All praises and thanks be to Allah SWT. Abundant salutations be upon His and our beloved SAW.

Thursday the 9th of November 2017 was a sad day for Cape Town, as it witnessed the passing of esteemed Sheikh, Imaam, father, grandfather and husband, amongst other roles. The very earth surely cried at his passing.

I encountered Sheikh Moosa, rahmatullahi alayhi, as a student of JEQ, as he always came to the hifdh completions and tamats, unless he was too ill to come. Whenever he joined the gathering, us girls would always be like “awwww he’s so cute.” (In a very old man’s type of adorableness; don’t get the wrong idea.) He was short and thin, and a little hunched over and walked with a stick. In his capacity as the President of the Board of JEQ, I remember Sheikh Moosa always making du’a for us students, especially for pious husbands for us, which I always appreciated and said “Aameen!” to.

However, this post isn’t about Sheikh Moosa, as I don’t have the right nor honour of writing about him.

I don’t know what happens in other parts of the world, but in Cape Town, both men and women go to the house of the mayyit (deceased person). Then they say a few words and make du’a for the deceased along with salawaat and/or a short thikr. The men then proceed to the masjid to perform salaatul janaazah, then go to the graveyard, while the women remain behind at the house. And what do they do? Have tea and talk. (Usually).

So Aunty Hajir Bawa always comes with her mic and speaker and starts a thikr. She said she understands that we haven’t seen each in a long time, but got everyone to quieten down and listen to her. She offered words of advice and urged the women to study deen, especially so that they can teach their children. She said that the men go off and the women remain behind and may not know what goes on. So she explained what happens at the qabr and translated parts of the talqeen, the sermon that is delivered to the deceased. And then the questioning in the grave.

This is how Aunty Hajir prevents a janāzah from turning into a tea party. In the most beautiful way.

I hope to be like Aunty Hajir when I’m far older, and be that person who brings spiritual productivity to the place, InShaAllah.