Healing Power of the Quran
Where there is pain, one can also find healing and growth.
The day my father died my house was filled with people, mostly neighbors and family friends. They sat in a circle on a sheet, which was spread out on the floor of our living room to accommodate their number; and recited verses from the holy Quran. Afterwards, they prayed for forgiveness and an easy passage to the hereafter for my father’s soul. Since then, this ritual has been repeated yearly in our family home. Children from madrasas (schools, with mostly poor children, where Quran and other Islamic tenets are taught) are invited to join my family to recite from the Quran; sheets are spread out on the floor of our living room to make space for them to sit; and prayers are made to send blessings to my father’s soul, that it may find its final abode in Jannah (heaven).
Till the time I lived in Delhi with my mom, I deliberately avoided joining in or being present when this recitation was taking place. I would make up excuses of student projects and deadline and stay out till late. My absence gave the impression that I did not care and sometimes upset my mom who perhaps needed me by her side. The truth is, my father’s sudden death when he was 58 had shaken me to the core.
I did not have it in me to witness a ritual, the sounds and visuals of which, so strikingly reminded me of the day he died.
My father was my rock, he was the ground beneath my feet on which I dug my roots, and he was the roof on my head under whose shelter I grew protected from the fiery elements. As the days passed, all that I had felt on his death, the vulnerability, the sense of insecurity, and the shock, went into a freeze somewhere inside me as I continued moving on in life. To me, the group recitation on his death anniversary seemed like an exhausting practice which thawed raw emotions and did nothing but threaten to pull me down. I failed to understand that why would anyone bring it upon themselves.
This is not to say I did not remember my father. I did. I cherished each and every loving moment I spent with him. But I tried not to dwell on his death. When I thought of him I thought of the good times spent together and the way he used to encourage and guide me. This was good, except that, I still woke up on occasional nights, after some nightmare I could never recall, calling out for him. And my migraines worsened.