A TRIBUTE TO MY NANI(Maternal Grandmother)
It is now 2 weeks since my Nani has passed away. As I write this, I am tight-lipped and full of mixed emotion. You see, I am unable to cry and grieve. I acknowledge that she has passed away, but something is preventing me from dealing with this. I steal moments here and there to cry a tear or two. But I just can’t seem to let it out. Today was a tough day, and so I have reached for my loyal pen and notebook. With a silent “Bismillahir rahmaan nirraheem”, I begin to write………..
My Nani was (it still feels odd to say was) a humble soul. She was the kind of woman who always encouraged and motivated everybody else. My Nani lost her parents when she was a toddler. Allah Ta’ala instilled such mercy into her heart, that despite her own situation, she grew up showering others with kindness. As neighbours and friends offer condolences, I hear stories of a heroine who gave of herself to help others move past their own sorrows
We make light of inviting people over to our homes, loosely using the phrase, “My door is open”. My Nani’s door was literally open. She’d welcome the guest with open arms, full salaam, shrieks of excitement and lots of kisses. Eagerly she would scurry over to the kitchen to put on a pot of tea and get out the biscuits. Her conversations focused on duas and she would always enquire about the well-being of others. I remember how Nani would giggle with glee when she was given good news but was asked to keep it a secret.
The difficult times and her fiqr (worry) were etched deep into her face, but were shadowed by her beautiful and radiant smile. My Nani lived without desiring reward in the Dunya (world). She lived with great faith in Allah Taála. Her solution to any discomfort and difficulty was always:” Innallaha ma’as sawbireen”(Verily Allah is with the patient) and “Yaa Salaamu”(Oh the one who gives peace). These are amongst the best advices that I have been given, and I wish to share it with you, dear readers.
After Nani passed away, we realised how many lives her kindness had touched. She didn’t have much to give (by comparison to worldly habits) but would give in whatever way was needed, be it a smile, hug, kind word or a shoulder. When we would call Nani, regardless of the time, day or night, she was always ready to chat. My Nana (Maternal grandfather) says that when the phone would ring, even when he would answer and was still speaking, my Nani’s hand was already stretched out for the receiver. And then with a warm salaam and a little giggle, she would start off by saying “My Batchoo…. (My darling).”
I need to say that now, with tears streaming down my face, I fully understand the meaning of “GRANDMOTHER”. I believe that it refers to a strong, wise woman, who possesses warmth, kindness, knowledge, unselfishness, light, love and a face which shows that “I HAVE LIVED”. I have looked at Nani’s phonebook and I see that she had loved many, many people. Yet, she had the ability to make each and every person feel as though he or she was her favourite.
My Nani’s peace and contentment were probably due to remembrance of Allah Ta’ala. Her companions were the Quran Karim and her Zikr (The remembrance of Allah Ta’ala). I beg Allah Ta’ala to let them be her companions even now. Ameen
Rarely did I hear her complain. I know that she ached and that her ageing body was growing tired, yet my Nani pushed herself in the service of humanity. My fondest memory is when we would visit as children. I would hear the slippery slop of her slippers late at night, after we had all gone to bed, as Nani would put away the pot into the fridge or begin to prepare for tomorrow. I never saw my Nani sleep because she was always the first one up in the morning and the last to go to bed at night.
As I look at my mum and my kalas(Aunties), I see my Nani. She has always been there in their faces and ways, but I find myself searching for closeness to her. I see my Nani’s morals and character in family members. And when I sit with other grieving family members, I hear words of encouragement and love for each other. She has taught us well and lived by example.
My Nani was a loyal wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, great-grandmother…… But before this and everything else, A MUSLIM! As muslims, the consolation of death is Jannah Insha Allah. This is how I wish to think of Nani. I know that there is Aakhirah (Hereafter) and that there is Reckoning. I make dua that Allah Ta ála is pleased with her.
Yaa Allah Ta’ala please shower my Nani and ALL murhooms with your mercy. Please fill their Qabrs (Graves) with Noor (Light), protect them from Azaab (Punishment) of the Qabr and the Hereafter. Please make them all maaf for their sins and grant them Jannatul Firdous (Highest stage in Jannah). Reunite us all in Jannatul Firdous my Rabb and accept this same dua for all the members of the Ummah. Ameen.
Signed : Your loving grandchild