‘Nabiha My Love’ – But a Person Is With the One Whom They Love

The ulama say Patience is of three types:

Patience on the obedience of Allah
Patience in refraining from Allah's disobedience
Patience in enduring the painful trials form Allah.

The following article was written by Abu Shoaib Ashmead Choat, a very dear family friend of ours. He visited Houston a few years ago and gave some talks there; he’s a graduate of the College of Hadith from Madinah and an active da’i in Trinidad (where he runs his own full-time Islamic school). His daughter Nabiha passed away last year, while still a teenager. She grew up in Madinah and memorized significant portions of the Quran. She was an active tajweed teacher in her native land of Trinidad.

After her tragic death, her father Abu Shoiab wrote up this beautiful article. I’ve asked his permission to post it.

Nabihah My Love

But a Person is With the One Whom They Love

Even before we start to write about this glimpse into the life of our dear daughter, it is necessary to purify our intentions, hence the reason for the delay. This must not be for Shuhrah or fame or some Nahiha fan club, but it must be for, as Allah has said, “Ya ayyuha ladhina amanu itaqullaaha wabtaghoo ilayhil waseelah” (Oh you who believe fear Allah and seek out the means of approach to him). Great effort and attention must be paid in trying to purify our intentions and knowing precisely why we are doing this. It may be a wake up call for a lazy or sleepy Muslim. It may help someone to realize how short and fleeting this life is; how precious it is that we must take every opportunity to do good, no matter how small, and we must seek every opportunity to invite people to Allah and use all the resources available to us in that cause, even if that means the life and death of our dear baby.

How do we begin to describe the love of our life? If Allah had given us someone for one or two years and took her away, it would have been easier because of her short life. Or if she had been married with children and away from the home it would have softened the loss. But our baby girl was in the prime of her life, just at the age of marriage, and the decision is with the Lord of the universe. As our Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said at the moment of his death, when he was given the choice to go or stay, “Balir-rafeequl-‘alaa, Balir-rafeequl-‘alaa – certainly the highest companionship, certainly the highest the companionship.”

It was late 2004 when Nabiha discovered a non-healing ulcer on her tongue which became exceedingly painful and was preventing her from eating. In March 2005, she had her first operation for the removal of the ulcer and a biopsy, which showed a presence of malignancy. In retrospect, when a Muslim is faced with the news of cancer, he begins to think of the options available to him. Seeking treatment and medical care is encouraged in the Sunnah (called: “at-tadaawee – seeking treatment”). So over the next two years, we followed the full gamut of treatment of up to seven or eight surgeries together with radiotherapy in far away India, a return there for a review, then on to chemotherapy back in Trinidad. Despite huge setbacks, we were to see the Hand of Allah in everything that challenged us. He tested us but walked us through to the very end. Allahumma laka wa minka; O Allah to you and from you. Laa malja’a minallahi illa ilayhi; There is no refuge from Allah, except in Him.

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Our daughter, for those who know her, loved Qur’an and its fine recitation. And even before her loss of speech, she began to slowly lose the ability to pronounce key letters in the Arabic alphabet. She was taught recitation at the finest “Tahfeedh” in Medina, where Salman, the son of Shaikh Thubaytee, was taught. One could imagine the pain she felt, and I remembered her last great effort to recite Qur’an after radiotherapy on her return from India; a moment in time that will not be repeated. Her speech slowly started to dwindle, and with great pain, I heard her say the words of the Prophet Sulayman, “Rabbi Awzi’nee an Ashkura Ni’matakallati an’amta alayya wa ‘alaa waalidayya wa an ‘amala saalihan tardaahu wa adkhilnee bi rahmatika fee ‘ibadikas saaliheen.”

During radiotherapy in India, in early 2006, she and her mother looked for appropriate gifts for her father to no avail. She thought that the best gift would be to memorize Surat Maryam. Every morning she would memorize a portion, and, while clamped on the cold stainless steel slab in the radiotherapy center in Trivandrum, India, she would revise what she had learnt that morning. While the rays from the linear accelerator machine were destroying the tissue in her neck and jaw, and, in the later stages, even with blood spewing from her mouth, she would be revising Qur’an.

We still remember one morning after she returned, she was anxious to recite what she had memorized, knowing how I loved that Surah. She sobbed bitterly in torment, not being able to pronounce certain letters properly. Her mother rushed downstairs thinking something was seriously wrong… ‘nothing could be more agonizing to Nabiha than not being able to pronounce the words of Allah’.

For a few months we thought all was well, until Eid-ul-Fitr 2006. While I stood on the Mimbar, my daughter was at the hospital in Trinidad going through another painful procedure.

All throughout life, people are faced with situations in which they have options in dealing with them. We are sometimes faced with good news and sometimes with bad, but in Naibha’s case, it was rare to hear good news. From then on it was constantly downhill. The family was being faced with one piece of bad news after another. The wound only became worse; the swellings increased, but our daughter Nabiha would continue to stand at night in prayer. It was not as though she became suddenly pious with the onset of illness. Rather, Nabiha continued to sail smoothly without missing a beat on a path that she had always tread. How Allah has blessed us with this privilege. Her sister remembers when we lived in Madinah in the nineties, how she would wake at nights, saying that she went to the washroom and thinking that was a long p….!

