Nothing in the world can prepare you for the loss of your mother. And for siblings, Hannah and Mostafa, the day they lost their mother Salwa, was a day they most certainly won’t forget.
While on the surface Salwa El-Gashingi may look like your average Muslim mother, her story shows she was truly a special individual. She was a woman whose actions reflected her love for Allah, His Messenger ﷺ and His Book, the Quran.
Yet above all, it was her love for the people around her that truly made her stand out. She was well known to spread joy and happiness to those around her, Muslim and non-Muslim alike. Whether it was her neighbours, her friends or even random people in the Shopping Centre. It is no wonder she became exceptionally beloved amongst her community.
Her son Mostafa El-Gashingi, shared with OnePath Network this heartfelt and moving tribute to his mother.
How did you grieve Mum?
My beautiful Mum… it has been 16 months since I prayed your Janazah (Funeral Prayer), and I am still left in disbelief that we farewelled you. Thirty years with you, having learned everything I know from you and yet I sit here trying to find answers to questions I never thought I’d be asking, at least not at this point in my life.
I wish I asked you more Mum.
Everyone who knew you, knew that you were a woman of Khidma (service), you served your family and friends, you served your community, you served your parents, and they also knew you as a woman whose smile radiated brilliant and whose voice filled any room with such light and love and warmth and comfort.
How did you do it Mum?
How did you serve so many through such hardship and still manage to laugh from your heart? How did you keep your sweetness and warmth after having seen so much? How did you deal with the loss of your baby niece who barely got a chance to see the world? How did you deal with the death of your father, who kissed your hand before falling into a coma he would never wake from? How did you deal with his loss especially since you were described as being the closest to him out of your 5 siblings? How did you continue to smile and to laugh and to love and to beam your warmth?
How did you deal with the loss of Amu Hussein, who described you as:
الَّذِينَ يَسْتَمِعُونَ الْقَوْلَ فَيَتَّبِعُونَ أَحْسَنَهُ ۚ أُولَٰئِكَ الَّذِينَ هَدَاهُمُ اللَّهُ ۖ وَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمْ أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ
“Those who listen well to what is said and follow the best of it, they are the ones whom Allah has guided, they are the people of intelligence.” (Quran 39:18)
How did you serve your mother for her entire life, never leaving her side, caring for her as she suffered with dementia only to finally die in your arms? How did you do that and still manage to smile from your heart? How did you serve your mother-in-law, caring and loving her as she spent her last few years suffering? How did you smile and remain your sweet, loving, bubbly self after these losses? I’ve lost you mum… and feel like I can no longer smile at all.
Teach me how you did it. Just one last lesson.
We pray Allah has mercy on Salwa El-Gashingi and grants her a lofty station in Paradise. Her actions reflected a woman who loved to serve Allah and loved to serve His creation. May her story serve as an inspiration to us all.
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