May 2nd, 1999. Maryam was born in the midst of my PhD crisis in Colchester, Essex. It was nothing good coming out of my research and things had gone from bad to worst. I guess she was the blessing in disguise; an answer to my prayers in Mecca for Allah to help me ease this mind and soul that was going haywire. The emotional confrontation was huge and sometimes unbearable because I was at the end of my study period but as yet to see the end of it. I felt so guilty for making everyone especially my family feeling bad and disappointed. I could no longer stay in the UK but at the same time could not face my family and friends back home because my thesis was undone. I just did not know whether it will be finished at all. But God works in mysterious ways as Maryam was the answer and sign that things were going to be alright;and indeed they did. AlhamduliLlah.
I think it was in mid morning that this little one had started turning and tossing. But Umi did not expect anything and we went on to enjoy the beautiful Sunday morning at a Carboot sale. By noon the contractions have become too frequent and Umi said it’s time to go, our baby was coming. We went to the Colchester General Hospital around 1 pm after the Zuhr prayer, leaving the others at a friend’s house in the neighborhood. Soon Umi went into labor and Maryam was born without any problem around 6pm. I was there to greet my little girl into this world. She came to save her daddy from going mad. I was thrilled and nothing mattered anymore. I wrapped my thesis up (undone with half-baked no good results) and persuaded my supervisor to let me go into the viva and defend this thesis. He reluctantly signed the submission paper and I went into an overdrive to prepare for the viva. Umi did not spend anytime in the ward; the doctor let her to go home as soon as the procedures had finished. I still feel bad about this because I should have insisted for Umi to stay at least one night in the ward for a good rest. But Umi was strong and I was ultra happy that we agreed for Umi to get rest at home. Everything turned out to be fine , alhamduliLlah.
Three months later as Maryam was ready to travel we had decided to go home. I had submitted my thesis and the viva was planned to be at the end of the year. I had to come back for it. The journey home was hectic but quite fun actually. We stopped by Mecca for Umrah before continuing our journey to KL. We brought Maryam to the Kaabah and even kissed the hajarul aswad. Umi lifted Maryam to kiss the stone as she was so small and sleeping soundly in the middle of the chaotic other hujjaj. Interesting isn’t it, as if I went to Mecca to show my dear Lord that I’ve got the answer to my prayers—-You have sent this down to me, thank you my lord. It was sun eclipse when we were there in Masjidil Haraam. We celebrated Una’s birthday there but she could not help it and pee in Masjidil Haraam. I just could not forget that incident.
Maryam is ten today. She continues to bless and harmonise us all everytime we go into a crisis. At school she is a muslehah (prefect) ; at home she guards us from the world that has gone mad. We love you very much. Happy Birthday Maryam.