From the time I could remember, I mostly saw sadness and a concern over my mothers face. She, who should not be so old looking in her age, looked about ten years above her age.
She would spend time thinking about matters, thinking very deep. I used to wonder what made her so old so soon…
She told me that she never liked sins even from her childhood and whenever a sin was thought of, somehow Allah took her heart away from it. She once told me how, (before I was born), her friends would come to take her to the cinema and she would go there.
But she said,
‘Not one night could i think of what was happening in the film.’
For her thoughts went beyond what was on the screen; she said she thought about all the sins and free mixing which was occurring and how she felt fear of Allah.
This was when she was about 25-35. She then began making excuses to her friends, they understood and left her alone.
Although she was formally educated, as she was from a noble family as in tradition, she never knew much about religion. But it's strange that I would always see her holding on to whatever she did know. I would see her praying all the prayers and the mandatory prayers. I saw her reciting the Qur'aan every day. This was before she knew the straight path (i.e. before she gained more knowledge about Islaam). I used to observe that she would very strict in the matters of Islaam which were common in our society and culture. Whenever music was played she would say,
‘It is the singing of shaytaan’.
It was like this until a change came into our house…
We as a family were not living according to the Sunnah (Prophetic Guidance) but this was later introduced in to my house. It was my mother who was the first to adhere to this path. At that time the people who acted on Sunnah were very few, just a hand full. People used to mock my family members due to our acting on Islaam (fully). A big change was seen in her after she started practicing the Sunnah. She was even more firm in her belief and actions.
Her daily routine would be that she would awake for tahajjud (the night vigil) and after praying tahajjud she would recite Qu’raan in the night. I used to hear her voice when I awoke. She would sleep half-an-hour before Fajr (the obligatory Dawn Prayer) and get up for Fajr again. After Fajr she would recite the adhkaar and then go and prepare breakfast. After preparing breakfast she would be seen doing house chores. After she was done with this, she would be seen reading the translation of the Qur’aan and believe me that was all we had of books. She never abandoned Dhuhaa - four rak’ats always and as for tahajjud, I think she prayed 5-7. She was always seen fasting on Mondays and Thursdays. Then she prepared lunch and prayed Dhuhr (the obligatory noon prayer). After Dhuhr she would serve us lunch and after finishing that, she would again be seen reciting the Qur’an and then she would take a siesta.
She would awake for 'Asr (the obligatory mid-day prayer) and after 'Asr she’d prepare some tea. After completing a few housechores, she’d be seen reciting Qur’an and reading adhkaar. She’d always be ready for prayers. Seldom, would I see her not ready for prayers when the prayer was called for. After Maghrib she would again recite Qur'aan with its translation. After a while she would prepare dinner and after 'Isha she would sleep early. She was a very kind women who spoke little. I never heard her backbite or involve herself in gossip. Rather, I saw her sometimes stop her friends in a very kind manner by which none would be offended.
The neighbours would never hear her voice spoken out aloud. Never did I hear her laugh out loud; her laughter was such that a sound could not be heard. She was known for her good behaviour, (as) she would never argue with anyone. She would always forgive and would advice me to do the same. She didn’t hold a grudge with any one except the taaghoots (false deities) and their allies. She was greatly harmed by our neighbours due to their criticizing, as they detested us for practising Islaam. Also before that (i.e. before we became practising) many would be jealous of us. However my mother was extremely kind and lenient towards them.
She would take out for them some of what she cooked. She never frowned while she spoke. Even her enemies testify that she was an extremely pious woman and would repay bad with good. I remember one of our neighbours who would harm my mother with her tongue a lot, until sometimes my mother would be seen crying due to what our neighbour said, but my mother was always kind to her and treated her exceptionally well. After sometime, this woman was struck with poverty and my mother used to always ask her about her health and still be kind to her to the extent that this woman cried one night in our house, saying to my mother,
‘How good and generous you are!'
I always remember that my house was never empty of a stranger who would come to eat. These were mostly little children with poor clothes on. Later I came to know that they were cast aways and orphans whom my mother used to take care of.
She would always send me with some food, like a rice bag or flour or money to houses in different places. All of this was charity. Infact alot of her spending was not known to us until she passed away, for when she passed away many poor people came and said she would always send them money and take care of them…
She loved the religion so much that she was called ‘leader of the sisters’ by all the practising brothers in our place who were very few. She was always praised by the brothers and sisters. They would say about her (not in front of her) 'a living example of Islaam' and they would all call her ‘mother’. When we started practicing the Sunnah she was almost in her fifties. She would always invite brothers and sisters for some food. Many decisions for marriage would pass by under her consultation.
She was also tried by the apostate so called Islamic regime of our country and was jailed thrice because she practised Islaam firmly without compromise. But that never changed her stance, for she was seen even stronger after they released her. The periods of imprisonment were for a small period each time. She was even feared by the investigators, as these investigators would beg her not to pray against them for they saw that her prayers would be accepted…
This made her have an evident stance regarding the government and its false scholars. She would say in anger that she would slay so and so because they mocked the Sunnah of the Prophet (salallahu 'alayhi wassallam).
As for her connection with me, she was a very soft mother but very harsh on religious matters. She prayed for me a lot and sent me to study Islaam abroad when I was young. She loved me a lot and would cry a lot due to my absence when i studied abroad (my sisters said she almost fainted the first time I left to study although she was the one who sent me there. Also the reason I first went to study Islaam was due to her crying and appeal that I must learn Islaam. At that time i didn't want to, but later on Allaah put love of it in my heart).
She would always advice me in her letters to act on what I learnt. She never encouraged that I become just a Shaykh with a mere certificate but rather a person of action. Her advise for me was short and concise. She said,
“Study Islaam, act upon it and preach it. Be patient over what you face, and don’t come back to see me again. Rather after you study, run to the fields of Jihaad and seek martyrdom, for I hope we will meet in Jannah! Inshaa’ Allah (Allah willing).”
I saw tears flowing out of her eyes after she said this.
She passed away in an accident which occurred in a foreign country while she was in her early sixties. Many mourned her death and praised her.
It was only later on in her final days that I came to know about what the sadness was, the sadness which she used to hide under her smile.
It was her fear of Allah.