Friday, November 26, 2010

A temporary farewell

The last time I departed with someone this significant in my life, it was fourteen years ago. The added years have taught me to muddle through the grief better, but they have also doubled the ache I was made capable of feeling.

This was the person who took care of me when I was little, and I will always have the fondest memories of playing ‘ghost’ with him and sleeping by his side at night during the weekends. This was the person who encouraged me to memorise the Quran when I was little, even awarding me RM100 when I completed surah Yasin. I love him so much, and I simply can’t stop these tears flowing throughout the day. The typical initial waves of guilt washed through this morning- I had meant to call him for the past three days but due to a little tight schedule, I forgot. Never in my prayers though, and I hope he realised that.

May Allah grant His forgiveness and mercy to my dearest grandfather, and place him amongst the highest ranks of the believers. And this separation is only temporary; may we meet again in jannah, Aki.

Imam Al-Ghazali, whom my grandfather shared his name with, wrote the following verses right before he breathed his last:-

"Say to my friends, when they look upon me, dead
Weeping for me and mourning me in sorrow
Do not believe that this corpse you see is myself
In the name of God, I tell you, it is not I,
I am a spirit, and this is naught but flesh
It was my abode and my garment for a time.
I am a treasure, by a talisman kept hid,
Fashioned of dust, which served me as a shrine,
I am a pearl, which has left its shell deserted,
I am a bird, and this body was my cage
Whence I have now flown forth and it is left as a token
Praise to God, who hath now set me free
And prepared for me my place in the highest of the heaven,
Until today I was dead, though alive in your midst.
Now I live in truth, with the grave - clothes discarded.
Today I hold converse with the saints above,
With no veil between, I see God face to face.
I look upon "Loh-i-Mahfuz" and there in I read
Whatever was and is and all that is to be.
Let my house fall in ruins, lay my cage in the ground,
Cast away the talisman, it is a token, no more
Lay aside my cloak, it was but my outer garment.
Place them all in the grave, let them be forgotten,
I have passed on my way and you are left behind
Your place of abode was no dwelling place for me.
Think not that death is death, nay, it is life,
A life that surpasses all we could dream of here,
While in this world, here we are granted sleep,
Death is but sleep, sleep that shall be prolonged
Be not frightened when death draweth nigh,
It is but the departure for this blessed home
Think of the mercy and love of your Lord,
Give thanks for His Grace and come without fear.
What I am now, even so shall you be
For I know that you are even as I am
The souls of all men come forth from God
The bodies of all are compounded alike
Good and evil, alike it was ours
I give you now a message of good cheer
May God's peace and joy for evermore be yours."

Thank you to my family, and friends who offered kind words and moral support. Innalillahi wainna ilaihi rajiun.