For days she would not speak because of the difficulty and pain. When she could not give Dawah with her speech, her fingers did the talking. Constantly admonishing people, worldwide and inviting them to Islam. Two Jewish Americans who became Muslims are living testimony to what she did. As parents we are only now beginning to realize the full extent of the people she advised, admonished, assisted, and supported. What is nice, however, is that the full extent of her work will never be known and is best left to Al ‘Aleem. Sincerity is best measured when hidden from people’s eyes. As our Prophet (saw) said when he performed Hajj: “Allahumma laa ri’aa feehaa walaa sum’ah – O Allah, let there be no ostentation in it nor fame.”

Patience took on a special meaning for this young woman, seeing her life, her beauty, and her youth gradually taken away from her. There would be intense sadness and tears, but she bore her illness with dignity and with the full conviction that if this is what Allah wills, then so be it. Even close to the end I probably lost it when I said “bint, where do you get all this strength” and lifting the frail hand into the air she pointed upwards, a move that words cannot do justice. One remembers laughing then at the relief and contentment for having a child of such Iman and ‘Aqeedah.

The ulama say Patience is of three types:

  1. Patience on the obedience of Allah
  2. Patience in refraining from Allah’s disobedience
  3. Patience in enduring the painful trials form Allah.

Patience is easier in the third than in the first two. If a Muslim or a Kafir is faced with Cancer they both have to endure it but in the first two types we have choices either to obey Allah or disobey him. We hope and pray that in her moments of solitude and months quietness that our daughter was Dhaakiratullah katheeran – a woman who continued to remember Allah much.

Despite the great pain and trauma that we, the family, felt at times, we would say to Nabiha that we are a team and that we would never desert her, not even for a moment. In taking care of our ill child we did our very best, but we knew that one day the angels would take over and that that would be the day when our privilege and source of great blessings would come to an end. As we would shroud and perfume her lifeless body, so too we had the full assurance that the angels would be clothing and perfuming her Ruh.

Her body continued to emaciate and yet she showed extreme patience and courage. Her little body was battling the disease, but as Muslims we know that the body is just a shell… food for the worms of the grave. As a matter of fact, Allah showed us a glimpse of the breakdown of tissue and necrosis even before she left this world. (He showed us just what we could bear; her brother and I both acknowledge that we were about to reach the breaking point. How easy it is for Allah, Al Jabbaar, the One who Overwhelms.) It was a solemn reminder of the fate that each of our bodies will face. The eyes and whatever was little was left of her face remained shining like a beacon in the night, as though the cancer could not touch it. Again, we saw Allah’s ease in the battlefield.

When Nabiha died, her feet glowed almost luminously, to a point that it startled us. Those feet that walked Makkah and Madina and stumbled between Safa and Marwa while fasting in Ramadan. Those eyes that cried incessantly when Abdullah Juhani and Salah Budair recited in Taraweeh in the Prophet’s masjid. She would not miss her stars in recitation; not for the world.

Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) took this family and pushed it through wave upon wave of difficulty. Yet even with the difficulty was ease, smiles, comfort, and the security of knowing that even though He pushed us to the ends of world, He never left us on our own, but was constantly with us, protecting us and nurturing us. We discovered within ourselves, our capabilities for coping with crises we never imagined we could survive. It was easy to visualize a grotesque image of Nabiha once the cancer took over, but Allah has protected us and preserved our beautiful memories of our dear daughter.

When Nabiha died I, the father, was not present. He, Allah, placed me in the heart of the forest out of phone contact. Even when the family tried to call, I would not be accessible. Herein lies my test: Would I blame myself for not being present when she most needed me or will I totally accept the plan of Allah? Alhamduillallah, the one who was absent was able to console those who were present at her passing, and Allah knows whether I would be able to bear seeing her life leave her body.

People comment at our strength, but in truth we are exceedingly weak. He is our source of strength, and we fear to think how those who do not have Allah in their lives can manage? How do they live? How do they face the world and its trials?

Nabiha’s life for us now is a bitter-sweet experience. We fear that after her passing, the chasm between us and our Lord will increase, and we will become more distant. Yet, we dare not say, “O Allah bring on the next test,” for possibly the next test might just be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. We only beg to stay close to Him and enjoy His sweet cuddliness; more than a mother can possibly show a child.

We would keeping telling her “my baby just as we helped your helpless body in this life, maybe Allah would allow you to help us on Yawmul Qiyamah.” You could not eat nor drink nor speak nor shift your head in those last few months, but on that Day, if we were to receive our book of deeds in our left hand, we would have no power to shift it to the right. What utter helplessness!

Nabiha, we love you dearly, but we love Allah more. Just as you loved us dearly, but you loved Allah more…… as you were trained. “And do not say of those who are killed in the path of Allah that they are dead, nay they are sustained by their Lord. They rejoice in what Allah has bestowed upon them of His Bounty and rejoice for his sake for those who have not yet joined them, but are left behind that on them no fear shall come, nor shall they grieve. They rejoice in a Grace and a Bounty from Allah, and that Allah will not waste the reward of the believers.”

