Tasneem is a beloved daughter of mine. Actually the daughter of one of my dear brothers. She left us a few years ago when she was 14. Her memories come back every year with her beautiful smile, her soft personality, and funny Arabic palestinian accent.
Memory #1: selling tickets for the concert
Her memory ensures me that the plans of Allah supersede any of our plans. Her parents may have planned a lot for her. They may have even chosen a future groom for her. But no matter how much we plan, Allah’s plans always happen. Her picture selling tickets for the concert that we were planning to have next to a poster of the event is a picture that I can’t forget, for the date of the event was the date of her leaving us.
Lesson #1: Let us beware of our lives. We may not live until our very plans happen. We sleep with no doubt that we will wake up. We go to work with absolute conviction that we will come back. We live as if we will live forever. Our calendar of events, to us, is like the absolute truth. Every time I remember Tasneem’s picture, I remember this lesson. Every time I give a lecture or a thought about this issue, I have to use Tasneems picture as a proof.
Memory #2: Tasneem is a middle sister
Tasneem is a middle sister. She has two older siblings and 2 younger siblings. As all siblings do especially in early ages: they fight 🙂 I am sure all of us has a bit of that. I remember fighting and arguing a lot with my brothers even on simple things. Being a middle sister like Tasneem would make her subject to these arguments and fighting with all: she is the young little spoiled sister when it comes to the old and she is the old bossy sister when the young are concerned.
Lesson #2: a moment of joy with your brother or sister is worth your whole life
Now that I grew older and live away from my brothers, I miss them so much. I would do anything to have a few moments with them. I remember our arguments and fights as little kids with the sense of humor and much of regret. I tell myself, “If Allah brings me back, I will do anything to please my brothers and help them as much as I can. I read Tasneem’s siblings’ thoughts and memories. They are all about this. They are all about longing for a moment with Tasneem, a moment where they please her, help her, and make her happy. Well, we still have brothers and sisters. We do have many people around us to enjoy their company and let them enjoy our company. Let us not lose the moment. Let us not wait until we miss them and regret the time we haven’t spent to benefit them.
Memory #3: We can no longer see Tasneem
I am sure Tasneem for me is different that she is to her family. I miss her as a friend, even as a dad’s friend. But her family missed her much more. They hope to see her and feel very sad they can’t.
Lesson #3: Another blessing of Islam
A blessing out of many many blessings of Islam is that we know for sure this life is not the end of the story. We know for sure that there will be a time when believing people come together. We know there will be time when the husband and wife meet, where children join parents, and when we meet with our loved ones. This will be in a place where there will be no sadness, no grief, and no more separation. This is the place where our final destination will be and where our hearts get together. This belief brings a lot of comfort to the hearts, and transforms any sadness into action to do our best to get there. It is as if Tasneem is traveling and we are just waiting to join her. We just have to make more good to be able to make the trip to where she went. We just have to make more duaa that Allah gathers us together in His Paradise. It is coming, we see it, we are sure of it, we are working on it, isa!
I ask Allah to have mercy on Tasneem, make us always remember her and her beautiful face and wide smile, and gather her with her family and all of us under the shade of His throne, Amin!