COM­PLET­ING THE HAJ ALONE

Fa­timah strug­gles on af­ter her hus­band dies

New Straits Times - - News | Nation -

MECCA

FA­TIMAH Za­harah Ghaz­ali strug­gled to hold back tears as she spoke about com­plet­ing her haj alone af­ter her hus­band died last Satur­day due to se­vere pneu­mo­nia.

Mohd Ghaz­ali Abd Rahim, 53, from Ta­man Pengkalan Hara­pan in Ipoh, Perak, died at King Fahd Hospi­tal at 7.25pm lo­cal time and was buried at the Baqi’ ceme­tery in Mad­i­nah.

“We had planned to do so many things to­gether. Now, I am on my own and can­not even go to the mosque,” Fa­timah said at Azhar Al Safa Ho­tel here yes­ter­day.

Fa­timah, 53, a mother of three, hoped to per­form her wor­ship as re­quired, with sup­port from her fam­ily, Tabung Haji (TH) staff and friends for guid­ance and as­sis­tance.

“In­syaAl­lah (God will­ing), my chil­dren can per­se­vere through this. They call me a lot, telling me to be calm and not dwell on their fa­ther.

“In­syaAl­lah, there will not be any prob­lem. I can con­trol my­self. (But), there are times when the mem­o­ries come back.”

Re­call­ing their first few days in Mad­i­nah, she said they were happy to ar­rive in the Holy Land, and joked about want­ing to die here.

“When I brought him to the clinic he was able to speak, but when he laid down for treat­ment, he was sud­denly short of breath.

“Once, on our way to the hospi­tal, he had no pulse, but was re­vived with some as­sis­tance.

“The doc­tor said (his con­di­tion) was very crit­i­cal. At the same time that I was sent back to the mak­tab, he passed away. That is what makes me re­ally sad.

“If I had not gone (back), I would still be able to see him be­cause he was al­ready crit­i­cal at that time.”

Us­tazah Siti Fauziah Dol­lah Ham­dani, who had been coun­selling Fa­timah since her hus­band’s death, said while in the mourn­ing pe­riod, the widow’s move­ments were re­stricted.

“She can go to the mosque if ac­com­pa­nied and only for oblig­a­tory prayers. How­ever, she can­not wear make-up, bright coloured cloth­ing, or go out shop­ping and on ca­sual out­ings.”

Mean­while, Has­nah Shawal, 73, from Kuala Ketil, Kedah, has taken her blind­ness in her stride as she per­forms the haj along­side fel­low pil­grims.

When met at Re­hab Al-Janadriyah Ho­tel, Has­nah ex­pressed her grat­i­tude for the op­por­tu­nity to per­form haj this year.

“When we got the no­ti­fi­ca­tion that I was cho­sen from TH, we rushed to make prepa­ra­tions. I am so thank­ful to be here af­ter wait­ing for so long,” she said.

Present were her brother, Mohd Saad Shawal, 69, and his wife, Ma­nis Sidek, 69.

“I reg­is­tered for haj a long time ago and col­lected money lit­tle by lit­tle, in­clud­ing fam­ily inheritance.

“Now that I am here, I am so happy. I do not know what else to say ex­cept to thank God,” Has­nah said.

She said go­ing to the Grand Mosque for wor­ship was not dif­fi­cult as there were peo­ple who were ready to help, in­clud­ing her fam­ily, TH staff and other pil­grims.

Ma­nis said es­cort­ing her sis­terin-law for haj was easy as she was not fussy and fol­lowed ad­vice and in­struc­tions.

“When she (Has­nah) got se­lected (by TH for haj) it was only for her. Af­ter we ap­pealed, we man­aged to come along as her es­corts.

“It is a big re­spon­si­bil­ity and we ac­cept it. Pray for us to do our best.”

She said the first time they tried to per­form um­rah, they were pushed by the huge crowd and de­cided to stop af­ter the first cir­cle around the Kaaba.

“Later that night, we went back and pushed my sis­ter-in-law in a wheel­chair on the ground floor and man­aged to com­plete it. Al­ham­dulil­lah (praise be to God).”

Fa­timah Za­harah Ghaz­ali’s hus­band, Mohd Ghaz­ali Abd Rahim, died in the Holy Land last Satur­day.

Has­nah Shawal (left) and her sis­ter-in-law, Ma­nis Sidek.

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