Appreciation: Fathuma Fahima Sheriff
It is a daunting task to write an appreciation for someone who was so full of life and had to take a bow so soon. Fathuma Fahima Sheriff is a close relative through marriage, but more so was a friend to me. She is irreplaceable in every sense of the word, a lover of life and all things good. A friend at all times, she rose like a colossus in times of need, serving everyone she could in every way.
Fahima took good care of my son at times when I had to work and my son had school holidays. He just loved going there because of the company of her three loveable children, Shihan, Shamika and her youngest Mohiuddin. Fahima ensured that my son returned home, giving him his dinner as well. It was to such an extent that she cared for people. Ever willing to lend a helping hand, one has to only ask her for a favour and never would she say that it was beyond her scope, even if it was so. Her in-laws endorsed this in no uncertain terms after her passing away.
To me it is like yesterday that she called me and my family to join her family on her many trips to Galle. On numerous occasions, she would insist that she had taken food to be eaten on the way and not to bother about food. A connoisseur of food, Fahima was such a good cook that she always brought out the very best – be it a grand or simple meal. Her food was absolutely delicious and had an unimaginable flavour.
On a recent trip to Katugastota, she cooked some fish with spices she had brought herself, to ensure the taste, and wasn’t it out of this world! It was a gourmet’s delight. If ever we visited her, she would always insist that we sat down to a meal with her. Fahima’s exuberance cannot be matched!
A dedicated and passionate teacher, she took it in her stride to impart her knowledge when she undertook teaching as a career option. Fahima has taught her students with her heart and soul, being a teacher for nearly eight years at Ilma International, she gave of her best. She had short stints at Hejaaz International and Melbourne International as well. Her final teaching stint was at Daybridge International, Dehiwala, where she taught with so much love and dedication on Zoom classes that the students are finding it difficult to come to terms with her death. Even while she was mildly ill, Fahima continued to engage in her dedicated profession and was involved in marking papers until she was hospitalised. She never took her illness seriously and enjoyed every moment of her life either in prayer or in doing something fruitful. Fahima was never deterred by difficulties and handled everything with finesse. She was a true fighter and her incredible tenacity showed up in her strong will to live. Fahima was the candle in the wind. I had to put it down in words in appreciation of the wonderful life she led.
Her husband Azizdeen will I am sure find it difficult to come to terms with losing her, but his religious commitment will see him through. To her three children, all I have to say is “Your mother was a wonderful person who lived up to expectations and did her part with absolute goodwill, to one and all”. Her eldest son Shihan must be a trifle saddened that he could not see her in her last days because of the COVID situation, but he pleased Fahima in every which way and fulfilled a son’s duty towards a mother and does not need to harbour any regrets. He gave her the happiness she so well deserved. Her two brothers, Sonna in Germany and Miqdad will miss their beloved older sister and so will Hussein, Shekah and Laaikah, her son-in-law and daughters-in-law and of course the entire family on her paternal and maternal side and her in- laws as well – names are too numerous to mention here. As all good things have to come to an end, she left us with peace in her heart. May Allah grant her Jennathul Firdhouse and may the turf lie softly over her.