A Eulogy for My Mom, by Amyn Naran

Anaar Naran (1936-2017) passed away peacefully on September 14, 2017 in Richmond, Virginia. Many readers responded to the post and on the social media with messages of condolences to her family as well as prayers for the eternal peace of her soul. We publish below an edited version of a eulogy presented by her son Amyn. — Ed.


IMG_20171001_145836-Anaar Naran with children Amyn, Navyn and Naznyn new version

Anaar Naran holding her youngest daughter Naaznyn, with son Amyn and daughter Navyn standing beside her. A photo of her husband Badrudin, who passed away in 1979 at the age of 48, is shown in the backdrop. Photo: Naran Family Archives.

My mom was like a superhero to me. No not the fly-through-the-air kind but the kind that gave me unconditional love, nothing I could say or do would diminish me.

We would talk almost everyday for a few minutes. It was important to me that she knew I cared. The phone greeting ‘hi Amyn’ or just plain ‘hi’ was sweet and gentle…the ‘love u’/ “love you ma” at the end was equally sweet. Sometimes I would just pause and say “I love you mah, you know that right ? “and she would say ‘I love you too’.

A little background on my mum, Anaar Naran: Rheumatic fever in early childhood (its bad), death of a father at 7, new father figure, limitations because she was female, 2 miscarriages, moving continents with young kids, moving continents again 7 years later, losing a husband soon after, financial challenges, loss of a father figure, loss of mother, brother, important members of her family, surgeries to back, brain, heart, multiple heart-attacks, multiple strokes, more surgeries and countless procedures.

To have had so many headwinds in life, the least I could do was provide a little love…but my love was nothing compared to that I received. NOTHING! this is what my superhero gave me – unconditional love. There is a tradition of the Prophet Muhammad that says, “Paradise lies at the feet of your mother.” Indeed!

Anaar Naran

A portrait of Anaar Naran with a photo of her beloved Imam, Mawlana Shah Karim al-Hussaini Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, in the background. Photo: Naran Family Archives.

The thing that had provided MOM sustenance was her faith; the work, resources and love for her faith were herculean. Her care for others superseded that of herself. Without a doubt that without her faith, without her faith, I don’t think she would have lived as long and been part of our lives.

Throughout my life MOM has been a fabric, a connection to the past, a connection to lives and experiences of the different members of my family…my dad, my grandmas, my chachas. Losing her is also losing all that.

On the phone we would reminisce, I’d make up stories and listened to her recent escapades. I didn’t realize I talked too fast…she ‘d tell me and I wouldn’t always get it. Y

Strokes affect the brain health..and continue to deteriorate the brain. Mom’s strokes had robbed her of sight in a strange way, her field of vision was inconsistent…imagine if you couldn’t predict what you walked on: it was there or maybe it was there ? That made her feel dizzy, and she had to cope with that problem every day.

The spoken word was both hard to process and hard to find and speak and that is why sometimes her words were sharp, and I didn’t fully get that. Sometimes on the phone she’d say how much she hurt, and that was unbearable to hear. The options she had because of all her medications were few.

Even with all the hurdles, Mom was fiercely independent and loathed the need to be dependent on anyone for help. One time when I was visiting in New Canaan, I took her to a bank. She walked to a teller and said: ‘I’ve had a stroke so please be patient with me’. A couple of times on visits to the bank, I’d just wait outside the bank and she would appreciate that because it proved she was independent. Her determination was incredible.

I say to my mum: Mom please forgive me, as whilst I loved you from the bottom of my heart, I was not perfect…I just knew that everyday, I wanted to hear your voice and make you feel loved, you, my superhero.

We often shared the following ginans and prayers. Unch thi Ayo, Kalpat Jalpat, Tarye Tu Taran, Ya Raballa, Ya Ali Aghisani, Ya Ali to Rahem Kar, Ya Rahman Ya Rahim. As I mentioned previously, her faith sustained her!

Ma, I love and will love you with all my heart till the day I die. I hope I see you on the other side.

Date posted: October 5, 2017.


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4 thoughts on “A Eulogy for My Mom, by Amyn Naran

  1. I knew Anaar Naran very well. We were neighbours in Dar es Salaam and would go to Aga Khan school together. Our childhood was very memorable and eternal thanks to Imam Sultan Mahomed Shah and Mawlana Hazar Imam for making sure Aga Khan schools had good teachers and education. I lost touch but never knew that Anaar had to face so many hurdles and in spite of that she fought her problems bravely and made sure that she single handedly brought her children worthy of pride and respect. Anaar hats off to you. May Hazer Imam rest your soul in peace. Ameen.

  2. What a beautiful eulogy, Amyn! I used to think of Anaar as my spiritual mentor. She was a dear friend from the time I met her in Bloomfield in 1979. My heartfelt condolences to Anaar’s beautiful children, Amyn, Navyn and Naaznyn.

  3. Amyn,
    A deeply moving and heartfelt tribute! – for undoubtedly a wonderful mother and human being! You have captured the very essence and core of our “Awesome Moms/Mas”!! ANGELS! – who loved absolutely, selflessly and unconditionally!! They gave it all – day in and day out – at all times and regardless of the challenges and circumstances! That is their powerful legacies! – to be passed on!

    Accept my deep and sincere condolences.


  4. When the sun says goodbye to earth, it leaves a beautiful sunset as a gift. When friends say goodbye to each other, they leave mementos of everlasting and priceless memories…

    Adieu my friend Anaar, you will be missed at the Richmond, VA, Jamatkhana.

    May your soul rest in eternal peace, Ameen!

    Parviza (Raleigh/Durham, NC)

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