Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Afzal...Charting His Own Path In Life




Afzal sending me off at the Sheffield bus station in May 2009. He was too tired to send me off to London.


One blogger was puzzled as to how Afzal's writing mirrored someone who received his education in Islamic Religious(IR) Schools and how he was able to quote verses from the Qur'an and Hadith in his writings. I will try to enlighten everyone as to how he turned out the way he did despite not going to IR schools. The last school he attended was La Salle Secondary School, Kota Kinabalu.

Afzal grew up in a very close-knit family. I am close with my parents and 4 siblings and I made sure my children are close to their grand-parents, uncles and aunts and cousins (on both sides – mine and my husband's). We visit each other often, not just during Eid celebrations. We get together for birthdays, to celebrate someone getting straight As in their exams, a new baby in the family, someone getting a new car and for any small excuse we can cook up. We even get together just because it's been two weeks since we last saw each other!

I am also very lucky because my father (a retired teacher), reads the Qur'an well. When he was young, living in Ulu Gali, Raub, Pahang, in a remote village, he liked to boast as the one who read the Qur'an the best and loudest. He used this ability to teach all his grandchildren (well, at least when we visit him or he visits us, that is). Even when we were already living in Kota Kinabalu, I would “import” my parents, especially during school holidays, so that my children could benefit from his prowess in Qur'an reading. He was always willing to teach my children to read the Qur'an. And Afzal, turned out to be his best student because he was always eager to learn.

Actually my father is a very strict teacher, even to his children (that's why my sisters and I were taught to read the Qur'an by an ustazah – a beautiful ustazah, both physically and in her mannerisms), but somehow, he's gentle with his grandchildren.

My father would also always insist that we perform our obligatory solat together, especially for Maghrib, Isya' and Subuh. At the end of these prayers, he would recite the same dua's and zikirs ( I learned Ayat Qursi from listening to him reciting it!) Learning from my father was interesting for my children because, he is also a great Scout. He would come to KK armed with tents and fishing rods. He would pitch tents in our front yard and convinced my children to sleep in them at night, pretending they are having a Scout's Camp out! (but many times my boys would escape in the middle of the night and jumped into their own comfy beds!). He would take them fishing in the Padas river (where years later, we found out, had crocodiles in it!). He would build tree houses behind our house, where the children hung out on hot Sunday afternoons and impressive little“bungalows” for their pet rabbits....at the end of these activities, he would coerce them into performing the obligatory solat and then read the Quran. Inevitably, during each prayer session, my three boys would be asked to recite the azan and Afzal never declined and did it many times. That was how Afzal was introduced to the teachings of Islam and the Quran.


But I think, he learned the most when he studied in Kolej Matrikulasi Yayasan Saad (KMYS, which then changed its name to KYUEM) in 2002. While in KMYS, he attended many talks, seminars, classes related to Islam and met many people who were preaching the words of Allah through the Qur'an and Hadith. Afzal also loved to visit book stores, especially Minerva in Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, which sold many books on Islam. He has quite an impressive collection that now graces my book shelves in Seri Petaling. Afzal also loved going to the mosque especially for Maghrib/Isya' and Subuh prayers. Whenever he came home during holidays, he would always be asked to lead prayers in our home. Even my father would ask him to be imam....simply because he has a beautiful voice and he is also able to recite long verses from the Qur'an during the prayer. I remember my father saying “Abah pun tak pernah baca ayat-ayat panjang ni, tapi Afzal boleh hafal” (“Even I am not able to read these long Quranic versus, but Afzal recites them by heart”).

Whilst studying at KYUEM, since my family was in KK, Afzal sometimes spent his holidays in KL and stayed in my brother's house in Putrajaya. He would frequent most if not all the mosques and suraus in Putrajaya. Since he did not have a car, he rode on my brother's bicycle to get to these mosques and suraus! Afzal learnt the most about Islam and the Qur'an while studying in Sheffield. That was the time when he was greatly invloved in giving back to other fellow students, whatever knowledge and experience he had acquired, through the various talks and sharing sessions he attended.

