Qu'ran from Mom's Wedding

Relationship: Child of im/migrant

The Qur’an ceremoniously lifted over my mom’s head as she moved towards the car at the end of her wedding was held by her eldest brother during the rukhsati, or the Pakistani reception. She would carry this Qur’an with her to New York after receiving it as her first wedding present the same night. It would come to symbolize the people and places she left behind. 

My mother keeps the Qur’an in her closet. She looks at it every morning, and I’ve seen her run her fingers over the soft velvet box that encases it and become lost in thought. She removes it occasionally and along with VCR tapes, describes the events of her reception. When the tape switches to just before she enters the car, she begins to sob. She becomes emotional knowing that even though she may visit, things will never be quite the same. In my conversations with her growing up I questioned why she cried so much. Her answer is that she was afraid of not finding anyone in the United States to care about her the way her family & friends did. 

The Qur’an became her protection. When she pulls it out, she pours over it and describes how each verse helped her at some point during the move. She emphasizes while she built her life in America with my dad's help, the Qur'an guided her through rough waters. Her keeping it all these years is perhaps her way of displaying gratitude for the struggles it helped guide her though- but more importantly, it reminds her every day that she was once a young Pakistani woman in New York with her loved ones endlessly praying for her despite being separated by distance and time. 

Place(s): Queens, New York
Year: 1989

– Kinza Haq

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant