“Who, when afflicted with calamity say: “Truly To Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return.”” [The Qur’an; Chapter 2 (Al Baqarah – The Cow) : Verse 156]
Truly To Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return..
Our destiny is prearranged. I would like to share with you my poignant experience of an episode of our life that waits us all. For five days I learned more about life journey than my entire life by the death of my son Mohammed and the process I went through till we put him in his last room in the world and first hereafter. It is a remembering of dear son and a lesson to us all.
Death respects no age, no gender, and no strength. We saw daily young dying, old surviving, strong dying and weak surviving. We witness fragile patients that survive on comma for decades. All these testimony and yet deep in our mind we think it is the old that dies. Every one of us will taste death at preset time by no one else but by our creator. That time can be sooner or later by the will of Allah.
I buried my beloved son MOHAMED yesterday, a young man at the best epoch of human life, man with entrepreneurial talent always thinking of building empires without neglecting his duty towards Allah and to us. He needed my input which I grossly failed. I regret utmost and it will remain a painful reminder in my life .It was just before Ramadan when finally we agreed to put the foundation of that empire in Hargeysa, a business empire under his leadership and my guidance. We were so happy so optimistic so looking forward that I was counting days. Alas just after Hajj he hinted he has light health problem. He was so strong physically and spiritually. He hid all his pain without whispering to the ears of those close to him. None of us knew the seriousness of his case. He endured all that pain all alone to save us from worry. I knew him for he never let us know anything that can worry us. Allah will be kind to my son as he was kind to us. That is what Allah promised and his promise is done before it is said.
On Sunday afternoon, I spent an hour with his body in mortuary reading Quran and offering Du’a. Each time I touched his body and see his face it was as though he tells me ” father don’t worry I am in better hands, hands of Angels of heaven.” Alhamdulilaa”
Our destiny is in Allah’s hands. I was not busy, not sick, not occupied, and no financial problem, yet I couldn’t move towards my beloved son, my only son. I regret very much and ask myself why and why yet I know I cannot take a step without Allah’s willing. It is hard to excuse myself from this gross irresponsibility. Astaqfurulla, Allah forgive me, I know my destiny is in your hands.
I was so unlucky that I arrived a day late to see him alive but Allah gave me a way to communicate with him. I sensed he was listening and I promised to him to uphold his dreams Insha Allah. I promised to him more that I will not share with you but ask you to help me by offering prayer so Allah help me make it a reality.
Monday Duhur prayer I went with group of elders to pray in a Pakistani mosque in Grangetown where my home is located. After prayer I was surprised to hear the imam calling us to pray for the deceased. “Let us offer Du’as to the deceased young man Mohamed Ahmed Hassan Arwo” tears come to my eyes. He offered the best of Du’as and no one moved” then after Sunna prayer all came towards me giving me a hug and offering condolences. I was touched with their kindness and solidarity.
Tuesday morning it was washing ritual. I washed him with my hands with the help of my close family and under the direction of Sheekh Omar, and Salama Funeral Services. I was delighted to be there to see his youthful body never changed glowing with freshness. Thank Allah he was so clean, so neat, so stunning, no trace of anything but shining body with nice smell. It was as though he was bathed before us. Deep in my heart I thanked Allah for this is a sign of Ehlu Janna. The body of the deceased shows signs of hell or heaven. My son’s body was that of whom Allah promised for better life in Heaven.
After washing ritual finished I looked at him not scaring but rather with exhilarating gesture and realized how his body is gleaming and how he grow a full dark and beautiful beard. A beard he never had before his last days, thick but well trimmed and looks as combed recently.The nice smell of his body was sensational. I hold his right hand and every part was alive bending and not stiff just looked as about to move. I entangled my fingers with his and offered a special Du’a.
