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Friday, November 28, 2014

Bristol - In the memory of my dear brother Mohamed Ahmed H Arwo

BY NAJAT AHMED H ARWO  
"Who, when afflicted with calamity say: "Truly To Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return."" [The Qur'an; Chapter 2 (Al Baqarah - The Cow) : Verse 156]
I cannot go to reflect on our loss without addressing the pain and the sorrow of my beloved father, after all it is that which triggered me to write this memoir.To him Mohammed was everything, not only a son but a friend, a colleague and above all a manager of his affairs. 

My dear father,

As you may know, I am not the writer nor the talker, I am more of the reflector, and therefore I require time to allow myself to respond to my own emotions. It has just been over two weeks since our beloved Mahammed has left this world and I can only manage to gather my thoughts together.
I have read every single word that you have written regarding the death of our beloved Mahammed , and I was overcome with emotions. Your ability to report the exact facts at the most traumatic time is impeccable.


The death of my only brother and your only son has left a whole in my heart, and on most days I feel as if someone has cut off my limp. As he was my everything, my shoulder to lean on, my adviser, my best friend, my guardian, my protector, my role model, my councillor, and my motivator. In all the roles he played as a son, brother, husband, father, nephew, friend, cousin and grandchild he played them ever so perfectly. He filled all our lives with love, kindness and generosity. I was always in awe of his ability to handle life's predicaments with grace, humility and most importantly with enthusiasm, always putting a positive spin on things. Mahammed always ensured to give everyone the time and attention they needed, was never too busy for anyone. In my entire life, I can not think of one memory that sees him in a negative light. Always the peace maker, the joker, the humanitarian, never the fighter.

I feel that there are hardly any words in any language that can truly describe my beloved brothers character. Word used would just seem like an exaggeration or even false!! But the truth is he was simply a rare gift, a blessing that was bestowed upon us by Allah. Mahammed's time on this earth might have been short but was very propitious. He was only 36 yet his accomplishments in life can be comparable to a retired 70 year old man. In his evanescent life he has achieved more than most adults can attain in their lifetime.

My dear brother always joked that it was not only you and mum who raised me, that he was also a big part of my upbringing. It is ever so surreal that I am the teacher in the family yet I always saw him as the original eccentric educator. Mahammed taught me valid lessons everyday in The School of Life. I still can hear his voice saying "Najat when was the last time you spoke to aunt or uncle so and so, go and make that call now". Constantly reminding me that life gets us all busy "But sis, you must always make the effort and give time to those you love the most, especially family, young and old. It only requires you to spend a few extra minutes each day to reconnect and make someone's day, month, year or lifetime. What a little sacrifice for such a pleasurable reward ". Who would have thought such wisdom would come from such a young man!! But he was always wiser than his years, born with such a traditional and loving soul.

Even in his death he is still teaching us lessons on good citizenship, humbleness, sincerity and mostly humanity. The amount of people that turned up to his funeral was so overwhelming. What a sight it was, to see people travel from all corners of the UK and rest of world just to pay him and us respect. The mosque was so full, that people were praying outside, Masha Allah what a beautiful sight it was. He had made an impact to every one that he met, all saying how amazing he was, and all agreeing that he was the ideal son. It was so touching to see how family members stated that "Mahammed was one in a million, unique, loving, giving and generous. No other can replace him nor can he be compared to". He was everyone's best friend, but those friends that he loved, cried as if they lost a brother too. They felt our pain and turned to my dear mother in her darkest hour and uttered weepingly "Mahammed was our brother and therefore you are our mother, whatever you need, call us just like you called for Mahammed. We are all your sons". That alone was a testimony to his character.

Mahammed was so loved, and nobody loved him more than you and mum. To loose a child is painful enough, but to loose such a rare and extraordinary treasure is unbearable. As parents we constantly feel that we could always do more for our children, guilt ridden, never satisfied with our efforts. However my dear father, you should not feel guilty over anything. Your son knew that you truly loved him and that is all that matters. He did not become the honourable gentlemen that he was without your help. If you feel proud of us , then you and mum should feel proud of yourselves first. We are not products of magic, we became the adults we are because of all the good qualities that you both instilled in us. Mohammed had your entrepreneurial skills, your wisdom and knowledge. He had mum's heart, kindness and faith, and both of your senses of humour and strength. Can't you see my dear father?? that without the combination of both yours and mum's character and love, we would have amounted to nothing, living a life with no sense of direction. Mahammed and I always felt blessed to have two amazing parents, and thank Allah everyday for choosing us to be part of your lives. We deeply love you both. Rest at ease my dear father as you have nothing to apologise for.
I know that there is a slight emptiness and loneliness that has take over our hearts, especially for my dear mother. She has lost her soul mate and best friend. It was such a joy to witness their relationship, two peas in a pod, we constantly used to tease them, wherever mum was Mahammed would be there too. He always used to put your needs before his own.

What an inspiration my brother was. Let us keep his dreams alive and remember his positive view of the world, his laughter and smile, his advice and wisdom. Let us all aim to be better human beings, better communicators and make our presence in this world actually count. Allah has only blessed me with one brother, but he simply was the best. I am so proud to be your sister my dear Mahammed, I truly wished that you knew how many people loved you, and how you impacted their lives. Some people even admitted that they loved you more than their own children lol. I promise I will look after your heart, your life, your wife Fathiya Noor, and your beloved son Ahmed-Ameer. I will do my utmost to raise my children, especially my son Maahir to have your exceptional and commendable qualities. If he turns out to be just 10% of the man that you became then I will be satisfied.

May Allah the almighty grant you paradise, the highest level of all, Janatal Fardoos. Ameen.

Najat Ahmed Hassan Arwo.