I remember during one of those talks we had together with regards to his high dose chemo and the time when he had to stay in hospital the longest, he said “masa kat hospital kali ni, saya paling banyak tengok bende2 tak berfaedah kat TV Ma, sebab tak ada bende lain nak buat” (“this time around, while in hospital, I saw the most unbeneficial shows on TV Ma, because there was not much else to do”). He was very concerned about using his time. He would make sure he spent his free time watching or reading or doing something useful (to him, bonding with family and friends is something useful!). When he came home in February 2010, I used to pester him to update his blog and he would answer back “penat Ma nak update blog ni sebab saya kena buat research, tak boleh tulis sembarangan, kena ada bahan yang akan bagi faedah pada pembaca..” (“updating blogs is tiring Ma because I need to do research to make sure what I write will benefit my readers..”). That is why his blogs are full of verses from the Qur'an and Hadith...he looked them up and thanks to the wonders of internet, he did not have to rely only on hard copies!

I suppose, who he turned out to be in the end, was more from his own doing. At the height of his growing up (ie. from the year 2002, at the age of 17, when he left home to study in KYUEM and then proceeded to UK), he charted his own path in life. Even without the close guidance of his parents, he was wise enough to choose the right path. For that I am eternally grateful to all his friends and teachers, who became his close companions and whom Allah had fated to be the ones to help “take care“ of him....Al-Fatihah....mama Afzal.

Afzal is good with children. He was contemplating specializing in paediatrics. Here he is holding cousin, Mohamad Adam Mikhail.

32 comments:

Bila Cik Daisy Dee Bersuara said...

assalamualaikum :)
hye there..sye jumpe blog kamu pon sebab tercatit entri "ibu xpernah kecewa" dalm i luve islam....tersentuh aty bace..btw, mudah2an anda dikurniakan kesihatan yang baik.. keep strong dude.. may ALLAH bless u..

Bila Cik Daisy Dee Bersuara said...

maaf..sye xprasan akan situasi sebenar.. mudah-mudahan arwah di tempatkan disamping mereka yang beriman..al-fatihah.. kpd puan,takziah..mudah2an puan tabah dalam menghadapi ujian Allah yg maha hebat ini..sekali lagi maaf kerana xprasan akan situasi sebenar..

Anonymous said...

assalamualaikum puan..
setiap kali baca entri2 tentang Mas Afzal,saya tak dapat tahan air mata dari mengalir..sungguh..sehinggakan saya perlu kuatkan hati kalau nak baca blog ini.
Puan,saya doakan puan sekeluarga tabah.Mas Afzal adalah kurniaan Allah yang istimewa buat puan sekeluarga.wassalam.

Ummu Auni said...

it touches my heart.

Anonymous said...

be strong auntie..wrote more about him..semoga Allah tempatkn beliau bersama org yg soleh..amiin\

-knorezza-

hatina said...

salam...setiap kali singgah di blog ini, pasti air mata sy akan jatuh...semoga rohnya dicucuri rahmat dan brsama hamba2 yg soleh...stiap kali singgah di sini saya berharap semoga sy di pnjamkn semangt seperti allahyarham...aminnn

~ain~ said...

Thanks for updating auntie and please don't stop writing.. this blog has had inspired me a lot and I will always waiting for your new entry.. Semoga saya dapat didik anak2 saya macam yg auntie dah berjaya buat dan berharap hayat hidup saya bole menjadi manusia berguna dan semulia afzal.. :-)

Anonymous said...

Assalamualaikum fellow bloggers,

Each time I read your comments, my tears would fall like rain too. Knowing Afzal has helped so many in so many ways is very soul-cleansing, it hurts. It hurts because I wish I could have told him how much he meant to people and see his reaction...that would have been heavenly...thanks you all...mama Afzal.

School Of Tots said...

