Sunday, January 23, 2011

Halal Sustenance

Photo from Google

O ye who believe! ...... And if ye fear poverty, soon will Allah enrich you, if He wills, out of His bounty, for Allah is All-knowing, All-wise. AlQuran 9:28.

Some years ago I was called to pay respect (a ziarah) to a family friend’s sister who passed way that morning. When I reached the house, I met the husband of the deceased, a new convert/ revert. After a few courteous exchanges, he recounted to me that his wife passed away due to breast cancer. For more than 2 years (when the cancer got really bad), he have not heard any ooh, ahh or anything of that sort from his wife.. not a word of complain or a sigh of pain.

That early morning during the heavy bout of pain, she asked the husband about an old man.. The following were the approximate conversation between the couple..

“What old man?” was all the very sad husband could muster.

“Oh, that old man that wore a long white robe and white turban and came to visit me just before Subuh (dawn).

“What did he want or said to you” the husband queried

“ Oh nothing. He said he wanted to invite me to his place”

The husband said he searched high and low for the old man to the point that he nearly missed to be at his wife bedside when she drew her last breath on this earth..

“You see” the husband continued in very sad tone “ I am a new revert (muallaf was his exact word) .. if not maybe I would have known that she is going to see Her Maker very soon.”.

A few months later, her mother died of stomach or colon cancer. I was not around to pay her my last respect.

On that particular weekend, I was back in KL and I made it a point to stop by and have breakfast at a small road-side stall that belonged to the deceased father / husband. It was rather early, there were not that many customers and the old man stopped at my table to talk to me. He recounted the two recent deaths of his daughter and his wife. After some nice words of condolence from me and some religious word/messages from the old man.. I did manage to frankly converse with him.

“I have a rather personal question to ask.. so if Pak Cik (Uncle) do not feel like answering .. please do not say anything”... Me and my big mouth starting to pry.

The Old man said “ Please ask.. I would answer if I can” .

I relate what has transpired between me and his son-in-law when I pay my last respect to his late daughter and said” I believed your daughter and wife were very good Muslimah.. it is rather puzzling to me that they passed away in the manner that they did.. You see.. I heard that Allah in his Grace/Mercy may inflict terrible pain to take away the sin of his servants.. sometimes He took away the bad/cancerous part of our body to cleanse our sin or the meat that grew from our bad sustenance(rezeki).. To have two deaths from cancer in a family spells something is not very right... is it the food ?( the moment I realised that those words have left my lips.. I started to wish that I was thousand meters in the sub-surface together with those drilling bits that were used to drill my exploration wells.. . my!... do I have to hit some raw nerves.. me and my super big mouth.

"I believed you are right, son! " the old man interjected, leaving me with my mouth gaping a huge “O”.

“Some years ago, I opened a reasonably good restaurant in an upcoming town J Jaya.. selling the normal mamak-fare and serve no liquor. There were two other restaurants nearby which serve liquor. Every time a non- muslim customer or group of customers stopped by at my restaurant he or they will ask if I sell liquor. On my negative response, he or they will go over to the other two restaurants. This continued for three months. J Jaya was a new thriving township, the number of people there then were not that many.. thus I have suffered some financial loss that if allowed to continue might have forced me to close shop within the next two or three months. When I finally succumbed to the pressure and started selling liquors, those who sneered at me for not selling liquor earlier became my staunch supporters bringing their friends and families to my restaurant. Within a few weeks, I started to recover most of my previous losses" he told me in a rather firm voice.

“Those were the money that I used to provide my family , I have since sold the restaurant, (after I have bequeathed the right to sell liquor) on hearing that my late daughter has contracted breast cancer. My late wife’s cancer was detected almost immediately after I sold the restaurant. I then opened this roadside stall close to my house, although I did not make 1/4 of the money I used to make on that restaurant, I am happy that at least I know the money is halal” he continued.

"I have regretted my previous actions and has since really repented (taubat nasuha). .. but it is too late.. I have already lost the two ladies that I loved very much” he lamented.

“ Now that you have repented, maybe you should keep the story of you selling liquor in your restaurant to yourself.. Allah might have forgiven you on that issue, recounting it over and over might undo your repentance. You might be late with your repentance with respect to the two ladies but Allah has more or less cleanse them both, preparing them for a meeting with Him .. I am sure they have been amply rewarded for their patience and perseverance (sabar). My Allah bless them both and guide us to the right path” I quickly chipped in.

The old man said “Ameen” and quickly moved away to serve his other customers.


Cat-from-Sydney said...

Ayoh Wang,
Well...Allah SWT knows best. purrr...meow!

Unknown said...

Sad. But we could all learn something from this post....

Wan Sharif said...

Thank you for being the earliest visitor. How is the flood affecting you and your family in Sydney?.
I wanted to put this entry when Allahyarham Dalilah was still around, but somehow I thought my intention and effort might be misunderstood...
May Allah bless Allahyarham Dalilah, the daughter and mother pair featured in this entry..

Wan Sharif said...

Glad to see that you are actively blogging again.. Thank you for putting your view(and your vote of confidence?) on this entry.
May Allah bless you and yours Sokmo.

Grandpa said...

Salam Wan, sad story...

I used to ask "Ya Allah hukum lah diri ku di atas segala kesalahan dan dosa ku, tapi jangan lah di apa-apakan kaum keluarga ku..." Tapi kita sekadar meminta, Dia jua yang mengkabulkan atau tidak.

