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She's My Sister

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New Page Title

"She's My Sister"

10-20-00

Salaams, Happy Juma. WElcome to the Muslimsworldwide newsletter. For
all of you
who join me today, the article entitled "She's My Sister" today, is
very touching, I hope you enjoy it and pray for those people who are
in similar situations. It was brought to you in part by the site:
eKhutbah.com if you like this article, please feel free to visit the
site, and post your opinions, they are always welcome.
ALlah Hafiz
May Allah be with you every step of the way...
M.Editor

Bismillaah ar-Rahman ar-Raheem
For those who were at the PennState conference many months ago,
this was a
letter that I had translated at the end of the lecture: Destination
the
Hereafter - Have you packed your suitcases?

A long time ago I translated it and just a few days ago, going
through old
files, I came across it once again. You can find this letter and
many
others similar to it in the book Az-Zaman Al-Qaadim compiled by
Abdulmalik
Al-Qasim. All the letters were translated and in sha' Allah i'll
try to
send out more of these Iman filled words.

Please visit our ever growing eKhutbah Forum and share your
thoughts on
this letter.

- Muhammad Alshareef
"Faith is believing what we do not see. The reward of this faith is
to see
what we believe."


--------------------------------------------------------------------
------------

She's My Sister

A true story translated by Muhammad Alshareef

Her cheeks were worn and sunken and her skin hugged her bones.
That
didn't stop her though, you could never catch her not reciting
Qur'an.
Always vigil in her personal prayer room Dad had set up for her.
Bowing,
prostrating, raising her hands in prayer. That was the way she was
from
dawn to sunset and back again, boredom was for others.

As for me I craved nothing more than fashion magazines and
novels. I
treated myself all the time to videos until those trips to the
rental
place became my trademark. As they say, when something becomes
habit
people tend to distinguish you by it. I was negligent in my
responsibilities and laziness characterized my Salah.

One night, I turned the video off after a marathon three hours of
watching. The adhan softly rose in that quiet night. I slipped
peacefully into my blanket.

Her voice carried from her prayer room. "Yes? Would you
like
anything
Noorah?"

With a sharp needle she popped my plans. `Don't sleep
before you
pray
Fajr!'

"Agh ... there's still an hour before
Fajr, that
was only
the first Adhaan!"


With those loving pinches of hers, she called me closer. She was
always
like that, even before the fierce sickness shook her spirit and
shut her
in bed. `Hanan can you come sit beside me.'

I could never refuse any of her requests, you could touch the
purity and
sincerity. "Yes, Noorah?"

`Please sit here.'

"OK, I'm sitting. What's on your mind?"

With the sweetest mono voice she began reciting:

[Every soul shall taste death and you will merely be repaid your
earnings
on Resurrection Day]

She stopped thoughtfully. Then she asked, `Do you believe in
death?'

"Of course I do."

`Do you believe that you shall be responsible for whatever
you
do,
regardless of how small or large?'

"I do, but Allah is Forgiving and
Merciful and
I've
got a long life waiting for me."

`Stop it Hanan ... aren't you afraid of
death and
it's
abruptness? Look at Hind. She was younger than you but she died
in a car
accident. So did so and so, and so and so. Death is age-blind and
your
age could never be a measure of when you shall die.'

The darkness of the room filled my skin with fear. "I'm
scared
of the
dark and now you made me scared of death, how am I supposed to go
to sleep
now. Noorah, I thought you promised you'd go with us on
vacation
during
the summer break."

Impact. Her voice broke and her heart quivered. `I might be
going on a
long trip this year Hanan, but somewhere else. Just maybe. All of
our
lives are in Allah's hands and we all belong to Him.'

My eyes welled and the tears slipped down both cheeks.

I pondered my sisters grizzly sickness, how the doctors had
informed my
father privately that there was not much hope that Noorah was going
to
outlive the disease. She wasn't told though. Who hinted to
her?
Or was
it that she could sense the truth.

`What are you thinking about Hanan?' Her voice was sharp.
`Do you
think
I am just saying this because I am sick? Uh - uh. In fact, I may
live
longer than people who are not sick. And you Hanan, how long are
you going
to live? Twenty years, maybe? Forty? Then what?' Through
the
dark she
reached for my hand and squeezed gently. `There's no
difference
between
us; we're all going to leave this world to live in Paradise or
agonize in
Hell. Listen to the words of Allah:

[Anyone who is pushed away from the Fire and shown into Jannah will
have
triumphed.]

I left my sister's room dazed, her words ringing in my ears:
May
Allah
guide you Hanan - don't forget your prayer.


Eight O'clock in the morning. Pounding on my door. I
don't
usually wake
up at this time. Crying. Confusion. O Allah, what happened?


