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Three Special Individuals


This year the staff at the Islamic Bulletin were touched by the passing of three special individuals whose ages were 20, 30, and 96 (may Allah have mercy on them all). Their lives and deaths provide important lessons for us to learn, Insha'Allah. There is no guaranteed age for death. Here is what their families had to say about them.

Goolam Hoosen Patel
Farhana (Lunat) Rana
Asama Ayyad

Inna Lilahi Wa Inna Ilayhi Rajioon

Goolam Hoosen Patel was a 96 year old man who was concerned about his prayers up until the last moment. After prayering his last prayer, he asked his family to position his body to be straightened towards the Qibla, and then waved his hands to the angels to take his soul.

"The best of people are those who live longest and excel in their deeds, whereas the worst of people are those who live longest and corrupt their deeds." (Tirmidhi, Sahih)

My grand-pa was alive from the years 1915 -2010, he was always very active in the Muslim community. Beginning in the 1960s, he became a respected leader in the Tabligh Jamaat. He was also instrumental in establishing Darul-Uloom Zakariyya, one of South Africa's most prominent schools, and opened a Quran school in India for the orphans. His family contains many alims, alimahs, and memorizers of the Qur'an. An old-school old-age sage who dispensed no-nonsense advice with humor and grace, he helped thousands to live longer, happier lives. He showed us all how to add not just quality years to our lives but lasting contentment to our hearts.

I was studying at Harvard University and my grand-pa was visiting me, so I asked him to give a talk on Islam. I remember the students, who were in their 20's looking at him, wondering what he could say to them. He started the talk my saying, " a 100 years ago neither you nor I were here, a 100 years from now, none of us will be here, so we have to think about the time in between"... that broke the ice with the students, and they all enjoyed the talk so much when they would see me they would ask when I was going to bring back grand-pa to give another talk.

The Thursday night before he died, he performed his Maghrib. Papa opened his eyes and asked to open the drawer of his bedside table, and called for Ameeri. "Bring me the Oud Attar (perfume), Ameeri, the best," his favorite scent, which he often would soak a small piece of cotton in and place it in his ear. He said proudly, "put some on me." The tears gathered in her eyes as her index finger grazed Papa's earlobe and hand stroked his silvery beard.

Once Maghrib ended, the priority was to recite Surah Kahf - a practice neither Papa nor his progeny would ever overlook. The recital was slow and measured, drawing out ayah which gave special reference to the occasion . "Al-maalu wa al-banoon zeenatul hayaat dunyaa… Wealth and sons are (only) desires and temptations in the life of this world: But the things that last, good deeds with your Lord, are the best as (the basis for all) reward and hopes. (Quran Surat Al Kahaf 18:46)

The Isha he would soon make resembled so many others he had completed that week, beginning with his intention (niyya) for prayer in Urdu, "ye chaar rakaat namaaz…." Though weak in strength, he managed to reserve whatever he had to determinedly raise his hands for the takbir al-ula, both palms Qibla-bound and turn his face from right to left greeting the scribe-angels with the greetings of salaam and rahma.

Sitting on Papa's right side on my knees with my face directly facing Papa's, now on his side, I saw Papa open his near century old eyes looking directly at me.

"Ketla vaaja (what time is it)?" "Half past nine, papa"

Did I make my Isha?" "Yes"

"Sure? Did I make my Isha?" "Yes, papa"

"Mere puree namaz pare? Are you sure? I made Isha? ",

Thinking that three times was sufficient to establish certainty, I heard Papa ask once more,

"So, I made my Isha?" He then said,"Don't forget to pay the gardener his salary." "Yes, Papa,

Still sitting next to Papa looking at him eye to eye, I spoke,

"Papa, Jumuah Mubarak, we love you so much Papa. Is there anything else I can do for you?"

The whisper came, "Straighten me……" and asked to remove the pillows behind Him so he would be laying him flat. He then repeated, "Straight, straight."

Papa then said, "dori topi" referring to the snowy white cap he diligently worn for the last four decades.

He then initiated the tayammum process. After completing this purifying rite, Papa raised both of his arms into the air and began waving them gracefully through the air. This was certainly not the waving of a soul in distress, but the waving of a soul jubilantly welcoming the angels of the moment. A few breaths later, Papa began his journey in the next leaving this world on the eve of Jumuah at age of 96. About three thousand people attended his funeral on Friday. top


Farhana (Lunat) Rana was a 30 year old young woman who died after a year-long struggle with a cancerous brain tumor.

