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June 17, 2004

Remember Often the Ender of Pleasures


I was originally going to make a huge anti-Lakers post, but recent events have re-awakened me to reality. It’s sad that sometimes it takes tragic circumstances for man to turn to God, to reflect on the ephemerality of this world, and to remember that all of us will return to that same Divine Source from which we came. And when these tragic events happen, we are all awakened, as if from a dream, and reminded of this inevitable fact: all of us will die when it is our turn to return to Him.


Last summer, a dear friend of mine, Mohammed Hussein (Hammoudi) was diagnosed with B-cell lymphoma (a type of blood cancer). It was shocking enough back then: a healthy, active, cheerful guy who was suddenly diagnosed with, of all things, cancer? As shocking as the discovery was, I was amazed with how Hammoudi dealt with it. I think that most people (myself included), if we ever were put in such a situation (we seek protection in God from this) like this, would lose hope and expect the worst. Not Hammoudi. The courage and determination that he showed amazed me; the fact that he was so calm and composed shocked me; and the fact that he had no fear and instead had complete trust in Allah shamed me. Alhamdulillah, things were going well over the course of last year, despite all the chemotherapy and bone marrow transplants and whatnot that he went through. Then this week, we all learnt that the cancer had relapsed, only to be compounded with a lung infection, and that he didn’t have many more days to live.


I went and saw him in the hospital today. Subhanallah, it was amazing to see a lot of the UIC guys there (old and new) to be with him in his last moments. I’m not going to describe what I saw, but suffice it to say that grown men were reduced to tears upon witnessing the situation.


I don’t usually ask for much, especially through this website, as its more of a diversion for me than anything else. But now I humbly beg each and everyone of you to please make du’a for my friend and brother. If you don’t know what exactly to say, I’ve included a suggested du’a below. In addition to making du’a, please try to read Surah Fatiha and Yaseen as many times as you can.


Please make the following du’a sincerely. Du’a format:


1. Praise of Allah: acknowledge his macro and micro blessings and favors; appreciate His Favor of making you Muslim; end by saying, “I cannot account for Your Praises, You are as You have praised Yourself.”


2. Bearing witness and sending prayer on the Prophets: bear witness upon the sending and truthfulness of all of the Prophets (‘alayhim al-salaam), particularly sending special prayer and peace upon our Beloved Messenger (salallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam)


3. Ask for forgiveness for the sins we have committed knowingly/unknowingly, in the past/present/future; ask for forgiveness for not asking for forgiveness enough; and ask Allah to make our sins to be like the sins of His favored servants.


4. Qur’anic dua’s: examples would be “rabbana aatina fi-dunya…”, etc. follow this with du’as from the Sunnah/Hadith of the Prophet


5. Ya Allah, Yours is the dominion of the heavens and earth and all that is between them; Yours is the power over all things; nothing happens except by Your Will; Your Possession is so vast that even if all of creation were to ask all of its desires and You were to grant it to them, it would not diminish Your Possession even one iota. Because of this, Ya Allah, and because You do what You will, and there is no cure except Your Cure, we ask that you grant Mohammed Hussein a complete recovery from this illness.


6. However, Ya Allah, if it is Your Will otherwise, we acknowledge that when You have decreed something, you need to only say “Be”, and it is. We, as your pathetic slaves, acknowledge that there is no escape from You except to You, and therefore we flee to You with our hopes high, knowing that Your Mercy outstrips Your Wrath, Your Forgiveness outstrips Your Anger, and that Your Generosity outstrips Your Punishment. Hear us, O Lord of Lords, and accept Mohammed’s death as a death in Iman and let him die with Your Name on his lips. Ease from him the pangs of death (sakarat al-mawt), and let his soul pass quickly from this world and into the next.


Ya Allah, accept from him all of his prayers, his fasting, his charity, and all the righteous actions that he has done in his life, even if it be an atom’s worth of good. And Ya Allah, because You are so Mighty, and even if you were to forgive it would not diminish You in the least, forgive him of each and every single one of his sins and replace it with good deeds instead. Most importantly, Ya Allah, accept his forgiveness and grant him the reward as you have promised in Your Book, “and as for him who makes repentance, and believes, and does righteous works, then for those, verily God will replace their evil deeds with good deeds…”


Ya Allah, give his family, friends, and everyone who knew him patience and peace during this rough time. Ease the emotional and spiritual pain particularly of his parents and brothers, and allow them to come closer to You and to each because of this, and allow all of us to come closer to You and to each other as well.


