Saving Sajdah


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Wednesday August 26th

8:00 pm

Nothing.

She hasn’t moved all afternoon. I’m used to her kicking throughout the day, especially when I have something sweet. I start to cry uncontrollably; I feel like I can’t breathe.

Maybe she’s just sleeping, and insha’Allah she’ll wake up later, when I lay down.

11:00 pm

I start crying my eyes out.  I knew. My husband calms me down and convinces me to get some sleep; we would go to the hospital first thing in the morning.

Although it’s not something I was conscious of, my views on having a family were very ‘American.’ I wanted to finish school, work for a year or two, and then maybe I would think about it. It took the better part of my first trimester to get over the fact that I was pregnant. I thought I had my life planned out. I thought I knew what I wanted.

Thursday August 27th

11:00 am

“Hassan!”

I immediately got up and followed the midwife into the ward. She asks me what is wrong. I tell her that the baby hasn’t kicked for 24 hours. Without taking her eyes off my record she tells me to have some cold water.

“That always gets them going.”

I wait five minutes and still, nothing. The midwife tells me to have a seat; she will call me. I remembered Mom telling me that when she was having my brother he slept for twenty-four hours straight and scared her to death. She’s probably just sleeping.

Insha’Allah nothing bad will come out of this. I’m probably just panicking for no reason. Insha’Allah there is nothing to worry about.

My name is called, and a senior midwife ushers me into an examination room. She begins to search for the heartbeat. In the adjacent room I can hear someone hooked up to a monitor; a constant little heartbeat echoes in the ward. At that point in time, there was no sound more beloved to me than hearing my baby’s heart.

She searches for about four minutes. My eyes began to swell with tears as I follow her instructions to breathe in and then out.

She turns to me and asks how long it’s been since I felt the kicking. When I tell her, she asks why I hadn’t come in yesterday. I begin to tell her that I figured… She abruptly cuts me off, saying: “With a baby we don’t figure – we don’t take chances.”

She asks me to wait there and leaves the room. I begin to cry again. Now, all I want to know is that my baby is alive. I’m supposed to be a mommy. I’ve mentally prepared myself for this. This is the most important job I will ever have.

I am escorted into the exact room I had been in just two weeks ago. In fact, the same technician that handled my five-month sonogram greets me. I am sure, but I am hoping with all my heart that I’m wrong.

In a matter of seconds and with a few clicks of the scanner, she confirms the thought that has been haunting me for the last day and a half.

“I’m so sorry, love.”

I started sniffling and try to hold back tears. “What happens now?”

We are taken to a small empty room with a window and two chairs. We sit quietly and after I cry some more, I call my Mom and tell her the news. She is distraught, in sheer disbelief. I feel her pain; she is helpless, all the way across the Atlantic.

“You’re a Mom, and no one can take that away from you.”

Her words resonate in my mind. I sit still, and stare out the window.

Sunday August 30th

6:20 pm

Sajdah M. Othman was delivered at five and a half months; she weighed 1 pound, 6 ounces. She was small and still. There was a peace about her. I held her for a little under fifteen minutes, and then she was whisked away by the midwife.

All the insha’Allahs in every other sentence. Every other thought. Muslims tend to sprinkle their conversation with religious words, but it wasn’t like that. I knew of the story in Surat Al-Kahf, when the Prophet (peace be upon him) did not say it, and revelation was withheld for a little while. The verse was sent down as a reminder to say “insha’Allah” so I was adamant on remembering to say it. I hadn’t, however, fully internalized what it meant. Not until now.

This was my reminder that Allah has ultimate control over our affairs. We can try and plan and make decisions to the best of our abilities.  In the end, it is Allah that wills it or not. Insha’Allah isn’t some magic word, that when said, things have to occur. It means exactly what it says: “If Allah wills it.”

This is what He willed.

I accept that.

I considered calling this post ‘Losing Sajdah,’ but when I thought about it in its proper context, she is one of the only things saved for the hereafter, while most else in this world is to be lost.

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22 Comments

  1. AbuOmarAlMisry says:

    Insha’ Allah she’ll take your hand and walk you into Jannah one day.

  2. Nomad78 says:

    انا لله و انا اليه راجعون
    May Allah grant you strength and patience.

