Mother: A word that can’t be described even if you transform all the wood in the world into a pen and the oceans into ink. You will still ...
On 8th September, 2018, during 4:30 PM in late afternoon, I heard my wife screaming:
“Mustafa rush up, Ammi is not responding!”
That was the time when I was talking to a friend on phone and was asking him to pray for my mother as she was in great pain.
When I approached this beautiful angel, all I could see was a lady sleeping peacefully facing Qibla with her eyes closed.
Hearing my cry and the cry of everyone in that room, my father and elder brother rushed towards us and they were too taken by surprise. What followed next is something you can all imagine...
I was about 10 years old when our family migrated from Quetta to Karachi in search of a better living. My father was a hard working lower middle class man with cash of no more than just less than $1,000.
While my father and two elder brothers were busy searching for jobs and business, my mother was worried about my education and the education of my youngest sister. She secretly took some money from the locker without letting anyone know and got us admitted in a small town school called “The Educational Center”. This costed her about $150 but it was a huge amount compared to what my father had in hand.
This action badly turned-off my father’s mood but my mother kept fighting everyone when it came to our education. I still remember her saying:
“No matter what, I won’t let Mustafa and Sadaf live the life of illterates. Do whatever you guys can do but I won’t compromise my kids’ education.”
The educational standard was quite tough in Karachi compared to Queta. Having a Pathan accent and a poor pronunciation of English and Urdu, I was often mocked and ridiculed in school by my class mates, who would often call me “Akhroat” i.e. Wallnut.
Seeing the tears in my eyes, she would often motivate me by saying:
“Son, do not focus on what people say. Stay consistent and focus only at your goal. This society is habitual in not recognizing a pearl on first sight, let your school results speak high of you one day.”
It was because of this strong moral support that I did not only score first position in grade 6th but I even skipped grade 7th because of financial crisis and was promoted to grade 8th straight.
The guys who used to mock me in grade 6th were now defending me as fans against my new fellows of grade 8th.
That akhroat who could not speak English nor Urdu properly 18 years ago is now invited as motivational public speaker by universities, schools and colleges across the country Alhamdulillah.
This all happened thanks to that angelic support at home, who kept reminding me who I was, what was I capable of and what should be my goal in life. This angel once lived by the name Bibi Habiba Zarif.
In cancer you may have a hope of getting cured temporarily but if your Liver is damaged and you are aged plus diabetic, there is no hope of a cure not even a liver transplant would help. Such patients can live a maximum of 2-3 painful years.
By painful I mean fluid accumulation (Ascites) in your stomach that can go up to 10 liters within a month. Anaemia, drowsiness, internal and external bleeding, short term memory lose and skin itching make it further worse. In short its a disease that eats your organs from inside.
Details of Chronic Liver Disease can be read here on Wikipedia.
I could not go office for almost a year because you never knew when her condition would go worse. My father and I would accompany her to the hospital every week. We tried all major hospitals of the city from Agha Khan Hospital to Liaquat National to medicare.
Among which Agha Khan Hospital, the so-called most expensive and advanced hospital of the city, proved the worse of all.
After diagnosing my mother at Agha Khan for over 18 years, I found it a fancy building with blood sucking vampires managing it. Around 90% of the doctors and staff there care less about finding a cure or fixing it on immediate basis and worry more about meaningless lab tests from head to toe.
My baby girl Ifza, who was born at Agha Khan hospital, is suffering to this date because of the mishandling by the nurses in delivery ward.
Where Agha Khan hospital kept demotivating us that she would not survive a year or more, Dr. Ajeet kept bringing a smile on my mother’s face every time we visited him. It was because of his kind care and affection and mercy of God that my mother lived for over 3 years Alhamdulillah.
Inspired from his cheerful character and wise supervision, after the death of my mother, I went to meet Dr. Ajeet and thanked him for reviving my faith in humanity.
He was available 24/7 whenever we needed him and he never let us give up hope which is something my family badly needed at that time. We all knew our mother would not last longer but Dr. Ajeet’s strong words of motivation such as “Allah sab se bara hai, wo sb theek ker dega.” was a power dose in itself that kept my mother’s spirit high.
He deserved a gift as thanksgiving, a flower bouquet and of course a hug.
We spent Ramadan nights in Hospital and then we spent another 20+ days which included Eid-ul-Azha in Medicare Hospital followed by Liaquat national. Throughout the nights my mother was in extreme pain in ICU. My eldest brother (Aimal) and father would accompany her during day time while I would accompany her during the night and morning from 10 PM to 10 AM.
