My mother, Shakila Begum, breathed her last on 7 January 2018 after more than two months of hospitalization.

My father, Late Jamil Ahmad had left us on 10 January last year and it was perhaps her devotion to him that did not let one complete year pass before her joining him in the heavenly abode. May Allah shower His choicest blessings and maghfirah on them!

When we give a thought to what Islam is about, it is not difficult to understand that Islam is primarily about relationships: relationship between God and His Creation, between God and human beings, between prophets and followers, between human beings and their surroundings and between human beings themselves, as parents and children, spouses, kins, neighbours and members of humanity.

Out of these, after relationships of faith, the most beautiful relationship is of course between parents and children. And within the family, no relationship is more sacrosanct than that between mother and children. When father expires, children feel a loss of security cover and when a mother leaves, they feel themselves to be orphans.

We, seven brothers and three sisters, were blessed to have our parents with us for a long time. Our father expired at the age of 93 and mother at 86. But the vacuum they left for us seems too unbearably huge.

Our mother was a truly pious lady. We never saw her miss a single prayer or fast. I don’t remember how long she had been offering Tahajjud prayer, well since her youth. She stood by her husband in all his happy and sad movements and in all his good and difficult days without ever questioning him. She was an ideal mother and an ideal wife. How many times she might have completed Quran reciting is beyond counting. And the greatest quality which I noticed in her was her charitable disposition. She would never let anyone seeking help unattended. The beggars would throng to our house every day knowing that they would get something.

If Alhamdulillah all their children achieved successes in their educational careers, the credit goes to her no less if not more than our father. Being a highly busy advocate and social activist, our father would be out of home throughout the day. In his absence, she would not let even a single of her 10 children without due attention. She would always inculcate Islamic spirit in her children through stories of Prophets and Sahaba. She would always insist on us to offer regular prayers and recite Quran daily. She would not let us roam freely outside the home and would ask us to do the school work without failing.

She had never anything else in mind except following the Shariah in totality. When the question of bequeathing property to daughters arose in the family, while our father was initially reluctant citing local traditions, she would always insist on distributing it in exact accordance with the demands of Islamic Law. Thankfully, our father realized this before it would be too late and got a will rewritten granting daughters Islamic rights in his property.

Like most mothers, she was an extremely loving lady for her children and despite having Diabetes and Hypertension for more than two decades; she would never feel tired while taking care of her husband and children. She was not that lucky herself. She lost her mother when she was only 4 years old. Fortunately though for her, she was taken care of by her father’s sister and husband who had no child of their own and gave her all the love and affection.

People come and go. What they leave behind are their memories. She is no more with us. But we will always feel her close to us.

All my brothers, Rashid Jamil, Zahid Jamil (based in Sydney), Shariq Jamil, Majid Jamil, Fazil Jamil and Fahad Jamil and my sisters, Kishwar Jamashed, Munawwar Javed and Fozia Naved Mumtaz share these thoughts with me.

We pray Allah not only for granting her a high status in Jannah but guide us all her children to follow the Path of God in accordance with her wishes and our father’s wishes!