This month April represent for me at least a month of self 'audit'. Still fresh from my almost subliminal experience up Gunong Stong just two weeks ago and still bearing the pain and ache from that exertion, I was in quite a pensive mood. More so especially when I am reminded of my very own mortality listening to the lilting rendition of the Holy Quran in the early morning hours by my terminally ill mother in law from downstairs who is still holding on to dear life, well past her second year now suffering from lung cancer. She is on the wonder drug,TARCEVA, and somehow this drug jive well with her. She must be in her last 'leg' though as I could see from her recent chest xray, three 'golf ball' sized tumour recurrence have reappeared.Ignorance is bliss I thought to myself. But I think in her case it is more of redza, and the beauty of kaffarah playing its role on her psyche. She is not stupid. She knows her score. She has had a pain free marvellous two years now. Two years of continuous zikr and remembrance of Allah, insyaallah!
Just yesterday I met my most esteemed more senior colleague of mine, along the long corridor of Sime darby medical Centre. He has cancer of the kidney for over two years now. Still surviving well on state of the art targeted chemotherapy !
He told me, just a week ago he could not attend the Friday Jumaat prayer because of severe neuritis in the feet due to side-effect of his medication and he had never felt such great loss and feeling miserable at having to forego that particular Jumaat prayer. Never in his 70 years of life had he felt that way ! Wow ! For the life of me, I have never experience such remorse and I doubt many do. This must be very special.
Lost for words but not unaccustomed to discussing about 'our' next journey to al Barzak,I reassured him that he is a very lucky man indeed to have such feeling even late in his life.....Life, like golf, it is not how you start the game, but how you end it.....Hasnul khatimah rather than suul khatimah. This is the gift and the kaffarah related to chronic, intractable and terminal illness which millions fail to appreciate. This kind of' corridor' discussion amongst colleagues may sound surreal to some but 'Nik Howk is Nik Howk'. As much as I am in the business of keeping people 'up and about', being there mostly at the scene of the 'crash' has left some degree of 'permanent head damage'. It come in the package !
Healthy 'clowns' like us go through life, uncaringly and with total heedlessness to HIM, not knowing that death could well be at the next 'turn' or even before the next 'breath'. While if you are in the state like my m.i.l or my colleague, the 'sword of Damocle' is always over your neck reminding you of your imminent death all the time, and that ensure you would always try to be in a continuous state of zhikr, prayer and 'doa' or heedfulness. You have a tendency to 'live just from prayer to prayer'. That is the ultimate gift if we reexamine our priorities with wisdom and the right common sense.
An opposite position would be to have survived cancer fully and yet not visited by such feeling. Tihs is a very rare, stony and tough individual indeed ! One probably need to be a total agnostic on a scale of SIX/SIX. We have full sympathy for such individuals.....a Christopher Hitchins or a Richard Dawkin, two hard core self proclaimed agnostics/atheist who cannot separate the trees from the forest ! Despite being gifted with high IQ.
For all of us healthy 'clowns' thus , the following youtube presentation on 'Steps to Jannah' would present as a timely reminder to us all on the ways and modus operandi in order to ensure a good ending.
Part 1, click here
Part 2, click here
Part 3, click here
Part 4, click here
Part5, click here
Related articles in previous blog :
Kaffarah, click here
Cancer, click here
Redza, click here
On Death and Dying, click here
Redza Revisited, click here
The Shahadah, click here