front of him as his mother would have and most of all soothing him in moments of perceived deprivation that an orphan must feel at some time no matter how loved.
She died and he broke down crying…………..”My mother, my mother” digging her grave with his own hands he laid down in it and cried………….Laying her shrouded body in it he climbed in again and laid down with her shrouded body and cried…he was the child again who was losing his mother again……….and this time it was unbearable and his tears would not stop.
I imagine his grief not once but twice. I feel the intensity in his soft heart and I am glad that the darkness of the lecture halls gives privacy to my tears.
I see in my minds eye washing my mothers face for her last ghusl, her eyes are closed and her lips are blue, her skin feels cold. The warm vibrant love has been released from the prison of her body she can no longer feels the pain of peoples callous words which can be like knives. All grief too has left her body like her love and stands aside. Her brow is smooth with no crinkle of worry or pain.
As I wrap the white hijab around her face someone brings incense and waves it over her and us. I feel her soul smile at its freedom and peace comes to me………….She is where no one can harm her; She is with her Lord in his protection and circle of compassion which no one can breach. I cry……….for I have lost her but she is with Him Subhanawataala and I should be happy, but all I can think of is my loss and her scent when I would bury my face in her dupatta which brought me such security and love.
Grief comes to Him pbuh. He lays in the grave of his aunt who gave him a mothers love, feeling bereft and forlorn, his eyes pouring out his grief………… and then Allah picks him up wipes his tears and prepares him to be worthy of becoming “His beloved”
I pray the salawaat on him pbuh as do Allah and his angels……… and peace seeps into me too.
Have you ever lost your mother twice? Once is enough I think!
When dunya overwhelms you just imagine…………….the desert sand, the hot wind, the six-year-old child standing in shock, confused and bereft being faced with the death of his mother. Walking up the hills with his flock working to contribute to the family. Imagine…Finding the love of a mother in Fatima his Aunt and then losing her to death, lying down in her grave with her shrouded body and crying inconsolably…………. And Allah picking him up wiping his tears and naming him “His beloved”………………….
Can you imagine…………?
This post has been inspired by the talk by Imam Bakri :Standing with the Prophet at The Pearls of the Quran 2012
With Thanks and gratitude to Allah for bringing me to this afternoon of “Standing with the Prophet ” and I add…..With LOVE!