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Ummi – Poems, Pictures & Prose by Saaleha Idrees Bamjee


My parents would have been married 28 years today.

I wonder if I would have truly known my mother’s strength had my dad not been taken away.

Widowed at 27, she shouldered her world so squarely, so boldly. She is my daleela, my minaret.

I turn 27 this year, nowhere near the woman she was then and the woman she is now.

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I am a writer and photographer (look up my work on based in Johannesburg, South Africa. I have an MA in Creative Writing from the university currently known as Rhodes. My writing accolades include winning the 2014 Writivism Short Story Prize and the 2020 Ingrid Jonker Poetry Prize for my debut collection, Zikr.

8 thoughts on “Ummi”

  1. An amazing mum she is. May the Almighty smile kindly upon her always, Aameen

    May the Almighty grant dad Jannat-ul-Firdowse, Inshallah Aameen.

    Hope you well!

  2. Wow, 27- thats so young. Allah Ta’ala grant your mother abundant blessings and reunite your parents one day in gardens of paradise.Ameen.

    Hard to imagine their struggles isnt it? and at a time in their life where everything is probably just starting to settle.

  3. *hugs*
    Having met your mother, I know what an amazing woman she truly is and yes, you have many bits of her in you as well 🙂

    May Allah grant your father Jannatul Firdous and may he continue giving you and your mother the strength and the love that you cherish 🙂

  4. I’m sure you have all her courage and strength, but your humility won’t allow you to admit it.

    May Allah bless your mom with peace and happiness. And may your father be blessed and forgiven.

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