Ya Dhal-Jalaali Wa’l Ikram, help him to answer the questions of the Questioners of the grave. Make his period in the grave to be a garden from the gardens of Paradise and a prelude of Paradise, and not a prelude to the torments of Hell. Ya Allah, save him from all of the possible punishments of the grave


Ya Allah, resurrect him amongst the nation of the Prophet among the Prophets, the Saints, the Martyrs, and the Righteous. Make his reckoning to be swift and quick, and give him his record in his right hand. Give him shade on that day when there shall be no shade except for those whom you will give shade, protect him from fear, grief, and anxiety and any other torments of that day. Let him not enter the Hell-fire for even a second; let him not even see/hear/smell/know of the the Hell-fire. And grant him the blessing of being given water from the well of Kawthar, from the hand of Your Beloved.


Ya Allah, enter him into the highest ranks of paradise and cause him never again to see/hear/feel any evil or distress. Allow him to hear You recite Your Book for Your chosen in Paradise, and grant him the greatest Joy of all: grant him the blessing of seeing Your Face, Ya Hayyu Ya Qayyum.


7. Make any du’a that you wish for yourself here.


8. End with steps 3, 1, 2 (in that order).


Finally, I think it behooves all of us to take note of such examples to reflect on our own lives and ask ourselves where are we headed, and whether or not we’re prepared to meet our Lord when our time comes. As one of our masters of classical Islam said:


 “The most important thing that any of you will ever do in this world is to die; so die well.”  


As an afterword, I gave Mohammed the following letter, and I have pasted it here so that those who didnt know him will understand what kind of person he truly was. As Kazim said, “Rest well Mohammed, save me (and all of us) a house next to you in jannah”. Ameen.


Mohammed:


 


Writing this type of message is something that people wish and pray they never have to write, let alone read. I don’t know if you’ll ever get to read this, but I wanted to let you know how much you have meant to me and the people around you.


 


You never spoke as much as others did, you were always the quietest; yet, people always remembered you for the way you treated others.


 


Your sense of humor and joy that you showed every day, even after the diagnosis, was something that reminded us all how lucky we truly are.


 


Some may say that courage is to face one’s enemy in battle; you, however, have shown me that the greatest act of courage a person can show is to face himself and the greatest of odds with complete confidence and trust in Allah. For teaching me this lesson, I will always be grateful.


 


Your love for being part of the team was shown in all walks of life, particularly when we would play football. You always volunteered to play line, something that no one wanted to do, but this only reflected your willingness to be a part of the team and make whatever sacrifices for the sake of others.


 


Your service to the community, particularly the UIC-MSA, will always be remembered by those who truly knew you. You were never one for people’s attention, but you were always one who did all the things behind the scenes for the sake of your brothers and sisters. At numerous dinners and such, you were always there in the background, whether it was making websites or helping put away chairs… Just a few months ago, even when you were in the midst of chemo, you volunteered to help us with the Spelling Bee by designing the website and handling all the registration details… that amazed me, that your desire to serve the community was present even when you were going through your worst times.  Your love for this community was so great that all of us would be better people if we could mirror even a fraction of that love you had.


 


Finally, I will always remember you because of the last time I met you. It was at Samir’s house, and I had walked in late. I saw you sitting on the couch, and I was so happy to see you that I, like an idiot, came and gave you a big hug, not noticing the dialysis machine you were on. It was clear that my hug caused you great pain, but you didn’t say anything. Instead, you smiled back at me, just as happy to see me as I was to see you. However, the thing about that night that I can never forget was how I fell asleep while the others were watching a movie, and when I woke up, I saw that you had put your blanket that you had been using on me while I was sleeping. I didn’t show it that night, but I remember that I cried after I got home for what you had done. It was a simple act, but the fact that you were so concerned for my well-being despite your own health is a lesson that I learnt from you that night, a lesson that I will never learn in any book or from any scholar. You taught me the meaning of caring for your brother that night, and for that I will be eternally grateful.


 


As you approach the final moments, please have only good thoughts of Allah. Allah said in a Divine Hadith, “I am as My servant thinks of Me.” Please think of Him well, and be cheerful for all the good that you have done, and be hopeful that He will forgive you out of His vast forgiveness and mercy and resurrect you amongst the Ummah of the Prophet and enter you into the highest level of paradise.


 


May Allah have mercy on you and your family, my dear brother.


 


Your brother in this world and (God-willing) brother and companion in the next,


Kamran


 

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2 Comments
  1. May Allah help him throughout his time in this world and in the next. Ameen.

  2. May Allah give our brother Mohammed Hussein the best in this world and in the next world. May Allah be merciful to him, to his family, to his friends and to the community. Ameen.

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