Tuesday, 7 August 2012

When One Life Ends Another Life Begins

The last 3 weeks of my life have been surreal. I've always believed that the direction of my life and my purpose has always been shaped by the events that I have been surrounded and tested with. Regardless of the situation, I will always strive towards the truth and stand by Allah to the best of my abilities. I'm prepared to face the consequences. I yearn for success. Jannah.  


Patterned bright light. That's how my blinds look at 7:30am on a fine British morning. The best feeling is when you wake up naturally. The worst feeling is when you wake up to hearing your mother's voice trembling.

The first time I heard that voice was when my mother had an accident 9 years ago, she woke me up crying for help. The second time I heard that voice was when all this started. I woke up to hearing my mother distraught, informing me that my grandmother had passed away. My eyes jolted open and the only words I mumbled out were "Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'oon". I got up and I ran downstairs, after exchanging a few words my mother left.

My grandmother was Dad's aunt but she is what I believe a real grandmother would represent. She brought my father to this country in the 1950's and she raised my father as her own. She taught my mother everything she knew, she was her companion. She would support my mother through hardship and she was the light of the community. She was a fantastic human being. Those that are in the service of helping others. She was always present throughout my whole life, we did Umrah 10 years ago and she only lived 4 doors away.

Cancer. Seeing cancer kill somebody before your very eyes over 3 months was just something nobody could take lightly.

I informed my siblings. Everyone was devastated. I'm the youngest of the 6 siblings. My eldest is 21 years older than me. My sister lives the furthest out, she called me and told she informed work she wouldn't be in today. I remember just lying on my bed for what seemed to be seconds but turned out to be closer to an hour, contemplating on the qadr of Allah. I heard my father, I went downstairs to have a chat with him. He talked of all that she did for him, a real upset. He continued and did what dad always does, he asked me if I was okay along with my car and everything else. We both left the house together and we were amongst hundreds on the street. Everybody was directed towards the masjid. I told my father I'd meet him there, I took upon myself to go and clean our second living room, should they need our house to seat guests.

I started working through a huge workload of laundry. I was lost in my thoughts. I scattered over a months worth of clothing, a serious amount to get through.

Working through the clothes I heard the door knock loudly. "It must be another parcel" I thought. Although whilst walking down the stairs I couldn't quite remember buying ordering anything. The knocking got louder as I approached the door. I turned the key and swung open the door. What I saw in front of me.. didn't quite make sense.

It was my brother, my father and one of the neighbours. I saw arms on top of each other but I couldn't make out what was happening.

"Call the damn ambulance, now" my brother yelled. Without a second thought I lept up 3 steps at a time to grab my mobile from my bedroom. Whilst calling 999, I had no idea who it was for and what it was for. Whilst on the phone, I was put through to an ambulance.

The neighbour told me something was wrong with my father. We sat my father down and on the phone I went through my fathers background, and his medical history. I was asked to reassure my father. That, I did. Soon after, my father was touching his chest. His body was awfully cold but he was sweating. He was having a heart attack. The neighbour and brother ran me through what had happened.

Dad was walking back from the masjid, my brother was driving and he happened to see my father. So he parked up and thought he would quickly catch up with dad. He turned the corner and he couldn't see him. "Strange" he thought. So he continued walking forth, he then saw somebody at the corner of his eye. It was dad and he fumbling into somebody's garden.

The paramedic arrived just after the ambulance. They loaded my father up and took him inside the ambulance. We all stood outside for 10 minutes. Stood there motionless, the only thing I could do was dua. Hundreds of cars were packed up from the death, the road road was blocked. As the ambulance door opened, I went inside to accompany my father. One of the paramedics mentioned a coffin being taken. "That's my grandmother" I said. The team of paramedics just looked at me with my father lying down. "That's awful" one said.

Little did I know what was to pursue would be the longest few days of my life.

We got to the hospital and I sat by my father. I was hopeful because my father has always been phenomenally strong. That's all I've known him to be. I assured him everything was be alright. He looked at me and he said "not this time". "Dad, trust in Allah, we're going to be walking out of here soon". I genuinely believed that. A heart surgeon came and he gave me a prognosis.

