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A Sad Passing

A Sad PassingBrother Awad Mohamed Elgarguri, one of our very much appreciated Islamic Bulletin contributors passed away at the young age of 49. In this issue of The Islamic Bulletin, he has contributed Islamic Beliefs and Practices. He will be very much missed by his family, many friends, and the staff of at the Islamic bulletin. We would like to ask each of our readers to remember him in their Duas this Holy Month. May Allah grant him Paradise.

Sheikh Awad was headed home shortly after Salat-ul Isha with his 16 year-old son. Shaikh Awad was a man in every sense of the word. He was calm, collected, and composed. I never remember him losing control of himself no matter what the situation. When he spoke, he spoke wisdom. No word was uttered aimlessly or in vain. He took personal care of those he came into contact with and built relationships with them, advising them how to navigate the problems of their life. The amazing thing was, no matter how many people were seeking his help; he attended to each one with the same level of attention and care. His reserves of patience at times seemed like they had no end.

Sheikh Awad, who was a Microbiology Researcher, had finished his Graduate studies at the School of Microbiology at Oregon State University. As the Imam of his community in Corvallis, Oregon, he was the community. He received no salary from the mosque but genuinely cared for all people - family, friends and even strangers - whom he may have met once in a store or at the post office, for example.

People from different backgrounds, religions, ages and nationalities have all been united by benevolent feelings toward the man who lived amongst them and interacted with them as a genuine and sincere friend for nearly three decades. As the Imam and religious leader of the Muslim Community in Corvallis, Awad dedicated his whole life to setting an example of true Islam to his community members both inside, and outside, of his Mosque.

To him, Corvallis was his beloved hometown, and he was so proud of it as a city and as an ideal community. Islam means submission and peace. God created us from different nations and tribes, but we are all brethren in humanity. Diversity enriches and nourishes the growth and development of the human race and promotes peaceful collaboration and a coherent coexistence. This is the message Awad sought to exemplify.

Brother Awad's passing reminds me of a hadith of Rasululah (saw) in which it says that the passing of a scholar is greater with Allah than the passing of a village or entire tribe. He was a man of deep knowledge who practiced what he knew. I never once heard him mention degrees in deen or dunya, both of which he had. Yet, knowledge eminated from him in his words and demeanor. In fact, many of the youth of Corvallis were raised under his wings. Only they can fully describe their loss.

As the Prophet (saw) explained that actions are according to their ending, and so was the life of Shaykh Awad. As was normal there was an Islamic lecture every night in the masjid. This series was devoted to the journey that everyone must take from this world. For four nights he brought death to life as a reality for all to see. The 5th Islamic lecture was to be completed with the khutbah of Jumha. Brother Awad prayed his Isha prayers Thursday night, and then proceeded home to finishing his Jumha Khutba. On his way home, an oncoming vehicle's driver fell asleep and veered into the Shaykh's car. The Shaykh swerved his car so that the full impact was on the driver's side, saving his son from what was written for him.

The Muslims in Corvallis who heard the news dashed out of their houses in shock to attend Jumha. Thinking that the news was not true, they filled the masjid, but without their influential leader and friend. Many cried and especially when they had heard the Jumha khutba that Sheikh Awad had prepared for that day dealt with death. And instead of Sheikh Awad delivering the Khutba, it was being read by another imam. And that day they cried as they had never cried before. How greatly they missed him. Especially a part that was in the khutba that spoke of Hazrat Bilal (RA) when he gave his last azan in Medina with a famous quote, to his wife, "How wonderful! Tomorrow I am going to meet with the beloveds, Muhammad and his friends!" At Jumha prayer that day, mosque members mourned the loss of their Imam outside the Salman Al-Farisi Islamic Center on Kings Boulevard in Corvallis.

Awad Elgarguri was married and had seven children. Even after his death, his legacy manifested itself in his family. It was with full submission to Allah's will and with absolute belief and trust in His Divine wisdom. Their reaction to the man who killed their father was to forgive him and pray that Allah guide him to Islam. They showed patience and complete resignation to the predestination of Allah. In this way Allah took back what belonged to Him- "Innalalilahi wa inna ilayhi rajioon." "To Allah We Belong and To Him We Will Return."


The Islamic Bulletin
P.O. Box 410186, San Francisco, CA 94141-0186

September 2009
Ramadan 1430
Note from the Editor
Letters to the Editor
Everyday Dua'a
Islamic World News
How I Embraced Islam
Let's Make A Change
A Sad Passing
Islamic Beliefs
and Practices
Common Mistakes
In Ramadan
Feeling Confused?
Day Of Judgment
How Not To Miss Fajr
You Can Do It
A Love Story
Cook's Corner
Women in Islam
The Qur'an & Science
Kids' Corner
Parent's Corner
A Request
Beauty Tips for Sisters
Who Is Your Best Friend?
How to Concentrate
In Your Prayers