Saturday, October 24, 2009

Nagat's message on Farhana's passing

Assalamu alaikum.

The hadith that I am sharing is one that I heard during a class that I took back in June. Subhanallah I found it quite insightful and meaningful.

The Prophet (saw) was sitting with four of his companions (ra) -- Abu Bakr, Omar, Othman and Ali. The topic of discussion was what three things each loved most in this world. The Prophet (saw) answered first. His three were perfume, women, and prayer. Then he asked this same question of each of the companions. This is what they picked.

Abu Bakr: Looking at the Prophet's face (saw), making salawat on the Prophet (saw), and giving money to charity

Omar: Advising people, stopping wrongdoing, and saying the truth even if it's hard

Othman: Cooking and giving people food, saying salaam to others, and making the night prayer when everyone is asleep

Ali: Fasting in summer, taking care of guests, and using the sword to defend the Prophet (saw)

Then Jibril came to the Prophet (saw) and revealed the three things that he loved most. They were coming with the message to the world, coming to the Prophet (saw), and saying "alhamdulillah."

Finally, Jibril told the Prophet this. "Allah sends you salaams and to the sahaba. Allah loves these three things: a tongue always in dhikr, a heart that's grateful, and a body that's tested but patient."

What would we give to encompass just ONE of the qualities that Allah finds worthy of His love? What a great reward! And if we could be lucky enough to attain all three ... we can't even imagine the delights that await!! Subhanallah, looking over the list, it would seem as if Farhana is one of the ones who can achieve this title of "beloved."

Until the end, Farhana's tongue was always in dhikr. She urged people to recite and recite and recite. Even when her strength wasn't very strong during these last few days, she'd hold her tasbeeh beads and slowly turn one bead at a time. I can't even imagine how much strength that took from her.

And her body was definitely tested, but she remained so patient and calm. During this last year I never once heard her complain. Not once. After all the pricks and pain she had to endure, she just took it. I got a LITTLE cut on my finger tonight, and I was ready to be a baby about it. But not Farhana. I think it was during Ramadan that I was sitting with her one day and the tumor must have already been exerting pressure on her and making her tired. She didn't complain. Instead, so sweetly she said something like "May I go to sleep now?" or "I'm just going to close my eyes for a while, OK?" As if she needed to ask me for permission or was worried that I might be offended. Subhanallah.

And throughout it all she remained grateful to both Allah and those around her. She was thankful for the progress that she made during her physical therapy like walking again and being able to dress herself. She was thankful for her family who took care of her and hated to think that she was an inconvenience to them in any way. She was grateful for all the prayers that she received and how much they helped her during her struggle. She loved hearing that people all over the world were remembering her and making du'a for her.

May these three qualities endear her to Allah and allow Him to shower her with His love and reward her accordingly. And may we all strive to achieve the same. As Auntie Rabia said today we need to look at Farhana and learn a lesson. We need to realize just how short life is and how un-important all this daily stuff is that we get caught up with. Only our relationship with Allah is what is important. May we always remember Farhana in our du'as and take this lesson to heart. Ameen!

-- Nagat

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The passing of our sister Farhana


Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullah

As many may know, my cousin Farhana passed away last night after a 16 month battle with a brain tumor (in reality she was more to me than an older sister..) . She passed away peacefully last night at around 8 pm with close family around her. We ask each of you to please pray for her and the family and to ask Allah (swt) to make things easy and full of khayr.


In my cousin Ismail's words:

Our beloved sister, Farhana passed away earlier this evening (Wed., October 21st) at 7:45 pm PST. Everyone here is sad and heavy of heart. May Allah grant her Jannah – she looks so peaceful and bright with Noor.
Uncle Moosa, Aunty Rabia and Aabid are very strong and may Allah grant them sabr. The whole family is here and it’s wonderful to see the unity, love and support that our family has displayed through this trying time. May our bonds strengthen even further, InshaAllah.

In my cousin Na'eel's words:

Assalaam alaykum wa rahmatullah,

Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'un. Certainly, we are from Allah and to Him we return.

After a long year of struggle, my dear cousin Farhana passed away at 7:45 PST at home in California with all her loved ones beside her. One of my beloved aunts described her last moments in this world by likening the exit of her ruh/soul to a silk thread being drawn out of a delicate flower. may Allah make that moment for us as easy as Farhana's. As Muslims, we joyously celebrate the occurrence of a beautiful death for it heralds eternal bliss. Farhana's transition between the temporal and eternal is the transplantation of a flower from a garden to the Garden.

Her short life gave her enough time to exemplify the sincerity and simplicity one can live one's live with. As she lost function of various faculties, (movement, sight and then speaking), she used what remained to bring the way of the Prophet into her life. In fact, for the past week, as she lay on her bed immobile, she used the only hand she had left to use - her right - to make dhikr/remembrance on the tasbeeh/rosary and use the miswak/toothstick. All she wanted us to recite was Ya Salamu(Oh Peace referring to Allah) and Surah Yaseen. In this world, she called with Ya Salaamu with her last breath; now she is with al-Salam. She knew where she was going and wanted to leave in the most excellent way. Ameen. Where are we? Subhanallah.

he last thing the Prophet (s.a.w.s.) did before his death (according to Aisha):
“He lay down in my lap, brushed his teeth harder than he had ever done before ”, then his eyes were fixed and he was saying “Nay, the Companion on high from paradise.” I said to myself “You were given the choice and you have chosen, by Him who sent you with the Truth.” Then, he passed away.” (Bukhari)

The passing of loved ones occasions both mourning and remembrance of what awaits us all.

If I could suggest a concrete step after reading this email, purchase Imam Ghazali's Remembrance of Death and the Afterlife and read it annually .Familiarizing yourself with death is not a morbid exercise in our Tradition; rather, its frequent remembrance will serve to make its reality the context in which we live and act.

In these moments, it is painfully obvious how we have no control over life and death. When we are reminded over who is actually in control, we must chase those opportunities to take control of what we actually can - our intention. At the end of the day and life, it is our state of being and not our actions that we die upon. Never underestimate your intention for the niyya is removed from time. That is why dying upon an intention other than worshiping the One and Only can earn perpetual punishment. may Allah save us from this end! On the other hand, leaving this world with a pious intention can facilitate eternal reward.

In this light, we have only control of our intentions and the moments ahead. The Sufi is called "ibnul waqt", the "child of the moment." Years and lifetimes are not guaranteed; neither are days, weeks, or hours. In a manner of speaking, we are guaranteed the here and now and can control what we do in that span of time. Farhana lived her life with this in mind. She took care of people and made us all smile when we were with her. She was a devoted wife, sister, daughter, and friend.

This is the legacy Farhana leaves for us - fulfilling the rights she owed to others and never expecting anything in return.. She was always described as "down-to-earth" and "sensible", always making others more important than herself. She did so because Allah gifted her, as he does with His most beloved servants, with a keen sense of what actually matters in life – and at the end of life. We thank Allah for each and every moment of Farhana's company he mercifully gave to us. We pray that he increase our resolve to adopt lifestyles like hers whose Qibla was the Aakhira. We pray that he reunite us in the highest station of Jannatul Firdaus!



PS. So often in life, we never thank those around us for being who they are. When was the last time you thanked your mother without expecting something in return?

Take this opportunity to let your grandparents, your parents, your siblings, your cousins, and your friends know how much you appreciate them. And actually call them. Email and the internet only build upon real human connections so establish those regularly first!