A Poem in Memory of Mrs. Merchant

Mrs. Merchant

An Ever Burning Flame

By FARAH TEJANI

Like a candle,
In a dark room,
Her light would erase,

Any frown,
Or any pain,
You had on your face.

A gifted teacher,
Full of knowledge,
She’d leave you wanting more.

Her loving arms,
Were always open,
She would never shut her door.

All her students,
Were her children,
Whom she loved with her whole heart.

Not one student,
Could forget her,
Right from the very start.

Her knowledge
Was a mountain,
Everyone wanted to climb.

She imparted
With her wisdom,
Never concerned about the time.

Her bright smile
Filled the hearts,
Of all who came near,

When in her
Holy Presence,
There was never need to fear,

Her faith
Never wavered,
Not once would she question.

The words
Of the Imam
Or his Noble Direction.

Years and years
Of service,
She has given to our Mawla.

Precious, priceless
Memories,
For all of us to store.

With much sadness
Her time to go,
Has left us all with pain,

But if she had words
She’d tell us,

“I am an Ever Burning Flame.

Forget me not,
For I am near,
Closer than you know.

For even though
We leave this earth
We never truly go.

We are with God
Though we may be gone,
And though it is a shame.

You keep me alive
Alive in your heart
An Ever Burning Flame.”

Date posted: February 9, 2021.

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Farah Tejani graduated with her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and her Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia in May of 1997 and earned top Honors for her Thesis on Short Fiction. She has published a collection of short stories “Make Your Own Chai, Mama’s Boy!” dealing with different dilemmas South Asians face. Farah also wrote and co-directed her stage play, “Safeway Samosas,” which won “The Best of Brave New Playwrights Award” in July 1995. Her short story , “Too Hot” won third place in the “Canada-Wide Best Short Fiction Award” and was read at The Vancouver Writers Festival. Currently, Farah is working on Childrens’ stories and a collection of poetry called, “Elastic Embrace” to be published in 2021.

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Also see the following 3 related pieces:

Alwaeza Raisaheba Maleksultan Jehangir Merchant (June 9, 1931 – January 21, 2021), age 89. Photo: Shellina Karmali.

34 thoughts on “A Poem in Memory of Mrs. Merchant

  1. Dearest Malik and Nurin,

    Ya Ali Madad.

    This is such a beautiful poem by Farah. And I re-visited all the links, such wonderful treasured memories from so many, that I can see our beloved Alwaeeza/mum/grandma/teacher’s soul being so happy and full of light with all of the love that is abundantly evident.

    May you all be blessed to continue your wonderful work. And may Mowla bless Alwaeeza and Alwaez Merchant with eternal peace. Ameen.

    Best wishes and love
    Karima (Bata) Maghraby.

  2. Farah, you did a wonderful tribute to the late Mrs. Merchant. You are very gifted and talented poet and I am sure she is smiling down from Heaven. May her soul rest in eternal peace. Amen.

  3. Farah, In simple words expressed so very eloquently you have captured the essence, the core, the gist of everything Mrs. Merchant stood for, represented and contributed during her illustrious career and lifetime. May her soul rest in eternal peace – Amen.

    Bravo for a job well done!

  4. So happy to learn about Farah. Will have to chase her short stories. Lucky to have someone like Farah to write your requiem poem

  5. Lovely and heartfelt poem by Farah reflecting a warm,
    authentic and wonderful person Al-waeza was. My last
    meeting with her at her house with her son
    Malik (my friend) reminded me of Farah’s words:

    “Her loving arms,
    Were always open,
    She would never shut her door.”

    And yes her impact will continue forever!

    May her soul rest in eternal peace. Ameen

  6. Perfectly captures your feelings and her essence. I can feel the love and the admiration. Her flame ignited many souls. Her knowledge will continue to empower others. Shukhar. Allah rest her soul in eternal peace and bless her for her seva. Ameen.

  7. Wow so to the point of who she was even though we never met. I must have been a little kid in Dar es Salaam but her name pulled the rushing blood through my vein that juggled my heart as if I had know her all my life. Only to know wish I had met her because it felt like I knew her; it must be the soul connection that told me that she’s crossed the ocean and with a tear drop, and aching soul of mine, I felt she had merged into the vast ocean with her murshid💙🙏🏽

    • So powerful…your image brought tears to my eyes. Inna ilahi, wa Inna l’illahi rajiun…From Him we have come, and to Him we shall return.

      It is 1:23 in the morning in Vancouver, and I was suddenly awoken feeling her presence in my heart and home. I wanted to see her pictures again so I turned on my tablet and there was your comment.

      I read your poetic words over and then looked at her beautiful ❤️ and radiant face:

      Mrs. Merchant, precious, gentle soul, forgive us as we grieve,
      While you are free from any pain, it was still too soon to leave,

      You have left so many memories, with all who’s path you crossed,
      So gifted, you taught with wisdom that will now never ever be lost..

