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The Power of Dua story: Motherhood at 45

a woman and child holding hands at sunset

Here is a beautiful story of Power of Dua by Gina Petonito and it is one of the amazing story I have read this Ramadan. May Allah bless her.

Also read-Understanding the hadith “Nothing changes the destiny except Dua”

I was a 45-year-old geriatric patient. Geriatric primipara, to be precise. Carrying my first fetus while elderly.

High risk. Dangerous. Elevated risk of death of mother and baby. Not equipped to take on as a patient. Make an appointment with a “specialist.”

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Oh, and, by the way, did you actually plan this?

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No, I said sweetly. I am expecting because of the power of du’a.

I was an ancient bride at 28, but several years younger than 35, the supposed optimum fertility cut-off age. As the years passed, no baby came, and I assumed that none ever would. Truth be told, I wasn’t all that concerned. An academic, I taught 100s of students each year and inevitably grew close to a select few who I nurtured and mentored. I thought they were enough, and I accepted Allah’s decree. But tucked away in the corner of my mind was a desire to have my own child, a thought quickly dismissed. After all, I had all I needed.

a pile of red apples
Photo by Matheus-cenali on Unsplash

The Islamic community of which I was a part thought otherwise. Not a month went by that someone would ask what I considered an intensely private question. I vividly recall browsing apples at the supermarket when a lady I knew in passing approached me to query: “have you had your husband checked? He could be the problem you know.”

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Others were more indirect, holding me in their du’a while kindly informing me: “children complete your life.”

One such du’a I remember vividly. My recently married young neighbor had her first child. Of course, I visited with gifts and good wishes, and she mentioned that she made du’a for me, while in labor. I was deeply touched. Our Prophet (peace be upon him) says that the laboring women’s du’a is always accepted. But eight years childless, I assumed my reward would be granted in Jannah.

The 2000 Hajj season corresponded with our Spring Breaks, so my husband and I arranged to make our obligatory pilgrimage to Islam’s holiest of places: Mecca, the site of the Hajj proper and Medina, the city that housed our Prophet’s grave. Hajj, as I expected was a bustle of activity, and I never really savored the holy sites’ beauty, history, and deeper meanings. I yearned to return. And, al-hamdulellah, Winter Break was the perfect time for us to make Umrah in Ramadan.

Our local hosts directed us to a special place in the expansive Masjid al-Haram where the local Meccan women pray. Quiet and secluded, but with a clear view of the Ka’aba, I was home and at peace.

We prayed four of the five prayers in congregation, leaving to eat our dinner after Maghrib and taking our rest after Salat ul-Fajr. I captured treasured memories in my journal and created scribblings of the various sites. I had yet to buy my first flip phone.

The Power of Dua story

Eventually my actions piqued the local women’s curiosity, and they peppered me with the inevitable questions:

Are you a Muslim: Obviously

Are you married: Yes

How many years: 16

How many children do you have: none

They thrust their hands upwards in supplication. Du’a. For me. Right in the center of Islam’s holiest site.

I still believed my rewards for those du’a would come in the afterlife. After all, I was 44, an age where pregnancy was impossible. Eggs dying, biological clocks ticking, and all.

The night better than a thousand months was upon us. Laylatul Qadr. The blessed night when the angels descend. The night where the heavens open to receive all our du’a. By tradition on the 27th of Ramadan.

My husband and I agreed to remain in supplication until sunrise and meet afterwards for our trek back to the hotel.

During these tranquil moments, I reflected upon my 44 years on earth, 16 as a Muslim, and childless. So, I raised my hands and turned my face towards the sky: Oh Allah, you have turned the page on this life’s season. Never will I offer my du’a in labor and enjoy motherhood’s great rewards. So, You, Al-Qawwi, The Strong, the one who has power over all things, grant me another way to gain those blessings.

And 8 months later, I gave birth to my one and only child. My beloved son.

About a decade later, I returned to my old college town and met up with my neighbor. Her daughter was a young adult, my son a schoolboy. And I asked if she remembered making du’a for me. Yes, she said. Jazakum Allahu Khair, I said, pointing to my son.

I may never be able to thank the Meccan women in this life, unless someone perchance remembers me and reads this essay. In Shaa Allah, I will offer my thanks in Paradise.

a woman and child posing for a picture

PS. An earlier version of this essay was a social media post in support of my friend and mentor Aliyah Umm Raiyaan’s book launch, The Power of Du’a. So many sisters, including Aliyah, were moved by my simple offering. So, I decided to transform it into this essay.

PPS This Power of Dua story is aimed at Muslim readers, but for my non-Muslim followers, here is a glossary: 

du’a supplication to God; Jannah, Paradise; Hajj the obligatory pilgrimage to Mecca, required of all who are able; al-hamdulellah, thanks to God; Umrah, a pilgrimage to Mecca outside the Hajj season; Maghrib, sunset; Salat ul-Fajr, the early morning prayer, offered before sunrise; Laylatul-Qadr, literally the Night of Power; Al-Qawwi, one of the 99 most beautiful names of God, the Strong One; 

Jazakum Allahu Khair, may God grant you every good thing, an amplified way of saying thank you; in shaa Allah, if God wills.

Reblogged from –medium

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