The Prophet (SAW) said, "Whoever loves to meet Allah, Allah loves to meet him." (Bukhari)

My dear cousin Farhana passed away. She was an only child and was a joy to her parents and family. Three years ago, Farhana got married and moved to Lawrence, MA. However, she returned to Stockton last year after becoming ill. Throughout her life, she always had a kind word and sweet smile for those around her. This remained true even as she faced many obstacles during this past year. She showed great courage throughout her illness and preferred to remain positive and be thankful for all the blessings that she had in her life. She became very focused on strengthening her relationship with Allah, the Creator, appreciating her family, and imparting words of wisdom to those around her.

One of my beloved aunts described her last moments in this world by likening the exit of her soul to a silk thread being drawn out of a delicate flower. May Allah make that moment for us as easy as Farhana's.

Her short life gave her enough time to exemplify the sincerity and simplicity one can live one's life with. As she lost function of various facilities -movement, sight and then speech - she used what remained to bring the way of the Prophet (SAW) into her life. In fact, for the last week of her life, as she lay on her bed immobile, she used the only hand she had left to use – her right – to make dhikr on the tasbeeh and use the miswak. All she wanted us to recite was Ya Salaamu (Oh Peace – referring to Allah) and Surah Yaseen. Her last actions on this earth were doing her own miswak and holding on tightly to the Qur'an after making tayammum. She knew where she was going and wanted to leave in the most excellent way.

In her last year, Farhana purified herself and got prepared to meet Allah. She got closer to Allah, found her purpose, was able to have a peaceful death and was full of noor (light) at her passing. Now we must all make that same decision and get closer to Allah. This is the legacy that Farhana leaves for us. top


Asama Ayyad, was a 20 year old young man who was killed as a result of a drive-by shooting.

The Prophet (SAW) said, "There are seven whom Allaah will shade in His Shade on the Day when there is no shade except His Shade: ....'A man whose heart is attached to the mosques...' (Bukhari, Muslim)

I want to share something with the youngsters who think that death is not for them. Last month my 20-year-old nephew, Asama Ayyad went to a Richmond mosque that was hosting a reunion for Muslims from California and other states. They were getting together for an annual Ijtimah, a gathering to pray, help each other, and remember Islamic values. Asama enjoyed helping and especially wanted to give me a hand as I was the cook for this large crowd. After dinner, some people stayed to sleep at the mosque, and others went home. After helping me, he decided to leave, too. I asked him to stay longer at the mosque. He was afraid for his beloved car, which was parked outside.

He left with his friend, a teenage neighbor who wanted a ride in the shiny white Lexus. The plan was to go for a ride and then go home, but at the traffic light on 22nd Street and Bissell Avenue, gunfire erupted from a white van that was following them, hitting the car several times. Mortally wounded, Asama's first instinct was to go back to the mosque, a safe haven of spirituality, family and community.

He drove back to the mosque rather than go to the hospital. His heart was attached to the Masjid, where he had been praying and volunteering just before the assault. Almost unconscious, he crashed into the electric poles next to the masjid.

"La ilaha illa-Allah, Mohammed Rasullulah. Innalilahe wa inna ilayhi rajioon." There is no God but God and Mohamed is his prophet. To God we belong and to Him is our return,"

The Prophet (SAW) said: "He whose last words are 'La ilaha illa-Allah' shall enter Paradise." Those were Asama's last words.


All these people that died will be very much missed by their family, friends, and the staff of the Islamic Bulletin. We ask each of our readers to remember them in their Duas this Holy Month. May Allah grant them Paradise.


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

Vol. XX, No. 25
Note from the Editor
Letters to the Editor
Everyday Dua'a
Islam in Colombia
The Purpose of Life
Inna Lilahi Wa Inna
Ilayhi Rajioon
Ask and He Gives
How I Embraced Islam
Three Special
Salaahtul Janazah -
Salaahtul Janazah -
Learn to Perform and
Correct Your Wudhu
How to Perform
Salaatul Tasbeeh
Prayer Locations
Supplications After
The Last Sermon
The Prophets Quiz
Monthly Prayer Calendar
Cook's Corner
Secrets of
Surah Kahaf
Contemplations of
Surah Al Asr
The Past is
Gone Forever
Speaking of Time
Olive Oil
Stories of the Sahabah
Sayings of the Prophet