2nd Place Winner Raidah Shah Idil

Dear Prophet Muhammed (peace and blessings be upon him),
I tell my daughter about you.

She’s 3.5 and agreed to share her chocolate cake with you in Jannah. That is a big deal. She also wants her very own My Little Pony in Jannah – specifically, Pinkie Pie. That’s the extrovert, party-loving pony, much like my daughter. But you already know that about her, the way you know the shape of my grief and joy.

She asked me if you like chocolate. I said, “That’s a good question.” Have
you tasted chocolate before? I bet you’d love it, but you’d have it in
moderation. And you’d give it to everyone else, first. And maybe, just maybe, you’d have a tiny piece, just to make it sunnah for everyone else.
I tell her how much you like watermelons, and how your favourite drink is
cold water sweetened with honey. She can relate to liking sweet things. Once, she laughed and said, “I’m an ant. I like sweet things.” Later she said, “I like sweet things, like the Prophet Salam.” Progress.
I have a one year old too. Like all sisters, she both fights with and adores her big sister. Once, she turbo crawled past her big sister, grabbed her brownie, stuffed it into her mouth, grinned, then crawled away. My eldest looked at me in surprise, and we collapsed into giggles. These are the moments I wish my mother could share with us.
My mother lives in Sydney. I miss her so much. My daughter calls her Nenek. When she scribbled her biggest wish on her little teddybear notepad, it’s this:
“I wish Nenek will come here.”

She reflects my own heart. And oh, my heart.
How it chafes, in this season of my life. I long for the freedom of travelling
beneath blue desert skies; delicious, uninterrupted hours of sleep; and the
simplicity of reading an actual book in a quiet cafe – audiobooks are the only way I can ‘read’, these days.
But my heart’s deepest longing is this: for my daughters to love you. There
will come, some impossible day, a time when I won’t be around to look after my little girls anymore. The trajectory of the world is alarming. And I know that it is love, and not fear, that has the deepest, most transformative influence, on any of us. My daughters will make mistakes, like I did, and I pray that their love for you will always bring them back.

On the Day when I will run away from my own mother and daughters, just as they will run away from me, I know that you wait for us, with your patience, your love, and your mercy.
Help us find our way to you, O Beloved of God. Bind our hearts to you. Bless
my ancestors, and my descendants. May we all meet you in the Garden, and
share cups of sweet mint tea.
With peace,

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