This blog is all about my little sister, Asma, who lost her life in the battle against cancer on February 11, 2005 at the age of 12.

All About My Baby Sister, Asma

Feel free to pass this blog along to others, Insha'Allah. (To read the very first post/entry, click on "February 2005" under "Archives" and scroll all the way to the bottom and you should see the first entry). Please keep my parents and family in your dua'as. Jazak'Allah. May Allah reward all of you and keep you guys on the straight path. Ameen May Allah reunite us with Asma once again. Ameen

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Trip to Minnesota

Assalaamualaikum Warahmutallahi Wabarakatuh,

Shortly after the doctors told us there is nothing more they can do for Asma when her cancer came back (relapse), we were looking for other alternatives.

Actually, we tried to look for alternatives when Asma became ill, but the doctor (he was Muslim by the way) threatened to take Asma away from us by getting the DCFS (Department of Children and Famil Services) involved in this.

So that idea was shot down immediately. We couldnt do anything else but just listen to the doctors. In a way, we were forced to do whatever they wanted us to do.

May Allah punish them. Ameen

Anyways, once they gave up, they told us we were free to do whatever we wish. It was pretty pointless then because they had already destroyed her body. Anyways, we found a doctor in Minnesota at the children's hospital who dealt with both alternative medicine as well as conventional medicine.

We left in the evening. We were going to be gone for about two days. I came home from school and packed everything up in our Toyota Previa.

It was my parents, Asma, (I think Aysha too), and myself. It was around 5:00 PM by the time we left.

We left and were on our way to Minnesota. I drove the whole way. As I stopped for gas on the way in Green Bay, Wisconson, I asked the attendant if he knows anything about the weather as I head up North to Minnesota.

He claimed that there was a snow blizzard on its way. I braced up myself for it knowing that our van was a rear-wheel drive and it sucks in the snow. Anyone who knows anything about cars will know that cars that are rear wheel drives simply have horrible traction/control in anything other than dry weather.

Anyways I filled up gas and we were on our way once again. Sure enough, the snow was coming like crazy.

The traffic was disappearing. It was only few other cars and those big, scary semi trucks/tractor trailors.

The snow was coming so fast, it was accumulating quickly. They couldnt plow the roads because it was coming so fast.

I reduced my speed from 65-75 MPH to 30-40 MPH. There were times when the van would lose traction, but I would quickly gain control again by easing of the gas pedal.

Anyways, about 10-15 minutes later, as I was driving on the left lane of the two-lane highway and listening to Quran (actually the same Surah and recitation as the on this blog), the van lost control. I didnt even do anything. Its not like accelerated or braked. I didnt turn the steering wheel either. For some reason, the van just started to turn sideways.

The van's rear was turning sideways towards the right. Now imagine your car starting to spin while going 30-40 MPH (thats about 64 KPH for the UKers). I must say it was scary. Everything happened in a split second.

Since I was on the left lane of the two-lane highway, at one point in time the rear of the van was on the right lane as it was turning sideways towards the right.

The more it was turning, the closer I was getting to the ditch on the left side of the road. I really thought my van was going to flip and roll over into the ditch. I thought. My only thought was if my family was okay. I didnt think what was going to happen to me. I kept thinking how to keep my family safe. I was even more worried about my sister's leg since it had the massive tumor. I didnt want her to hurt or be in pain.

As I was inches away from the ditch, the van all of a sudden stopped. Wallah I dont know it stopped when it was turning at such a fast rate. I was surprised and so was everyone else. It literally felt like I hit a wall because of the way it stopped of all a sudden.

Alhamdulillah, there werent any cars or trucks on the road at the time. Otherwise we would have been crushed.

At this point, my van was facing the opposite direction facing the oncoming traffic.

I made sure everyone was okay. I then tried to get out of there, but the van was stuck in the snow. I got out of the van and went around it only to find the rear wheels were buried in the snow. I tried to scoop the snow out with my hands as fast as I could in fear of getting hit by oncoming traffic.

My dad told me to come back in the van. Subhana'Allah, out of nowhere this tow/plow truck made a U-turn from the other side of the highway and pulled over right by us. He hooked our van up to a cable and tugged us out of the snow in a matter of seconds.

