This must indeed have been a very special lady for her to be remembered in this way around the world.
From granddaughter of deceased Shafirran Khan (Jordan):
“My dear grandmother was a hard working lady, who knew how to step on her nafs and get to work. She was planting rice in the rice field when she went into labour with her first child. She went home, gave birth and then tied the baby on her back the next day and went back to work. Her friends exclaimed “We didn’t know you were expecting!”. She used to tell us this story when we were little and would laugh at the memory.
She was a sweet soft spoken lady whose job later on in life was running a small parlour attached to a part of her house. Every day she would meet customers, giving them words of advice and share her optimism and good opinion of Allah. She was a light to all who knew her. She worked doing this until she became bed ridden two months ago, at almost 83 years old. Around the age of (60?), she started losing sight in one of her eyes due to a cataract. I remember her telling me her biggest lament about it was that she feared that she would not be able to keep up reading her juz of Quran every single day. That year for Ramadan however, she started reading two juz a day and thereafter doubled in what she was doing. She marveled that tawfeeq was from Allah and not necessarily in the means we were given. As she aged and her strength and eyesight weakened, she found her ability to read the Quran increased until it became her joy and companion. During her illness last Ramadan, she was reading ten ajza a day and doing a khatm every three days! SubhanAllah! She buried her parents, husband, brothers and sisters and even her son. Yet still she found no grief in her heart. Instead she would say to me in her broken Trinidadian dialect “Well, chile, what you go do? Allah is in control.”
Last year when the scans revealed secondary tumors in her brain and the doctors gave her three months left to live, she gave the same response. We kept asking her if she was in pain and she would always have the same response “No pain, alhamdulillah”. The doctors were baffled that she had no pain and kept saying “How strange!” My mother would tell me, it is because the Quran is her companion, so she has no grief nor pain.
Two years ago when she was still healthy and going strong, I was leaving Trinidad and was about to bid her farewell when she put one hand on my shoulder and said with a smile to me “Come, I want to tell you something before you leave, a secret. For I do not know if we shall meet again”. She asked me if I was reading the Quran and I mumbled a yes-I-need-to-read-more response. She leaned in close to me and whispered ‘Well I will tell you something. The Quran has the answer to every problem and it is the solution to every trial. Every need I have, that comes in my heart, Allah fulfills it before I can even turn the page of my Quran, even something small such as a longing to see someone or a wish to eat something. Allah just sends it! So make the Quran your companion”
Last year, I had the opportunity to see her another time, a last time alhamdulillah, and for my children to all sit with her. She told them this story:
“When I was about ten years old, I was reading Quran on my bed by the light of a kerosene lamp when the lamp fell on my bed and engulfed the whole bed in flames. I remember my father rushing into the room and picking me up and trying to put out the fire. They were amazed upon examining me that the fire had burnt a circle right around me and had not burnt any of my clothes or any pages of the mushaf I was holding. They kept saying how could it be! How could it be!”
My grandmother went on to tell my children that this was the reality of Allah’s words and the power and magnitude of it was that- it would be a shield for them in this world and in the next life. This is all amazing given that she did not understand or speak any Arabic at all! It was simply her yaqin and love that these were the words of Allah Himself!
Given her sickness, my grandmother still kept increasing in her works. This was in addition to her working 8 hrs a day in her eighties and reading all the masnoon surahs, duas and all her nafl prayers of tahajjud, ishraq, dhuhu, awabeen and saltul tasbeeh every day. These had just become part of her life since the last 30 years alhamdulillah.
Many of my family members inspired by her works, had resolved since her illness to increase in more works as she became bed ridden. One of my aunts started multiple Quran Khatm groups on whatsapp to encourage more istiqama in the quran, where groups of ten ladies each read one juz every day so that together, they would be able to do one khatm in three days while subsequently perform their own khatm in one month. SubhanAllah, what one person was doing, our hope was that ten of us can try to share, and continue in her footsteps.
Allah blessed her and chose her to be of those worthy to recite His words. She was from ahl Quran. May her reciting be her beautiful companion now in her resting place and her noor on the Day of Judgement and her Intercessor. And what better intercessor than Allah’s speech itself! By the days and nights that she spent with it and the solace she found in it, she will surely find what she sent forth!
May Allah bless her, forgive her and elevate her maqam and make her grave spacious and a garden from the gardens of Jannah. May the reality of the power, beauty and magnitude of the Quran dawn on our hearts and may it also be our beloved companion in our final place of rest.”