In Memory of My Grandmother

Yesterday, my beloved grandmother (known to her grandchildren as Ma) passed away. While it was the saddest day of my life in a long time, I am grateful to have had her in my life for so long. My grandmother was an incredible woman, whom I learned a lot from. In this short tribute, I want to share some of her most outstanding qualities that we can all benefit from.

When my father passed away almost three decades ago, his parents became like a second set of parents to me. Right until today, my grandfather remains my primary father-figure and the person I consult the most on any decision. My grandmother became like a second mother to me, and I would spend many weekends and vacations with her. During these past three decades, she taught me so much by being a role model in the following areas:

1. Generosity

My grandparents are the most generous people I know. I learned generosity from observing them, and the impact they have on their community. My grandmother was not just generous with her wealth but her time as well. Her home was always full of guests, and she would make time for everybody, despite how large the family is and how busy she was. She never turned people away and would often advise people, “Don’t have a snake on your wallet.” Meaning don’t become a miser.

2. Humility

My grandmother was a very humble and content person. Allah had blessed her with great rizq, but she never showed it off. She spent on her family and community, and would always be concerned about others. She remained a simple humble pleasant person throughout her life. She disliked any form of showing off or boasting, and would remind us to stay humble no matter how successful we become.

3. Expressing Love & Gratitude

My grandmother always expressed her love and appreciation to everybody around her. She would make sure to hug each of her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, and to tell each of us how much we meant to her. Her gratitude was not just to people. Despite her health problems in her old age, she constantly thanked Allah for every blessing in her life. She would advise me often that no matter what challenges we face in life, we must always find reasons to be grateful to Allah, and we must thank him a thousand times over for each blessing.

4. Love of the Quran

My grandmother loved the Quran, and would make time to recite and listen to it daily. Her favorite Surah was Surah Yaseen. She would listen to recitations of the Quran every night until she fell asleep, and would try her best to follow along the translation, and learn some of the meanings of the Quran.

5. Maintaining family ties

My grandmother’s life would often remind me of the hadith, “Whoever strives to maintain family ties, Allah will bless them with abundant sustenance and a long life.” (Bukhari)

My grandmother was always concerned about maintaining family ties. She would make time to call every one of her siblings, children, and grandchildren. She would organize family gatherings so that the family stayed united. And whenever she spoke to us, she would remind us about the importance of staying united as a family.

Her life was a fulfillment of this hadith, as she lived a long life with blessed sustenance, perhaps because to her concern for maintaining family ties.

6. Seeking a good ending

During one of my final calls with her, my grandmother and I had a very long heart to heart conversation. She reminded me to maintain family ties, and to stay committed to serving the ummah. She told me how proud she was of me, and that she was happy to have me on her scale of good deeds. Then she asked me to make a special dua for her. She asked me to make dua that she had a good ending on a Friday. She said she always wanted to pass away on a Friday.

Yesterday, on Friday 27 August 2021, around 4am, my beloved grandmother returned to Allah.

We ask Allah to bless her with the best of the Afterlife, to grant us Sabr with her loss, and allow us to follow in her blessed footsteps.

Posted by Ismail Kamdar

Ismail Kamdar is the Founder of Islamic Self Help, author of over a dozen books, research manager at Yaqeen Institute, and a freelance writer.

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