Cat-from-Sydney said...

Dear Ayoh Wang,
I remember an old French saying by Anthelme Brillat-Savarin who wrote in Physiology du Gout, ou Meditations de Gastronomie Transcendante (1826):
"Dis-moi ce que tu manges, je te dirai ce que tu es." [Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are].
True, non? purrr....meow!

Dreaming of stir fried moringa leaves,

Al-Manar said...

Strange as it may seem, and many may not wish to believe it but such is life.

Wan Sharif said...

Salam Grandpa,
When you ask that any punishment for your sin be only on you and not on your family members.. maybe deep in your heart you subconsciously repent and your repentance has been accepted, hence you have been blessed and no punishment has been forthcoming..
may we always be blessed with His Maghfirah sokmo..

Wan Sharif said...

Angelina dearest,
Now you are in French as well.. you are a girl after Ayoh Wang's heart. I think the Malays(or is it the Muslim?) believed that we are what we eat..
Oh! you dreamed of stir fried moringa leaves.. mm now have I missed something? I thought the moringa leaves goes well with fried eggs..
Ahh ..are you pulling my legs.. did not recalled pulling your paws though?

Wan Sharif said...

Coming from you.. a good endorsement or a vote of confidence.... sometimes I do have some difficulty understanding this aspect of life.
May we be blessed with his boundless Magfirah..

Sir Pök Déng said...

Doctors didn't have a luxury of time to diagnose my late Father's illness. He died quick. No oh ah oh ah whatsoever. He took only three days of bad fever and off he went to see the Maker. As simple as that. And his funeral... was so damn quick and easy too!

Looking at the way he died, I know Father was a good man.

yohteh said...

...sekadar lagu dan irama... insaflah wahai manusia... 

DrSam said...

ASM Ayoh Wang. Amin (to your doa from the 2nd last para). A very touching story and a good reminder to. Thank you for sharing.

Wan Sharif said...

Dear Sir Pök Déng,
Reading your entries on him ..I am very sure your father was a good man.. May Allah bless your father and us with His Boundless Magfirah always.

Wan Sharif said...

Ah now I know Yohteh can sing...
Ayoh Wang minat lagu "kita tengok piyung tellor".. eh pasa apa Saleem kata penyu bukan piyung?..
Semuga Allah sentiasa membimbing kita kearah keredhaanNYA

Wan Sharif said...

Wa'alaikumussalam DrSam..
Pengalaman yang sangat dekat di hati saya kerana ianya agak menginsafkan saya setiap kali saya teringat pengalaman ini..
You are always welcome..
May Allah bless us all with his boundless Maghfirah and Rahmah

R.A.S said...

A good reminder..sometimes we tend to take things for granted without considering its consequences. I am lucky that my other is always fussy when buying things at the shopping market..he would always insist that it has the HALAL logo on it be it on a simple cereal box.
Thanks for the story!

Wan Sharif said...

Dearest Cikgu Rosfida,
Thank you for putting your thought on the subject.. I still have problems to fully access you blog.. only yours though.. others OK.. alway remind myself to go home at look at your entry.. only to have much things to do at home.. or I was too tired to tend to computers..
Have fun at whatever you are doing..

R.A.S said...

Ayoh Wang,
Prioritizing your priority..understooded! (Hehehe..Just came back from school so all these bad grammars are still fresh in mind!)

Wan Sharif said...

Cikgu Rosfida,
Maybe that was the reason why someone doubt my dedication or determination to be a good and effective teacher.. one said my face to serious (garang was one's exact word) and my sense of humour too infectuos to put the business of imparting knowledge and skills to an effective level.
What ever that maybe .. I was glad that I did not plunge headlong into teaching.. I re-evaluate my teaching practice experience and conclude the students are better off without me as their teacher..
mind you .. that exercise took me some time as I need to come to term with the reality (my inability to become an effective teacher)

Aishah said...

You are right to advise the man not to recount the story again and again.

God promise that He shall try us. All we can do is redha.

Wan Sharif said...

Aishah dearest,
Sometimes the reason for recounting might be good.. as an example..
But then.. by recounting one might expose wrong deeds that one have committed in the past.. to those who might misinterpret it (as if it is ok to commit such deed), used it against the doer of wrong deed.. or worst still it might put the doer in a worse position such as lost of respect etcetera..
Thank you again for your support.. deep in my mind when I put up this entry... I want to dedicate this entry to you for your so strong support and your vote of confidence.. I did not do it for fear of being misunderstood (we are asked to avoid fitnah as far as possible.. Non?!)..

Ida BorneoLove said...

always appreciate everything shared here.

the mom & daughter are together, I want to believe. pity the man blames himself..

only Allah knows.

i too want to be a better Muslim.


Lee said...

Hi Wan Sharif, here's wishing you and all at home the very best of the rabbit year.
Keep well, my friend.

Wan Sharif said...

Ida Dearest,
Glad to know that you have appreciated the entries made in the blog.. and I am eternally glad to know that you aspire to be a good Muslimah.. Alhamdulillah.. with the intention and effort, I definitely believed you will be one if you are not already one..
May Allah bless you and yours..

Wan Sharif said...

Hi, Brother Lee.. just commented on your blog.. I believe I fiddled it wrongly.. now it was in the cyberspace.. will be back for another attempt soonest..
I believe I can trust you to keep yourself well and tip top for Mrs. Lee... have a fantastic day..