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!


  1. sumaya jeeva3:08 PM

    May Allah grant Farhana Peace and Light. May her qabr be illuminated with light. May she feel utter tranquility and bliss whereever her soul may be right now. May she be in a state of absolute Rest and freedom in the world of souls. And may she smell the fragrance of jannah, experience its sweetness, without sadness, pain, or grieving. May she be amongst those beloved to Allah. May she have the highest abode in paradise. Ameen ameen ameen.

  2. Ferzeen Shamsi8:09 PM

    I wept as I read the words above. May we all be so loved by those who know us, and more importantly may we all be loved by Allah. I will always remember lovely Farhana as a forever smiling, peaceful, kind and loving soul. She inspires me to be even a fraction of who she was. May Allah grant her the highest level of Jannat and may she have many many smiling children around her. She loved children. May Allah give Aunty Rabia, Uncle Musa and Aabid sabr and solace during this painful time. My duas are with you.

  3. Anonymous1:12 PM

    As-salaam alkiyum / Wa-alkiyum as-salaam
    She was a great friend, and always had a great smile. She would be truly be missed. May ALLAH give her the highest place in Jannah. I know how hard it can be on family especially loosing a love one that was so close. But the best things are to do is to offer dua and pray. Rasulullah (saws) said, "When the son of Adam (human being) dies, his deeds are stopped except for three things, namely, his good deeds, his knowledge, and his pious child who prays for him." May Allah grant her and all whom we have lost the highest place in Jannah, firdaus ameen sum ameen. May Allah reward Farhana for her piety, righteousness, and patience by showering her with His Mercy and Forgiveness and granting her Jannah, Insha'allah. May ALLAH giver her mom, dad, husband and the rest of her family the strength to get through this difficult time.
    We spend excessive time on net and so on but from that time we can spend little time with our family and our friends and be thankful of having them around us. We don’t know of our life where it will lead us in any sec but the each sec of our life we can manage and know how to spend it. I am thankful to everyone around me who loves me and as I am thankful for each day that I can live up to I offer dua in each my prayer that may ALLAH give the best of health to all my loves ones and protect them from any harm, evil eyes and bless them with many joy n blessing in this world and the hereafter. May ALLAH gives us saber during such time and to have strength to help one another during such time. Ameen
    Insha’Allah Please remember us in your dua’s and be a helping hand for the one in need.

    Allah Haffiz

  4. Anonymous2:01 PM


    In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
    All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger

    Hadith of the prophet (saw): "When the believer is about to depart from this world and go forward into the Next World, angels with faces as bright as the sun descend from the heavens and sit around him in throngs stretching as far as the eye can see. Then the Angel of Death comes and sits at his head and says, "Good soul, come out to forgiveness and pleasure from Allah!" Then his soul emerges like a drop of water flows from a water-skin and the angel takes hold of it. When he has grasped it, the other angels do not leave it in his hand even for the twinkling of an eye. They take it and place it in a perfumed shroud and fragrance issues from it like the sweetest scent of musk found on the face of the earth.'

    "Then they bear it upwards and whenever they take it past a company of angels, they ask, 'Who is this good soul?' and the angels with the soul reply, 'Farhana the daughter of Musa and Rabia,' using the best names by which people used to call her in this world. They bring her to the lowest heaven and ask for the gate to be opened for her. It is opened for her and angels who are near Allah from each of the heavens accompany her to the subsequent heaven until she reaches to the heaven where Allah the Great is. Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, says, 'Register the book of My slave in 'Illiyun and take her back to earth. I created them from it and I return them to it and I will bring them forth from it again.'

    "Her soul is then returned to her body and two angels come to her. They make her sit up and say to her, 'Who is your Lord?' She replies, 'My Lord is Allah.' They ask her, 'What is your religion?' She replies, 'My religion is Islam.' They ask her, 'Who is this man who was sent among you?' She replies, 'The Messenger of Allah. Then a Voice from on high declares, 'My slave has spoken the truth, so spread out carpets from the Garden for her and open a gate of the Garden for her!'

    "Then some of its fragrance and perfume comes to her, her grave is expanded for her as far as the eye can see, and a man with beautiful garments and a fragrant scent comes to her and says, 'Rejoice in what delights you for this is the day which you were promised.' She asks, 'Who are you? Yours is a face which presages good.' He replies, 'I am your good actions.' Then she says, 'O Lord, let the Last Hour come soon so that I may rejoin my family, whom I love dearly!'

    Let us pray that we are among those who work to have an easy trip and have as the end to their journey, the final abode of Paradise. O Allah, We seek refuge with You from the punishment of the grave. O Allah, help us to live and die as Muslims and help us to understand the true object of this life. O Allah, grant us good in this life and good in the life to come, and save us from the torment of the Hellfire.

    "We hear and we obey. Forgive us, our Lord! To You is the journey's end." (2:285) Ameen.

    "Every soul shall have a taste of death: and only on the Day of Judgement shall you be paid your full recompense. Only he who is save far from the Fire and admitted to the Garden will have attained the object (of Life): For the life of this world is but goods and chattels of deception" (3:185)


  5. nasreen3:19 PM

    Assalaam alaykum wa rahmatulla
    My dear cousins Rubina,Ismail,Shiraz,Firdhose,Rashaad M, Masóod,Mariam,Rookeya,Rashaad C,Shamira,Khulsum,Naéel and Nabeel.
    I know that even though we are scattered over three continents,we have all been painfully shaken by the tragic loss of our beloved Farhana.
    This wrenching event has left all affected in a spiral of mourning and we all express our sadness and dismay in our own ways as we struggle to continue our lives.
    Many have described how our dearest sister Farhana bore her illness with such fortitude and how she left this earth in the most peaceful manner.She was ready to meet her Maker and she went with unshakeable faith;her last desires only to praise her Lord.May Allah grant her the highest stage in Jannat insha allah and may all the duas from all over the planet materialise for her in the hereafter.Ameen.

    Let us for a moment close our eyes and picture Farhana before her illness-her bright,kind face;her porcelain complexion;her effusive personality and her endearing smile are fond memories we will all treasure!
    Today,we can only celebrate her unique nature and be honoured that she touched our lives in so many ways.
    Farhana was a breath of fresh air in our family.She was not concerned with material possessions,social stature and placed no value in temporary worldly success.She loved people for who they really are.She afforded dignity to simple people overlooked by others.Her inclusive ways ensured that all felt important in her presence.She was frank,honest and sincere and she cared wholeheartedly for us all.Farhana would go the extra mile often sacrificing her own needs;she was selfless. .Her genuine happiness could always be felt when she shared in any of our good fortunes.She was a good listener and confidente and infused joy and laughter into our lives with her generosity and great spirit! One of her most striking qualities was her ability to be just in all family politics;she was fair in her judgement and withdrew from negative discussions,subhanallah.Farhana never expected recognition or praise,she was discrete with her goodness and charity and her humility earned her respect.

    If we are struggling with this devastating loss in our family,I cannot fathom the emotional(memories,lost hopes,shattered dreams) and physical toll it has taken on Uncle Moosa,Aunty Rabia and our brother Abed.The bereaved parents and spouse need to know that the support of the family and friends will continue after the commotion and the busy days following the funeral.We really need to nurse our aunt and love her as we would our mothers'.We need to fill the void she feels and see to her every need;she must never feel alone,insha allah.Remember fathers are the forgotten grievers,so reach out to Uncle Moosa too.I trust we will all mantain a good relationship with Abed and always welcome him as family into our homes.He loved Farhana and took care of her till the end and we can never forget that their marriage was truly a highlight in her short life.May Allah give them sabr to bear her loss.Ameen.From our grandfather,Papa,in his nineties,we can all learn how to endure any adverse situation with such courage and devotion to Allah-he accepts everything good and bad as the will of God and thus is a pillar of strength in theae difficult times. May Allah bless him abundantly,ameen.

    Farhana was a bridge-builder;she disliked disunity and negative karma and from these lessons we can strive to strengthen our love and concern for each other.Let us discard any differences and aim to always be united in whatever life throws at us.Let us take the time to keep in touch.Maybe we can honour Farhana's memory by volunteering our services to organisations concerned with brain tumour sufferers or donate towards research in this field.Above all,let us continue our duas for a girl who was just too good and innocent for this world.

    May Allah be with you all

  6. My sincerest condolences to you and your family.

    May Allah ta'ala grant Farhana's family patience and forbearance during this time. May He ta'ala grant her the highest level of Jannah and an etrance at the side of the Prophet, sallAllahu 'alayhi wa sallam, who she strived to emulate even in her last moments. May her face be filled with nur and may you all be reunited under the throne of Allah ta'ala in Jannah. Allahumma Ammeen.

    wassalaamu alaikum,

  7. Jazakillah khayrun Nasreen for these touching words & beneficial reminder. I wanted to share what our friend, Nagat, wrote about Farhana [please see next post]; it really makes me realize how truly fortunate Farhana was. Although her life was short, it was filled with khayr and her last actions were rewarding ones. We are judged according to our actions and intentions, and the last of our actions is what we will be raised upon, correct? We all must pray for a good seal to our lives and for the last of our actions to be the best of our actions, and the best day for us be the day we meet our Lord. For Farhana this seems really relevant and fulfilled, insha'Allah. For instance, isn't it amazing how Farhana's last action was following the Prophet (s.a.w.)'s sunnah in requesting a miswaak at the time of death and having it be the last thing that entered her mouth before her ruh was taken from her? Subhan'Allah. The hadith that states (to the nearest meaning) "The siwaak is a purifier for the mouth and a pleaser to our Lord" really consoles me as I realize her last action was what pleased Allah (insha'Allah) and when she passed away, her face was illuminated and a slight smile remained as she was buried. Isn't that how we should all live our lives? When we are born we cry while everyone smiles, and we live such a life that when we die we should be the ones that are smiling while everyone cries. May Allah (swt) accept it from her and grant us all a good seal to our lives - Ameen!

    There is so much more I can say...but in addition to reflecting on our own short lives in this transient world, I would still like to remember how Farhana left us and the memories that we sustain of the joyful and optimistic soul we call our sister..