Atiya Maryam Ahsan
Latest posts by Atiya Maryam Ahsan (see all)
- Making her Scales of Good Deeds Heavy Daily – A True Story - November 8, 2013
- If The Veil Were To Be Removed - October 5, 2013
- Umm Mihjan – A True Inspiration - February 9, 2013
If “Husn-ul-Khulq” (good behaviour) will be the heaviest thing to be weighed in our favour on the Day of Judgement, then I’m fairly certain that my paternal aunt (Phuppo) will have one of the heaviest scales on the Day of Judgement (Insha’Allah).
She’s the second youngest of 10 siblings. My grandfather taught Geography in a local University and was a big supporter of female education and career. He encouraged all of his sons and daughters to pursue higher education. My Phuppo did her Master’s in Psychology, and B.Ed followed by M.Ed, and now she’s the principal of a school that’s been running successfully for over two decades (Masha’Allah).
When she got married, she was used to doing and having things her own way; but she married into a crowded family with several sisters-in-law to be married and a family that didn’t look too favourably upon women pursuing their career-related ambitions. Her husband, although very loving and caring, was far less educated and couldn’t support his entire family on his singular income. My Phuppo helped support his and her own family; they wed off each of her sister’s-in-law one by one where she put in a lot of her own jewellery into the weddings (and today, they all have grown-up children of their own, some of whom are even married).
She still lives with her mother-in-law (Dadda) who is old, and hard of hearing, Even though Dadda won’t understand a word you say, she insists that you answer each of her questions repeatedly. Her nagging behaviour can easily get on anybody’s nerves, but Phuppo still tries her best to be patient with her, and takes care of her.
My Phuppo has a soft heart that melts when she sees a person in distress. Whenever anybody in the extended family needs help, financial or otherwise, they come to my Phuppo for support, knowing that she can never say “no”. She has personally arranged and wed off several young girls in her extended family. Any time, there’s a feud in the family, people come to her to help settle their family matters for them. What’s most inspiring is that I’ve never heard her recount any favour she did for any one in front of them or even behind their backs to other people.
She prays regularly and observes the voluntary fasts. I’ve never heard her raise her voice to anyone, whether young or old; it’s like she’s physically incapable of showing rage. She’s had medical problems as well; an arthritic knee, cervical problems, stone in her gall bladder, and a bad back but through it all, I never saw her complain once. Whenever you ask her how she’s feeling, no matter how much pain she might be in, she’d always say” Alhamdulillah, I’m much fine” She never lets anybody else do her work for her and tries to take on other people’s work load and responsibilities when she can.
Even though there are several examples I can recount to you where she helped me and my family out personally, but let me tell you about the latest one. My father passed away last year after he lost his battle with lung cancer. My elder brother has had schizophrenia for over a decade now; I have two more brothers both of whom live abroad; my sisters are all married off; my mother is old and frail and suffers from paranoid delusions herself. So, after my father passed away, I was left with two psychologically impaired family members to take care of, when I myself have had some health issues in the past couple of years (I have cartilage damage in both my knees). It was a time of crisis, and without a second thought, my Phuppo stepped in and said she would shift her family to come stay with us and take care of mine; she up-heaved her entire household, and moved in with us.
My Phuppa and Phuppo take my brother to the doctor regularly and make sure he takes his medication on time; I’m still undergoing physical therapy; days go by when I might not hear from a sibling or a friend, but my Phuppo would be sure to ask after my health daily. They take care of the meals, help out with the bills and run all the errands.
Before my father passed away, he didn’t ask my brothers or my Chaccha (paternal uncle) or my Mamoon (maternal uncle) or anybody else except my Phuppo: “Please! Take care of my family after I’m gone.” Any time, I have a problem, the first person I share it with (after Allah) knowing that they would do their utmost to help me out any way they can is my Phuppo.
I once read a Hadith where the Prophet (sa) said:” The best of people are those who bring the most benefit to others.” (At-Tabarani, Al-Kabir)
Going by this Hadeeth, I can honestly claim that my Phuppo is one of the best people I know on this earth, and may Allah reward her and her family justly for it. Ameen!
Abu Darda (RA) reported that Rasulullah (sa) said: “Nothing is weightier on the scale of deeds than one’s good manners.” (Bukhari)