Saturday, July 5, 2008

Not So Pearls & Gem :Kaffarah


Last weekend I was up in Kuala Terengganu for the Edaran Classic 160 kilometre endurance ride,an annual do organised by the KL based AlRaudhah Equestrian Club,but brought specially to Lembah Bidong International Equestrian Centre in Mukim Setia off the pristine coast of Northern Terengganu,as part of the preamble to the World Endurance Championship to be held there later this November.The night before ,to cool down raw nerves ,met and have dinner with Dr Hj Sulaiman Abdullah at a sea food restaurant overlooking Patrick Badawi's Heritage Club on the northern side and the magical Masjid Kristal on the western front of the scenic KT bay [it is easy to fall in love 'with KT' or 'in KT' and if 'SPB' offers me a place by the sea I would readily change my 'passport'! Kota bharu is getting too crowded ].

Dr Sulaiman or Sulaiman Panjang as he is popularly known amongst us Malay Collegians of class 69 , is now a part time general practicioner, also my medical schoolmate at MU,one time PAS exco member,limau madu planter,currently amateur 'longevity' enthusiast and practicioner.Discussed with him the whole gamut of the trade about 'longevity'[low caloric diet ,high protein zero carbo diet ,megadoses vitamins ,growth hormones,testosterone jab,and things as crazy as daily low dose insulin injections], which would be a timely change of subject for my next blog,I thought .A pseudo scientific pseudo religious ,peppered with a sprinkling of haft baked philosophical discourse on 21st century man's ultimate dream of how to defy the ravages of TIME will always captivate the right attention,why not!?

I made a mental note to go into 'longevity' right after my age defying 15 hour night and day ride at Bidong Beach.Then came the short sms from my SJMC pathologist colleague ,the best man in his field of specialisation:confirmed ,your m.i.l has moderately well differentiated adenorcarcinoma ,primary most probably lung.Status:Stage 4.

As if subconciously,my other half,Dr Nik the Physician took over from Nik Isahak the man .Best case scenario 1 year of progressive deterioration for patient with increasing discomfort and breathlessness and hopelessness for patient, and emotional pain for the loved ones seeing such suffering and physical as well as mental deterioration in the beloved who was once an active joyful individual.Worse case scenario,3 to 4 months of fast continuous downhill slump .Subject of 'longevity' disappeared from the screen.What appeared was Grace ,Grace ,Grace.Allah in His Ultimate Wisdom is the God of Grace and Mercy .In illness and suffering there is yet grace and mercy from Allah:the concept of Kaffarah.

When a person accept [for want of better word in English] ie 'riddha'with his illness and bodily suffering that comes with it 'all those small sins are shedded away from oneself like the falling of leaves in autumn' says a well known hadith .Additionally one has to look at illness like these as a mercy from Allah ,one is given time and space to think ,accept and attune oneself to the next phase of life.On the other hand one may not be fortunate enough to have time and space ie right after a wild night out one may be involved in a fatal motor vehicle accident and 'die on the spot'.Secular minded souls always worried 'big' about dying 'interstate' ie 'not leaving a will' .In actual fact this should be the least of our worry ."Dying interstate' with respect to our 'aqidah' ,on which side of the divide we are on ,the full ramification of our shahadah ,etc etc ,these should be our principal worries !

We cannot choose how we exit from this life but if one happened to be afflicted by serious chronic life shortening illnesses do take time to ponder:It is still a mercy from Allah !

The 'short'time given to you ,if used properly may well advance you straight to 'reserve class',whatever 'animal you are ' prior to your illness rather than 'cattle class' for eternity:husnul qhatimah as opposed to suul qhatimah.Allahualam ! !

Dr Nik Howk

1 comment:

Pearls & Gem said...

Addendum :
For people with serious ,life shortening illnesses ,or for that matter people with chronic ailments such as strokes ,heart failure or even ischaemic heart disease [ ''bad coronaries'' ] ,kidney failure on dailysis and etc etc ,it does help to look at their ailments from a different perspective .A paradigm shift of sort .

Consider yourselves 'lucky'[ this chap ,Dr Nik ,has gone mad !! ].How can he ask a person so afflicted consider himself lucky !!!!

If you just 35 ,and just recovering from a Congestive Cardiomyopathy ,for instance , a debilitating heart disease resulting in progressive heart failure ,no amount of tears and prayer can change your circumstances ,but you can certainly change your perspective !

You are still damn lucky you are not that other 35 year old that same night of your hospital admission in ER ,who had his brain crushed in a fatal motor vehicle accident at 3 Am just coming out of Ampang road after a wild night out at SOUK .Or that 35 year old that died suddenly from a massive heart attack the same night .

You are given your due time to reassess your life ,your origin and your future directions ,left ,right , centre . Which way you want to go !

6 days ,6 months , 6 years .Does not matter anymore .Time is given to you .Most are not given that time .That is the essence of your good fortune !

Allahualam !