Initially I had planned for this post to be about the birth of my little grandchild, on the blessed day of Eid Al Adha 1442 Alhamdulillah. But in hindsight, I dedicate this post to my dear friend, Rubina. Read on till the end to find out why…
When Mini Maryam was just under a year old, we decided to pay a visit to our long lost friends in Tooting, Tariq and Rubina.
We had known the couple and Rubina’s extended family for many years. They were an amazing couple, just right for each other and they had 3 beautiful children Masha’Allah.
We had the type of relationship that although we didn’t see each other very often, we knew that we would be there for each other through thick and thin, no matter what. We could trust in each other and seek help whenever needed. We knew that we were only a phone call away, even though we hardly saw each other.
Rubina came from a huge family Masha’Allah. She had 6 sisters and 3 brothers. You can imagine the number of weddings that we ended up attending!
Rubina was one of my trustworthy long-distance BFF. Whenever we met, we would talk as if there was no tomorrow! Being older and a lot wiser then me, she was like my big sister, forever giving me good advice Alhamdulillah. She was kind, gentle and a good laugh.
She was also known to make the best biryani, ever! I can still see the dagger stare she gave me once, when I thought I was doing her a favour by fluffing up her cooked rice in the pot before serving only to be told that I was actually breaking up her rice and reducing it to mush! I stayed well clear of her cooking after that day!
The day we visited Tariq and Rubina, I remember sitting on Rubina’s sofa in the living room, with Maryam on my lap having just finished feeding her.
‘Do you sing that rhyme to her?’, asked Rubina.
‘What rhyme?’, I replied.
‘You know, ‘Round and Round the Kaabah?’, she asked in dismay at the thought of me not knowing it.
‘Nope, sorry, never heard of it’
‘Let me show you how it’s done’, she said as she reached out and gently took Maryam’s hand. Rubina placed her index finger on the palm of Maryam’s hand and began to move it in a circular motion whilst singing, ‘Round and round the Kaabah, like a little hajji’, and as she sang, ‘one step, two steps’, she walked her fingers up Maryam’s arm and gently tickled her as she sang, ‘closer to Allah Ta-ala’, reducing Maryam to laughter.
‘That’s how it’s done’, said a defiant Rubina, ‘You really didn’t know this rhyme?!’ She asked again with a smile..
‘Nope I really didn’t ’, I replied, ‘But Alhamdulillah I do now’.
And so do you my friends..
On 1st July 2017, my dearest Rubina passed away after suffering from a bout of illness. I had no idea how hard this article would be to write up; with tears flowing from my eyes, lump in my throat and a sad heart, I persevered and managed to write her memories. Luckily I didn’t use pen to paper otherwise my tears would have washed her memories away.
My dearest Rubina Baji, May Allah cleanse you of all sins, reward you for all your good deeds, and elevate your status to jaantul firdaus. Insha’Allah bi ithnillah we will meet again, and I promise I won’t break your biryani xxx
Meanwhile my story, ‘Makkah’ featured in, Tales of Mini Maryam, is dedicated to you.