The al-Omrans


My mother was sliding the photos she took of me while practicing asanas. The first frame that followed the asana pictures was the photo below.

PS. Ahmed is a carbon copy of his Baba.

"Who is that?" Her voice was thirteen degrees of threat.

"Ahmed’s baba," I said, snatching the phone away from her.

My mother frowned. "That is all very well, but what is he doing in your phone?"

I took a gigantic breath. I had one chance to say it and had to say everything in one breath; because her suspicion was heading somewhere dangerous.

"Because his Baba passed away seven years ago today. Because I knew Ahmed seven years ago, too. Ahmed is the eldest of seven boys. He barely finished being a teenager when he was propelled to be an older and bigger man. His Baba's passing was Ahmed's inspiration and - for so many times when I could not be bothered, Ahmed too was my inspiration. That is why I keep them close; I am one of their صدقة جارية. I only hope I could honor and make good of that memory too."

My mother said some things after that. And I said some things after that too. But the thing that stuck, the verses that I want to remember and canonize was that above. That kindness immortalizes a man when passed on by his good sons.

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