By Mumtaz Moosa Saley
A week has passed since the funeral and it seems as if there is no barakah in time. Ahmed remains grieving which has also made him short-tempered. As he has always been the one full of energy and excitement, especially in Ramadhaan, it’s sad to see him in such pain. But his loss is great and I know that I have to be his strength and support.
The grieving process is mercy in itself and skipping it will burden the soul.
It’s almost time for Iftaar and I hear Ahmed shouting at Mohammed and my motherly lioness instinct kicks in. I’m ready to shout back to leave the child be but I realise that fighting fire with fire would only cause a bonfire! I yell instead for Mohammed to come down to help me. He arrives, sobbing, but gets busy with setting the table and soon a much calmer Ahmed follows. I smile to myself as I realise my patience in the situation has paid off well as they both seem less angry and annoyed.
Hunger and heartbreak do test one and this is a humungous test for Ahmed and I remind myself that the reward for Sabr remains with Allah.
Looking at Ahmed across the table, he looks he has aged five years in the week. What seemed to pain Ahmed most was that his Uncle had made it clear that he and the rest of the family needed to accept that death was part of life and that it was time to go on with the job of living.
“Oh my creator, you have never forsaken us, nor have you ever left us destitute. Ya Allah doesn’t test us with a burden which we can not bare. Grant us your love and understanding in this time.”
We prayed Maghrib together and as we made our way to dinner, Ahmed said he wasn’t hungry and maybe he’d eat later. I was annoyed and frustrated at this, after all, I had slaved in the kitchen to prepare his favourite dish but I nodded and went off to feed the children.
As Mohammed and I cleaned up the kitchen, Ahmed walked in and at that moment I saw and felt his pain. I asked the children to go play and of course, they run off gleefully.
We sit down and Ahmed begins to apologise for his behaviour and asks for me to forgive him. This was totally unusual as Ahmed has never apologised about anything before! I took his hand in mine and told him that I would always be there for him. I’d be his Khadija and would cover him whenever he needed comfort.
The last week has taught me a myriad of lessons but the one that stuck with me the most was that when facing a test in life especially death, take your time to grieve, follow your own path. Allah says run two steps to me and I’ll come ten steps closer to you. Tawakkul in Allah is a balm and mercy.