By Bilal Ali Ansari
It is January 3rd, 2023 (10th of Jumada al-Thani, 1444 AH). Mortality’s cloud has obscured a peerless source of compassion and service from our eyes. For seventy-six years, this archetype of feminine virtue illuminated the world with her blazing light. Now a sizable crowd patiently waits under dark skies and a cold, steady rain as her body’s final resting place is prepared. It is shortly after noon, but the sun is hidden behind gray clouds. The mood, like the sky, is deservingly dreary.
Mawlana Ahsan Syed, waiting amongst a closely huddled mass of men, reminds me in his distinctively gentle tone of the spectacle we witnessed fifteen years ago, when Shaykh al-Hadith Mawlana Muhammad Naeem (or Abba Ji), the father-in-law of the now deceased, had his own funeral. Mawlana Ahsan refers to the scene of hundreds of worshippers clothed in sunnahdress marching towards the cemetery, braving heat and scorching sun, only to be met with torrential rain, moments after the last handful of dirt was placed on his grave. I am reminded of the reflections I composed about that day: taking a lesson from the sky’s furious complaint, witnessing the signs in the heavens, and the sinking reminder to appreciate a worthy soul before they depart from this world.1Continue reading