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  • Writer's pictureRaghad Bushnaq

My Grandfather's Dewan

When the family used to take a nap after lunch, my grandfather used to sit in his corner in the living room holding his beaded subha in such tranquility and serenity. The eyes of the little girl I was couldn’t comprehend the aura and the light around him, nor could she know the source of it. Was it the afternoon sun or a light coming from within that pious man?

My grandfather had two thikr sessions every day, one after Fajr and one in the afternoon after Asr time.

As for the morning thikr session, I was never able to witness it because it took place in the masjid after prayer time, although my mother said that my grandfather often used to carry me in his hands and head to the masjid at dawn because of my continuous crying. Once I would calm down and fall into a deep sleep, he would bring me back home. I was a few months old at that time. It was as if his state of tranquility was contagious.

He used to spend the second thikr session at his peaceful and delightful home. This state was reflected on all of the family members whom I’ve never once seen use a loud tone or say anything negative about anyone.

My grandfather was a pious man, he had a long journey in his righteous path that we didn’t know about mostly until after his death.

My grandmother told us that the plants that surrounded their house in the garden died after my grandfather passed away and was buried. She connected the cause of their death to his passing away because his thikr sessions used to nourish the plants.

On one of those bright afternoons, I was playing in front of him while he was sitting in the same corner on his dewan saying his thikr. As a habit of children when they are happy, I got loud somehow, and my loud noises interrupted his connection to Allah. I remember he nodded at me with a face full of affection. I looked at him only to see a calm smile which filled my heart with love, mercy, kindness, and compassion; he continued his thikr. I kept shyly stealing glances at him while I was playing. I don’t remember if he was wearing a white outfit from head to toe that day, but I do remember that he was surrounded with a glamorous, luminous aura. I have never forgotten until now the way he looked that day. In fact, that is the only way I remember him.

This pious man has left an inspiring imprint in the heart of that little girl who was pure before the worries and problems of this fast-paced life laid its heaviness and burdens on her life. This imprint became the sanctuary and protection that I run to whenever I fall into a tribulation to find peace, security, and tranquility.

Thiker: a continuous mentioning of Allah’s name

Dewan: a damascene styled sitting sofa

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