Friday 12 September 2008

My Favourite Uncle

When I was a little girl I lived in a big old house in Upton Park near the famous Green Street with my parents, grandparents and two uncles (Dad’s younger brothers). The younger of these two was a student, sporting the adidas bag and giant sunglasses of that time. He was also and still is my most favourite uncle and one of my best friends.

As the youngest he spent all of his time being told off by his older brothers and parents and managed to get through college barely in one piece (he was being bullied by a bunch of girls). He and his friends loved to take me out with them and I must have seen half of London, except I was too young to remember. I do remember him telling me to stand near the dirty pond in West Ham Park to take my picture, he kept telling me to step back a bit and next thing I knew I was in the pond.

He adored children and he spent most of his 20’s dragging me, my siblings and our cousins up and down Green Street and to the local park. I recall a park keeper at West Ham once asking him with incredulity: “Are ALL of ‘em your’n?” to which he replied “No, not even one”

What I remember him most for though is for coming home from work, having his dinner and then taking me to the sweet shop. He always bought me the giant Cadburies chocolate bar, an extravagance in those days and told me to finish it before we got in so my mum and the other kids didn’t see. The beginning of my life-long love affair with the choco-bean.
There’s a lesson in the way he behaved though. I think about him and it confirms my belief that Allah loves the meek and gentle and that for those who have sabr, there are rewards. Despite dropping out of college, being bullied left, right and centre and spending his life doing difficult jobs that don’t pay well, he is blessed with a beautiful, fiercely religious wife and the most beautiful children in our family (including his older daughter who is training to become an alima (scholar) before she goes to university and a very bright younger son due to begin hifz of Quran). What makes me really happy is seeing that his oldest son Dan is turning out just like him and my children are his biggest fans.


  1. MashAllah,how nice to have such a relative for whom you have so much love and respect.
    Nice reflective post.

  2. now we know about the not-so-secret-anymore chocolate!!

    good post though -i remember being taken to the sweet shop too ande away from mum and dad telling us off-definately the best uncle