The posting is interesting, TQ for sharing. Every of us have our role to play. Allah knows best what is our strength and weaknesses. The best gift that my father gave me was taught me to read Qur'an. I will never ask for more. For that alone, I sedekahkan pahala on my reciting of Al Qur'an to him in Alam Barzakh everyday and in every opportunities. May Allah put him in a group of people that get HIS forgiveness and qualify him to Syurga. Amiin.

Anonymous said...

Kalau lah saya dapat berjumpa dengan dia, tetapi tulisan dia sudah cukup mengajar saya.

Semoga saya juga diberi pinjam kekuatan daripada dia untuk meneruskan kehidupan dan mengharungi dugaan mendatang.

May Allah bless you Afzal and family:')

irshadian said...

assalamualaikum mama afzal.

puan seorang yang sangat detail dan spesifik, mengetahui perkembangan anak walaupun anak puan baik, mengetahui di mana kedai buku kegemaran dan sehingga peristiwa yang begitu kecil atau remeh. semua itu puan ungkapkan dalam tulisan yang sungguh bermanfaat sehingga berjaya menyentuh hati para pembaca.

ibu hebat, pasti anaknya hebat

Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing the information about mas.. 100% sure allah love him much more. and of course, many have been inspired though this blog, including me.

Terima kasih, thanks, arigatoo, danke schoon,.. Mas Afzal Masarudin and to his family too.


-Alia-

freakyredrosses said...

asalamualaikum saudara afzal...kuatkan semangat hadapi semua dugaan yang Allah berikan...doa saya semoga saudara dilimpahi kesabaran dan kasih sayang oleh stiap orang terutama ibu saudara...saya tersentuh membaca artikel saudara tentang ibu yang tak pernah kecewa...sedangkan saya bukan lah seorang yang baik tapi saya ingin menjadi yang terbaik terutama kepada orang yang menyayangi saya dan yang saya amat sayangi iaitu mak dan ayah...thanks kerana mengingatkan saya yang terleka...kuatkan semangat anda..Allah always with u...

freakyredrosses said...

semoga beliau di tempatkan dikalangan orang2 beriman...

Anonymous said...

Salam
thanks auntie for the entry.
May Allah you and your family be blessed, here and hereafter, insyaAllah.

arsaili said...

salam aunty, moga arwah di tempatkan di Al Jannah.....

Anonymous said...

Assalamualaikum Mama Afzal,
Thank you for updating. You touch my heart. May Allah reward you, family and your son with the best now and hereafter. MasyaAllah, reading the blogg reminds me of surah yaseen. Even when your blessed son is no longer here, he is still giving us all advise and example of how a muslim should be thrugh this blog. May Allah grant him jannatul firdaus andmake us all good muslim worhty of Allah's redha too.

Anonymous said...

salam puan..im so touched reading this blog..ive actually been following afzal's blog since the past two years...and ever since that i cant wait to see the new entry..deep down inside my heart..i'm impressed with Afzal's spirit to live amd fight against his sickness..at the same time the way he always believe in Allah's no matterwhat he is doing...i hope and pray that afzal will be placed with soleh people and your family will have the courage and always be strong. your son puan is the best muslim i ever known...may Allah bless Afzal and family..ameen...

Anonymous said...

al-fatihah..semoga arwah mas afzal ditempatkn bersama dgn org2 yg beriman..semoga Allah sentiasa mencucuri rahmat ke atas rohnya..aminn

Noormaziera Mohd Nor said...

puan sangat bertuah kerana mempunyai anak yang sangat baik...dia sangat kuat dan tabah...semoga dia dtempatkan bersama orang2 yang soleh...

azwazis said...

Salam,

I seldom cry but reading this blog makes me cry.

I'm totally inspired especially looking at his picture of him praying.

May Allah bless his soul.