I started to see traffic come our way. It wasnt just the cars, but also the semi trucks.

As the guy pulled us out, he quickly unhooked my van and told me to go as the traffic was coming at full speed. Since I was facing the opposite direction, I turned around on the highway. Since my tires were covered in snow, I didnt have traction.

The rear end of my van was swirving side to side as I tried to accelerate trying to avoid getting hit by the traffic.

Alhamdulillah, I gained traction and control and was able to speed up and avoid getting hit.

It was such a close call with death. Subhana'Allah. We were so relieved and thankful/grateful to Allah for saving us. We saw a number of cars and trucks flipped over or wedged between trees on the side of the roads because of the snow. We saw some upside down in the ditch. There were people waiting for help.

But us, we were pulled out and on our way again in a matter of few minutes. Alhamdulillah.

We eventually got to Minnesota. What usually takes about 5-6 hours, took us about 12 hours because of the weather. But Alhamdulillah, we made it safely.

It was early morning and we just went up to our friend's place. We ate and went to sleep.

We got up early in the morning to go to the doctor's office with Asma. We ate breakfast and were on our way.

We got there and spoke to the doctor. She loved Asma. Everybody fell in love with Asma for some reason. lol

After the appointment, we left in disappointment. She basically said there was no hope for Asma. We felt helpless. We felt useless. We felt like we were let down and the world was coming down on us.

Asma was quiet. She was down. She didnt say much.

My parents on the way back were quietly shedding tears as they were trying to think of a new plan.

Subhana'Allah the love of the parents is something I cant put in words. My parents never gave up on Asma regardless of what people told us. They were ready to spend each and every penny for Asma. Allahu Akbar. Brings tears to my eyes when I think about this.

It took us about 5-7 hours to go back home. We stopped on the way to eat and refuel. It was depressing. It was scary.

We came back home with sense of uncertainty and many unknowns.

Despite all that, we were relentless in our pursuit to save Asma. We had complete faith in Allah Subhanawa'alaa.

We always told ourselves thats its up to Him if Asma lives or not. We just have to do our part.

I think thats the attitude everyone should have in their lives. We should have tawakkul and understand that whatever happens, happened because its the Qadr of Allah.

We cannot question or regret it.

May Allah elevate Asma's status in Jannah to the highest. Ameen
May Allah reunite us with Asma once again.
May Allah open up our hearts and guide us to the straight path. Ameen
May Allah forgive us of our sins. Ameen
May Allah allow us to put complete faith in Him. Ameen
May Allah reward my parents for their care, love and support for Asma they had given. Ameen
May Allah forgive my parents of their sins and keep them on the straight path. Ameen
May Allah give shiffa and sabr to all the sick. Ameen

Assalaamualaikum Warahmutallahi Wabarakatuh.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Asma and My Little Cousins

Assalaamualaikum Warahmutallahi Wabarakatuh,

Today my khala (mom's sister) came over with her husband and her three daughter aged 3, 8, and 10 (I think that is their ages lol).

Anyways, they are so much fun to be around and play with. They really remind me of Asma. Asma loved to play with them. Whenever my khala would ask them what they wanted to do, they would immediately say, "Lets go to Aysha and Asma baaji's house." (Saying baaji is a way of showing respect to an older female, usually a sister).

Whenever they would come over my house when Asma was alive (wow it feels wierd saying that), they would walk up to Asma. Asma would then pull out her candy box and proceed to give each and every one of the kids a piece of candy.

Asma loved to give things to people. She liked to give more than she liked to get things. She loved to make people happy and see them smile. Subhana'Allah.

Asma had a huge stash of candy and gum. lol Whenever I wanted a piece of gum, I would go and ask Asma to see if she had any.

She wouldnt let anyone go in her candy box, except me. For some reason she had given me permission to go in her candy box and take candy out whenever I wanted to. lol I still asked though, just to make her happy.

Anyways, the youngest one of the three daughters of my khala loves me. She calls me, 'Omo' since she cant say 'Omar." lol

So whenever she sees me, she would yell out 'Omo' and start laughing. She would play with me the whole time. She would jump on me, try to knock me down, pull my beard, or ask to sit on my shoulders while I walk around. Sometimes she would ask for a piggy back ride.