      Many students from your many years all remember you fondly with 💕 love
      How could anyone ever forget you as you smile down upon us from above.
      .
      Service gave you utmost joy, our Mowla you served for countless YEARS,
      Selflessly you and Alwaez dedicated your life with joyous humble tears.

      Never was there complaint or concern, you served in every way,
      Yours was the joy of seva for Him, right until your very last day.

      May you rest in eternal peace 🙏…Ameen.

  8. I thank you all for your kind words…shukr, but I must say I was inspired by the many accolades and words of praise I studied on Alwaeza Merchant, and the legend she left behind. In writing the poem, after meditating on the many comments and her beautiful ❤️ peaceful, radiant smiling face, it was the title that came first, as if from above, AN EVER BURNING FLAME, honoring her memory in all of our hearts forever. I only wish I had the honor and privilege of meeting such a beautiful soul. May you rest in eternal peace, Mrs. Merchant. Ameen. Mawlana Hazar Imam bless you and your husband, Alwaez Jehangir, for your many selfless, diligent years of service to our Mawla…Ameen.

  9. A beautiful poem by Farah. Everything in there is what she was, full of love and respect for young and old. Dad and mum were both my mentors. They both helped and supported me in my first year of teaching as I was a bit nervous. Mum always had time to listen to any queries I had and explained everything in such simple words,it was incredible. I will always remember her with affection and gratitude.

    May Mawla rest her soul in eternal peace. Ameen. 🙏🏼

  10. Absolutely beautiful poem by Farah. Just ❤ it. Definitely reflecting all of my aunt’s wonderful qualities. She will be smiling and sending blessings down as she always did. Giving, giving and always giving with all her heart.

    All she did was giving wholeheartedly, never took anything from anyone. One of the most generous, loving person’s I’ve ever known.

    Love you infinitely and miss you tremendously.

    You will live in our hearts forever❤❤❤💋💋💋🥰💕 Bless YOU always🙏🙌😊

  11. Very beautiful and touching tribute reflecting every quality shown by Malek Aunty. She really was a fountain of love, knowledge and wisdom that she imparted to all. She is truly cherished and blessed by the affection shown by whosoever she had touched. May she rest in eternal peace in the folds of God. Ameen.

  12. Very touching tribute and most befitting memories for my dear sister. She will always live in our hearts.

    Shahsultan Bana

  13. Ya Ali Madad Farah: Your heartfelt poem in a few lines describes all qualities the of my aunt and the impact she left for those she interacted🙏😊🤲

  14. Exemplary words for an exemplary lady! Farah, well done for penning your thoughts and feelings about our Mrs. Merchant into a beautiful poem

  15. Selected messages from the social media:

    Alnoor S A Sajan: Memories🙏🏼🌎📿🌹!!
    Naznin Hajee: Very well done, Farah for your beautiful poem on an exemplary lady who was known to us as Mrs. Merchant!

  16. There cannot be a better tribute to Alwaeza Maleksultan Merchant. Beautifully written poem by Farah sums up the personality of Mrs. Merchant. .

  17. Dear Malik and family

    Beautiful penmanship on all articles on Alwaeza Maleksultan by all the authors on Simerg. These pieces and Farah’s poem are very touching.

    Alwaeza is watching from above and would be immensely proud. Her words of wisdom will continue to live on as shown by the many, many comments and tributes to her. I feel blessed that I got to know her.

    Along with your Dad, Alwaez Jehangir, Sultanali missionary, Abuali misisonary, and many others, they are the last of the legends of a bygone era.

    Unfortunately, my children’s generation will never know what they missed.

  18. What a wonderful and heart-touching words. I am Malek’s youngest sister and tears started rolling down, and just could not stop going over and over Farah’s poem.

    Farah, may you be blessed forever.

  19. Thank you Farah for this most eloquent portrayal of late Alwaeza Maleksultan Merchant. Stay blessed, Farah.

  20. Thank you so much for posting this beautiful and excellent poem by Farah in memory of our beloved Alwaeza Mrs Merchant. We have excellent memories of her.

    Ya Ali Madad,
    Nizar Dhanani
    London

  21. Farah you have written a powerful poem for Malik’s Mom. I wanted to meet her personally on Malik’s next visit to Vancouver but she left us before it could happen. You have described her so well that I feel I have met her. Thank you for your beautiful words for Alwaeza. What an amazing woman. So proud of her.

    I had an honour to attend her funeral virtually and it was wonderful seeing her radiant face. She was so PEACEFUL.

    Sukhar. May Mawla grant her with his Noorani Deedar and bless her soul Rest In Eternal Peace. AMEEN.

    And Malik, we are praying for your family for strength and Saber for the great loss. Ameen 🤲

  22. Wow…beautiful. Captures Alwaeza Mrs. Merchant so well and what she meant to others….very well written by Farah.

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