A Successful Life: In Which No Argument or Dispute Took Place
My married life of 63 years was replete with love, warmth, trust and grace. How can I forget
even for a moment the years spent in my wife’s company twinkling before my eyes like the soothing rays of the full moon. For all those she met she was a flower of courtesy free from narrow and selfish motives; her heart being as pure as snow. She had a special knack of mixing with youngsters and would with motherly tenderness become intimate with them. She was a tender and indulgent mother, incapable of hurting anyone and anyone’s feelings. My life partner expired peacefully at 0715 hours on 26 April, 2013 at the age of 80 years. She had been a heart patient for the last twenty years.
She would often insist on a short stroll alone. She attended parties (birthdays, marriages, and anniversaries) and particularly enjoyed the company of her grand and great grandchildren, to whom she would give presents and prayed for their happy, long lives. It is difficult to ascertain as to who was her favorite great grandchild–
Ibrahim, Nehan, Yousaf, Zahra and Zain, all under 6 years, would rush over to her warm and affectionate lap. They were also very keen on picking up her walking stick and handing over to her and being rewarded with a motherly kiss. All of them miss her and often ask when Barey Dada would come back from heaven?
She would quietly help the poor and needy people with cash, rations, clothes and would even provide items for the marriages of needy girls. For all this she would delve into her savings. She had also arranged at least a dozen matrimonial alliances and by the grace of Allah, all of them were living happily.
She also gave out loans without any strings attached and monthly allowances to those who were too proud to stretch out their hands for alms. We had a gardener who one day requested a loan of Rs. 1500 for some urgent work but I declined because I thought that he would not be able to pay it back. After some days he died and I really blamed myself for not having paid the advance to him. I mentioned my anguish and repentance to my wife who disclosed that she had quietly paid the money to the gardener because she had heard his conversation with me. A magnanimous soul, she is deeply mourned and it has been decided to continue her wishes.
On the 25th of April, 2013 at 1330 hours, our daughter-in-law, Quisia Sadi, brought lunch for us. My wife said she would wait for the children, Ibrahim and his mother Bushra – who was a teacher in a branch of the ROOTS School System, who were expected to come an hour later. Reluctantly she agreed to have lunch and I noticed an aura of sadness on her face. As usual she offered me the best piece of meat and remarked that dishes prepared by Quisia, under her supervision were delicious. Alas! that was our last meal together, every moment of it remains engraved in my memory box. She finished her Zuhr prayers and in the meantime the children arrived. She hugged Ibrahim, kissed his forehead, and gave him a packet of sweets as usual. My left eyebrow was throbbing since morning, and a feeling of uneasiness, fear and despair came over me; I tried to shake it off, but it’s grip was tight. At about 1500 hours, she called Bushra to take her to the door of the washroom where she reached with the help of the ‘walker’. All of a sudden she collapsed. Bushra tried to lift her shouting ‘Dadi!’ ‘Dadi!’ But there was no response. Quisia, Dr. Ahsen, and young Usama, our grandson, also rushed there and after feeling her pulse and heartbeat immediately transferred her to the car with his mother Quisia, Usama, and a servant. Upon reaching the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology (AFIC), she was shifted to the emergency ward where Ahsen and the doctor on duty battled to revive her. Various instruments were used to produce respiration. Our son Sadi, Quisia, Afshan, Amad, Bushra, Dr. Nooman and Usama sat near her bed for many hours calling out “Mama” “Mama” “Dadi” “Dadi” but there was no response. However, they felt that her thumb and index were moving slowly as if she were counting on her prayer bead. Dr. Ahsen applied all his knowledge and experience to revive his dearest grandmother and was near her bed for the whole night. He prayed with tears in his eyes and held her hand, but Allah had already decided to call her to heaven. She breathed her last in his arms at 0715 hours on 26 April, 2013.
At 0830 hours, Nokhez and Zareen arrived from Dubai. Our daughter Anjum and Muddisir, who had gone to perform Umra, reached at 1030 hours; they wept and cried. The main hall and compound were filled with people reciting the Holy Quran.
Under the guidance of Zahoor, a sincere, sympathetic neighbor, my better half was given her last bath by our daughter, daughters-in-laws, granddaughter and nieces.
After the Namaz-e-Janaza, held after Asr prayers, her body was lowered into the grave by Nokhez, Said, Muddisir, Nooman, Amad, Ahsen, Usama and two of her nephews. The main hall was covered in gloom, most were weeping and crying. Allah, the Merciful is able to soothe and sustain distressed souls.
During the first week of January 1951, I was performing duty of Defending Officer in a court martial at Lahore Cantt. It was Saturday and when I reached home it was evening. I found my father and brother Waqar standing outside the gates. My father produced railway tickets and said we would be going to Montgomery, now Sahiwal, where my mother had already gone in advance. I was told that a ‘girl’ had been selected by her and the parents of the girl desired to meet me and if both sides agreed, the Nikkah would be performed. I was flabbergasted to hear this news but before I could say anything my father said, “You should have complete faith in your mother’s selection.” I knew the family but had not met any of its members. A photograph of the girl was not available but my brother said she was beautiful and had charming habits.
After we arrived at the destination, my mother called me inside. While my mother was very loving, affectionate, kinder than the kindest, she was a strict disciplinarian and her advice was accepted by every member of our family. She kissed my forehead, embraced me and said, “The girl is charming, well groomed and capable of running a house.” I placed my head on her shoulder and my silence was taken as my acquiescence to her selection. The Rukhsati was held on 13 April 1951 and that was the day that I saw my wife for the first time and there has been no occasion for repentance since then.
Every human being (except the Holy Last Messenger-peace be upon him) has some weakness. My better half was blessed with the weakness of ‘forgive and forget’; some call this an outstanding quality of her character.
All sincere, loyal and considerate wives are great. I do not claim that my wife was outstanding among the chosen few. But to me, with her kindly and sweet spirit during crisis, she was a tower of strength. There was an indefinable charm about her and needless to say, her presence made me that much richer.
“My whole heart rises up to bless Your name in pride and thankfulness!
Take back the hope you gave-I claim
Only a memory of the same.”