All in the Family

Saima and her Mother and Father
June 9, 2019

One of the biggest blessings of living in the DC area is that it’s a ‘hub’ for our family; more than 30 family members live here. Whenever we get together, it’s a celebration – no occasion needed.

These next few wisdoms were shared at one such family gathering; we sat in our living room on carpets and cushions, an amalgam of local and visiting family ranging in age from six months to 80+, sharing stories. The conversation meandered from regaling kids’ antics, to personal memories of the sub-continent partition, to remembering loved ones lost – with wisdoms sprinkled in.

Saima was reminded of a wisdom from her beautiful mother. Growing up they lived in Jeddah and people from Pakistan and elsewhere would always stop at their home en route to doing Umrah or Hajj; Saima said she would never know who was showing up for lunch or dinner.

“It’s like you’re living in a train station, you never know who’s coming through,” she laughed. I remember saying to Ammi, this is too much, don’t you get tired of it. And she would say, ‘Dil me jaga honi chaiyeh’ (there should be room in your heart). If there’s room in your heart, everything else is easy.” Saima was remembering her mother’s words as she had just hosted all of us for Thanksgiving. “If you approach it from that lens, it just changes everything,” she said.

Amina added that it’s actually quite Prophetic; there’s a hadith that says, ‘the food of one person is enough for two, the food of two is enough for four, the food of four is enough for eight’.

More recently Saima shared a wisdom from her father: everything in moderation. Her dad would say not to get fixated on things or want something too much. Everything should be in moderation – whether it’s your emotions, or how much you eat, the material things you desire, even your devotion to a sports team. (Saima remembers when her son was a toddler he would get really upset every time the Chicago Bears lost, and her dad would share this sentiment with her.)

The wisdom resonates even more now, Saima says. “Live in a moderate way. No grand gestures needed. Don’t get fixated on stuff. Be ok with the place inside yourself.”

Day 23 Wisdom 23: There needs to be room in your heart. // Everything in moderation.


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