Death is an untimely. You cannot expect or anticipate the time. When it arrives, it shuts all hope and shun all lies. Reality bites and knocks the truth out of fabricated pretense. I have strong empathic emotion. I can’t help but wondering how my late grandfather, Wan was struggling and gasping for his last breath from the Angel of Death, Izrail and deals with Sakaratul-Maut (the threshold of death).
As usual, out of 6 children of the late grandfather, only my mother and my father (son-in-law) were the attentive children who took care and nursed my late grandfather. The rest? Wasn’t that attentive and come once a while. My parents were not the ones who live mostly near (there are at least 2 other MALES HEIRS who live so near and practically in the same village as with my late grandfather!) yet they took it as their responsibilities. For the last 8 years since we moved to Jitra from Penang, my parents always paid visit and took care of my grandparents dearly.
As usual on Sunday night, my mother spent night at my grandfather’s house (for the last couple of months, both my parents have been spending nights there to take care of my late grandfather). Around 12 midnight, my late grandfather had started to gasp and critical. I guess this was the time when the Angel of Death had come and Wan was facing Sakaratul-Maut!
According to Muslim belief, the Angel of Death (Izrafil) will be positioned at the topmost part of our heads and then slowly from there, Izrafil will suck out out soul/life from our body; beginning from the topmost part of our heads (“ubun-ubun”) like threading out delicate hair from flour! At that time, the most bottom part of our legs (ankle downwards) is no more confining soul. As he sucked out the soul, our knees downwards are no more confining soul… up until it reaches the throat- and there is where men will gasp for last breath! …. And finally…gone.
My late grandfather, Wan was struggling for his breath until noon the next day, Monday. Mak who was about to cook for my grandfather and grandmother, Tok hurried to the room when Wan’s gasping had gradually became notorious. Slowly, the gasping recedes and the movement of throat reaching out for air was becoming slower…and he was gone; with whispers of “La Ilaha Ilallah.” (There Is No God Except Allah). And with that, the responsibility to manage the funeral all lies on the shoulder of Mak, the youngest female heir amongst the 6 siblings.
Alhamdulillah, when we pray to God SWT to ease our burdens, God will help us. A few people who came to arrange chairs for before-the-demise Yassin recital for the night helped Mak to inform the villagers about the death. A few relatives who coincidentally came with intention to visit late Wan helped Mak with the procedures and ritual of funeral. Suddenly, everything lies on Mak’s shoulders! Ayah had to call people out and did his job to chauffeur Pak Cik Sani’s children (he has now working unofficially as Pak Cik Sani’s chauffeur. It’s a job). Mak was the one the villagers called for this, for that – paying the people who performed Corpse Prayers, the funeral paraphernalia, 200 pocket money (according to ritual funeral in Jitra), etc. It was daunting and for me to hear it, it was pretty scary! Imagine a novice of these thing is expected to become the one where everyone relying on!
Before Asar prayer, the body was prayed and buried. Mak has successfully fulfill the responsibility of managing the ritual of funeral. The rest of the siblings who live nearby began to arrive (the 2 male heirs who happened to have conflicts with my late grandfather apparently were looking at the body being buried from afar). On that night which was supposed to be of Yassin recital has been converted into Tahlil recital (Prayers of Death) for 1st Night. According to the ritual funeral in Jitra, Tahlil recital will be held for 3 nights consecutively and then a Thanksgiving Feast (“kenduri doa selamat) on the 7th night.
I am so proud of my parents. Ayah who is merely a son-in-law keep nursing his father-in-law and took care without complaints. Everyone knows him because he is a friendly person and due to that too, a lot of friends came to help Ayah for the funeral. And as for Mak, I am so proud of her nursing his father with dedication when her other siblings simply take the responsibility for granted. But I wonder that if it’s about the inheritance wealth or Faraid matter, will they take it for granted? I don’t think so! I believe they will leap to come back all at once!
Courtesy of Google Image
I hope I can do the same dedication to both my parents, Mak and Ayah. They deserve their parts given to what they do to their elders. The same good treatment without complaints. I hope Allah SWT will bestow me such dedication, Insya Allah.