السَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَةُ اللهِ وَبَرَكَاتُه
Those who have been following me are likely to remember my Mum passing away in 2015. I pray for all of those who helped me in such a sore period of my life AND helped your sister to be buried. I don’t get a chance to talk about her very much especially her reverting because being a revert myself my family won’t understand.
Me and my mum had a difficult relationship growing up. I hadn’t lived with her since I was 11 due to her starting again in Doncaster when I had started secondary school and had a very close relationship with my Aunt which led me to stay behind in London. It was a rough period in which she wanted me to go with her but respected my wishes to stay. I think she wanted to get away from the city and also her bad period of her mum passing away around that time, they were very close.
We did not see each other often due to the distance but she always kept in contact to let me know I was loved and she was thinking about me. I think about the times when I was an ignorant teenager and did not pick up the phone because I was 13 and had other things to do like ‘watch tv’ and whatever kids do at that age, thinking that we know it all.
When I called her to tell her about my reversion, I remember standing in the kitchen breaking the news. There was no hostility and there was no arguments in fact, she gave me the Islamic channels to watch on sky tv as she had come across them. She was supportive and always respected my wishes and always told me how proud she was of me no matter what.
My mum didn’t have the best of health throughout her life, having 5 daughters and a complicated surgery and other factors caused her to be ill quite a lot. At the age of 47, Subhan Allah she gave us the news that she had stage 4 cancer and that her time was limited. In this period of time she travelled to London to see everybody. I think it really hit her and family issues started to arise due to her worry and panic. I sat down with her whilst she told me the problem and spoke to her logically and calmed her down about what was going on, I saw her understand and ease the situation more as everyone was on edge. She soon after returned home.
I was studying my alevels at the time and she was in Doncaster, they were talking about treatment, but in the end they gave her time on her life in which I went to stay with her in her final period of time in this world.
I dragged my hijab and abaya all the way to this town of Doncaster which had people in it who would stare at my mum like she was an alien JUST because she was mixed race, she was a fairly pale mixed race colour too which made it all the more shocking. The ignorance there was real. I walked around 20ft from the house to the only little shop around and someone shouted out their window ‘excuse me, can you speak English please?’ The joke was on them as the only language I speak is English but apparently I automatically came from somewhere else. Not to mention my mums call out medication nurse, who had to be told by my mums night nurse to stop staring, although I was completely oblivious to her gaze the night nurse was very friendly and we got along well in which she said she was outstanded by how the call out nurse was staring at me over a headscarf and dress. I spoke perfectly good English to them and greeted them as you do but apparently that must have been out of this world for her especially figuring out the ‘normal’ looking woman in the bed was my mother.
That was the period of time where they sent her home to be more comfortable. However when I arrived in Doncaster and went to the hospital where she was staying she sat me down after a tearful greeting (from my side anyway) and told me how I dealt with her situation in London, how she wanted to know why I was the way I was, she loved the person I had become due to my religion, who Allah had made me. She knew it and she then told me she was interested in Islam. It was a dream come true to me. I had lugged a few books with me at the time just with a slight hope she would maybe listen about Allah but she approached me first about it and that was all I could ever asked for.
I started off with the basics in which she told me she believed in a higher power and just one power. The time I spent with her was very sad, she was in a lot of pain but still wanted to assure me that everything was okay and most of all wanted me to read to her. My mum who I had never had a really deep religious talk with was shocking me every minute. One moment in particular, when she sat up from her hospital bed in so much pain and out of no where said “Oh god please forgive me for my sins”. I was speechless. My mum did not have any religious tendency’s throughout her life.
Although drowsy on her medication, over the days I read to her and answered her questions. She asked about my hijab, she asked me to try one on in which I gladly put one on her as the other patients watched. She was thrilled, subhan Allah, she said to me it makes her feel very comfortable and different, peaceful. I always asked myself why I couldn’t stop crying during these times but can you blame me? She was understanding why I was the way I was, because I loved and feared Allah. She trusted me to tell her the truth and tell her what happens when it comes to the time she will pass. She was understanding and she was accepting of it, she knew the answers to the questions she would be asked.
Her reversion took place one night, she arranged to have me stay in the hospital alone with her. She knew she accepted it but then I wanted her to know as much as she could before she took her shahada. This night however, was a bad one. I was so frightened seeing how much pain she was in, crying because the nurses were taking too long. Watching her in that much pain, it was my worst nightmare.
When she had started to feel better I told her I was quite worried, I told her I wanted the best for her but honestly I couldn’t bring myself to keep much composure in front of her. My mum could have died that night with only me there and I was terrified. I asked her if she wanted to take her shahada that night and she said yes and by the mercy of Allah she took her declaration, her whole shahada, she declared Allah as her lord and Allah alone and the prophets saw as her messengers.
She returned to Allah a few days afterwards.
I wish this would have meant everything was at peace afterwards, but everything started to get worse. As my family aren’t religious, cremation to them isn’t an issue, in fact growing up and my nan being cremated when I was 11 I didn’t think much of it. However, In Islam, we are not meant to be cremated and returned just how we were born in this world.
They had asked my mum while she was alive if she wanted to be cremated, she told them she wanted to be buried but I also told her afterwards that religiously she shouldn’t be cremated, so she informed the family that her decision was final.
However, my family were looking to cremate her after she died for her to be in the same plot as my Nan, partially for costs and partially because that’s what they wanted. I had to become so strong at this point in which I had to firmly tell them no. I had to become so hostile so that they would understand that there was no joke about this, I had to threaten them that it would be the last they would hear of me whilst listening to them tell me that she only said she was Muslim to make me happy, but they didn’t see what I saw, and didn’t understand the time that I had spent with her.
Alhamdulillah my stubborn persistence paid off but although a win, there was many losses, they still wanted her to be buried near my nan, and they were not going to accept a Janaza, at this point I had to just accept her being buried and not cremated. The plot also was so expensive and more than they could afford so alhamdulillah with the will of Allah with the help of the ummah in Ramadan 2015 the money was raised in less than two days thanks to our brothers and sisters, my mum, your sister, was buried and not cremated.
I can never tell you those who helped if you’re reading this how grateful I am and how big a deed you done for my mum. I want to ask your forgiveness because I know a lot of you also wanted to attend but my family refused any one but family attending. I pray that Allah grants you the highest level of Jannah for this deed. Please keep my family in your duas so that one day their hearts may turn to Allah like my mums did and accept Islam.
I love you all for the sake of Allah.