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Nana & Luqmaan Ep. 14 & 15

Apr 17, 2022

By Mumtaz Saley-Moosa

Having completed taraweeh at the masjid, Ahmed and I walked home. It was cold, but the walk did both good, and we got to chat. I stopped to look at a partly built house, and I was taken aback at how huge it was. I stood admiring the unfinished structure, wondering what the result would be. No doubt, it would be a work of art. 

“Dad, are you okay?” Are you having trouble walking? Ahmed asked, concerned. “No, son, I am just reminiscing about the first house Bibi and I moved into.”

We’d bought a small home as it was all I could afford. Bibi was pregnant with Mohammed at the time and was surprised.  She loved our tiny home, but I needed to step up with a baby coming. Entering the house, it was in a state of disrepair. I had been cheated.

It smelled of fried onions and masala, and it seemed like the entire place was covered in or painted in some shade of orange.

We both laughed as I remembered that day so long ago.

Bibi wanted to cry when she saw the place, and she called me impulsive. But with the little we earned, it was the best I could do. But my dear wife filled our home with love and warmth. She never complained and was always content.

Now, I look at this big house and wonder who would live here and if they would enjoy the same happiness we did. I made dua for them.

As we continued walking, Ahmed couldn’t let the story go, so he asked me what my wife did with all that orange. 

I explained that we first sorted out the curry smell before we tackled the paintwork. Oh, the fond memories of orange!  

Our friends and family were kind enough to assist in repainting the house. But the challenge was the very loud, orange toilets! I had to work extra shifts to afford the removal and replacement of those horrible contraptions.

By the time Mohammed came, we had a small home that looked and felt like home.  Bibi left a big house and all the luxuries in life when she married me. And when people asked her why, she would respond that her husband was Allah-conscious and knew Allah would provide for us.

Ahmed stopped again, wanting to ask something. At the rate we were going, we’d reach home at Dhuhr, and I would miss my nap. A little annoyed at the thought of the loss of my nap time, I asked him to speak his mind. “Do you feel at home with us?” he asked.

I was taken aback by his question. “How could I not feel at home when I am loved and cared for by children and grandchildren? My dear son, may Allah reward you for taking me in, and I am blessed to be under your roof and care. I am beyond grateful and very content, algamdoelillah.”, I said emotionally.

He smiled, and I gently reminded him that we needed to get a move on as I was ageing quickly, and my bones were starting to complain about the cold. Chuckling at my silly joke, he grabbed me in a bear hug, and we began to walk again, this time quietly, as we both entertained our thoughts.

It was narrated that: Thawban said: “When the Verse concerning silver and gold was revealed, they said: ‘What kind of wealth should we acquire?’ Umar said: ‘I will tell you about that.’ So he rode on his camel and caught up with the Prophet, and I followed him. He said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, what kind of wealth should we acquire?’ He said: ‘Let one of you acquire a thankful heart, a tongue that remembers Allah and a believing wife who will help him about the Hereafter.” Sunan Ibn Majah 1856

The sudden beep from my phone surprised me. It was Muhammed, and I felt trepidation as I saw that he had sent me a text message.

We began chatting, and soon it seemed as if the years of non-communication had slipped away.  We caught up on all family news, reminisced together and before long, it felt normal and pleasant to have rekindled my relationship with my son.

We apologised to each other for not making the effort previously and promised each other that we would try to chat daily and video call at least twice a week, so I could get to know my grandchildren better.

As I was ending my call with Muhammed, Nusaybah appeared, and asked me if I was chatting to “an aunty”. “You know it’s haram, huh?” she said, laughing. I wish her parents would put a bell around her neck to warn me of her impending approach!

“And that young lady is none of your beeswax”, I retorted with a huge grin.

The wily fox came over and sat down next to me. Putting her arm around my neck, she asked, “Nana, can you help me with something, please?” The “something” turned out to be the memorisation of surahs for madrassah. So, we sat outside and went over the passages together, with me feeling especially happy and content.

Just as we finished, Ayesha walked past and caught us both looking at our mobile phones. “Now look at you two? Nusaybah, shouldn’t you be doing something more constructive than chatting and browsing?, she asked, once again playing haram police.

“Ayesha, we just finished some memorisation of the surahs Nusaybah has been struggling with,” I said.  But Ayesha was not listening to me and instead began to shout at Nusaybah to go to her room.

This could not go on any more, mother and daughter at loggerheads with each other.

“Ayesha, what is the matter with you? Why are you at the child all the time?”, I asked. The tears began to flow as she tried to explain that she felt angry and resentful toward Nusaybah.

“She’s always acting against what I say, and it annoys me so much.”, she said.

“But Ayshoo, do you remember how Umme used to fight with you? You were the same. It’s part of growing up. She’s trying to find her place in the world and yes, she will sometimes be belligerent and stubborn,” I explained.

Between, hormones, peer pressure and parental expectations, teenagers really do go through difficult periods. And, with them having to put up with all that COVID has brought upon them, it is not so cut and dry as we adults expect.”, I reasoned with her.

Holding her hands, I asked her to be a little more patient and supportive of Nusaybah. “Allah has made it clear that your children will be your test, so how you deal with them, especially as teenagers, is important.”, I reminded her. “She needs you now more than ever. Life is pretty confusing for teens and a mother who listens, supports and guides can smooth the path for her teenagers.”

She smiled through her tears and thanked me for the pep talk. “You’re reminding me of my own teens, makes me realise that I am being very hard on her. Shukran, I need to try harder to be more patient with her.”, she said.

“Ayshoo, remember that our beloved Nabi ﷺ taught us to speak gently and to lead with kindness.”

“Kind words and forgiveness are better than charity followed by injury. And Allah is Self-Sufficient, Most Forbearing.”(Quran 2:263)




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