Thursday, October 29, 2015

Truncated Lives....


We met just now in the evening along the hospital corridor.
You told me your cancer has recurred. You must have been in a state of shock at 1st impact, I am sure.
One hour earlier I visited a friend of mine with severe dilated congestive cardiomyopathy,  a serious heart failure condition. He, at best only have  'X' days to live, in my estimation, only on statistical ground.

All of us only have 'X' days   to live technically speaking, only that most of us take for granted that that 'X' days  is automatically translated as being, 15 to 20 years!!

Which bring me to an anecdote which i can recall in my clinic the other day. A mak chik in her late 70's asked me for sleeping pills to cure her insomnia. I retorted, much to the happiness of he accompanying son, that, " Mak Haji, at your age and mine, not being able to sleep is a blessing!.....we have been sleeping much too long all our lives! Do the tahajjud, the hajat and the tasbeeh......and if you dont find pleasure in this , watch cnn or aljazira...".

Life is, just at best, a number of measured, already actuated, already accounted for, and precalculated, number of breaths. If you are apportioned a total of 'Z' breaths in your lifetime and you have reached your sixth decades and three and used already 'Y' number of breath, you have only ' Z - Y ' breaths left!
Simple arithmetic we all choose to forget.

I was woken up at 2 am  just now still thinking what practical advice I could offer both of you guys apart from advising both of you to get the best technological and medical treatment that 2015 has to offer. 

Actually off the cuff, I would have blurted it out right away in the hospital corridor to you but political correctness and politeness prevented me from doing so.

I find myself still stuck to a famous tabi'in, Hasan al Basri's advisory on life, his trilogy of :

1. Solat [ in your situation, 'extreme situation' requires 'extreme measures',throw in  daily Tahajjud, Tasbeeh , Taubat , Israq and Dhuha as well....they are therapeutic. And if you want to add a wee bit of stevia, daily hajat prayer will not harm you. That is DOA, also another form of Zikrullah ]

2. Daily dose of Qu'ran [ with some understanding, would be infinitely better ]. The accent is on daily. Does not matter the size of the dose. Like low dose aspirin, which is in vogue nowadays, daily dose of Qur'an, even in small quantity, is effective. The smaller the dose, the bigger the reflection.

3. And thirdly,Zikr [ lots and lots of it ]

Especially Zikr. 24 hours of Zikr would not make one mad. It is the antidote and panacea of all ills.
And one more thing, and I am not trying to be better than Hasan here.
Lots of taubatan nasuha.
Taubatan nasuha is part of Zikr thus Hasan al Basri sticked to his trilogy.

Just sleep on this thot:
Allah promised the new Muslim revert to erase all his sins if he says ' laila haillallah...' and if that revert dies that day, he is promised automatic Jannah!
And here we are , 50, 60 years being nominal Muslims, with our occasional solat, zikr and all......
You have your Solat, and your Qu'ran and your Zikr and lots  and lots of Taubat.....albeit quite late in life.
So what?
You are OK.

Dr Nik

[ Shaykh Hamza Yusuf Hanson on Zikr ]

[ Shaykh Muhammad al Yacoubi ]

[ Shaykh Muhammad al Ninowy.....Levels of Zikr ]


Date: Sat, 31 Oct 2015 03:14:32 +0800
Subject: Re: truncated lives.......

Dear Dr Nik
Thank you for the guidance to preparing myself to face the inevitable reality. My meeting with you that Wednesday was part of His Grand plan. I have been going to the hospital for consultations with the oncologist many times but never have i crossed path with you before. But that very day when I received my blood results of the cancer marker God had willed it for me to meet you for a purpose. 
When you  personally emailed your thoughts and advice to me,  it made me reflect further the purpose of that meeting. Every word you said aptly describe  the state of my soul and my health condition. Your  response to my disappointment(which may be more obvious to you than anybody else) is reflected further in your email. Such a response is just what I needed and which I didnt even realise. Most friends who knew abt my recent progress would give me  standard responses such as "take care of yourself" and "have faith in the Almighty." Masha Allah I shouldn't complain for those are encouraging phrases to keep one strong in the face of life's trials. I thank God for such friends. But your response contains the message which I have been thinking about a lot lately.  
The time given to me by God is measured. No one knows when Allah SWT will call us back from this world. My illness is actually an opportunity, not an end. I ask: Have I completed my mission in life? Have I done my best to please God? But you are certainly right--- move on, give yourself a chance by preparing for the inevitable. Dont waste anymore time. The time is measured.
 What is important--act fast before the time comes. Thank you Dr Nik. I have shared your writing with close friends. They said masha Allah it is a reminder for those who forget and need to be reminded of the measured life by God and of the Day that we will all face, that is, to answer for all our deeds. I'm most grateful to Allah SWT for giving me the chance to  meet you on that day. May Allah continue to have mercy on us.

