Sunday, October 26, 2014

One of fiver | In sickness and in health


We are supposed to remember the fiver - the 5 good things before the 5 not-so-good things come to be. One of the 5 is: to take advantage of good health before sickness comes.
I visited someone who is overcome by a severe illness. It's a privilege to be able to visit ill people because we get to benefit from their wisdom, words of advice and most importantly their du'a. This person has been suffering from rectal cancer for the past 18 months.

He is a close buddy of my late father. He is my mom's second cousin. He is 68. I remembered vividly the day he drove me and my family to my college registration. That's 26 years ago.

Surely the rewards for the good deeds he used to do, are still being counted, for surely had he not fell sick, he would have continued frequenting the mosques. He said: "After retirement, I had busied myself with congregational prayers at the mosque. I could finish reading the entire Quran in one week and I would repeat and repeat. Now, here I am, not as mobile as before. This could be a kifarah but I am grateful that God has given this sickness at this age when my children are all grown-up."

Due to his illness, his diet is restricted. "I wish to have nasi kandar but I can't" he joked and went on to mention the list of food that's on his limited menu. I felt guilty listening to him because I just had three nasi kandar in the last two days. And I don't really fancy papaya but papayas are one of the very few items that he could eat. Praise be to Allah for creating all kinds of fruits for His servants.        

He refused an option for a colostomy, which is an opening in the stomach where feces are eliminated into a bag, because he had seen how two of his friends suffered from it and eventually died. "I am not afraid of death but I don't want to trouble my wife. I don't want her to be cleaning the bag. The smell is awful. Worse than that one smelly river in Penang. I'd rather suffer myself." - he spoke as a matter-of-fact.

"What would you advise me?" I asked. He replied, "Take care of your body and be sure to take supplements especially habbatus sauda (fennel flower)."

"Would you please say a prayer for me?"
He replied, "For many years I have always prayed for my relatives both near and distant. I pray that Allah will make them among the shakirin, always grateful and among the knowledgeable who practise their 'ilm. I have always been shy to ask Allah for myself. It's always about my relatives and then the muslimin and muslimat. I don't know each and everyone of my relatives but Allah knows who my relatives are."


Hadith as reported by Abu Hurairah:
The Messenger of Allah salallah alaihi wasalam said: Verily Allah the Exalted and Glorious will say on the Day of Resurrection: "O son of Adam, I was ill but you did not visit Me." He would say: "O my Lord, how could I visit you and You are the Rabb of the worlds? Thereupon He would say: "Did you know that such and such a slave of Mine was ill but you did not visit him? Did you not realize that if you had visited him, you would have found Me with him?"


I realized, when visiting the sick, it's not we who do the sick person a favor, but it is for us to benefit from the favors, from beneficial lessons and from their du'a.  He the Rabb of the worlds is with them and they are close to Him.

May Allah make us make full use of our health before we fall sick, may Allah make us make full use of our age before we are overcome by old age.

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