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June 18, 2005

And What a Weekend It Will Be


There’s certain times of the year when one cannot help but to sit back and reflect about such days, especially when one considers what happened in these days in years past. Certainly, some of these times are well known–the days of Hajj, Ramadan, etc–but I would venture to say that in our personal lives, some days have a special historical significance. And perhaps the benefit in the returning of these days is that in the reflection of the past, one can reacquaint himself with the lessons learnt and better prepare himself for the future. This weekend marks a unique period of time in my life for a few reasons.


On June 18th, 2004, one of my dear friends, Mohammed “Hammoudi” Hussein, passed away and returned to his Lord. It’s been one year since Hammoudi’s passing and I have to say that I still miss this guy everyday, especially whenever I see his brother Fadi. There have been times over the year when Fadi will show up to play football and we’ll be needing another person, and I found myself about to say to Fadi, “Hey Fadi, why didn’t you bring Mohammed?”… and then realizing, Subhanallah, Mohammed isn’t here. I think that is Hammoudi’s legacy to those of us who knew him well–we still see him as “here”, and therefore he continues to touch our lives in ways that are too personal and beautiful to share on a blog. Perhaps one way that is worth mentioning is how everyone who remembers Hammoudi has a common theme: no one has anything bad to say about him. One year later, this theme still remains the same. I guess that one of the most profound blessings a person can hope for when they pass away is to not have anyone feel anything in their hearts against them. Hammoudi has been given that–and if someone has been given this, what other blessing would they need?


I miss Hammoudi. I miss his smile, his sincerity, his humor; his incessant nagging for us to go paintballing with him; his rage that he showed when he played defensive line and promised to sack the opposing quarterback; his willingness to help out anyone whenever they asked him; his dedication to the causes that he took part in (for some of my newer readers: last year, when we did the first spelling bee, Hammoudi created and maintained the website even though he was undergoing chemotherapy at the hospital); and most of all, and I know I mentioned it already, I miss his smile. The famous hadith that is seen on bumper stickers across America states that “Even a smile is charity.”–I cannot help but admire and be envious of how much sadaqah (charity) that my boy accumulated over the years.


June 18th had also been a sad day in our family for many years, as my nani (mother’s mother) passed away on this day. Unfortunately, this was before I was even born so I never got a chance to meet her, but I remember that while growing up, there was always a somewhat subdued atmosphere amongst my mom’s family as they would remember their mother. But June 18th also marks the six year anniversary for my brother’s finishing of his memorization of the Qur’an. I remember how towards the end he sped up his pace so that he could finish on June 18th. He said that he wanted to do this for two reasons. The first was he wanted that this day, which had been historically remembered in our family with sadness, could now also have a certain amount of joy in it. Secondly, he wanted to finish his hifz one day earlier (on the calendar year) than me so that his anniversary would be “before” mine. What a punk.


(edit 11:21 AM) Subhanallah, I just learnt that the mother of our Muslim neighbors across the street (the Qureshis… Isaac’s relatives) just passed away at the hospital. Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji`oon. What a weekend.


This upcoming June 19th marks the nine year anniversary of the greatest day of my life. On Wednesday, June 19th, 1996 at 3:04 pm, Alhamdulillah, Allah completed one of His greatest favors on me as I finished reciting the last verses of Surah al-Mursalat and completed my hifz (memorization) of the Qur’an. Thinking about that day always makes me think of those amazing nine months at IIE wherein my life was so simple and structured–eating, sleeping, praying, and memorizing were the only things that I had to do each day. And now… Subhanallah, it’s too damn complicated. But what I gained from that year is beyond definition or words and it’s humbling to think that someone as unpure and corrupt as myself was given this gift by God. Thinking back to that day as well, the joy that filled my heart as I recited Fa bi ayyi hadithin ba`dahu yu’minoon (Then in which revelation after this will they have faith in?… the last verses of Surah al-Mursalat)… was the greatest joy I’ve ever felt in this world. Even at Hajj, the joy of Hajj was only second to the joy of June 19th. Perhaps then, I should feel a certain degree of sadness, for I wonder if I shall ever feel that same “high” that I felt on that sunny Wednesday afternoon in June.


Over these past 9 years, my 13-liner (cause 13 liners rule… hehe) has gone through different paper covers since the binding fell apart (I had originally gotten it when I was six and have been using it since then). When I finished, I distinctly remembered that I had this white paper cover over it. A few years later, that had to be replaced by brown grocery bag paper as a second cover over it. That lasted for a few years until about 2000, when my mom, in act of sheer defiance and thievery, gave my Qur’an (without my permission!) to an aunty who stitched this beautiful black/white cloth cover over it that still remains to this day. Despite these numerous cover changes, I find that every time I open it, it still feels like the first time.