With respect


On 5 Nov 2015 07:53, "Nik Isahak Wan Abdullah" <> wrote:


tq and I hope you don't mind if i publish your response under a pseudonym of course, for general 'kebaikan bersama' .
But if you have any reservation i would not.

There are ways and ways to occupying  oneself in HIS remembrance.
Science based individuals like you and myself will put it as 'unlimited permutations and combinations'.

But here is just one way on how you might want to start your day, if you may allow me to bore you.
Hopefully it would just serve as a guide and you may want to personalize it to your favourite one, adding here and 'minusing' there, as you get better and better in your remembrance , as you go along the path.
[  ]

I assume here you are still having your work and career to content with, but this suggestion is still  very 'dowable ', even if you are working fulltime. You just need to make some adjustment to how you go about in your waking hours day .

Try to keep your night in remembrance and this require some change in your sleeping pattern ie sleep early, say after isyak and wake up at 3 or 4 am, 1 to 2 hours before subuh daily.
This is the best hours. Having a short nap post Zohor would certainly help.

Start your qiam with astagfirullah , say 30, 40, of your favourite ones, short one will do.   
[  ].  
Then do a cycle or two or three of tahajjud.
Another 30 to 40 astagfirullah, followed by a cycle of tasbeeh prayer of 4 rakaats. This is specially illuminating.
Punctuated again by another cycle of astagfirullah.

Followed by a cycle or two cycles hajat prayers.
My favourite is, when I have the time, to do 2 cycles of two rakaat each, with 99 kulhuawallah total, 9 in the 1st rakaat, 20 in the second. 30 in the 1st rakaat of the second cycle followed by 40 in the second rakaat. 99 kulhuallah in all. Don't ask me where I learn it. It was years back from a 'Tok guru', I have forgotten his name.

Purists may have 'some ' reservations about both hajat and tasbeeh prayers but we do not want to go into debates on this. There are scholars who strongly recommend it and there are cynics who say, NO! Nabi did not do it. [ as if they were there during Nabi's time! ]. If they want to remain at their level  and feel at home with it, well and good. This is a free country.

After the tahajjud, the lenghty tasbih and the 99 kulhuallah hajat, it is now ' ripe  to open your heart's content to HIM and ask. Ask forgiveness....long most importantly, husnul khatimah.

Remember you are in the realm of  the Sultan of the sultans! 
Do your two rakaat taubat prayer. More doa yet again while in sajadah position. Cry if you have too! would be good for you.

Polish off with your witr.

It  may be possible that you would be just in time for your subuh prayer.
otherwise 'wax and polish' all these prayers and doa with a hundred selawat on the nabi and then followed by subuh.

Post subuh, do your usual tahmid and tasbih.
Followed by fatihah 7x, an nas 7x, al falah 7x, kulhuwallah 7x, kulia 7x, kursi 7x, and the last 3 ayats of al baqarah 7x.
That would bring you to solat israq.

During the rest of the day do your tasbih, tahlil and tasmid as and when you feel your are 'witnessing' events around you unfolding right in front of your mind's eyes.
and lots of ' laila haillah huwah dahu lasyari kallah lahul mulku walahul hamdu wahuwa ala kulli syaiin qadir'

They say  your abode in jannah is a'vast empty  plain for miles and miles as far as the eyes can see' and for the owner to fill it with 'trees, garden  and a palatial home', the above two  forms of zikr will do the job!
Have a wonderful journey experimenting  and 'enjoying' with your zikr.


Very rarely we find ourselves  sandwiched  in between the lion and the deep blue sea and unable to change the 'parameters' on the ground. You are in that rare position now.
I always believe that , even if one cannot change the paradigm  and the parameters on the ground, insyaallah, with the right attitude and focus, one can change the paradigm in one's qalb.
And in the final analysis, that is all that matters!

Since when we go to meet HIM, it is all at HIS pleasure and grace, not what we do. HE is after all al Rahman and al Rahim.

Yours sincerely,

dr nik

ps : I have omitted the use of HIS 99 beautiful names. These are for the ' specialists from amongst us 'and require a tok guru to guide you. I am just a novice. But from what I heard and read, reciting 'ya Salam, ya Salam...' or ' ya Latiff, ya Latiff...' any number of time would be good for you.


from Nj :

Not at all Doc. 

Go ahead (even with my name on it). I'm accountable for what I wrote. You certainly woke me up and many others who I shared your writing with. I am admitted in hospital now but I doing fine alhamdullilah. 
Thank you  so much Dr Nik. May Allah SWT include you among those He is please with and reward you with Jannatul Firdauz Aamiin.

Similar articles in the blog :


No comments: