Friday, 7 August 2009

In loving memory of my uncle


Our beloved uncle died last year (2008) shortly after Ramadan. He was in a state of fasting as it was the holy month of Sha’wal. When I got the news of this terrible loss, I felt very sad as he was one of the uncles who left a firm and lasting impression in my heart with his special personality. He had a very kind heart that loved everyone sincerely and used to trust everyone.
He was a devout Muslim who tried to practise this beautiful faith in every way possible. In this day and age, being a practising Muslim is very difficult and looked down upon. Despite all the difficulties he had to go through, he never showed any lack of enthusiasm in sincerely following his Deen. He was a man of principle.

Alhamdulillah we came to know uncle and his family while we were growing up in Iran. Our families used to socialise a lot together and there are plenty of wonderful memories I still cherish from my childhood, thanks to Allah subhana wa tawala. As far as I can remember, uncle was always very involved in raising his children with aunty. Unfortunately, most of the times mothers have to take sole responsibility of raising the children while fathers remain detached from this great responsibility. However, as a devout Muslim, uncle was always involved in bringing up their children with patience and integrity. I still remember how much effort and patience he used to have in feeding his beloved eldest son. He was also very active in raising his two wonderful daughters in an Islamic way. As a husband he was very caring and helpful to aunty. Even as an uncle to us he was very friendly as well as very approachable. He used to make us laugh by doing things in a funny way. We used to love being around him. During Eid, as Bangladeshi families in Iran, we used to organise Eid parties which us children used to look forward to these special events. Once just before Eid ul Adha, uncle took us to buy couple of sheep for Eid slaughtering. I still remember how hard it was to get hold of any sheep. Uncle and my father were constantly chasing the herd of sheep to get hold of one of them. When I try to visualize that moment, it always makes me smile. Sometimes in their house, uncle used to organise small events to inspire us to learn more about Islam. We used to recite the small surahs from the Qur’an. In the end, every one of us used to get lovely presents from uncle. At that time, as children we just felt happy without really realising that our beloved uncle was teaching us our faith through his unique way. Thanks to Allah subhana wa tawala, we are lucky to have such a wonderful childhood due to people like MohammadUllah uncle and other likeminded people around us who tried their best through their own life to teach us our beautiful religion. For me, uncle had a unique quality to engage children in Islamic activities without making the whole process boring, Mashallah. We need personalities like him who would provide us with a good example, who would not just preach but follow the faith in their own life too. That’s why we can see, Alhamdulillah uncle with aunty’s help has brought up their four children with a sense of Islamic values and ethos. They have grown up in an environment where they love and cherish their faith and try to practice it on a daily basis. For any parent this is a remarkable achievement. Our faith teaches us to respect our parents and pray for them when they go back to their Lord Allah subhana wa tawala. Only few things benefit a deceased and one of them is to leave behind pious offspring who would pray for their parents and continue to perform good deeds for them. I hope and pray that uncle’s sons and daughters do their best in this respect with aunty’s help, insha-Allah. I hope all of the children will live up to their beloved father’s expectations. May Allah subhana wa tawala grant our beloved uncle jannatul ferdous and protect his family and help them to lead a good prosperous life, ameen. May Allah swt grant every one of us the ability to lead a righteous life and have a good ending, ameen.

Uncle’s death reminds us again and again how short and uncertain our life is. However, the bitter fact is we tend to forget the reality of death. We are so obsessed with our day to day life that we forget to prepare for our life in hereafter which will surely never end. I would like to conclude with the wise saying of Ammar bin Yasir RAW: “Death is enough as a reminder, certainty is enough as wealth and performing acts of worship is sufficient as a job.”

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