The Paradigm Shift

December 10, 2009

By: Shazia Yousuf

It still feels like a dream…standing right next to ammie’s dead body. My entire self trembling, trying to accept the truth – the real truth…ammie’s gone!

I knew she would not survive, yet it was very difficult to accept this. She fought for two months in ICU against plural effusion but finally gave in. A brave woman indeed! Even the doctors admitted this. The way her body responded to so much stress was unbelievable. But she could not fight for long. Due to renal shutdown and hematoma, the doctors had given up hope. We agreed to the fact that no rigorous medical activity will be performed as it would only hurt the body and would be of no use…as the doctors would say, we would make it comfortable for her…

When the doctors informed us of this, I still had hope. Ammie would be drowsy most of the time. I would go and stand next to her, put my hand on the place where I assumed the hematoma existed and I would recite a verse that Prophet Muhammad would recite for any one who was ill. “Azhab al bas a rabbun naas a washfi anta shaafi…” I had never felt within me what I felt while I read the verses. A connection, a link, definitely something.

The symptoms instead of spreading suddenly started to improve. My brave, strong willed mother started making another comeback. Her blood pressure and renal activity improved. Once again she was moving towards stability. The doctors were amazed, as this was the third time that she started recovering. But they were still not very hopeful, maybe due to their experience, maybe her stay in the ICU had been too long because of which they knew complete recovery was impossible.

Ammie started waking up for short durations, but would not be interested in anything. She would not respond to the nurses or to the doctors. But when I would go to visit her, and when I asked her if she had pain anywhere, she would tell me by the action of her hand that yes there was some uneasiness. With lip movement she would try to communicate with me. I would call her and she would respond by moving her head in my direction…I held her hand…talked to her…told her she was just fine…

The ICU incharge had observed, so she called me outside one day and told me to stay with her as much as I could. She said, your mother does not like any of us, because she’s not responding to us, but I have seen that spark in her eyes when u are there…she likes u…bring her back…talk to her …we don’t know how long she is with us…give her all that u can…

My hopes were high, I still can’t understand why. This was just the day before she passed away. I stayed with her the entire day…tried my best…but then there was a meeting with the doctors…so I had to leave her bedside for sometime. I was very tired…but hunger, tiredness, sleep …nothing mattered…I don’t know where I got all the energy that I had….to keep standing the entire day…maybe faith, hope and wish for some miracle kept me going…

But anyways, Ammie was conscious when I left her. I told her not to worry, I’ll come back in a while after speaking to the doctors. I asked her if I could go and she nodded…and the doctors believed she was not responding…but I spoke to her, she responded to me…anyways…

But when I came back, I just wished I had not gone…her eyes were frozen!…she was unable to close them….i cannot forget the look in her eyes…it was so painful and sad…it felt she could hear me but could not respond… The nurse suggested to put an eye patch made out of cotton without which the eyes would become dry. Ammie was very uncomfortable; her tongue was constantly moving as if she was trying to say something. I tried to understand but it was extremely difficult… I spoke to her…I could feel that she could hear me…I could not stand it and I removed the eye patch because it gave me a very bad feeling…

I tried to speak to her, and I felt she was trying to tell me something…she would move her hand, then her hand would drop as if she had given up…then she would start again…

I then held her hand and started speaking gently to her. Although at that moment I just wanted to cry out loud, but I forced myself to keep calm…and I talked and talked. I spoke of all the fears that my mother could have regarding home, Abbu, my youngest sister…I tried to convince her that they were all doing well…and that they were all prepared…I tried to convince her that we have learned to go on without her…that she need not worry about us….I told her we will all be fine, and I don’t know why I asked her to close her eyes…although her eyes were as still as a stone…and nurses felt they would become dry if they were left uncovered, but tears fell from them as I spoke. And then all of a sudden, it felt as if she was calm. She stopped moving her tongue and lips, as if all her questions were answered, and that she had nothing to ask, and she gradually closed her eyes! My sisters had also gathered around her bed and they were all reciting Ya Sin. I could actually see her heart rate fall on the monitor. Slowly and gradually her soul departed.

I had lost. I could not do anything to save her…When we were bringing her to the hospital two months ago, then also I had convinced her that she will soon be fine…Every day I would give updates to my father regarding what the doctor said about her progress…I would try to convince him that there was improvement and that she’ll recover soon…I was wrong!! Now that she was gone, I was wondering how I would face my father, what I would tell him now…Here I was, standing right next to her….

But Abbu is a man of wisdom…he already had a fairly good idea of where Ammie was heading to…

 I reached home with Ammie….i had always imagined we would do a get together when she gets better. But this homecoming was different…I was greeted by my weeping father, who hugged me and said “You were so brave baita…” Tears ran down my cheeks…but I controlled myself…I was really being brave…

All this while, I kept on thinking…we prayed so hard…everyone did…yasalaamo, Ya Sin, Surah Rehman…what not…but Allah did not respond to us…why?!! Does He really answer our prayers? He is ‘Sami-ud-Dua’ no doubt i.e he hears us, but does He answer our prayers? He did not respond to our prayers. My mind kept on asking questions. What’s the use of a life where one would pray to Allah for something, but that which has to happen will happen? Then what is the purpose of Dua? Why should we lead a life which is full of sorrows, pain and misery? Why not run away maybe into a jungle…like Buddha? Was Allah trying to punish us for something? Or was He trying out Ammie’s patience…but why her…she was good even to those who had hurt her. Infact she would not even let us say anything bad to such people. She would sometimes point out the good qualities of those people and would sometimes go as far as giving justification for the bad that was done to her. So why would Allah give her so much pain?

After a lot of thinking, certain things dawned upon me. My paradigm started shifting…..



  1. i know i m reading this blog after a long time. But when i read this piece of urz i had tears in my eyes. May Allah bless ur mother and we all take our mother for granted. Mothers are the most bautiful thing on earth

    • Thanks for reading Ashar 🙂

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