Ras Al Khaimah: The first day of Eid Al Adha during the COVID-19 pandemic was extra special for two Indian families in Ras Al Khaimah.
It was particularly a blessed one for the family of Jumana Musthafa, who took care of the newborn baby of Mubshira Ismail after Mubshira tested positive for coronavirus just before her delivery on the day of Eid Al Fitr that fell on May 24. Mother of four, Jumana had instantly agreed to receive Mubshira’s baby, Ahmed, on the third day after he was born when she and her husband got to know that the child tested negative and cannot be kept with the mother.
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Mubshira had contracted the virus from her husband Ismail Chenoth, whose positive test result came out just a day before her delivery.
Though he was offered a hotel facility for isolation, Mubshira insisted her husband be quarantined at home as he did not have any symptoms then.
Since she had lost her sense of smell a few of days ago, Mubshira, who had studied microbiology, said she had doubted that she might have already contracted the virus.
However, she did not have any other symptoms.
Though her due date was June 1, Mubshira got labour pain on the night of May 23.
The couple, who have two other children aged six and seven, thankfully remembered the help from the volunteers of Kerala Muslim Cultural Centre (KMCC) in shifting her to the hospital early in the morning of Eid Al Fitr.
Though she tested positive for COVID-19 at the hospital, her newborn son tested negative twice, much to the relief of the couple.
“Baby was taken away from me and was looked after by the nurses. On the third day, the hospital said both of us can be discharged, but the baby cannot be sent with me,” said Mubshira.
Though her sister lives in Abu Dhabi, it was practically difficult to send the child to her. Just as they were wondering what next, Ismail received a call from Musthafa, who works with a pharmacy chain.
“He asked me about our plan. When I said we are thinking what to do, he immediately said they will take my baby home,” recollected Ismail, who works at a hypermarket.
He said he was amazed that Musthafa and wife Jumana did not even think twice to offer their care for the baby even though they already have four children.
Not close friends
Ismail said the Keralite families knew each other since their two sons study together. “We have not been close friends. Yet, they came forward to do this amazing gesture.”
Musthafa said he and Jumana decided to help the couple going through the most difficult time in their lives.
“It was a big risk. But we didn’t think about it. We just wanted to help them.”
Hence, when Ahmed was discharged, he was received by Musthafa and Jumana.
With her experience of raising four kids, Jumana said she was not worried about giving good care to the baby even though she knew she can’t replace his mother.
“My concern was about my youngest son, who is less than two. I was worried if he would create any problem. But, by God’s grace that didn’t happen.”
All her children loved the new baby at home.
Every day, she chatted with Mubshira on WhatsApp updating her with photos and videos of Ahmed and his new siblings.
Three days later, the couple took him to the doctor for a review.
“We were touched when the doctor appreciated our gesture. He said there have been a few similar cases but the newborns were taken care of by their close relatives,” said Musthafa.
The couple said they found it as a duty towards God and hoped that they could set an example to people who are not sympathetic to COVID-19 patients as they had heard stories of discrimination and harassment.
Like a new member in family
On June 8th, they returned Ahmed to his parents as both of them had been free of the virus by then.
“In fact, it was painful to return him. It was like we had a new member in our family. But our duty was over and it was time to reunite him with his parents and siblings,” said Jumana.
Since then, it was her turn to get daily updates about Ahmed from his mother.
Musthafa said the family badly wanted to see him again, but had to restrict themselves due to the pandemic situation.
Finally, they went to see him again on the first day of Eid Al Adha on Friday.
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The reunion with little Ahmed on the Eid day was a blessed moment for Jumana and Musthafa who did not forget to get him new clothes.
But what mattered more to his family was their love and blessings.
“We can’t thank them enough for what they did. We are also thankful to three other families who supported us with food during our home isolation period. They made sure we get home-cooked food every day. We feel really blessed to have been supported so well by our community members,” said Ismail.