Mother Fatima: A Woman of Great Faith [Archives:2001/42/Focus]

October 15 2001

By: Hassan Al-Haifi
So simple was her outlook on life, that one would think that if life could be as she pictured it, it would indeed be a wonderful life and a life where pain would be easily forsaken for pleasure, now and in the hereafter. But in the aftermath of her productive life, one could in fact see that indeed her simplistic outlook was quite sophisticated in context and inspired by a very powerful force that indeed demands that people take the complications out of life and leave them for those who prefer to live without faith and without any spiritual inclination – to lose themselves in the pain of their own doing. She was a woman that truly could see deep into the most solid of hearts and render all the fallacies of life worthless, because the Lord Al-Mighty really had no intention of complicating life for man. It was man who really betrayed God and eventually betrayed himself and thus transformed life into a cobweb of misery, hunger, despair and frustration, by taking the simplicity out of life and enmeshing life with so much complications needlessly. By the sheer loss of faith – the faith that truly comes from the heart and is free from the tyranny of misguided belief, where form takes over substance and confusion stalls the growth of the mind – mankind finds itself engrained in eternal conflict with jealousy, hate and prejudice setting the course for the human experience, rather than the course, which God Al-Mighty surely laid out plainly and simply for mankind to tread on to eventually reach that blissful experience: when the Lord Al-Mighty becomes an inspiring companion, a real cause d’être. Nothing else in life matters anymore except the fulfillment of minor mundane responsibilities properly, such as bringing the children up and turning them into productive citizens – members of the faith, mind you, first, and faithful members of the society later.
This woman, despite her simplistic outlook on life was imperial in stature, self confidence and so thankful to be among those who truly believe in God and believe in life, the way only God would have it – to follow that straight path – to happiness in this life and to eternal bliss in the hereafter.
You could see that when this woman was breathing her last breaths in life, she was fully confident where she was going. The name of the Al-Mighty was coming out of her lips in a continuos smooth flow, with her face radiating an illumination that seemed to penetrate the walls that surrounded her.
She never held a grudge against anyone and she could never be the cause of anyone else’s grudge. So remarkable was her ability to avoid agony and frustration, because her last resort was guaranteed by her strong faith in God, which acted like a shield around her guarding her against all human evil and the misfortunes of life. Of course, the Lord Al-Mighty was there to test her faith by the hardships which are required to engrain the faith that God wants his creation to have in him and in the magnificence of life, that it would be unthinkable for life to have meaning, if such tests were not there. Even prophets and messengers of Allah had to face the strains of life and to accept severe challenges to their missions. It is so with Mother Fatima. She was widowed early in life, having to rear four sons and two daughters, armed with nothing but a very powerful faith in God and the strong clan relationships of her deceased husband’s family. By sheer magic, God paved the way for this woman, although she was deprived of any tangible wealth to speak of, except a meager veteran’s pension, that was not enough to keep six birds alive, let alone six children. But, her effervescent smile, majestic character made the task of shouldering the heavy responsibility she had to bear seem like a breeze. Her four sons are all successful engineers and doctors! Her two daughters have become successful mothers in their own right and all six of her children are trying to outdo each other in making sure that their wonderful mother is never lacking in anything she needs. It is a remarkable human experience that one can see being passed down from one generation to the next, which truly adds to the entrenchment of faith that God wants to see implanted into the hearts of men and truly makes us realize that the submission to Allah’s will, is not just a matter of words uttered every now and then – but a feeling of the heart and a mindset that are inseparable and harmonious making life seem nothing more than a smooth train ride with the last station being nowhere else other than heaven.
More important, Mother Fatima did not have this selfish attitude or feeling of being closed minded that no one else mattered. She was always asking about this person or that person’s mother, and following up on other people’s problems just to see if there was anything she could do to help out, or offer a prayer for, or just to guide you, so as to ensure that God’s will be done properly and with all good and serious intention – not just for show!
Mother Fatima was that kind of a person who will never leave your heart, because the faith she spewed forth was so enriching and so exhilarating that one is bound to feel that getting to know Mother Fatima is an awe inspiring sign that no matter how bad life may seem to be, with faith there is really no hassle. It is just a passing moment in a long series of ages and peoples that, out of one’s nothingness and meager place amidst it all, there is really a lot to cherish and to become attached to.
Out of her own free will, and without any effort of display, Mother Fatima would be on her prayer rug sometimes one hour before dawn, enjoying her own discourse with her Creator and not failing to outdo all the faithful around her in their affinity with the Divine, even if they were reared in the best of religious schools and under the best scholars! Mother Fatima did not have any formal schooling, except the school of Hard Knox!
Half the time you would meet Mother Fatima, you will find her fasting! This was outside the month of Ramadhan! When she came from Mecca, one could see the faithful spiritual experience illuminating from her effervescent smile and expressive eyes of maturity and one could see that for Mother Fatima this was truly a spiritual experience not a tourism journey.
God bless you Mother Fatima, for you will always be an inspiration to all those, who could tread on the faith that you always reflected and lived by and truly made us understand the magnificent value of knowing that through it all, God is there watching and waiting to pave the way to spiritual bliss, for those that do so want it and deserve it. She deserves it and we hope we can also deserve that eternal bliss of those who truly believe.
My sympathies go to her proud children and grand children, and to all the Al-Aini and Al-Qadri families. It is with great pride that you should all always remember Mother Fatima. She was a spiritual phenomenon! May God bless her soul. Amen!