Innalillah wa inna ilai hira ji'un.
A friend I cherish passed away last Thursday. She was in her early 50s when she died.
She was a friend I treasured and would always remember because at one point in life, our paths crossed as we both were looking for a guide.
I shall forever be indebted to her for having brought me to a majlis where I got to see for the first and last time, the face of the venerated Meccan scholar Shaykh Muhammad Alawi al-Maliki (1944-2004).
She was a medical doctor. She had a twin sister who's also a medical doctor. They're the youngest child in a large family of good reputation. Their mother was an exceptional woman who was once crowned Ibu Mithali [Exemplary Mother].
She related to me how strict and highly disciplined her mother was. She had many siblings so her mother would customarily count and fairly divide the number of Rambutan or Langsat (local fruits) each one could eat. She could afford a good car but out of admiration for her mother, she had been driving an old car because she said, 'My mother was one person who would use a thing until it's completely unusable. This is just one small lesson I picked up from her.'
Unlike mine, the notes she took from the majlis ta'alim we both attended were always neat and beautifully written. She was a detail oriented person. She was the only friend I knew who studied at the Cambridge University.
This morning, I had mixed feelings going out on the balcony because right there - at the lush green spot full of trees - along the highway, is where she's buried last Thursday.
I am holding back my tears as I type this.
I cannot think of any other way to honor her, other than to humbly ask you to pause and recite Al Fatihah for her:
Allahyarham Dr Azidah Hashim