Once Upon A Bohri

Loosing My Religion – Part 2



Soon after I got married, my mum did araz to maula for a child. My mum was given a name. Now, to be given a name by maula, is not just a suggestion of nomenclature, but a rather serious prophecy from the all-knowing. It means God will give you a child, and this will be the name, period. I never, in my mind doubted that I wouldn’t be ‘blessed’ with a child, sooner or later. Days turned into months and months into years, but I always knew the baby would come, because the ‘gaib na jaanar’, the all-knowing maula, predicted it.

 And then, it happened, my wife’s first ectopic pregnancy, we lost our first foetus along with the right fallopian tube. We rationalised this incident away with the usual, “We must have sinned and this is part of our redemption”.  We ‘thanked’ god for saving us from some unforeseen terribleness, albeit with a small punishment, and carried on with our lives knowing that the other tube was still intact and firmly believing in the prophecy.

In 2018 my wife and I attended the pilgrimage of Hajj, where it was instilled in us that all our sins would be washed away and we would be totally absolved of all guilt when we walked down the mountain of arafat, and until we sinned again, no problems would befit us again.

Days after we returned from our pilgrimage, we learnt that my wife suffered another ectopic pregnancy and had to be rushed for emergency surgery yet again to save her life, losing the foetus and the only other fallopian tube. No child has ever been conceived to a mother with no fallopian tubes naturally.

This didn’t make too much sense to me. What about the prophecy of maula, ‘gaib na janaar’, shouldn’t he have known this would happen? Should I wait for a miracle? What was going on? Was it because we had sinned and God was angry? But we had only just performed Hajj, been absolved of all sin. Did we, in the short period of time between arafat and asahra, commit such grievous sins that we deserve to be childless? Or was it just one of the random misfortunes of the world, no intention, no guilt and no sin had anything to do with this? How is one supposed to rationalize this?

It is important to note. I wasn’t angry with god. I was confused. This time around, the rationalization seemed to make much less sense.  Despite this, I fervently held on to my beliefs in maula. Religion was the center of my life. What would I be without it?

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