Mama Izzati said...

selepas membaca blog ini, terasa ingin sangat berjumpa dengan arwah Afzal, saya ada terbaca blog ni tahun lepas, baru-ini bila baca balik blog ni baru tahu arwah sudah tiada...semoga Allah melimpahkan rahmatNya pada arwah kerana ramai yang mendapat inspirasi dengan membaca blog ini, semakin ramai yang insaf dan sedar kita hanyala hambaNya dan yang penting kita berusaha mengejar syurgaNya, terima kasih Afzal kerana menginsafkan ramai insan dengan tulisanmu..kepada mama afzal teruskan menulis, mama afzal sangat beruntung mempunyai anak seperti afzal, walaupun sudah tiada tapi kebaikannya dapat dirasai walaupun tidak pernah mengenalinya....

dienda said...

asslmkum mma afzal.. ya Allah,btapa brsyukurnya mmpunyai s'org ank sperti arwah Mas Afzal.. smoga mma Afzal lbeh tabah mghdpi hr2 yg mndatang..dan prcyalah insan yg baik itulah yg pling d'syngiNya.. sy brhrap dpat mnjdi s'org ibu yg sgt2 mngmbil brat tntang ank2 sperti aunty dan dkurniakan permata yg soleh & solehah sperti arwah..smoga arwah dtempatkan dklngn org yg b'iman..(Al-Fatihah)..

Anonymous said...

assalamualaikum....

semoga arwah ditempatkan di kalangan orang2 yg beriman.....al-fatihah....

Anonymous said...

semoga Afzal ditempatkan dalam kalangan orang-orang yang beriman.Mama afzal sangat beruntung mempunyai anak sebaik ini..subhanallah...He is the Most High, Merciful..

Anonymous said...

assalamualaikum...saya terjumpa blog ni pun sebab dapat link dari artikel I LUVISLAM>..sangat menyentuh jiwa hinggakan air mata saya mengalir tanpa disedari..YA ALLAH..semoga arwah ditempatkan dikalangan hamba-hambanYA yg soleh..Auntie sgt bertuah kerana memiliki putera sepertinya..sifat terpujinyer menginsafkan dan memberi inspirasi kepada sy untuk menjadi anak yg SOLEHAH buat kedua IBUBAPA...betapa mereka adalah anugerah yang tak ternilai dalam hidup ini....terima kasih buat auntie dan arwah...~

adli hakim said...

assalamualaikum...
saya rasa tak bosan baca post dalam blog ni... setiap kali nak baca artikel mesti blog ni dulu saya bukak... sedih jugak rasa nya... Auntie... saya rasa Auntie dah beruntung ada seorang anak yang soleh dan taat...daripada pembacaan saya... saya yakin sifat nya mampu membawa Auntie ke syurga kelak... semoga arwah ditempatkan di syurga insyaAllah...

al-fatihah....

Jiayi said...

Dear Auntie, I only found out about Afzal's passing today. He was my senior in KMYS. I am sorry for your loss. He was a great person. I am honoured to have known him.

Anonymous said...

Salam puan, tulisan puan dan arwah sangat menyentuh hati.. saya berdoa agar dapat menjadi ibu yang baik seperti puan dan memiliki anak seistimewa arwah afzal.. dan menyimpan niat memberikan nama bakal anak saya, Muhammad Afzal.. moga semangat dan kecintaannya pada Islam menjadi contoh dan menyerap di hati anak saya.. amin..
semoga rahmat Allah sentiasa bersama keluarga puan.. amin..
Saya kagum dengan puan..

-ida-

Aisyah.. said...

Terima Kasih... kerna terus menulis... mengenali blog..mas afzal.. membuat sy terus tabah dlm mendidik... anak-anak....

mummy... rock...

mizZ frOg[sHah_aSy] said...

Assalamualaikum..
saya tidak pernah bosan membaca blog ini..saya kagum dengan sifat arwah..beliau seorang yang tabah...

Marilyn Barlow said...

My Dear Sis, Mama Afzal, Isn't it interesting that you named Afzal after Islamic Scholar Afzal Iqbal and then Afzal became such a scholar himself of Islam? Thank you for writing. Love, Marilyn