Akeel Rashid

Eulogy: Nani, you were a shining light in our lives in so many ways.

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We (your grandchildren) can never repay what you have done for us

As I start writing this eulogy, I struggle to find the right words, and I am entirely sure that I could not fathom the words required to do this eulogy justice. However, here’s my humble attempt to pay a tribute to my grandmother.

Whenever she was free, you would find her quietly absorbed in thoughts. Whenever she was working – in the kitchen garden or cleaning and prepping vegetables – you would find her completely focused. Whenever she met people, strangers as well as family and friends, she would treat them with love and kindness. She would include everyone in her prayers and good wishes. She was generous and big-hearted to all (particularly her children, grandchildren, and their children) in many ways. She always believed that children are best raised by care and warmth rather than control. She was soft and sweet. I never saw her frustrated, I never saw her angry, I never heard her shout. She was full of life. She was mindful and deliberate in her love. She showered everyone in practical abundance. She taught me nothing about work and earning money, but everything about working hard and saving money. It was hard not to feel special around her. She cared for and supported three generations of her family (sons, daughters and their children, and their children) in everything they did. She made an indelible mark on the lives of many people, who knew her, with her warmth and unfailing positivity. These were among the many attributes of my late grandmother’s (Bakhti Begum Wife of Ghulam Nabi Naseem) personality, who passed away on November 22. Today, I realize it’s because of these peculiarities my Nani endured personal sacrifices, pushed through life overcoming great challenges.

She lived the life of an empowered successful woman who knew the needs of her family members better than they did. As a widow, with no husband to represent her property rights, my Nani managed to act as head of the household for most of her life. And nobody ever doubted her ability to run the household and make sound decisions. When it came to maintaining a budget and keeping track of expenses, we all knew that nobody could do that better than Nani. She would always act to unite the family members and bring much needed calm and reconciliation. She would never say anything that causes anyone to despise other people or commit acts that he/she wouldn’t be inclined to commit anyway.

My Nani was a great supporter of education and made sure each child in her family is encouraged and supported to receive a quality education. Whenever she had to invoke the importance of education to her grandchildren, she would quote her husband, “I would pour my blood into the inkpots of my children to make sure they study.” And she did everything to promote this thought to instil a love of education in her grandchildren. My education was Nani’s top priority. When she came to know that I got a job in a newspaper, she was happy about it but at the same time encouraged me to continue my studies.

Nani, we (your grandchildren) can never repay what you have done for us. You showed us how to be tolerant and kind. You made us feel safe, valued and special by your presence, and your absence leaves us bereft. Nani, you were a shining light in our lives in so many ways. We will greatly miss your encouragement, your benevolence, and your prayers. I’ll personally miss your sweet habit of asking me, “Had I eaten anything?”

May Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) make you legacy of loving and caring to be a legacy that is carried for generations to come. May Allah grant you firdous.


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