Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Another Goodbye

"Kita jumpa lagi, ya," he said. "Yes", I said, sadly.

It seemed like a repeated scenario, only the main players are different.

Every time I see Encik Usop, he was handing out an envelope. There's our small community of friends, Niman and husband Zainal, officers from the High Commission, Malaysian Students Department, and a sprinkling of others; familiar faces. Alas these days we meet on more sombre occasions, but all giving support and sympathy in anyway we can.

Yesterday, braving the heavy rain, we arrived at No 4 Pinchin Street in east London, and I joined Ustazah, Niman, Zailah and the mother of arwah in the small room where they were giving arwah her last bath and preparing her body before she was laid to rest in the coffin.

It was my first time. But moments and experience like this are humbling moments that make you think that whoever you are, wherever you are, and whatever you do in this life, you still return to The Creator when your time is up. It is a reminder.

The sisters from Hj Taslim Funeral Services who helped with the bath expertly did their job, treating arwah with respect and utmost dignity. There were many other rooms, with similar tasks being performed, but most didn't have the support that young arwah had. I had mistakenly gone into one room where there was only a lone worker giving someone the final bath.

It is moments like this that reminds me of the closeknit community that we have here in London. It takes an sms, a phone call about a sickness or death, and everyone will make sure they are there to give support.

I heard about arwah's sudden illness three weeks ago. By then she was already in a coma; induced coma. She was here with her parents on holiday and they were about to go home when she was taken ill. She was rushed to the hospital and stayed there in ICU till the end. She was only 12.

It was Zainal, our bilal and his wife Niman, who told me about them. They kindly took charge, looking after the family, bringing food, lending a shoulder to cry on. When the word spread, many friends visited and gave support. We held tahlils and doa selamat sessions for her recovery but she lost the fight on 6th July at about 5 o'clock.

When news spread, we were there again on 7th floor of St Mary's hospital. Only three weeks ago, I believe, we were there when news arrived that Ustaz's mother in law had passed away suddenly, after a sightseeing tour in London. I remember on the train journey to White Chapel mosque, my husband reminding me again of the doas for solat jenazah. This time, as we made the journey to East London, I needed no reminder. In the small room next to where we had given arwah her bath, we did prayers for her.

It was just last April, the same familiar faces were at another hospital, another mortuary, another cemetery, burying a friend. Al Fatehah to all.

As the jenazah was driven away to the airport for the flight back to Malaysia, I reflected on what had happened in the past few months.

Over the past few months I have learnt quite a few things. Living abroad, especially, you need the support of people around you. It helps to be a member of the Kesatuan Khairat, with people like Encik Usop, ever ready to hand out a contribution in times when you most need help. You need people who knows the ropes, who to contact, what to do. Haji Taslim of East London Mosque Funeral Service is the most important contact point. After the necessary is carried out at the hospital, doctor's certificate, coroner's report, Haji Taslim takes over preparing the jenazah. The High Commission and the Students Department are here to offer help too, especially when it involves Malaysians who are here for a visit. Ustaz Erfino and his wife, who had recently suffered a personal loss, are always around to offer their help and services.

Over the years too, I have realised this help and cooperation is extended not only to members of the community. People who were at first strangers became firm friends as we share grief and sympathy.

As I write this, the jenazah is being flown back for the burial. To the family, please accept our deepest condolence and sympathy. Semoga Allah mencucuri rahmat ke atas arwahnya dan ditempatkan bersama mereka yang beriman. Al Fatehah.

This is a blog entry by Ustaz Erfino: Al Fatihah to Adik Hanis Suraya


Madam Tai Tai No More said...

Alfatihah for arwah. Semoga rohnya ditempatkan di sisi orang2 yg beriman.

Ms B said...

Oh kak. what a sad posting. I cannot imagine how the parents are coping with the loss of their young daughter.

sometimes i feel we are closer to the community when abroad, perhaps driven by our desire to be in a company with similar values and culture.

and it was raining cats and dogs yesterday afternoon..

tireless mom said...

Sedih nya. Hope the journey back home was smooth. AlFatihah.

Kak Teh said...

MTTNM, thank you and Insyaallah.

Ms B, It was indeed pouring. And thus, hopefully ends my hayfever.

It is indeed difficult for any parents to cope in such a situation.

Kak Teh said...

TM, indeed sad for a family holiday to end like that. We wish them all the best to cope in these trying moments.

Adirya Kiratas said...

My condolence. You did a good job of capturing the essence of the tragedy and reminding us that we all have to return to our Creator.

Imagine if there is no death ... how terribly we will behave. Without accountabiity, we have a tendency to be irresponsible. So death, as sad and unwelcome as it is, is a good reminder that we have to account for our behaviour.

Take care.

Kak Teh said...

Thanks for the visit Adirya Kiratas. Indeed we tend to forget and sadly it takes death to remind us of death.

Pak Zawi said...

Kak teh,
AlFatehah to arwah. My condolence to all members of her family. A thousand thanks to the Malaysian community in London. You people are swell.

ubisetela said...


Kak Teh said...

Pak zawi dan Ubi setela, terima kasih.

mekyam said...

Al-Fatihah bagi arwah yg telah berangkat!

Semoga yang tinggal juga diberkati Allah dengan kekuatan.

Naz said...


Kama said...

Alfatihah. Pak Abu just mentioned to me this afternoon about Hanis Suraya's death. he read on on the Macoba website, the father of the child is his friend...

D said...

Kak Teh,
I heard about the young lady's departure from a dear friend and couldn't help feeling very sad about it.

You are right - we learn a lot especially when we live so far away from home. My late husband's demise taught me a lot and has brought me closer to Him.

You are blessed to have a caring community there!

The trekker, agnes said...

