He was well and in good health. He was looking forward to the future with eager anticipation, looking forward to the next moment and what the future holds for him.
My friend was treading the path of life just like the rest of the people, having esteemed aspirations, hopes and wishes. He lived his life having high hopes and excessive ambitions for this life. He had been envisioning his estimated future just like many of us.
I met him after his vacation and he was joyful and cheerful as usual. He came back to work with great eagerness and vigor. He was very happy and in good spirits.
I sat down with him and had a little chat on that day. I can never forget his passionate tone when he said: “I implore Allah to Bless us with witnessing the month of Ramazan!”
This was about a few days before the month of Ramazan.
I responded, “Ameen.”
We finished work that day and each headed to his home in hope of meeting tomorrow. If only we knew that we would not meet again after that day!
The following day, I arrived at our workplace and was surprised that my friend did not show up on time!
I immediately called him and his eldest son answered me. I asked him about his father and he replied in a tone filled with sadness and tension:
“Ask Allah to Grant him recovery for he was inflicted with a painful brain injury yesterday causing bleeding in his brain. He is now in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).”
I was absolutely shocked and speechless for a moment as I heard the tragic news. He was with me less than twenty-four hours ago! Shocked and saddened as I was, I kept repeating, ” There is no power and no strength save in Allah. O Allah The glorious; Grant my friend a quick recovery, good health, and wellness.”
Tough days passed by and the memory of my friend remained bright in my mind. I remembered him every day over and over again. I checked up on him regularly and the usual answer was, “He has not woken up from his coma yet.”
This tragic situation lasted until the very sad day. Just one day before the month of Ramadan, I came to know that my friend passed away. Indeed we belong to Allah and indeed to Him we shall return. I felt (so much) grief and sorrow flowing through my veins. I burst into uncontrollable tears. What a horrifying tragedy!
I began supplicating Allah, imploring Him to Grant my friend mercy and forgiveness. By the Athaan of ‘Asr prayer and shortly earlier to the funeral, I felt a strange sense of isolation flowing deep inside of me.
What harsh words were those of the Imaam as he called for the prayer; “Come to perform the funeral prayer for the deceased, May Allah Have mercy upon you.”! These words stung me from within. I kept recalling my memories with my friend, who is now being referred to, as the deceased. We performed the funeral prayer, the coffin was carried on top of people’s shoulders and we hastened to bury him. I kept asking myself; “is the one in this coffin really so and i.e. my friend?”
We arrived at the graveyard and went to the prepared tomb and I contemplated it for a while. What a narrow place! My heart went out as they placed the body of my friend into his grave, saying “In the Name of Allah and in accordance with the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah PBUH.
O my Lord; we spend this life assuming that we are going to live forever and indulge ourselves in recreation and worldly pleasures, yet death is something that will occur every living creature anytime.
What really hurt me the most and made me realize the blessing of being alive was that my friend died just before the month of Ramadan. He was looking forward to it, just like all of us. He may have set plans and goals for that blessed month for fasting and night prayers but the order of Allah i.e. his death was closer to him than he had thought.
“How many have you known of those in the past…
Among family, neighbors and brothers who performed fast?
Death came upon them and you remained behind…
Alive and well, but the harsh reality is closer to mind.”
What a great blessing it is that Allah, The glorious, Has kept us alive to witness the month of Ramazan!
I implore Almighty Allah to Forgive my friend, Render him among the residents of Your Expansive Paradise and Grant him the rewards for fasting and prayers in Ramadan as he had projected.
This article was originally published at islamweb.net