Saturday, November 24, 2007

Wisdoms of My Nanni Jaan


Assalamu'alaykum wa Rahmatullah wa Barakatuhu,

I often share with Salik the wisdoms of my late Nanni Jaan (maternal grandmother), Allah have mercy on her. Each time I tell him a story of her his face lights up and he says he grows increasingly fond of her.

Nanni was a wise woman with a profound natural insight into the reality of things, and being well-educated in both Persian & Urdu, gave her the unique ability to express herself masterfully in a few chosen words. An inspiration to me, she was someone who without much formal Islamic learning (other than her own reading), lived Islam and was quite advanced spiritually. Much to her father's dismay, she gave up her many riches to help members of my Nanna Ji's (maternal grandfather) family get married and helped countless strangers, letting them into her home and nursing them back to health when they were ill and alone. She taught countless people to read Qur'an, and would herself complete one full reading at least once a month, and fasted Ramadan right up until she was 85 and suffered two strokes a year before passing on. Anyone who knew her, knew that she truly understood that the next life was better than this life -- she was indeed a salikah who lived in accordance to the saying of Isa (peace be upon him), "this life is a bridge...cross over it, but do not build your house upon it".

I thought I would share a few her sayings here (she spoke to all of us in Punjabi - and much is lost in translation, but insha'Allah, khayr):

Upon seeing a elderly person eating a large amount of food heedlessly, she would smile and say,
"oh ho, becharay da rizq anah likhaya hai, tai zindagi anih thori ragi hai"
"oh, the poor soul: he has so much sustenance alloted to him,
and so little of age left [to consume it]".

About prayer on time:
"valay di namaz, qavalay diyanh takranh"
"on time it is prayer, when late it is
merely the banging of one's head against the ground".

On behaving with the best of character:
"banda karay bandagi tai banda, nai teh ganday nalonh vi ganda"
"If man behaves humanely, he is a man, otherwise he is filthier than the filthy."
Upon seeing a person in their youth mistreat an elder, she would look sad and remark:
"Andah vaqt hai"
"It is her time [to be in power right now]".
When viewing a body of water such as an ocean or a lake, she would observe the shore and say:
"Vehkhya, ay jira pani hai, anoo Allah nai jithai takh ijazat diti hai, othay takh anda tai fehr jithai Allah the hukm onoo rok da hai, othonh oh vapus chala janda hai"
"You see this water. Up until where Allah has given it permission to come, it comes, and then where the order of Allah is to stop, it goes back".
Please make a fatiha for her.


  1. Subhan Allah. Wisdom of the ancients indeed.

  2. Irving Karchmar9:37 AM

    What beauty and wisdom! I love Nanni Jaan :) Inshallah, you will collect her life and wisdom in a book one day.

    May Allah bless her beautiful soul and raise to the first ranks of His beloveds. Ameen.

    Ya Haqq!

  3. Abu Hudayr1:44 PM

    assalaamu 'alykum,

    truly it is their duas and wisdom that have filled our spiritual voids in ways we dont imagine...subhanAllah!

    I too miss my grandparents! Please include them in your prayers.

    Without their presence the suluk seems alot more difficult ahead.
    Ya Lateef!

  4. What a beautiful blog dear Salikah! May Allah increase you in all ways. I'm a sister from Mauritania and the post about your grandma reminded me so much of my own grandma, may their souls rests in peace! God bless you & don't know how to convey the love I feel for you and all the good people mentionned in your blog! If you have a moment you can check out my blog at :