The other two cousins of mine, would act all silly with me. The middle would sometimes jump on me as well.

All the stuff they do, reminds me of Asma. In fact, the whole time Im playing with them, Asma would be in my mind.

Today the 10 year old was hungry. She wanted some food. I took her to the kitchen and asked what she wanted and gave her food.

That totally reminded me of Asma. Asma always asked me for food. Even if everyone was around and I was upstairs in my room, she would call me downstairs and tell me to give her food. She loved to eat.

As I recall correctly, one of Asma's last meal was cheese Ravioli that I had made for her. It was probably a few days before she passed away that she asked me for some. I went to the store and brought it home. I cooked it and gave it to her.

She loved it. However, because her system was shutting down and because she was weak, she didnt eat much.

One thing that Asma loved were my sandwiches. lol She told everyone that I make the best sandwiches. She even preferred me to make them over my mom or dad.

If she was hungry and I was eating by her, she would get hungry too. lol

Asma: "Omar, make me a sandwich."
Me: "Okay, what kind?"
Asma: "Whatever you are eating."
Me: hehe "Okay, what do you want in it?"
Asma: "Whatever you have in it."
Me: "Okay, do you want tomatoes?"
Asma: "Are you eating tomatoes?"
Me: "Yes."
Asma: "Then I want some too."
Me: "Okay. Do you want ketchup?"
Asma: "Are you eating it?"
Me: "Yes."
Asma: "Then I want some. I told you I want whatever you are eating."
Me: "Ohhhh, I get it...You want to be just like me. Aww, how cute!"
Asma: "Yeah right Omar. You're wierd."

Then she would just start laughing. lol We used to joke so much with each other. Sometimes people didnt understand our jokes, except for us two.

I just thought Id share this. My cousins left a while ago. Ive been thinking Asma even more now.

May Allah reunite us with Asma once again. Ameen
May Allah give my parents sabr and shiffa. Ameen
May Allah elevate Asma's status in Jannah to the highest. Ameen

Assalaamualaikum Warahmutallahi Wabarakatuh.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Loss of Hair

Assalaamualaikum Warahmutallahi Wabarakatuh,

I was thinking today while sitting and talking to my parents and for some reason I started to think of Asma and her chemotherapy days at the hospital.

One of the things I still remember when Asma was about 9 years old and started chemo and was losing hair.

I would visit her at the hospital everyday with my siblings. My father would go straight there from work. My mother stayed with Asma 24/7.

Anyways, I would drop everyone off at the entrance and parked the car across the street. So by the time I got to her room, everyone was already there.

So I walked into her room and Asma got happy. She was in her bed watching T.V. As soon as Asma saw me, the convo went something like this:

Asma: "Omar guess what? Want to see something?"
Me: "Yeah, what?"

At this point, Asma pulls on her hair. My jaw dropped as she was doing that. Her hair was literally coming off like cotton candy.

Me: "Asma! What are you doing? Stop it."

Asma just started to giggle and kept doing it.

Later on the nurses gave Asma a wig to wear since she was bald. Asma refused to wear it. The nurses didnt know why Asma refused. We didnt know either. lol

Asma later on said that she doesnt want to wear it because its haraam to wear wigs. Allahu Akbar!

I was amazed. Subhana'Allah.

Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah has cursed the woman who adds false hair and the woman who has this done, and the woman who tattoos and the women who has this done.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 5477)

After a while, we asked Asma if she wanted to wear a bandana or a hat to cover her head since she was bald.

It went something like this:

Me: "Why dont you want to cover your head?"
Asma: "Because I dont care what people think of me."

I was speechless. I was like Subhana'Allah a little girl like her doesnt give a damn what the world thinks, yet here I am all paranoid and worried.

When I started to grow my beard, I would think of Asma and how she didnt care what people thought of her. That helped me quite of bit when I was at the stage of growing my beard.

Subhana'Allah, Asma always helped me out in ways that I didnt even realize until now.

May Allah elevate her status in Jannah to the highest level. Ameen
May Allah reward my parents for their care and endless efforts for taking care of Asma and the rest of the family 24/7. Ameen
May Allah reunite us with Asma. Ameen
May Allah take away the fear of the kuffar from us. Ameen

Assalaamualaikum Warahmutallahi Wabarakatuh.