The Passing of My Beloved Grandmother

Mesbah M Islam (Falil)

Dear Friends, Family, and Fellow members of my Ummah,

I am the son of K D M Minhajul Islam and Munira Khan. I write you today on a very solemn note. Last night, my Dadu, Mrs. Syeda Ayesha Islam, passed away in Dhaka. She was 75 years old. Dadu leaves behind 12 children (9 sons and 3 daughters), dozens of grandchildren, and even some great grandchildren. Beyond just telling you this news, I would also like to tell you a little bit about her.

My Dadu was a woman who had nothing and gave everything. She was small and frail in size and stature, weighing only about 95 lbs and standing at just shy of 5 feet, but what Allah did not give her in physical strength was more than compensated for in her emotional strength.

Considering all the trials and tribulations that this amazing woman went through in her life, it was amazing that she didn’t spend the majority of her later years in tears. Instead, she stood as the rock that held my family together. Dadu was born and raised, impoverished, in the graam (village) in Bangladesh but served as the catalyst for being the woman that got to see seven of twelve children become wealthy and successful in the industrialized world overseas. It takes a unique kind of woman, with the heart of a lion and courage that cannot be matched to go from the former stage, to the latter. Dadu had her first child at a time when the average girl of that age would have more than likely been in her early years of high school, giving up whatever amusement that comes with youth, to skyrocket into womanhood and raise a family. Often, my Dada Bhai would go off to Pakistan to do business for a long stretch of time. So, here was this young woman, who already had several children over the years, left to care for, feed, and nurture all of them on her own.
One’s mother is always the person they turn to when facing trouble and fear out in the real world. On top of having troubles of her own to deal with, Dadu felt the pains and sorrows of each and every one of her children when they came to speak to her of all the happenings in their lives. Sometimes, I’m left to wonder how much of a great disparity there must have been between the times that Dadu smiled, or laughed, and the times when she felt anguish. She was far from being blessed with all the bounties that we are all given in modern times and with our modern wealth. She did not even get the opportunity to receive much of a formal education, yet the kind of intellect, character, personality, and demeanor with which this wonderful individual conducted herself can never be found in most others.

When she was at Overland Park Regional Hospital here in Kansas earlier this year, Sarju [Munzer M Islam (Sharzil), my younger brother aged 18 and also a student at the same university] and I both discussed the kind of strength it surely must have taken for a woman in the condition that Dadu was in to come back to relatively good health. We were both then convinced that she would outlive most of the members in our family and surely live to be in her late 90s, if not longer. Sadly, we were mistaken.

At the end of the day, life will go on and time will continue to pass day by day. Many of you did not know, or even get a chance to meet my Dadu, but we must all remember that even though life will go on, we will all one day be in the same place that Dadu is in right now. So to conclude, all I ask of all of you is to do what you would want all of your loved ones to do when this day comes for you, to keep this person in your prayers and to think of the fact that this day is in store for all of us before making our choices. We all realize what we should have done more or better with our loved ones after they pass; such is the nature of life. Once it has happened, all we can do is remember the best of times. I hope the very best for you all.


Falil (19 Jun 2011)
Mesbah M Islam (Falil); Age- 22 years. He is born and brought up in USA, and is currently an undergraduate student at University of Kansa

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