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May 8, 2005

A Tribute to Umm Kamran


“Every day is Mother’s Day”
–cheesy yet profoundly true statement we’ve been hearing all our lives


As we witness another Mother’s Day, many pass it off as yet another commercialized holiday that we shouldn’t think twice about. I couldn’t agree more… however, there is something to be said about this particular first Sunday in May, since it reminds me about how woefully inadequate I’ve been in fulfilling my duties and responsibility to my ammi for being my mother. I’m woefully pathetic in a lot of things, but I feel even more rotten inside about this particular failure of mine.


Everyone loves their mothers and thinks that their mom is the greatest woman in the world. I completely agree… but I would have to add that for those of you who know my mom, you know there’s something special about her. Considering what she’s been through, how she overcame that, how she single-handedly raised my brother and me (as Tupac said, “tryin’ to raise two bad kids on your own…”), and how she’s so damn cool… she is truly special. This post is a tribute to the greatest woman in my life.



kr and Umm kr in Istanbul Airport on the way to Hajj, Jan 2003


The coolest thing about my mom is that she’s so cool. She’s hilarious, using words that she hears in slang, and never hesitating to make fun of me… especially in front of other people. Ask Kazim, who would tag team with my mom for many kr-rip sessions during my undergrad years. I usually make fun of her too, thinking I can match her, but she always outdoes me. For example, I call her Ammi or Umm Kamran, and the first time I used the second term, she was like, “I’d rather be called Umm Rehan than Umm Kamran.” I’d also tease her about her greatest achivement of her life being the fact that she gave birth to me… one day she had had enough, so when I uttered it at the breakfast table as she had just finished opening a jar of jam, so she said, “Yeah, I think it ranks up there right after my achievement of opening this jar of jam.”


My mom was (and still is, Mashallah) a total stud-ess as she was growing up, excelling in everything that she out to do. She not only was a genius in school, but she used to sing competitively and won a bunch of medals for badminton, handball, and even basketball… (I think that’s where Rehan got the basketball genes from). She graduated amongst the elite of her medical class at the tender age of 21, getting a gold medal in ophthalmology (though she never went into it… I think that’s why I want to go into it) and started working as a resident in internal medicine and endocrinology at Cook County Hospital in the 70’s.  She works full-time now, yet still has the time to crank out amazing and fresh food daily (I rarely have to eat leftovers).



Umm kr as a resident


She got married in 1978, and 3 years later, gave birth to kr, which, even though she may not admit it, was the greatest achievement of her life:



awww…



why am i dressed in pink?


Three years later, my staller-brother was born. He and I were the most batameez and shareer kids ever… thankfully, Rehan outgrew that… I’m still working on it.




We’re supposed to be making du’a, but Rehan decided to stick his tongue at the camera instead.


In addition to being blessed with an amazing ammi, I feel that I’m even more blessed than most other people in that I haven’t just been given one ammi, I’ve been given three ammis. My mom’s two older sisters, whom we call “Papu” and “Aunty” (I know, its generic, but thats what I called her when I was little and it stuck) have done so much for me and my brother that I can’t even begin to mention as I fear I won’t remember even a fraction of their service. Aunty was probably my first shaykhah (teacher), as I apparently learned Surah Fatiha and other small surahs like Surah Kawthar from her. She even completed the teaching of the Qur’an to my brother who used to learn how to read the Qur’an with Mawlana Abdur-Rahman Saleem (“AR”… hafidhahullah)… but then AR had an accident that left him in the hospital, so the remaining 10 juz that Rehan had, Aunty finished it with Rehan. In short, they’ve been more than khaalas (aunts) to me; they’ve been like second mothers, and in a way, even more than that.



Papu and Aunty


I know that I’ve been blessed beyond what I deserve by Allah placing these three beautiful, noble, compassionate women in my life. There are no numbers to quantify the debt I owe them, and even if the grains of sand in the Saharan Desert were words, I would not have enough words to sing their praises and ennumerate my love for them. While most people recognize Mother’s Day, I celebrate Mothers’ Day.


Despite all that my mom has achieved, all that she has been given, all the good that she has done, all the beautiful characteristics that she has… I feel terribly sorry, that in the end, God gave her a son like me. When I think about her, I can’t express how I feel or how I can even attempt to pay her back by bringing her happiness. The only thing I can do is try.


Then I see you standing there, wanting more from me, all I can do is try…
Then I see you standing there, I’m all I’ll ever be, but all I can do is try….


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21 Comments
  1. Anonymous permalink

    i dint read this post either…
    but i saw a pic of ur ama…and i give my UTMOST in respect and love to ur ama and to all the amas out there…
    *bows head and thrusts fist in the air*
    forever yours…
    nigger-ul-haq

  2. I always wanted to use this:*Stands up and Applauds*Not cause you wrote a good post, but because your mom and aunts deserve it. They truly are some of the most Aunties I know and I’m honored that they consider me the 3rd son in the family.Compared to your mom and aunts, you suck KR. Me and Imran need to come by and do another rip session with your mom about you to put you back in your place. Maybe after you finish your boards.

  3. Anonymous permalink

    Rehan is definitely the studlier one.
    My ummi says the same thing every time: Every Day is Ummi’s Day.

  4. Your brother in his younger years looks like this kid in some Indian movie I saw way back one…yeah i agree Hisham bhai, Rehan is def the studlier one.Anyways, good post mashAllah. Your mom and aunts are super-cool and to add to the glory, they’re Bangalori as well…i remember they came to IIE once and when I heard them speak Urdu, i was completely blown away and was compelled to reflect for a moment upon our shared and highly distinguised Deccan roots…”kiya bolthee so?” haha…

  5. Props to Umm Kamran and Khalataa Kamran (the two aunts of Kamran) for raising two of the studliest young men in chitown….this tribute alone is a testiment to kr’s love and dedication to them…may we all receive the paradise that is under their feet…Ameen.

  6. mash’Allah, awesome post bro…may Allah (swt) bless you and your ammi (and khaalas) always…truly ammas are the greatest people in the world and we can never fully realize what they go through to raise us and how much they love us

  7. Anonymous permalink

    Mashallah, may Allah be pleased with your aunties and your mother.
    Mashallah you were a very cute kid, what the hell happened?
    Hehe, but you have nice stubble.

  8. Anonymous permalink

    Pink, eh? Surpringly suiting.

  9. one thing that fobs do that is killer, they dress up their babies in the opposite genders clothing, and often times color. I swear by God I couldn’t tell that some of my baby cuzins were girls cuz I she was dressed up like a boy…And to your comment from my site kr, you are definately the hott one, but the ladies *baby quadri* dint seem to like you too much.peaceMUhi

  10. mashAllah
    may Allah give you and your family the best of both worlds.

  11. I like Rehan.

  12. may ALlah bless your mom and aunts w/ best in this world and the hereafter.

  13. Masha’Allah, awesome post!

  14. mashaAllah moms are truely blessings for us.

  15. nowadays good inspiration is hard to find / so thanks for the words for my poem’s last line
    -IJB

  16. these props are for your mother and aunts.  hafidhahunnaAllah

  17. Love the baby squirrel pictures! 

  18. As salam alaikum

  19. Anonymous permalink

    Im gonna smoke a doobie w/ ur mom.

  20. salaam
    mashallah nice post bro, we gotta give it to our mothers

  21. wow mashAllah !!!
    May Allah(SWT) preserve ALL our Parents Ameen!

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