Over these past 9 years, the barakah (blessing) of the Qur’an has infused and permeated so many aspects of my life that I can’t even do justice by remembering or mentioning them. Remembering this day has also reminded me of the responsibility I have to this Qur’an. I don’t know if I have lived up to that responsibility so far; I can only hope that I have done so to some extent, at least. As undeserving as I am, I have been given this gift for a reason, and I know that in order to be thankful, I must use it with excellence. For more than a third of my life now I have had this gift–Inshallah, here’s to many more years of my intimate relationship with the Qur’an and an opening within myself to understand it, implement it in my life, and apply it to the world around me to uplift the human condition.


Finally, as evidence that there is often a poetic ending to certain events that occur in life, Fadi is getting married on June 19th as well. Exactly one year and one day after the passing of this brother, he will be blessed with one of the greatest joys (or so they allege…) of this life. For the family, a year that heralded sorrow and sadness is now followed by one that marks joy and happiness. In the midst of the numerous smiles that will adorn the faces of friends and family, I am certain that someone else is also smiling for the happiness of Fadi, and his smile is eclipsing everyone else’s.


He wouldn’t have it any other way.


And what a weekend it will be.


 

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16 Comments
  1. I commented before. I shall give you the props now.

  2. Anonymous permalink

    same with me…mash’Allah great post man…
    may Allah give Hammoudi the highest place in Jannah and may he reunite all of us with him when the time comes…
    *fist in the air*
    nigger-ul-haq

  3. Masha Allah…Kamran…you did hifz in nine months?….that’s amazing man…..infinite props bro….but have to tell you that your little bro is better than you 🙂 …cause my son’s name is the same as his name…and he got a perfect 1600/1600 in his Psat or whatever it’s called…..btw….did he do the Hifz of the Quran quicker than you?  I think your mom should write a book titled, “How to bring up children in America” or something like that…..I’m sure it will be a bestseller
    I sometimes open up my 13 liner Quran as well….and it brings back many fond memories of my hifz days in England….The best days of my life….
    i was thinking about Mohammed the other day as well…and I was wondering what my last post will be about?….
    nazim
    it’s been days since i was last on the net….i like it when my internet goes down….i get so many other things done…

  4. May Allah forgive this sins of all those who have passed away, and make the loss easy for their families and replace their sorrows with smiles.
    Mubarak on your hifz anniversary, may Allah keep the Qur’an in your heart always and make you an instrument to inspire others towards it. ameen.

  5. Asalamu alaikum,
    Just surfing through xangas and landed on yours. May Allah send your friend to Jannah inshallah. And its great that you are a hafiz, you get ajar just for reciting the quran. take care.
    wa-salam

  6. Asalaamu Alaikom! Just doing the same as the brother who made the last comment. Interesting blog you’ve got here!

  7. Anonymous permalink

    ameen. ameen. Jazakullah khairan for the reminder. Us useless, forgetful brothers need to be reminded.

  8. Wow, that was beautiful. Def got my eyes all teary. My favorite post. Mabrook on the anniversary… I can only imagine that high…Ameenin’ the duas,IJB

  9. Anonymous permalink

    Mabrook on the Anniversary. That’s awesome Mash’Allah
    Funny, my little cousin Mustafa had his official graduation from his Hafiz school yesterday.
    Ameen to the duas.

  10. props….very nice entry bro

  11. One of my favorite aunts died yesterday.  I miss her. 

  12. Anonymous permalink

    Aah Moe In Jannah we’ll all be there.. Yes, Subhanallah Allah is so merciful, Bangaloree’s have a shot at entering Jannah as well. How cool is that Kamran? That means YOU have a chance too –pakistan is Jaanat on earth lil boy! recognize

  13. Anonymous permalink

    nice post, very eloquent

  14. allahumma irfa’na bi dhikrika wa shukrika wal quran al-kareem
    make dua for us low people who are still struggling to memorize.  easier when you are younger– less sins.
    may God preserve you.

  15. Anonymous permalink

    Fadi’s wedding means one thing… DEBKA!
    too bad I haven’t danced in my life before.

  16. i usually change my site music with each new entry….. btw what’s all this talk about Kr156 being a bad guy ? lol. that’s ok i’m a bad guy too.

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