A Tribute to My Beloved Mother:
MY Project USA Is My Mother's Legacy!
I Hope To Send Gifts To Her Everyday Through My Work Here
It is bittersweet to lose my mother on the last day of Ramadan. I am deeply saddened by her physical separation from me, but I am genuinely happy for her. She was surrounded by her loved ones for 13 days in Ramadan. We held her hands throughout this period and read Quran to her. She was visited by her loved ones physically and virtually in that period. People prayed for her across the globe on the most blessed days and nights of Ramadan. She gathered all of that and took off on the most blessed last day of Ramadan and was buried before the sunset. What a beautiful way to die and leave this World!
Dying in Ramadan is an honor and basically, a ticket to enter Heaven as the doors of Hell are closed in this month, according to the Islamic belief. God, the Most Merciful and the Most Just, grants this honor to those who earn it. As I look at my mother’s life, I have no doubt in my mind that she had earned it with bright colors. She was an amazingly sincere, generous, hardworking, compassionate, and loving mother, aunt, sister, and more at a personal level. She was a visionary, a fighter, a fierce advocate, and an organizer at the community level. Everything that I do today in my role as a community leader came from her. She took that road and showed me that it could be done even if you have nothing in your hands.
Widowed at the age of 56 with teenage sons, my mother worked extremely hard to provide for her young sons while investing in the community. Before starting her catering business in Raleigh, NC, she started cooking biryani for 200-300 people every Friday to raise money for the Al-Iman School in 1995. She would cook, pack, and sell the biryani in the mosque. It was a lot of work and a huge commitment. She did that for 11 years. Hundreds of kids attended the school in the meantime. My mother became “Nani Jan” (grandma) to many of them for Friday food and they benefitted from her contributions to the school as well.
In addition to her contribution to the school, she stood, walked, and worked hard to support dozens of other causes, people, and organizations. MY Project USA was one of her top priorities in the last five years. She contributed in many ways but most importantly by raising money for the organization when we did not have much support in the community. My mother would take it upon herself to provide us with basic supplies and incidentals needed to support a youth activity or a dinner. She made sure to make MY Project USA a part of her legacy.
May Allah ta'ala make each and every client/student served by these organizations a sadaqa jariyah (continued charity) for her. May He immensely reward her and elevate her to the highest levels of Heaven. Indeed, she was one of a kind and will be missed dearly. I lost not only my mother last week, but our organization has lost a passionate donor, a dedicated volunteer, and a fierce advocate. We lost her prayers and her energized upbeat presence. An irreplaceable loss for me and the organization.
On this blessed Friday, I ask you to keep her in your prayers. Please recite Fatiha for her. If you can, please donate in her memory here. I started this fundraiser not knowing that she will leave before we would conclude it. It has now become a memorial for her. May God accept it from her.
I am deeply saddened by this separation, but I am proud and humbled for being her daughter. What an incredible life she lived! What a graceful, blessed death she had! I am utterly in awe!
May God help me send gifts of good deeds to both of my parents everyday through my work at MY Project USA. Ameen.
In Solidarity with Youth & Families,
Founder & Executive Director,
MY Project USA