After a few hours hours, doctors had gathered. It was messy, I saw a lot of blood. I was asked to return in a short while, by that time my family had arrived. My sisters were in tears and the rest were distraught. We waited and we waited. Nobody would tell us anything. A family friend used to be a senior doctor there, he came within minutes of being called. After being in the dark, a doctor came with the brother he explained to us that our father went into cardiac arrest. They managed to revive him with some adrenaline. He explained to us that our father is very sick. The only chance they had at making my father better was to use a stent. Using this stent there would be a chance of pumping more blood to the heart. They put him asleep so his heart wouldn't have to work as hard.

A few more hours his health was deteriorating rather quickly. After having a briefing with the senior surgeon, it was then that it home, that my father could no longer keep up with the world.

It's a strange feeling when you cry for the first time in your life. And there's something odd about seeing the floor move whilst you're sane. Mr P came to the hospital, he comforted me and he did this amazing thing. He told me that now was my turn the shine.

10 hours had elapsed with dad in this state and I saw my siblings crumble in front of me. Grown, mature, family men and women having breakdowns. We all had a strong relationship with our father. It was too much to bare. I had never seen my siblings in this state.

I'm not sure where this courage came from but I stepped up. I sat down with each one of my siblings, I comforted them, explained the situation, prepared them and explained how we could benefit dad. Some were easier than others but after spending the whole night and the following hours, I got through to them. I then proceeded to start making the necessary arrangements for the worst, should that happen.

I went to make fresh wudu. I then lead in front of friends and family as the sole reciter of the qur'an. Some joined suit as you soon come to realise that there no real words of comfort in this state. I realised it took an immense amount of strength to stand there and do this for all of us, especially my mother. By midnight, we had an immense number of visitors. The whole community was there.

I forced my siblings to eat and get a couple of hours of sleep. I didn't eat nor did I sleep. At 5am by my fathers bed, I felt low on energy. My neck was cranking sideways a nurse managed to slip a pillow under there. I was on the verge of falling asleep until I felt my phone vibrating.

For the last 7 months I was pursuing a suitor, I can say with conviction I gave this one my all. She was unaware of what was going on. She dropped a barrage of texts, clearly had a lot on her mind. As we were not in touch for a while. You see, we decided we wanted to marry but there were some obstacles in place. We mutually discussed that Islamically it would be best for us not to talk idly as we had already invested a serious amount of time, effort take make a decision.

Anyhow, she wanted to end things. She requested to talk to me but I was no in position to talk. So it happened over text. It was a giant confused block of text. She attempted to explain how me waiting for her is unfair and she couldn't do this to me. She thought she would saving me the heart ache by walking away. She also felt that I offered more than what she believed she offered in return. I was unaware at this time that her family had been causing her grief.

I responded by informing her what had happened. And I told her that I understood her position and gave my salaams. Just like that. I invested in her so dearly and I let her leave because right now, I had much more important things on my mind. 

Watching the man you love and respect die before your eyes is soul destroying and heart breaking. Then to have the remaining pieces walked on by your fiancé. That was heavy.

After sending two of my siblings home to their families. I picked up the qur'an and I continued reciting for a short while. 

I stopped and I thought "Alhamdulillah. Qadr... This is qadr. And this is just another test. My imaan is increasing."

Being the youngest of my 6 siblings, I've had to rally and keep everyone real strong especially my mother. Everybody was feeling stronger, they said I picked them all up. But there was nobody to pick me up. In this midst of all this chaos our cousins were plotting and planning.

Little did I know that 5 hours later, my father would die.

To be continued..

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Smashing Hardship On The Nose

During your lifetime, you will recall moments of joy, happiness and laughter.

Then there will be moments of sadness, grief, oppression and corruption.

Fortunately for me, I'm challenged with a barrage of upsets in my life. Things have gone from bad to worse. It's tricky.

Misfortune is a moment of fortune. It builds character and it elevates your status in Jannah. 

A lot has happened and I need some perspective. I'm hoping that writing will open something up for me as I attempt to saviour the remaining few days of Ramadan. Allah is my only hope. Now is my moment to shine. Here's me giving it a try.