“There are three sins, whoever dies free of these sins will be forgiven for anything else if Allah wills: associating anything with Allah; practicing magic or witchcraft; and bearing resentment towards his brother.”

Marz and I got into a heated argument once after she had broken a house rule. I gave her a lecture and she apologised. That should have been that… but it wasn’t. The incident continued to rankle me, so much so that I gave her the business end of a hissy fit long after.

“Ummi?” she said later.

“Yes?” I said, sounding as cold and aloof as I could possibly manage.

“Hmmm… why are you talking like that? Are you mad at me?”

“Yes,” I replied curtly, dismissing her with a withering tone and look.


Her tone was one of pure incredulity. Bless her pure soul, she could not fathom why anyone would continue to harbour resentment when an issue is said and done.

Indeed, why would anyone? I realised then how petty I was (am…) and how, with me, forgiveness is a long-drawn process with accusations and resentment along the way and conditions and clauses to boot.

With my daughter, however, these issues are uncomplicated. She pardons a wrong quite effortlessly in general, gets over things and moves right on along. I think it is the same with most children unless adults teach them otherwise.

We are told in the Qur’an: “And remind, for indeed, the reminder benefits the believers.” (Surah Adh-Dhaariyaat: 55) I am quite ashamed to say that my reminders are so often coated in exasperation, impatience and a great deal of negativity.

Ms M, however, corrects me with love. I say with love, because even though her reminders are sometimes delivered without tact or sensitivity, I believe they are motivated by her affection for and loyalty to me. They are particular to the time and place – no mention is made of past mistakes how ever many times they continue to recur. They aren’t judgemental or critical either – nothing is implied about the sum whole of me.

I am humbled. May Allah forgive me, ameen.

So I will say what I have said a million times over. Marzipan, I am profoundly grateful to Allah for you and your sister and for all the love and joy I don’t feel I deserve. I am sorry for not being the best mum I should be.

I am sorry for always apologising and not yet learning the gracious art of forgiving and forgetting.

[Image from Pexels]