My Condolences to the members of the family, be strong, God bless you

Kak Elle said...

Al fathiha and salam takziah to the family.

I agree when are living far away a close knit friends certainly is a must in time like this.

MULAN said...

al-fatihah.. al-fatihah.. moga semua urusan dipermudahkan.. moga Allah merahmati sekalian umat yg sentiasa saling membantu di bumi UK itu..

Chahya said...

Innalillahi wainna ilaihi raji'un.
Takziah to the family.

[danial][ma] said...

hej! Kak deepest condolences to the family...may her family face the sudden departure with patience and strength...

HSMN said...

salam kak teh,

i heard about this thru my friend, who is a neighbour of arwah right here in JB.

it's really sad when you think about it, and then you stop and think of how you need good neighbours and friends around you, should something like this happen.

but alas, Allah loved her more and i guess we just have to accept that it was her time to go, although that is hard to do.


Kitchen Guardian said...

Kak Teh,

Not that I "enjoy" attending funerals....but when I do, yes, I feel the kesedaran...kan!Alfatehah to adik Hanis..

Shahieda said...

Innalilahie wa inna ilayhie rajioen!! May Allah place sabr in the hearts of the parents Insha-Allah!!

Surely it cannot be easy to bury your child. Two days ago I was also told of a father who lost 2 sons in an accident, the one was also 12 yrs old, the other had just recently married. :(

As human beings we tend to question or try to see the sense in losing loved ones, especially when they're young. But Allah surely knows best!!

Raden Galoh said...


Allah lebih menyayangi dia kak. Di syurga tempatnya.

We are indeed passengers of the time train.

Mama Rock said...

wow! this is sad....AlFatihah.

Kak Teh said...

Mekyam, thank you. The parents, I believe, had the support of the community here when they were here. It is relieving the whole episode again once they arrive. It is a very strong person who can cope when faced with this situation.

Naz, thanks, it is sad indeed.

Kak Teh said...

Puteri, yes, the father is a pilot. I didnt realise that it is on the MACOBA site.

D, I am sure you went through all this too. And I wont be wrong if I say the student community there must have given you the support you needed. I remember the night your husband died and we held a tahlil session in London. Al Fatehah.

Kak Teh said...

Agnes, thank you very much, Am sure the family appreciates all the kind wishes.

Kak Elle, being away, friends and the community become our saudara mara.

Kak Teh said...

Mulan, Insyaallah. I understand that arwah is also a hafiz Quran.

Chahya, thank you for the doa .

SkyJuice said...

Salam Kak Teh,

Hope you're well.

Al-Fatihah to arwah. May she be placed among the faithful, insya-Allah.

My grandpa passed away here at home recently. He was ill and bedridden for a few months. He was hospitalised for over a week, and then, we looked after him at home. Allah loves him more, and I hope he's in a better place now.

By the way, classes for my second semester have started. So, it's back to books now. I'm pleased to tell you I got all As for last semester's subjects. :-)

drbubbles said...


My Al Fatihah for arwah.Sedih dengar.

Kak Teh said...

Danial, thank you.

HSMN, yes, Allah truly loves her more and we have to accept that. Last night we had another tahlil for arwah and other friends and relatives who had passed on.

Kak Teh said...

KG, in my experience, and this year alone there had been quite a few, my involvement in the solat jenazah, helping friends to cope, or just being there, had helped me tremendously - the kesedaran bit.

Shahieda, yes, it cannot be easy for the parents to bury a child, especially one they had been waiting for 9 years to concieve. It is really sad.

Kak Teh said...

Raden, yes you are right and do take care. Hope we can meet up soon.

Mama Rock, thank you.
pssst...Little penang?

Kak Teh said...

SkyJuice - oh no wonder you've not been around! All the best for th enew semester.

Al Fatehah to your arwah grandpa.

Dr Bubbles, it is indeed!

mamasita said...

Al-Fatihah to adik Hanis Suraya..semoga rohnya dicucuri rahmat dan ditempatkan bersama mereka yang soleh.

Kesian yer..sakit apa? So sad..

My deepest condolences to her grieving parents and family members.

Al-Manar said...

The news of each death seems to take us nearer to that final destination. Reading your posting immediately after reading the short news of Natrah's death in Huijbergen, Holland, hit me hard. Many may not have heard of Natrah, the adopted Dutch girl. I wonder whether she, at 72, died a non-Muslim. But her heart was always with the people who raised her as a Muslim. She visited them in Kemaman as late as 1997.

Kak Teh said...

mamasita, I think, she had pneumonia and then blood poisoning. Her whole systems collapsed. But ALhamdulillah she is no longer in pain.

Abang Ngah, it is sad indeed.
and abt Hertogh, I really wanted to see her when I was in Holland a month ago. but she was qute frail, i was told. I believe they must be a lot of people in Kemaman who still remember and know her.

Ida Hariati Hashim said...

Salam Kak Teh,

Al-Fatehah to Arwah Adik Hanis Suraya, kesian la..:(

Malaysians kat London are very close, alhamdulillah..but too bad, bila balik sini dah tak berapa close pulak. I pun rasa guilty ni sbb dah lama tak ziarah our family fren ni. Padahal dulu masa di Chingford, memang close..

U take care, Kak Teh..

Science Bloggers Association said...

Nice Blog. Congrats.
-Zakir Ali ‘Rajnish’
{ Secretary-TSALIIM & SBAI }
[Editor- Children’s Poem & Adult’s Poem]

Kak Teh said...

Ida, our Malaysian community here is just like an extended family.

xplorer said...

kak teh ,
al fatihah to are you doing?It had been quite some time since i last visited your blog.I had just came back from london last two days and i do agree that when we are living abroad we need to have and give all the support that is needed because , just may be someday we might never know what will happen