It is Spring, and thus it is time to place flowers on the grave. Every “Lot Owner,” which is what I am, gets a notice that flowers are able to be purchased to place at the grave site. They are not real – so they can last all season – and it brings a bit of cheer to an otherwise dreary place.
I am glad to do it. I know that there are some who feel this is not appropriate…that is is a “bid’ah,” or innovation, but I do not believe so at all. Placing flowers at the grave site of your loved one has nothing to do with religion at all; it is not a religious practice. It is a cultural one, and so long as the cultural practice does not contradict with Islamic principles, then there is nothing wrong with it.
What is so wrong about placing pink flowers – pink was her favorite color – at my daughter’s grave? What is so wrong with making the grave a little more beautiful? What is wrong with marking it with beautiful flowers so that others can identify the site easily? What is so wrong with reflecting some of her enormous inner and outer beauty upon the rest of the world, including her grave?
Yet, when my wife and I went to place those flowers at the foot of her grave, it was not easy. It is not easy seeing your daughter’s name on a piece of rock in the ground. It is not normal to read:
Our Angel in Heaven
Bayan Hesham Hassaballa
December 30, 1996 – June 7, 2009
You Will Always Be In Our Hearts
It is never normal, and it will never be normal.
As the days and weeks and months pass since that fateful day last June, the twinges of pain my wife and I feel ebb and flow. It has been much more difficult on my wife – God bless her tremendously – and I pray that He showers her with tremendous strength and mercy. Whenever I think about the pain I feel, I just think with awe and amazement at the Prophet (pbuh), who outlived six of his seven children. What an amazing and beautiful man he was.
We try to go to the grave every now and then, to see her, talk to her, and tell her how much we miss her. My grandfather is buried in the same area, not too far from her, and I used to come to visit him. Now, however, I pass by his grave (giving my salutation to him all the while) and walk straight up to my baby’s grave. And I all I do is stand there and look at her name in the ground.
It is never normal.