Noorahs condition became critical after Fajr, they took her
immediately to
the hospital ... Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji`un.


There wasn't going to be any trips this summer. It was written
that I
would spend the summer at home.

After an eternity...

It was one O'clock in the afternoon. Mother
phoned the
hospital. `Yes. You can come and see her now.' Dad's
voice had
changed,
mother could sense something had gone deathly wrong. We left
immediately.

Where was that avenue I used to travel and thought
was so
short? Why was it so long now, so very long. Where was the
cherished
crowd and traffic that would give me a chance to gaze left and
right.
Everyone, just move out of our way. Mother was shaking her head in
her
hands - crying - as she made dua' for her Noorah.


We arrived at the hospitals main entrance.


One man was moaning, another was involved in an accident and a
third's
eyes were iced, you couldn't tell if he was alive or dead.


We skipped stairs to Noorahs floor. She was in intensive care.


The nurse approached us. `Let me take you to her.' As we
walked
down the
aisles the nurse went on expressing how sweet a girl Noorah was.
She
reassured Mother somewhat that Noorah's condition had gotten
better
than
what it was in the morning.


`Sorry. No more than one visitor at a time.' This was the
intensive care
unit. Through the small window in the door and past the flurry of
white
robes I caught my sisters eyes. Mother was standing beside her.
After
two minutes, mother came out unable to control her crying.


`You may enter and say Salam to her on condition that you do
not
speak too
long,' they told me. `Two minutes should be enough.'


"How are you Noorah? You were fine last night sister, what
happened?"


We held hands, she squeezed harmlessly. `Even now,
Alhamdulillah,
I'm
doing fine.'


"Alhamdulillah ... but ... your hands are so cold."


I sat on her bedside and rested my fingers on her knee. She jerked
it
away. "Sorry ... did I hurt you?"


"No, it is just that I remembered Allah's words

[One leg will be wrapped to the other leg (in the death shroud)]


... Hanan pray for me. I may be meeting the first day of the
hearafter
very soon. It is a long journey and I haven't prepared enough
good
deeds
in my suitcase.'


A tear escaped my eye and ran down my cheek at her words. I cried
and she
joined me. The room blurred away and left us - two sisters -
to
cry
together. Rivulets of tears splashed down on my sister's palm
which I
held with both hands. Dad was now becoming more worried about me.
I've
never cried like that before.


At home and upstairs in my room, I watched the sun pass away with a
sorrowful day. Silence mingled in our corridors. A cousin came in
my
room, another. The visitors were many and all the voices from
downstairs
stirred together. Only one thing was clear at that point ...
Noorah had
died!


I stopped distinguishing who came and who went. I couldn't
remember what
they said. O Allah, where was I? What was going on? I
couldn't
even cry
anymore.


Later that week they told me what had happened. Dad had taken my
hand to
say goodbye to my sister for the last time, I had kissed
Noorah's
head.


I remember only one thing though, seeing her spread on that bed,
the bed
that she was going to die on. I remembered the verse she recited:


[One leg will be wrapped to the other leg (in the death shroud)]
and I
knew too well the truth of the next verse: [The drive on that day
we be to
your Lord (Allah)!]


I tiptoed into her prayer room that night. Staring at the quiet
dressers
and silenced mirrors, I treasured who it was that had shared my
mother's
stomach with me. Noorah was my twin sister.


I remembered who I had swapped sorrows with. Who had comforted my
rainy
days. I remembered who had prayed for my guidance and who had
spent so
many tears for so many long nights telling me about death and
accountability. May Allah save us all.


Tonight is Noorah's first night that she shall spend in her
tomb.
O
Allah, have mercy on her and illumine her grave. This was her
Qur'an, her
prayer mat and and this was the spring rose-colored dress that
she
told
me she would hide until she got married, the dress she wanted to
keep just
for her husband.

I remembered my sister and cried over all the days that I had
lost. I
prayed to Allah to have mercy on me, accept me and forgive me. I
prayed
to Allah to keep her firm in her grave as she always liked to
mention in
her supplications.


At that moment, I stopped. I asked myself: what if it was I who
had died?
Where would I be moving on to? Fear pressed me and the tears began
all
over again.


Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar...


The first adhan rose softly from the Masjid, how beautiful it
sounded this
time. I felt calm and relaxed as I repeated the Muadhdhins call.
I
wrapped the shawl around my shoulders and stood to pray Fajr. I
prayed as
if it was my last prayer, a farewell prayer, just like Noorah had
done
yesterday. It had been her last Fajr.


Now and in sha' Allah for the rest of my life, if I awake in
the
mornings
I do not count on being alive by evening, and in the evening I do not count on being alive by morning.
We are all going on Noorah's journey - what have we prepared for it?
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