At the face of death (A heart-touching story)
This is something that is very personal and important to me. I hope that you will learn and benefit from it. Let me begin by saying “Bismillah.” When I first started University, I had met another Muslim brother. We had become good friends, but this friendship was not like any other ordinary friendship, I would have done anything for him, he was like my real brother.
During our last year of University, this brother of mine announced that he was engaged and that he was to be married after he graduates this year and finds himself a job. I was glad for him and so was he. He talked non stop about getting married, I was sort of getting jealous of him, because the brother had it made for him, finishing school, getting married and especially coming from a wealthy family.
One day this brother was to meet me at the coffee shop. He showed up, but astonishingly he wasn’t smiling and wasn’t talking about his fiancée. I asked him what was wrong, he asked if we could talk somewhere privately and we did. Finally I knew why he was upset. He had told me that he found out that he had a brain tumor which was malignant, which meant it had become cancerous. When he told me the news, his voice was quivering and tears were streaming down his cheeks.
I had never seen him like this before. I tried keeping in my tears and I tried not to show that I was hurt also. I was burning up inside and things were racing through my mind. I kept thinking, how could this have happened? A man who had everything made and had everything perfect. I kept it inside because I did not want him to see me upset.
I saw this brother slowly go down. He had to drop out of school at his last year because he began to lose his memory and he started to repeat himself over again. He did not have a chance at school without his memory. This brother was intelligent, but after, he became lost.
He was told that his fianceés family and her parents did not want their daughter to marry him, because he had no job and basically no future. This was hard for him, I remember he would cry to me about her and how he cared for her and how hopeless he felt.
Later, the brother had problems writing and his right eyesight was fading. The tumor was on the left side of his brain so it affected everything on his right. Because of his memory loss, the brother soon forgot suras and he even forgot how to pray. A year later, his right arm was paralyzed and his eyesight was taken away from him. It was the hardest thing for me to see. The brother I loved so much as going through so much. I began coming over everyday helping him recite suras.
When I was recited sura Fatiha to him and he was slowly repeating after me, I looked at him and I thought, this was the same brother who was so intelligent and was to finish school. This was the same brother who came from such a wealthy family. This was the same brother who talked for days about getting married and raising a family. This was the same brother who had everything. But now he can barely remember what I said to him ten minutes ago, he can’t get married, and now he is struggling to read Qur’an, he was not much of a practicing Muslim so it was harder for him to recite the Qur’an. This man was now turning towards Allah, he dropped EVERYTHING and turned towards Allah. Allah gave him everything, and he could take everything away just as easily.
A month ago, I had received a call saying that the brother passed away and that his janaza is today. I washed his body with a couple of other brothers and I saw his lifeless body. He was buried and after that I returned home. The next day, I sat down wondering to myself about the power of Allah. My brother’s death made me realize that we forget what our purpose of being here is for: To serve Allah. You could have everything, but do you have anything that is important? I spent six years knowing this brother, and caring for him. I never once shed a tear when he was alive and not even when he passed away. But the day after his death, I did cry because I thought about the power of Allah. I thought about my brother. We always say that we will return to Allah, but we never really believe it. If we did, then we would struggle to read the Qur’an and pray to Allah like my brother did.
My brother had his eyesight taken away from him, his arm was paralyzed and his memory was lost, but he still got up every morning and he insisted and I repeat, insisted on reciting the Qur’an. But we are able, but we still do not struggle to read the Qur’an. We do not really believe that we will return to Allah, or else we would struggle for Allah.
My brother had love for materialistic objects, but when death approached him, those things were no use to him because he knew those things were not going to lead him to Jannah without his Iman. Allah can give and take things easily whenever and wherever. I love my brother and I pray that Allah will accept him, and I humbly request that prayer be made for him. I do pray that you have a true belief of Allah and our return to Him because if you do have this fear, you will struggle for your Islam to the best of your ability before you can say it is too late. May we all be rightly guided. Ameen.