All night and day, we would press her legs, hands and her back so that she could get some peace. Her condition was getting worse. Things got out of control when her kidneys started malfunctioning and body was experiencing consecutive blood lose.
Dr Tauqeer and Dr Pervaiz Ashraf at Liaquat National Hospital were really kind and they did their best to control her health but the severe condition of the liver had started effecting other organs of the body.
When it became quite evident that she would not survive, my family requested a discharge so that she could spend her last days with her grand daughters at home.
We all sit next to her and would recite Holy Quran all day and night. She kept reciting Kalima and would “dum” herself. This sight can not be explained in words...
The most emotional time was when I was lying next to her and pressing her body which was in extreme pain, she looked at me and said: “Son, your little fingers must be too tired..”
I cried hearing it and kissed her face and said: “Mor, even in such condition, you are still concerned about us..?”
The water level in her body increased so much that it reached her face and started her face to inflate. I left the back and hands and started pressing her face to reduce the pain.
It was this moment when I prayed to Allah that my mother loved a beautiful face and she always prefered people who were neat and tidy. I begged Allah during Zuhr prayer to please cause no harm to her face. Everyone started the recitation and we conducted khatam for her in almost 3 to 4 mosques.
All of a sudden, the pain in her body vanished and she fell asleep for consecutive 4 hours. We would often go to her, inquiring if she was alright and she would just reply:
“I am fine, let me sleep please.”
Around 4:30 PM, I was sitting next to her and left the room to attend a call, making sure the noise of the call may not hinder her sleep. As I was talking on phone in next room, my wife started screaming, pointing towards my mothers room. As soon as I approached mom, that angel had already left us all alone without making the slightest of noise..
We handed her to earth within next 4 hours after ghusal and namaz-e-jinaza. Her funeral prayer took place at maghrib which was the largest gathering I had seen so far Alhamdulillah.
After burying my mom, I got back home and fell asleep. Later in the morning during fajar, I saw my mom in a dream where she advised me not to cause trouble to the family and my martyred brother Muhammad Shareef (Yama) also visited me in the dream and advised me to stay strong.
I woke up with tears and started asking my wife, how come I saw such a dream and why was Mor (mom in pashto) asking me not to trouble the family. My wife who looked quite worried with tears in her eyes looked at me and said:
“Mustafa, do you know what happened to you once you slept.”
I said, “I don’t remember anything. All I know is that I slept, saw this dream and just woke up. ”
She told me that after when I slept, she came to wake me up for the dinner but my body was not responding and I was almost unconscious and screaming like a 3 years old kid and sometimes laughing. I was rushed downstairs by my eldest brother on his shoulders and was taken straight to emergency ward of the hospital by my brother in law (Munir) and family members. I was diagnosed to get rid of the stress attacks and I remained unconscious for almost 10 hours.
My condition was so worse that my old dad, wife, brother, brother in law and all the kids at home were literally crying seeing me in such condition. They said I was in some comma and extreme stress attack state.
I came to my senses when my mother visited me in my dream advising me not to trouble the family members and my martyred late brother asking me to be strong.
The stress attacks followed the second day also after which I was sent for spiritual healing out of city where I stayed for almost a week without informing any of my friends about the exact location.
Holy Quran’s recitation and staying away from my home, really helped in getting out of that emotional state of mind.
I never imagined I was that weak emotionally but I guess it was the attachment I developed during those painful sleepless 20+ nights that I spent with my mom while she was in ICU and later in Gastro ward. The memory of her cries, pain throughout her body and burring her 4 feet down with my own bare hands, kept revolving in my brain when I slept which led to a situation I explained above.
I am not sure If I or my eldest brother deserve to be called a good son or not but we tried our level best to give all the comfort to our late mother. We were ready to sell off all our properties and donate our liver to her but the doctors denied us liver transplant as she was diabetic and too weak and aged. We tried all hospitals be that expensive or ultra expensive, be it a homeopathic remedy or allopathic, or be it a spiritual one but God had His own plans.
I am proud my mother lived the life of a hard working middle class woman. Who sacrificed all her life for our better future and education. If my father, brother or I don’t smoke cigarette or we are not addicted to anything bad, the credit goes to this pious lady who protected us from all the bad of the society and motivated us towards the good only.
Please remember her in your prayers and also my family. God bless your beloved family and God bless your loving mother. Treat her with kindness always, how important is this living angel, ask it from those who have lost her.
This was my blog diary for today where I shared the story of my late mother, so that tomorrow when I die, people inquiring about me and my family members, may not miss reading this chapter that speaks about one great lady who once lived by the name Bibi Habiba Zarif.