20th December 2015 was a sad day for my family and I. My maternal grandmother, or Amma ji, as I was wont to call her, sadly left this world. She leaves behind a husband, sons, daughters, numerous grandchildren, great grandchildren and many other well-wishers and friends.
I stood before her in the hospital bed, remembering her affection, kindness and love. She only asked one thing of me – that I visit her every so often – but my shortcoming in this regard was greater than should have been. And now there is nothing left to do but remorse. Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi rajiun.
In the forty or so years of my life, I have never met her but come away with a kiss on my hand and cheek. This was her way, showing love to one and all – love in its purest and most concentrated form. She spoke to all and sundry with affection that one would think that you were the most beloved to her. The Companions of the Prophet Muhammad also stated that they would be in his blessed company and think that they were the most closest to him. In this manner she embodied the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace.
She was a humble lady. Regular in her prayers and fasts and always wanting to take part in any noble cause. She wanted to help everyone. She performed Hajj every year along with one Umrah. This she did right into her latter years and was only prevented from doing so by frailness of old age.
She had a great liking for Allah’s remembrance. She would constantly recite and supplicate and ask all to pray for her. And so it was in the final moments of her life. She asked two other Muslim ladies, who were with her in hospital, to start reciting the kalima. The trio all began reciting the kalima together. After a while, Amma ji began feeling hot and requested one of the ladies to recite surat al-fatiha on her, which she did. A few moments later, Amma ji breathed her last.
It is difficult for me to write the impressions on my heart. On the one hand, she has further enhanced my conviction that life is temporal and the only thing that avails one in one’s final moments is Allah’s remembrance – the more you remember Allah Most High, the more easier it is to recite His blessed name in one’s final moments. On the other, I have learned the importance of keeping good ties with all one’s acquaintances. Show love to all.
I pray that Allah Most High shower His blessings upon her, and grant her an abode in Paradise.