Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Sheik Adel Abu Saleeb

I woke before fajr and prepared a meal of eggs, cheese and tomatoes on dark bread.  I ate an orange and some leftover cake.  I was going to be fasting.  I prayed fajr and stayed up to write on the blog.

This is Sheik Adel Abu Saleeb.  I featured this picture of him in my blog post about the Giza Elections

The Sheik went back to bed after praying fajr.  He had been so busy the day before; arranging for the slaughter of four cows.  These cows were in thanks to Allah for his recent win in the Giza election.  The beef was to be distributed as a sort of zakat to the poor. 

He invited the man who did the slaughtering to enjoy lunch with him.  It was a decidely modest meal.  While Sheik Adel had many kilos of meat available, he himself would be eating lentils.

The Sheik was always being kind to the poor.  He was known to pay money to the single-mother families without support.  He worked hard to stop families from fracturing by counseling troubled marriages.  He paid money to those who could not afford their propane tank needed to cook food.  He was loved by many.

That's why he was voted into office not just once but twice---although he never served. The first time he got elected was during President Hosni Mubarak's regime.  Mubarak wouldn't allow any bearded galabiya-wearing sheiks in government and so Sheik Adel Abu Saleeb was thrown out.

This time?  There was no more Mubarak.  The Sheik could run for office without fear.  Funny that those across the Atlantic feared him.  Yes, he was a Salafi; some would say an Islamist.  He did follow Sunnah.  Part of him following the sunnah was to smile.

He had a smile which radiated warmth and goodness.  His picture was all over Giza these last weeks.  I didn't mind seeing him.  Actually, seeing the Noor of Islam shine from his face gave me hope that maybe Egypt would be alright afterall. 

So he and I prayed fajr together in Giza this morning---of course not on the same rug or even the same house.  We prayed fajr in our seperate homes but we were connected in our hopes for a good day and for a chance to serve Allah.  We prayed for our families and for Egypt.  I stayed up and he went back to bed.

Later, when his wife went to wake him, she found that he had passed away in his sleep.  Inna la llahi wa inna rajalun.  From Allah we come and to Allah we return. 

I heard the masjid's loud speaker announce a death three times.  I didn't know who it was.  I asked my husband later.  When he told me I was shocked; shocked and saddened.  So was everyone else. 

After the noon prayer, he was buried.  He's gone.  He leaves behind his wife, four daughters and two sons. 

The only thing which keeps me happy is the thought that perhaps the Sheik reached the level of iman needed to enter Jennah.  Allahu alim. 

May we all leave this life upon reaching iman and not before.

May Allah forgive any short comings in the Sheik and reward the him the highest level of Paradise.


Zarina Hassem said...

Indeed from Allah do we come and to Him do we return. This post is a happy one and a sad one at the same time. It sounds like the death of this Sheikh was a great loss for Egypt, but at the same time it seems as if he passed away in Peace after having did many good things. May Allah be pleased with him and grant him the highest stages of Jannah- Al Firdous-Inshaa-Allah. And may Allah replace him with other people who bring about good tidings for the people of Egypt. This also reminds me that life is so short and we can never take anything for granted.

Yosra said...

Asalamu Alaykom Zarina,

Ameen to your heartfelt du'a.

JAK for writing a comment. It's hard to grieve alone and always comforting to hear kind words.

Yes, this is a bittersweet post. It comes on the heels of three deaths in my sphere. Not one of those people was my friend. They were are simply good people you know of and they're gone. One was the local pharmacist who cured me with an embarrassing shot the winter of 2009. Another was the cousin of a co-worker who passed away at 19 after taking a chemistry test in college. The last is Sheik Abdel. Of course, there never really is a "last death". People willl always die and we cannot really be sad for something which is guaranteed to happen.

Life is not a continuous, never-ending time on earth. It ends. I'm glad that this can serve as a reminder to all of that truth.

Again, I appreciate the time you took to write.