  3. JYB says:

    The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Any woman who loses three of her children, they will be a shield for her against the Fire.” A woman said, “And two?” He said, “And two” (Bukhaari; Muslim)

    The Prophet (pbuh) also said: “There is no Muslim who is afflicted with a calamity and says that which Allah has enjoined, Innaa lillaahi wa inna ilayhi raaji’oon. Allahumma ajurni fi museebati wakhluf li khayran minha (Verily to Allaah we belong and unto Him is our return. O Allah, reward me for my calamity and compensate me with something better than it), but Allah will compensate him with something better than it.” (Muslim)

    This was very moving. May Allah reward you for your patience and unite you with Sajdah in Jannah.

  4. MK says:

    May Allah Bless you sister.

  5. sarah says:

    this is such a tender story, mashallah your love for your daughter shines through. Thank you so much for sharing it with us… May Allah care for Sajdah with sweetness and rahma, and reunite you in Jannah inshallah.

  6. Omar says:

    Most touchy story I read in 2009

  7. faqir says:

    May Allah make things easy for you and give you patience during this difficult time. please keep us in your duas also

  8. Amatullah says:

    Indeed to Allah we belong and indeed to Him we shall return. may Allah reward you for your patience and unite you both in Firdaws.

    Thank you for sharing this heartfelt story with us.

  9. fatima a says:

    I can only share a cyber-squeeze of your hand across the seas. You’re a strong woman and your mom is an amazing woman. May Allah continue to give you His patience and hikmah. much love. And i love the name Sajdah. It’s on my secret list of names.

  10. May Allah reunite you with your baby in Paradise. WSLM

  11. Holly Garza says:

    SubhanaAllah that is so true-Allah is the only one that can grant us things-In your conclusion you give me a new view on my own Huge loss, and though I know she is in Jennah the way you worded it MashaAllah! May Allah, your faith, and the love you have been blessed with keep you going on those sad days. I send you a cyber {hug} from mom to mom, sister to sister

  12. sabirah says:

    Being a mother, I can only imagine how much patience you must have, and expecting my second child, this hit home, it could happen to any of us.
    May Allah make your patience through this calamity a means for your acceptance into jannah. Ameen

  13. Maryam says:

    subhanAllahil atheem

    May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala guarantee you and your husband and families with Firdose al ‘aala and bless you with meeting beloved Sajdah there <3 <3 <3 ameen

    you have no idea what this post just did for me, by Allah's Mercy, jezaki Allahu khayran alf marrat

  14. zakir says:

    May Allah give you and your family patience and make Sajdah a means for you entering Jannah inshallah.

  15. Suhaib Webb says:

    “I considered calling this post ‘Losing Sajdah,’ but when I thought about it in its proper context, she is one of the only things saved for the hereafter, while most else in this world is to be lost.”

    May Allah reward you for this.

    SDW

  16. Aziza says:

    Mash’Allah.. Thank you so much for this article

    I admire your patience and strength Sumayah.

    May Allah SWT reward you for sharing this story and reunite you with Sajdah in Paradise. Ameen

  17. Amatullah says:

    May Allah SWT reward you immensely, dear sister….Ameen!

  18. Zahra says:

    The last lines of this piece moved me. Even in grief, you have found hope and sabr from Allah (swt). I pray to Allah that I can have your sabr when He tests me in regards to my family. May Allah place Sajdah in the care of Ibrahim (as) and reunite you in jannat al firdous.

  19. Marya says:

    Inna lillahi wa inna illayhi raji`un.

    Beautiful reflection; and I love how you tied it to insha’Allah.

  20. UmmHend says:

    Inna lilahi wa inna ilayhi rajioon.

    MashaAllah sister you have written this so eloquently, so honestly, what you feel truly comes through your words. Thank you for sharing this and may it be a source of peace for you and other sisters who have gone through or are going through the same.

    May Allah reward you for your sabr and may you enter Jannah for it being led by your precious daughter amin!

    The reminder about the meaning of InshaAllah was beautiful and sobering as well, thank you for that.

  21. Sister_in_uk says:

    After having gone through the same experience twice, i understand what you must be feeling right now.
    Be patient and never loose hope. I waited such a long time for my blessing, and she came after 6 years of waiting. All the way through this testing time i knew in my heart that Allah plans for the best – and that i had to be patient for this blessing. The wait was worth it.

    InshAllah your wait will be worth it too.

    Stay strong dear sister.

  22. Peace says:

    Indeed Allah loves the people who have sabr..May Allah unite you with her in jannah..

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