It’s an interesting moment when you meet your teacher’s wife. She had recently started attending some of the classes that he taught, and my wife and I couldn’t stop smiling when we found out that she was our teacher’s wife. It had the making of one of those beautiful stories that gets shared on Tumblr a thousand times over. We all know those people that dream of marrying a spouse that can teach them their religion and that will be a motivation in helping them get closer to God. It’s what dreams are made of.
She would attend classes when able, every once in a while she would have a chat with my wife and work on her English, which was already very good. After some time we started hearing our teacher throw English words into his classes (albeit they were usually not well placed, but still cute) and we all knew who was teaching him. We would prod him and ask, “So who has been teaching you english?” and his smile was the only answer we needed.
A few months later he sent out a message and the joy in his heart reached us through our phones. She had finished memorizing the entirety of the Quran, every letter, every period and comma, and the following week we would throw a party for her. All were invited! She would formally receive a certification connecting her completion and recitation of the Holy words of God through none other than her husband and all the way back to the Prophet Muhammad (God’s peace and blessings be upon him). This was every student of knowledge’s dream to memorize Quran at the hand of their spouse (okay maybe not all of us). Before the party began she had our teacher remind me a million times to bring my camera, so that I could capture the moment. It was a blessed night, filled with friends and family. All came and congratulated her on finishing and memorizing the Quran. I don’t think a single soul was happier than her, if there was any darkness on the entirety of the continent, then it was washed away by her smile on that day, and if there was any darkness on the planet, then know that between her and our teacher, there wasn’t a cave that wasn’t filled with their light. She told me over and over to make sure I sent her the pictures as soon as possible.
I didn’t. I got busy and I promised myself that I would get to it the following week. I did eventually get to it, except the day prior was when I received the message that she had passed and returned to her Lord. I remember being confused and asking for clarification, it didn’t make sense to me that I had just seen her a week prior. Maybe it was the wrong person, it had to be the wrong person. As I write this, memories of joy and happiness fill me when I saw the smile of my teacher as he listened to her read the last portions of the Holy Quran. Those last recitations denoting to all that she had finished it in it’s entirety, and was deserving of the honor now bestowed upon her. Yet I am also filled with sadness, as she was young, happy and had a husband and family that were all deeply in love with her.
I was reminded as to the temporality of this life. Reminded as to the love for my own wife and the fear I have of losing her. It all really sank in when I finally saw my teacher to give him condolences. I was reminded of the words of the Angel Gabriel when he told the last Prophet of God, Muhammad, “Love who you will but know that you will be separated from them (one day).” What powerful words, and what truth. But then I was also reminded of some words from the Prophet Muhammad in a book that was gifted to me very early in my spiritual journey, Etiquette with the Quran. A book written by the famed Imam Nawawi and translated by Sh. Musa Furber, who many English speaking students owe a great deal to for his continued work in translating classical Islamic texts (please pray for his continued health and guidance). This book reminded me of the status of the Quran in the life of a Muslim, it is a book that continues to rekindle my passion to memorizing and understanding it, and it is a book that at the passing of Doha, I turned to in an effort to remind myself of her lofty position with her Lord. I leave you with these following narrations from the Prophet of God.
‘”Recite the Quran, for on the Day of Judgment it will come to intercede for its companion.”
“Whoever recites one letter from the Book of God has one reward, and rewards are [multiplied] by ten of their kind. I do not say that ‘Alif Lam Mim’ is a [single] letter, rather ‘Alif is a letter,’Lam’ is a letter, and ‘Mim’ is a letter.”
“To the person with the Quran, it is said, ‘Recite and ascend! Recite measuredly just as you used to recite in the world! Your station will be at the last verse you recite.”
“Whoever recites the Quran and acts according to what it contains, God will adorn his parents with a crown on the Day of Judgment, its radiance more beautiful than the radiance of the sun in the abode of this world. So what do you presume [the reward will be] for the one who acts according to it?”
“Recite the Quran, since God Most High will not chastise a heart that has memorized the Quran. This Quran is the banquet of God: whoever enters it is safe and whoever loves the Quran rejoices.”
God, Mighty and Majestic, says: Those who read the Book of God, and establish Prayer, and spend, secretly and openly, from that which He has bestowed on them, can expect a profit that will never perish, He will fully recompense them their deeds and increase them of His grace. Indeed, He is All-Forgiving and Appreciative.
(Quran, 35:29-30) .
We ask that God accept her into the Gardens that He has created for His righteous servants. That He eases the pain of those that miss her and grant them all a gathering together again in the highest abodes in that Garden. A Garden where rivers will flow eternally beneath their feet and never again shall their hearts be burdened with any pain or sadness. Just eternal bliss and the face of their Lord. May God unite us all there, Ameen.
And this is a reminder. . . .for those who believe.