Sunday, 24 October 2010

My 5 minutes with Dato' Haron Din

Ever since my return home from the United Kingdom back in early February 2010, a lot of friends and acquaintances have been recommending all sorts of alternative treatments for my condition. It amazes me upon hearing the plethora of possible treatments other than the conventional ones (ie chemo, radiotherapy and surgery) that are available out there for cancer patients to consider from. Some have strong evidences to work against cancer based on people's testimonies while other treatments' efficacy are based purely on hearsay. From herbal supplements to Ayurvedic treatment, the list just goes on and on. Nevertheless, one advise that we receive rather quite often from concerned friends and family members is to consider Shifa' treatment, practiced by our very own renown scholar, Dato' Haron Din.

Dato' Haron Din, the founder of Darussyifa'

In essence, Shifa' treatment centers upon the usage of specific verses in the holy Quran to treat specific ailments suffered by the patients. The use of Quranic verses in curing diseases is certainly not unfamiliar or unheard of especially among the Muslims, who believe strongly in its healing powers. As has been stated by Allah in his Holy Book,

"We sent down in the al-Quran that which is a healing and a mercy to those who believe, to the unjust it causes nothing but loss after loss." [Al-Isra':82]

The headquarter of Darussyifa' is located in Bangi, Selangor, which is roughly a 20 minutes drive away from where I live in Sri Petaling (given that the traffic is clear). It also has numerous branches all over the country, Sabah and Sarawak included, with a huge numbers of practitioners, most of which are students of Dato' Haron Din. The clinic in Bangi is open throughout the week except for Monday, when Dato' Haron Din conducts classes for his students. Nevertheless, most of the patients would visit the clinic on Tuesday morning, as that is Dato' Haron Din's only session throughout the week.

The main centre of Darussyifa in Bangi, Selangor.

About a month ago, alhamdulillah, I had the opportunity to attend Dato' Haron Din's clinic session and was treated personally by the person himself. The atmosphere inside the clinic on a Tuesday morning will always be in stark difference to any other day of the week. On a normal day, the centre is rarely hectic and it doesn't take long for patients to be seen by a practitioner. However, on a Tuesday morning, the centre becomes packed with people filling every spaces available inside the building. The number of patients seen within that one particular session would rise from what is usually less than a hundred people on a normal day to a staggering 200 patients! Even though the clinic session only starts at 7 o'clock in the morning, patients would come to the centre as early as 4 or 5am to get their appointment numbers. My point is, everyone wants to be seen personally by Dato' Haron Din wherever possible!

I came to the centre around 8am with my mom and Jep, and we got the ticket numbered 137. Given the sheer number of patients for that morning session, we had to wait for more than 3 hours before our number was called. The waiting definitely felt forever, but none of us felt like complaining when we entered into the treatment room and witnessed what we saw. Inside the treatment room, we could see two other patients were being treated by Dato' Haron Din, and we couldn't help but admire at the sheer strength, patience and enthusiasm shown by this 70-year old scholar. There was hardly any break in between seeing patients, and some treatment also require quite a lot of effort from Dato' Haron Din as he pats on the patient's back, or presses on the person's abdomen, for instance. We really didn't have a clue as to where does he get the stamina and energy to see 200-odd patients within just a morning session and not being affected by it. What made it even more amazing was the fact that Dato' Haron Din had only just returned from the United States less than a month before for a heart operation. SubhanAllah. I guess it's true when they say,

“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.”

When my turn came, I sat down right in front of Dato' Haron Din, as he read a small note containing the details of my ailment that I had filled in beforehand. I wrote in the note that I suffer from Hodgkin's disease since December 2008, had numerous chemotherapies throughout the year of 2009 but the cancer recurred in January 2010. That was all that I wrote. Having read my note, Dato' Haron Din almost instantly started his treatment by putting his hand on to my left neck, where the neck lump was present. That really surprised me as I wore a collared-shirt that morning, and thus anyone who had never seen me before would never notice the lump on my neck. But he apparently did, and I was totally surprised. Just how did he knew that I have a neck lump? Wallahua'lam!

The waiting room where patient is seated just before seeing the practitioner.

The treatment room, accommodating three patients at one time.

Dato' Haron Din currently treating a patient.

I was quite familiar with some of the verses recited by Dato' Haron Din when he placed his hand on my neck lump and one of them was from the first 2 verses of Surah al-Qalam,

"Nun. By the Pen and by that which the writers are writing, you are not, by the grace of your Lord, mad." [Al-Qalam:1-2]

I guess that is the miracle behind the verses in the Quran. From the verses recited above, nothing was mentioned about curing or healing an ailment, yet for the ones with the knowledge, they know such verses can be used in the treatment of cancer. SubhanAllah. May Allah grant all of the us the ability to understand and comprehend the meanings of the verses in the al-Quran!

