Silence in the hospital was broken by cries of pain; deep unbearable pain. Rehma was brought to the hospital in labor. The pain was unbearable. Her husband wiped sweat off her forehead as she waited to be admitted. Doctor examined her and was quick to take her to the labor ward. The baby would be here any minute. Any minute? It seemed like ages.
Unlike her first pregnancy this pregnancy had been tough. It was not the pregnancy symptoms which made her life tough. It was cough. Yes! Cough. Being pregnant she wasn’t prescribed strong medicines and it made things worst.
She had promised herself that she would take great care of her unborn child. She had planned a list of things to do once she was pregnant.
- Go on a morning walk.
- Pray more voluntary prayers
- Recite Quran daily after fajr
- Eat healthy balanced food. (no junk)
- Spend more time with elder son, helping him memorize
Alas, now she could do none of it with her deep coughs. While walking -Where could she vomit? Forget the nafil (voluntary) prayers, she found it difficult to utter surat ul fatiha (opening chapter of quran) in fard (obligatory prayer). Getting something on the plate for her family to eat was her biggest challenge of the day. And her poor son, she could do nothing more than to smile with difficulty. This adversity could purify her – this was her only consolation.
Cough would start somewhere deep within and wouldn’t stop until she had very hot water! This cough wouldn’t let her sleep or eat well. It made sure that she vomited what little she ate. And at its peak won’t let Rehma utter a word. Due to this she didn’t even go out. It always occupied her thoughts and made her sad.
She remembered the days when she was free and healthy. How she had wasted time doing nothing -sitting on her cozy chair reading jokes and eating cookies. It never occurred to her that situation would change. She wondered why she hadn’t used her time wisely. She remembered her friend whom she had visited at a clinic. Ironically, she pitied her family more who was in inconvenience due to their daughter’s illness. She had thought, “Wow while she rests in bed her family spoils her.” How silly was she?
Amidst coughs with a clove in her mouth she prayed, “Make me strong to take care of my family.” Her cough had gone in the final trimester. But it had positioned baby too low. Being active could result in premature birth. She wondered if this is how her old age would be ? Would she be left with unfulfilled desires?
Now in hospital, amidst pain she wondered why did she ever opt to have one more baby? Wasn’t one she had enough? Will the pagans of death be like this? At next contraction, she wondered whether she would survive this. Her husband was in hurry to see his unborn child. If it was possible she could have transferred him some of her pain. A impossible task indeed. She wondered how would she carry her load of sins on day of resurrection. Who would help her carry that? She begged for forgiveness from Allah.
Within seconds the baby was born. Alhamdhulilah, sweetest sound then was hearing her baby cry. The happiness she felt as she suckled her baby cannot be put in words. With tears of happiness she prayed, “Yah Gaffar! Forgive me for being ungrateful. I had not spent my time, money, youth, health or my life so far in a way that best pleases you. What I had done is very little. I am glad that you’ve helped me realize my error. Yah Allah! Help me improve. Keep me healthy to raise my kids so as to please you. Bless me in my time, health and wealth. Let me not die with your displeasure. Guide me. Ameen.”
Now she didn’t wait for her kid to grow to do something good. She listened more often to Quran recitation. She was surprised to see her elder son memorize Quran in fast pace. She shunned wasting time on unnecessary long phone calls and useless channels. She started taking on line Quran tafseer classes too. To her friends she sent small messages about what she had learnt. Every day she woke up with renewed energy to learn something new.
But her most cherished moments were seeing her kids trying to rectify her Quran recitation. She wishes to have many more such kids. It’s the mercy of Allah that women forget this pain. Likewise, in Heaven we will forget all the pain and toil of this world.
LETS STRAIN FOR A BETTER HEREAFTER (Akhirah)