The last time I saw Kassim was on February 20th, 2010|
'Surely we belong to God and to Him shall we return'.
Quran, Surah Al Baqara, Part of Verse 156
The solat jenazah will be conducted at his home at 48, Jalan 3/18, Taman Pinggiran Templer, Selayang Selangor in the early 8am. Burial is scheduled before 10 am at the Muslim graveyard at Bukit Idaman, Selayang behind the Balai Polis IPD Gombak.
Last Saturday morning, our friend Amran broke it in our yahoogroups of the shocking news of arwah's sudden heart attack. He was immediately taken to Selayang Hospital by ambulance and subsequently transfered to the Sg Buloh Hospital by late afternoon on the same day.
In mid-morning Sunday, Zul, who just returned from visiting arwah, notified us of his condition. Arwah Kassim had just undergone an operation to remove blood clot in his brain.He was under sedation and 24 observation in the High Dependency Ward.
By 10 am Monday morning, Zul shared with us a not so positive SMS from his son of his family had began to read the surah Yaasin to spiritually assist arwah's journey back.
I was packed with a busy weekend and Monday to help sustain life of others and with my own medical issues. Had myself three doctors appointment from morning till late afternoon, though I skipped one due to shortage of time and was plain lazy to go to the bank to cover his portion of the bill.
I thought I could visit Kassim and another 'friend' also in ICU at the same Hospital after my 3rd appointment at Taman Tun Dr Ismail, but there was a downpur right after I was finished with my treatment.
Deciding between plowing through a traffic jam and a quick return via Duke Highway, I chose to return and cold pack my sore muscle from the treatment. I was fasting yesterday and will rush for Kassim after maghrib.
The Quran reads, "Verily we belong to God and to God we return." The Bible too have a similar verse as in "God giveth and God taketh away."
Life is a gift from God and it is God's prerogative to take it back from us. Not a moment more and not a moment less, when it is time for us to return to where we came from.
I was not in time. When I reached the hospital, the email in my Blackberry informed that Kassim had left us 15 minutes ago.
By the team I found my way in the ICU ward, Kassim's body was sent down for Muslim cleaning ritual and his brother Razali was sorting out the documentation.
Of late, such has been my luck when it comes to visiting sick friends or family member. A moment later and I do not get to see them for the last time.
I opened the cloth covering my friend for 40 years and saw the long operation stitches. It's been a while since I met Kassim and also his already grown children. He looks thin but his face was one of calm. Despite his darker complexion, his face look bright.
Alhamdulillah, hope it is a good sign.
Others that I share 40 years friendship with Kassim|
I do not think I should write a obituary or eulogy for Kassim.
Forty years friendship cannot be reduced to few paragraphs of words of Kassim's occupation, life's endeavours and adventures, and success and mishaps. That friendship has elevated into a spiritual bond in which in accordance to Islam, we are bounded by some form of responsibility for him and his family.
While waiting for an ustaz to come to do the washing the body, I visited my fellow committee member in an NGO, former TUDM Brig. Jeneral (R) Dato Ir Ahmad Abok at 7th floor. He suffered a stroke and was air-flown back from Jakarta last month with the effort of Dato Azeez Rahim and I had not got around to visit him yet.
Read this June 19th New Straits Times report below:
Dato Sujak, 66 was a former TUDM Chief Engineer. He hails from Muar, Johor and was High School. Muar classmates with Tan Sri Muhyiddin and Dato Gani Osman.
1Malaysia Putera Club president Datuk Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim, whose organisation facilitated the humanitarian mission, said Brig-Gen (R) Datuk Ahmad Sujak Abok @ Bon, 66, was warded at Puri Cinere Hospital near Bogor in Jakarta Selatan after the attack on June 12.
"His daughter, Suraya, sought our assistance last Saturday to bring him home as he was in a serious condition and medical expenses were high.
"We sought the help of (international emergency assistance company) SOS International and Lembaga Persahabatan Indonesia-Malaysia (Prima) to carry out the mission.
"Ahmad's son Agus Affendi and daughter Kartina then accompanied specialist Datuk Dr Alwi Abdul Rahman and paramedic Nasir Khan to fly the patient home."
The chartered Learjet departed Halim Perdana Kusuma air force base in Jakarta at 1pm yesterday and arrived at the Royal Malaysian Air Force base in Subang at 2.45pm.
Ahmad has now been warded at Sungai Buloh Hospital in a stable condition and was visited by Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
It is almost a month and Dato Sujak is still in a state of comma. It reminded me of my sifu several years ago, who never recovered his consciousness after his by-pass operation. I only hope we do not lose this good ex-servicemen.
Let us all wish him well, in every sense of the word.
Seeing friends undertaking their journeys, it also reminded me of a gift meant for Syed's daughter. Two weekend ago, he married off his daughter.
Syed not only sent SMS reminder and e-mail to invite and remind of his daughter event. He took the extra effort to send an invitation card via snail mail, something unheard off in these day and age.
I went but was misguided by some Rela volunter handling traffic to another wedding on that same night and time nearby Syed's house.
By the time I got myself a parking spot, it was too far. Thinking that I would be logistically handicapped to sent back the 'kids' after their examination revision tuition, I had to give it a miss. I also had to break fast. Only Monday morning did I realise that I had went to the wrong wedding.
Alas ... while a friend ended his life in this temporal world, another friend is in a journey of uncertainty. While, my friend, Syed will be hoping to receive a new life in a year's time. The biological cycle of life continues.
Soon ... it will be our time to return to the maker.
In the meanwhile, my only hope is that the remain of my temporal existence is relevant and beneficial. It is a timely reminder that despite the sometimes busy life I lead, I must not lose sight to maintain a quality life and not grow further apart from my family and friends.
I have a long overdue call to mother and Ramadhan is just this weekend. I've taken it long enough.
I believe in November 11, 12 and 13 we have a 40 years anniversary coming and this time it is about our struggle to remain acknowledged and existence. Our time is not up till God calls it so.
To all the leaving, seeking, and living, may you find that straight path. Al Fatihah.