Some things in life you never forget. Like your first day of kindergarten, or the smell of your grandparents home, or the first time you got stung by a bee.
And then there are some people you never forget either. One of them is my dear friend, Lateefah Muhammad. We were in 5th grade together at an islamic private school. I had been in the school since 3rd grade, but she was new that year. Our class was only a handful of girls, about 5 or 6 if I remember correctly, so the prospect of a new girl joining us was exciting. I remember she used to like to talk a lot, had a lot of stories to tell 🙂 She was the only girl in a family of 6 boys, so it’s no wonder she was never short of stories!
One story she told us in particular, I’ve never forgotten all these years later. It was about her father taking her and all her brothers out to dinner with their new step-mother. They had been served pork without knowing it, and everyone ended up having to spit their food out in the middle of dinner. They were quite disgusted by it, but everyone seemed to get a good laugh out of it.
But that’s not why I’ve never forgotten that story.
I’ve never forgotten the story because, as nosey little 5th grade girls, of course when we heard the word “step-mother” our ears perked up and the questions started a-rolling.
“Your parents are divorced?” “Where’s your mother?”
I’ll never forget the way Lateefah’s voice and entire demeanor changed as she struggled to choke out those words: “My mother died…she had cancer.”
I don’t think at the time I had known anyone who died, and certainly not anyone who’s mother had died. I remember feeling really bad for Lateefah, and then feeling relieved that at least her father had found a new wife and she at least had a step-mother. I remember thinking to myself, I really hope she’s a nice lady and is good to them.
That was my last year at that school and Lateefah and I lost touch over the years. Alhamdu lillaah, a few years ago we reconnected on Facebook (see, it is good for something, lol!)
It has been refreshing to be reconnected with someone from so long ago, mashaa Allaah. Catching up on life, sharing pictures of kids, etc. But it seems their family is facing the grim possibility of losing another one of their loved ones to cancer: this time her older brother, Jamal Muhammad.
Which brings me to the purpose of this blog post: Jamal and his wife and children are currently living overseas, and because of his latest prognosis they would like to return home to the states to be with family. You can read all about it here: Jamal’s Sadaqa Fund.
I am asking you for the sake of Allaah to do whatever is in your means, whether financially or with your supplications, to help this family out. Cancer is a disease that does not discriminate, we all know that. It could be one of us or our loved ones next. But the good thing is that Allaah helps those that help others! “Inn-Allaaha fee ‘awn al ‘abd, ma daam-al ‘abd fee ‘awni akheehi” (Allaah is aiding His slave, so long as the slave is helping his brother).
And may Allaah reward you for anything you put forth, ameen.