Immediately family females members, lead by his mother and sister came in. It was really a testing time. Thank Allah our worry never materialized. I never saw and never heard a pack of women under these circumstances as strong as they were, withholding all their feelings and clearly stating Du’a one after another, no cry at all, no chest beating, and no hair tearing, just offering Du’as. His mother Amal a strong Muslim with mountains of Iman and courage of lion, told him what he has to say at the grave, when angels ask him about his belief, and prayed Allah to forgive him for all that he has done for her and me. She recited Quran and Du’as. It was the Du’as of his Aunt Hayat Omar Carte, that touched my heart ” Alhamdulilaa you are beautiful you are clean, you are so sweet, you are Ehlu Janno, all signs are here Thank Allah” she continuously said without hesitation.
Then came the real test, the most touching. My daughter Najat kissed him and whispered into his ears “My brother you were all to me. You were my brother, my protector my guardian, you always advise me. I ask Allah to forgive you and to reward you Jannatul Fardaws for all the good deeds you have done and your love to us. You died young but accomplished great, Allah loves you” The courage of my daughter is beyond belief. I was shaking not with fear but with admiration. Thank Allah who gave me such strong family, thank Allah for giving me Amal as wife and Najat as a daughter.
Then they kissed him and concluded with Ducas that we men couldn’t offer. We were standing motionlessly, holding open hands towards heaven repeating Amen after them and in whispering voice.
We moved towards Al-Nur mosque for prayer. In front of the mosque I was met by my people of Cardiff. They are my people for they all love us as family. They are not just family but really good family, sharing with us the hard and the soft .My fellow Somalis and good number of other Muslims lined up to hug me and to offer condolences one by one. Masjidu-Nu of Butetown was crammed downstairs and upstairs. Women were given a special area where they were literally compressed like sardines in a box. After Duhur prayer Sh. Mohammed led Jinaza prayer. Tears filled my eyes but my heart was so cool and my mind told me my son is in the hands of his creator and he will be in better life than his short life here. I offered the Du’a with parental tone and in my special words as the rest of the Jama’a did. Then again I was attacked with love and solidarity, hugging me tightly and offering condolences tears in their eyes and some cannot hold their sorry and openly cried.
We took the last episode of Mohamed’s life a trip to the Ely Cemetery. The ground was covered with my fellow Somalis and my fellow Muslims. Thank Allah for the number of attendants. It was huge in number and warm in spirit. They came from all over the world . From Holland, from Canada , from Saudi Arabia, from all UK of course large number came from our next door cities, Bristol and Newport. Many of them cried openly. I learned nothing is better than true friendship when I saw my son’s friends crying openly. I learned men cry not of fear but of love and sorry.
The grave itself is located at a corner and under a tree. A location anyone with choice would have chosen. Allah has chosen for my son MOHAMMED.
May Allah bless his soul and make his grave a room from heaven. May Allah bestow his mercy and reward him Jannatul Fardaws for his loyalty to Him and to his parents. I pray Allah to forgive me for all I haven’t done for him. He gave me all his love while I did gave him a little of mine. Making his parents happy and satisfied was his utmost priority. It is painful to see ones child die before him but I am happy for all the good deeds he have done in his short life. He never used his hand and tongue to harm any creature . To him they were tools to support, help and praise everyone. His heart was so huge he never found difficulty to entertain entire humanity with love and joy. I am proud to have Mohamed as my son. He departed us physically but he rests in my heart and mind for ever. He gave his entire life to serve us, never feel tired to execute our endless demands. He was a tower of help, a mountain of support and river of love. Allah took my son for better life Insha Allah. His loyalty to Allah and to us will be rewarded with Allah’s love.
Mohamed left in this world a son Ahmed and a lovely wife who changed his life during this short period they were together. She made him happy, forward looking for better life. I noticed all these changes from the day they get married. My daughter-in-law Fathiya Sh Ibrahim I pray Allah to compensate your loss with better future and happy life in this world and forgiveness and Jannatul Fardaws hereafter.
Please do offer Du’a for him and for us.
Ahmed Hassan Arwo