The treatment session was less than 5 minutes, which didn't seem worth the waiting of more than 3 hours. Yet we would never complain, and were very thankful that we had the opportunity to personally meet Dato' Haron Din. We left the centre at about 1130am feeling grateful and satisfied, and we shall now leave all matters to Allah. Insha Allah, we would definitely consider revisiting the centre again sometime in the future as a follow-up to my treatment, should health permits.

A few interesting facts of note about Darussyifa; it doesn't charge its patients a single penny for all their treatment, and the centre is not only visited by Muslims patients but non-Muslims alike, as I have witnessed myself during my visit to the clinic.
I pray to Allah that He grants Dato' Haron Din good health, so that he can continue performing the noble work he does for the Ummah. Amin ya Rabbal 'alameen!


Monday, 18 October 2010

Ramadhan : My personal 'struggle'

"Ramadan is the month in which the Qur'an was sent down : this Book is a perfect guidance for mankind and consists of clear teachings which show the right way and are a criterion of Truth and falsehood. Therefore from now on whoever witnesses it, it is obligatory on hire to fast the whole month, but if one be ill or on a journey, he should make up for the same number by fasting on other days. Allah desires to show leniency to you and does not desire to show any hardship. Therefore this method is being shown to you so that you may complete the number of Fast days and glorify Allah for the Guidance He has shown to you and be grateful to Him." [2:185]


I could still remember vividly an ironically fond memory almost a year ago, when I was being told off by my housemate who disagreed with the act I had committed. It was the middle of Ramadhan during then, and I had decided to fast even though I was only just discharged from the hospital two days back for one of my chemotherapy sessions. Being a concern housemate, he thought I was not being fair to my body and reminded me of the leniency Allah has provided for the sick during the fasting month. He was right. My body was still so weak that I couldn't even last half a day fasting. In the end, I missed half of the Ramadhan as a result of my treatment.

A year on, and alhamdulillah I had the opportunity to embrace Ramadhan 1431. By the end of it, I am ever thankful to Allah that for His Mercy, I had managed to fulfill three main aims I had outlined prior to Ramadhan:

i. To make up for the whole 14 days of fasting I had missed during the previous Ramadhan before the arrival of Ramadhan 1431.

ii. To try and complete the whole 30 days of this year's Ramadhan.

iii. To fast for 6 days in the month of Shawwal

To some, achieving the aforementioned aims might be as easy as a walk in the park. But being in the state I am, I remembered how happy, relieved and thankful I was when the Athan for Maghrib was called upon on the 6th day of my fast in the Shawwal month. I had managed to achieve all three objectives I had set for myself. The athan signified a rather sweet personal victory, having inevitably experienced some difficulties during the fasting period.

Admittedly, during the fasting period, my body tends to get tired quicker and I therefore had to limit my physical activities during the day. As I find myself knackered quite easily by dawn, I had to content myself with performing most of my teraweh prayers at home rather than making the trip to the masjid. I was definitely not as strong as I was in the past, which frankly was quite frustrating. But I never let such thoughts to put me off from doing as much as I could during the blessed month. And by the end of it, I really thought I had fared better than what I initially expected in terms of the 'ibadah I had planned to perform. Alhamdulillah. The way I see it is quite simple; if you can't do some, don't leave everything. I was definitely not fit enough to make it for regular teraweh prayers at the masjid, but that didn't mean I can't perform it at home. I believed it was that simple principle that kept me strong throughout the fasting period, and it paid off by the end of it.

On a disclaimer note, I am in no way trying to advocate to anyone that one should still force him/herself to fast despite being ill. At the end of the day, only oneself knows his body better and he should make the decision as to whether he is fit enough to fast or not. The permissibility to abstain from fasting due to ill health is certainly a leniency Allah has provided for His servants, and one should never try to make things difficult. Allah stated clearly in His Holy Book:

يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ بِكُمُ الْيُسْرَ وَلاَ يُرِيدُ بِكُمُ الْعُسْرَ

"...Allah intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you..." [2:185]

I believe that people living with cancer should never have a negative perception that they will never be able to perform fasting during Ramadhan any longer, or performing certain 'ibadah in the Deen that might seem to require a big portion of effort or energy from the person. The important thing that should be borne in mind is that all these acts can still be performed, but understandably there might be some shortcomings as compared to the ibadah of a healthy person. Thus, accept and embrace these shortcomings and insha Allah, it will not hit you too hard when you find yourself not being able to perform some of the things you used to do in the past, when you were free from the disease.

As I have always said in the past, cancer is a word and NOT a sentence. Don't let it control your life. What more the life of a Muslim.