Somehow it is beautiful to recite and easy to attempt memorizing Surah Yaseen as I walk along the canal. Initially I did it because it took the fear of walking alone out of my heart, and then it became a joy.
Today as I walk along the canal it is heady with perfume. The most overt and heady perfume is from what I call “Din ka Raja” or the “king of the day”. As I walk in between the layers of the heady perfume a subtle fragrance calls out to me as if my mother has passed by.
It was in Georgia that she found her signature fragrance and her favorite flower. We had just moved to Georgia and the Newcomers club invited us to lunch. I of course could not go due to work constraints but she went. There she was invited for a hike and came back with this glorious flower on a stem which she planted, It still blooms in the spring………..and garlands the trees all the way to her last resting place. Lilac wisteria became her signature flower.
We lived at the edge of the city where wild grasses grew by the roadside. She would walk four miles a day. All along the road grew this wild vine that no one noticed till late spring or early summer. It was then that walking out in the warm summer evening was a double pleasure the fresh breeze on the sun warmed skin coupled with mile after mile of a delicate curvy wild flower that called you with its gentle exotic though innocent southern fragrance. As you approached, it embraced you formless and invisible and stayed with you all the way home.
Athaar………is what it is called in the Quran. It is what you leave behind, milestones, and remembrances. What beautiful remembrances have been left behind of my mother in Georgia: The appreciation of the delicate fragrance of the honeysuckle and the cascading lavender wisteria that comes and goes in spring, the Islamic school that she started and ran for a few years before turning it over to the coming generations. Her American friends who to this day remember her with affection…
Allah Subhanawataala says in Surah Yaseen:
إِنَّا نَحْنُ نُحْيِي الْمَوْتَىٰ وَنَكْتُبُ مَا قَدَّمُوا وَآثَارَهُمْ ۚ وَكُلَّ شَيْءٍ أَحْصَيْنَاهُ فِي إِمَامٍ مُّبِينٍ ﴿١٢﴾
English Translation [36:12] Sahih International
Indeed, it is We who bring the dead to life and record what they have put forth and what they left behind, and all things We have enumerated in a clear register.
I pray that my mothers register be given in her right hand and be filled with all the beauty and sincerity of actions that she left behind.
I pause and wonder what I leave behind as I indelibly step forward to the completion of my time here and it seems intangible and elusive as the fragrance of the honeysuckle…