Today I’m not mad at anybody.
Yesterday, 13th of Ramadhan 1432 A.H. (13th of August 2011 C.E.) at 09:07 am Pacific Standard Time Allah Sub’hanahu wa Ta’aala blessed me to attend the birth of Qur’an Abdullah Wa’ali Sanders, my fourth grandchild and first grandson.
He was 20.5 in/52cm long and weighed 8 lbs 14.5 oz/4.03 kg, and as soon as he emerged began loudly complaining about the inconvenience of having amniotic fluid suctioned from his mouth and nostrils and having his limbs vigorously rubbed by nurses. But he seemed to find his new, alien circumstances a little more acceptable once he was allowed to breast-feed.
I, on the other hand, found it disconcerting and somewhat disorienting to find that my daughter Ina Elizabeth looked more like the little girl of my memories when she was bearing down to push her son out into the world than she had at any other time in recent recollection. The immediate effect was some sort of eye irritation that caused her grumpy old dad to tear-up when she squeezed on his hand each time she pushed. It took a while for that to go away, too.
And her efforts were no less than heroic—she’s only 5ft 2in, and her son is not a small baby.
Also present were my Son-in-law Quentin—who’s had kind of a dazed grin on his face ever since—and my eleven year-old Granddaughter Sumayya, for whom the arrival of her little brother was an “eye-opening” experience, to say the least (which was what her mother intended by requiring her to attend).
Ina’s mom Maryam was also present via cell-phone—she couldn’t attend personally because she herself was in hospital—but we put the phone on “speaker” and placed it on the bed next to our daughter’s head, so she was able to hear pretty much everything as it happened. I think my Son-in-law sent photos to her cell phone, as well (something outside my own capabilities with digital equipment).
Sumayya and I squabbled over whose turn it was to hold little Qur’an until the end of visiting hours required us to leave the hospital. I did at one point finally manage to whisper al-Khalima in his ears per our tradition:
“Laa illaha il-Allah, wa’dahu laa Sharika lah; wa Muhammadan Abduhu wa Rasuulu—there is no Deity but Allah, and nothing is due worship but Him, and Muhammad is His most exalted Servant and Final Messenger.”
But then he already knew that anyway, having just arrived from the Source…
Welcome, Little Soul. You were anxiously awaited and are most joyfully and gratefully received. Allah Willing we’ll do our best to be worthy of you and of being entrusted with your care, so that as you begin to encounter the world with its hardships and confusion you will do so from the perspective of one secure in the knowledge of how deeply he is loved.
Wa’Salaamu alaykum wa Rah’matullahi wa Barakatu ya’habbibi...