The loss of a parent is unbearable.
The loss of a father to a daughter is indescribable. So many emotions tug at the heart, mind, and soul when a child suddenly loses a parent.
A terminal diagnosis, eight weeks to live, and a return to Him in 9 weeks meant there was not enough time to do all the good I wanted to do for my father. He lived a life of dedication — to his widowed mother, to his own family, to his community, and his faith.
His faith never wavered — not even when he was told he would not live past age 63. His response, “Our Beloved Prophet did not live past the age of 62, why should I live longer?” His birthday, the same reported date of death of our Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace. To say everything in my father’s life was inspired by Islam and by Prophetic Tradition would be an understatement. How, then, for a man who lived his life so righteously could I, “a work in progress,” do anything that would uplift his status after death?
I’ve spent almost two decades working in marketing and branding, and I’ve been blessed to use the power of marketing for good the last handful of years. But it wasn’t until I joined Zakat Foundation of America that I realized this is what it means to be a part of something bigger than yourself. This is the feeling people have when their heart and soul are connected to their work. This is what it is to seamlessly belong with no apparent gaps or spaces between one part of me and the next. This is where I can dedicate my life and make my father proud, in sha Allah. This is where I can uplift his legacy.
It is reported that Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace said,
The best that he can leave behind after his death are three things: a righteous child who makes du'a for him, an ongoing sadaqah whose rewards continue to reach him, and a knowledge that continues to be implemented after him” (Muslim).
My duas will forever remain with him. The knowledge he gave me will forever be used for good. And now, through the dedication of a water pump, this Sadaqah Jariyah means the blessings will continue to flow for him even after his passing, in sha Allah. The peace I’ve found building this water source in his name has brought me immense joy. I close my eyes and see his name on his water pump and imagine the villagers making dua for him every time they fetch water.
I then imagine the blessings flow to him and am reminded of a hadith “Allah will raise the rank of a righteous person in paradise. The righteous person will ask in amazement, ‘O Lord! Where has this come from?’ Allah will respond, ‘This is a result of your child’s supplication for you.’ ” Upon receiving the reward, I pray my father’s heart swells with joy and that he knows he has left behind a daughter who misses him dearly.
I pray every day that I can dedicate my life as he did.
– Amna Mirza
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In 2022, 91¢ from each dollar donated went directly toward programs serving those in need. 4¢ went to administrative costs & 5¢ went to fundraising costs.