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Assalaamu ‘alaykum wa Rahmatullah
Beloved Friends,

specialfriends

SubhaanAllah! This statement is exactly what came to mind, as I came to terms with the sad passing away of a blessed bearer of Al Qur’aan & a precious mentor of many..
“To Allah do we belong & to Him is our Return”.. a week ago, our Ummah lost a beloved soul, for whom the Qur’aan was the essence of her life & love: 95 year-old Haafidhah Aaisha Suleman (Rahimahallah) of South Africa, was probably one of the oldest living memorisers of Al Qur’aan. Astoundingly, the sight of this highly-spirited & motivated great-grandmother would have many a sister mistaken Haafidhah Aaisha to be a sprightly grandmother in her sixties, mashaa Allah!

A few years ago…
I recall my mother telling me that she had met an amazing Haafidhah who I just had to meet upon my next trip home. Blessed with that cherished opportunity, it was the spiritual radiance, the immense tranquility, and the genuine sincerity which instantly drew me to her. I was fascinated to have met such an elderly memoriser of Al Qur’aan who had a beautiful story to tell, a brief part of which is : Haafidhah Aaisha (Rahimahallah) had memorised Al Qur’aan & studied Deen at an early age & married an ‘Aalim in her teens, whilst living in her homeland, India. The couple later emigrated to the Republic of South Africa, where she continued nurturing her family, bringing up her children & supporting her husband in the works of Deen, all the while teaching the memorisation of Al Qur’aan & the tenets of Islam amongst the women in her community.
Widowed 30 years ago, Haafidhah Aaisha (Rahimahallah) continued in her efforts to educate muslim women & teach Tahfeedhul Qur’aan.

I fondly recall meeting her very soon after turning 91, at which point she was still maintaining her teaching schedule of Fiqh, Tafseer & Qur’aan..I recall seeing her beautiful smile broadening, as she sat with me & my mother..I recall being absolutely intrigued by her Allah-given ability to recall facts of the Qur’aan & to share with us valuable information about her ever-increasing number of family members who had memorised Qur’aan..I vividly recall her amazing memory & superb recollection of corresponding verses, reasons for Qur’aanic revelation & the virtues of specific verses..I recall her asking questions about my Qur’aan school & advising on teaching methods & applications for Hifdh, mentioning Qur’aan routines & recommended methods, all of which I attempt to continue applying in my learning & teaching -Truly, May Allah grant her the Supreme Reward, aameen!

Dear Friends, I recall leaving her home, my heart & soul ecstatic & overjoyed to have met such a spiritually-enriched believer! Years have passed..I haven’t met her in awhile, but just knowing that she was around, was knowing that in her, we had an inspiring & unique example of the miracle of preservation of Al Qur’aan.. I know that she would frequently ask about me, my teaching & my graduating students..but it is this particular encounter that I shall always remember & cherish, for, on that day, I saw the miracle of loving Al Qur’aan truly well & alive in this beautiful personality..I saw what more than half a century spent sincerely serving Allah ‘Azza wa Jall & Al Qur’aan, could create, could inspire – I saw strong faith, unwavering dedication & tremendous love for The Glorious Qur’aan in Haafidhah Aaisha (Rahimahallah) … By Allah, I saw a blessed bearer & a precious mentor of His Mighty Word!

There are hundreds of other women, who, like me, have been inspired by her, learnt from her & prayed with her..no doubt, each of them, at some point, will continue to remember her when they read, teach, memorise, love & live Al Qur’aan!

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~O Merciful Allah! Forgive her, fill her Qabr with Noor & Grant Haafidhah Aaisha (Rahimahallah) the companionship of the People of Jannah in close proximity to You, just as You blessed her with the companionship of the People of Al Qur’aan in this worldly sojourn…~
Abdullah ibn Amr (radiyallahu ‘anhu) reports that Rasoolullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “The man of the Qur’aan will be told (on the Day of Qiyaama), ‘Recite and continue ascending (the ranks of Jannah). Recite in a leisurely manner as you had been reciting in the world. Your abode shall be (where you reach) at the last verse you recite.’ ”

Love you all for Allah’s Pleasure,
Rayhaanah

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