Ever since I started Qur’an classes, I would hear my Teacher talk about her Ustadha. My teacher was obtaining an Ijaza at that time, so she would recite to the Ustadha once a week over the phone. She would constantly share advices and tips from her teacher and marvel at her knowledge and ability. Her name was Ustadha Maryam, who always seemed like an elderly and experienced wise lady to me.
One day around an hour after class, a middle aged pleasant lady walked into the class, her face wearing a beaming smile. Our teacher introduced her as Ustadha Amina, Ustadha Maryam’s mother. This took me by surprise. Wasn’t Ustadha Maryam supposed to be a wise old lady with so much knowledge? But her mother doesn’t look old either! (May Allah bless them both.)
After a while, the teacher stopped recitation for a while and mentioned that she had especially invited Ustadha Amina to give us motivation. The class I was in was revising the Qur’an and working on the ‘Khatma exam’, which is an exam on the whole of the Qur’an. The students had found the task daunting and felt unprepared. Their children and their home took up too much time and they couldn’t find the time nor energy to revise. They felt it was an impossible feat to accomplish. So our teacher asked Ustadha Amina to tell us her story of the Khatma. She was reluctant at first but started:
“When I was in the revision year like you all, sixteen years ago”, she said “I was pregnant, and delivered a few months before the end of the year. At that time I had 4 older ones and 6 younger ones including the new baby.” Ten children! This was getting more and more unbelievable.
“I took a month off and when I came back I felt lost, I couldn’t remember anything, and I didn’t have the energy to pick myself up, my baby, my children, my home, my body, it was all just too tiring.” She is such a superwoman, Allahumma baarik laha. She surely had more on her plate at that time than any of us.
She continued: “But I was determined, I cried and cried to Allah, increased in Istighfaar and made Dua, because Tawfeeq (success) is only from Him and I did what I could do. Allah opened up my heart and eased my task. When my baby was four months, I did the Khatma exam and was the first of my batch. This is neither my ability nor intelligence. It is just to tell you all that with Allah’s aid, it is possible, so work hard my sisters.”
It is easy for us to complain that we just don’t have the time, and that our lives are too busy. The question is, do we make the time? Do we sincerely beg Allah to help us? Do we cry out to Him? Do we increase in Istighfaar, and do we honestly do all that is in our power for our Qur’an? As I looked at this little lady, my heart felt at peace. Wasn’t she the mother of a great Ustadha? What an example she has been!
I could figure that though a teacher herself, she didn’t continue for long but her oldest daughter Maryam followed her footsteps and was now a teacher of teachers. I eagerly waited for her to talk of her daughter, who she said was always busy with her studying and Qur’an, her days full, between teaching and learning. I felt I was listening to some of the stories of the blessed Salaf of our times.
The conversation then drifted to children and how responsibilities make time scarce. Ustadha Amina smiled: “You know sisters, a few months ago my daughter Maryam was suddenly ill and was taken to the ER. She needed to spend a few hours there. We immediately rushed to see her and after that rushed home to see how the kids were coping and take them home with us. But the house was peaceful. The older kids were taking care of the younger ones and patiently waiting for us. She gives her time and effort to Allah, so in return Allah disciplined her kids. When you do something for Allah, He will Bless your life, your home, your children and your time”
Here was a great mother, citing her daughter as an example. It was such a beautiful thing to witness. I silently prayed that my own daughter, my own Maryam would grow up to be like Ustadha Maryam.
These two ladies are mothers, with many children. They have homes and families. They also work outside the home to teach the Qur’an. Ustadha Maryam was at the prime of her youth, with young children to care for, yet she didn’t let that stop her. Now we DO find such women working as professionals in various fields, yet when it comes to the Qur’an, time is hard to find. There are plenty of excuses. This will be your companion in this world and the next, oh carrier of the Qur’an! So take heed! If Allah decrees that He suddenly takes our life away, we don’t want to be thinking at the last moments: ‘Oh Allah, I haven’t revised my Qur’an!’ Instead we want to feel at peace that we have done our best and hope that it will be our means to an elevated position in Jannah.
May Allah make the Qur’an an evidence for us and not against us, may He not make us of those whom RasulAllah will testify against as mentioned in the Qur’an: “And the Messenger has said, “O my Lord, indeed my people have taken this Qur’an as [a thing] abandoned.” [Surah al Furqan]
May Allah Protect us all from this.
By: Aathifa Feroze