A Chapter of My Life with My Brother


Casually climbing upstairs to my bedroom after Iftar and Salah, I read frantic messages from my niece to call her. I was informed the doctor had said Sabir’s scans were not good – the cancer had spread. I mumbled, heart sinking: “Inna illahi wa inna illahi rajioon” in a state of disbelief.

Only a few days ago, after his daughter’s Valima, he had flown to the USA for his periodic treatment. He was extremely hopeful of a new immunotherapy treatment which his doctor had scheduled for him.

I felt dizzy and weak. Memories of his last visit and my ailing mother started to flood me … Beckoning me, he had held me against him. Little was I to know this was my last hug from my brother who was my only sibling and also a father figure, as I had lost my papa many years ago.

It was almost three years ago when Sabir was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Friends and family members reassured me that if anyone had cancer, this is the one they should want as it had an excellent prognosis.

After a long flight to the USA, my brother felt jetlagged and exhausted; however, he was positive and went for his doctor’s appointment with lots of hope. His latest scans had already been sent to him. “So how are you feeling?” he asked. Sabir paused: “Not too good.” The doctor replied: “Your scans too are not that good.” He went to explain that the cancer had spread to his liver and lungs, and no further treatment was possible. Sabir closed his eyes and asked to lie down. The doctor explained how he would be given medical attention at a hospice until…

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Should I Love Myself?

love myself

While serving others, we often forget ourselves. Picture these conversations:

  • “Mom, please, cook Biryani for me.”

“Yes dear.”

  • “Honey, make sure to pick up my clothes from the dry cleaner and pay the bills.”

“Sure, honey.”

  • “Mama, you have to help me with my science project. I need to submit it tomorrow.”

“Right, love.”

  • “Beta, please get my doctor’s appointment, and I need these medicines today.”

“Okay, dad.”

  • “Begum Sahibah, the detergent is over. Please get some for the laundry.”

“Yes, Insha’Allah.”

  • “Please send in the article that was due. We can’t wait any longer.”

“It’s ready; I will e-mail it to you by afternoon.”

  • “Ma’am, you have a parent and teacher meeting tomorrow morning at 9:00 am sharp. Please be there.”

“Yes, I will. Thank you.”

  • “Madam, the milk delivery man wishes to meet with you.”

“Tell him I am coming.”

If this is the usual conversation that you hold every day, you can pause and take a deep breath. Sit down and read this.

Once the Prophet (sa) held Umar ibn Al-Khattab’s (rtam) hand, and he told the Messenger of Allah (sa): “You are dearer to me than everything except my own self.” The Prophet (sa) replied: “Umar would not be a true believer until he loved the Messenger more than everything including himself.” Umar thought for a moment before confirming: “By Allah, you are dearer to me than my own self.” (Bukhari)

From the above Hadeeth, we can gather that after loving Allah (swt) and our beloved Prophet Muhammad (sa), it is okay to love ourselves.

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