62 / View Comments

62 responses to “‘Nabiha My Love’ – But a Person Is With the One Whom They Love”

  1. Asim says:

    SubhanAllah….what a moving story…

  2. Ibnkhalil says:

    Assalam o alaykum wa rahmatullah i wabarakatuhu. Inna lillah i wa inna ilayhi rajion. May Allah grant her Jannah and give her family patience.
    This is truly a touching story. Just now in our masjid we recieved news of a brother who passed away at a young age. Death of a loved one or someone near or dear to us reminds us of our fragility and weakness. We are powerless against Al-Qawi.

    Interestingly the author talks about how non-Muslims cope with the trials of the dunya. What is their source of peace? Alhamdulillah for Allah has guided us to Islam and made us put our trust in Him.

    BarakAllah o feekum for such a touching and eye opening article.

  3. Kul says:

    Dear Shaikh Yasir Qadhi

    Alhamdhu Lillahi and Thank you very much for the enlightening article. These are hard times for me after losing my loving and beautiful daughter at the tender age of twelve. I constantly pray to ALLAH to bless her soul in paradise and give us patience. I am so grieved by her loss and every second is a struggle for me. As the article said, I also wonder if ALLAH is not in my heart., How could I cope with the loss and this tribulation. May ALLAH subahaanahoo watha aalaa bless you in this life and the hereafter for all the good work that you do.

    kul

  4. Bint AbdelHamid says:

    Barak Allahu feekum for sharing such an amazing article. May Allah grant Nabiha the highest level of paradise, and instill in our hearts a love of the Qur’an as He, subhanahu wa ta’ala, instilled in hers.

  5. moon says:

    So That You Can Fly!

    A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day, a small opening appeared- he sat and watched the butterfly for several hours, as it struggled to force its body through the little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could go no farther. Then the man decided to help the butterfly.

    He took a pair of scissors and snipped the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily. However, something was strange. The butterfly had a swollen body and shrivelled wings. The man continued to watch the butterfly, expecting the wings to enlarge and expand at any moment to support the body, which would contract in time. Neither happened. In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and deformed wings. It was never able to fly.

    What the man in his kindness and haste did not understand was that the restriction cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the small opening of the cocoon are Allah’s (SWT) way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings, so that it would be ready for flight, once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon. Sometimes, struggles are exactly what we need in our life.

    If Allah (SWT) allowed us to go through all our life without any obstacles, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong as we could. Not only that-we would never be able to fly.

  6. Aminah Muhammad says:

    Asalamu Alaykum Wa Rahmatulahi Wa Baraktu,

    Barak Allahu Feekum. Inna lillahi wa inna illahi raji’oon. May Allah Subhaana Wa Ta’aala Forgive her sins, Have Mercy on her soul, enter her into jannah, and Grant patience to her family. Ameen.

    This is very touching.

  7. ExEx Blogger says:

    Excellent post!!

    May Allah forgive Nabiha and enter her into Firdaus Al-`Alaa.

  8. IbnAbbas says:

    Assalaamu a’alaikum.

    Subhaanallah… this is indeed incredibly touching. Jazakallahu khairan Sheikh Yasir for sharing it with us.

    Ameen to all the beautiful dua’s.

    Shows how weak and helpless we humans are.. and we still take our good health and life so much for granted.

    I am not a father but I know that only a father/mother would feel the heartbreaking moments of when loosing someone so dear. May Allah strengthen their Emaan and enter them into firdaus al a’la.

  9. MR says:

    …even with blood spewing from her mouth, she would be revising Qur’an.

    :-(

    May Allah (swt) grant her the highest jannah and re-unite her with her family. Ameen!

  10. Alima says:

    SubhanAllah, what a reminder!

    That touched me… :(

    May Allah swt grant her the highest level of Jannah and make her of those whom He swt is pleased with. Ameen.

  11. Musilmah says:

    JazakumAllahu khairan. That was a beautiful reminder and example of how we must live our life in order to attain a husn al-khaatima.
    May Allah ta’ala have mercy on our little sister Nabiha and on her family, ameen.

  12. Zahira says:

    SubhanAllah, may Allah give us this beautiful patience that the family had in this time of hardship. May Allah grant her Jannah Al Firdaws and her family inshaAllah. I am very touched by this and a reminder for the rewards of those who are so patient…

  13. nisa says:

    It touched me and reminded me of all the things we have and are ungratefule for.. Its a reminder to take advantage of our health before the illness comes, life before death comes and youth before old age. May Nabiha be granted jannat-ul-firdaus. Jazakallah khair sheikh for sharing this with us.

  14. Farhan says:

    wow, may Allah give her Jannah and all of the Muslims Jannah.

    The ulama say Patience is of three types:

    1. Patience on the obedience of Allah
    2. Patience in refraining from Allah’s disobedience
    3. Patience in enduring the painful trials form Allah.

    Patience is easier in the third than in the first two. If a Muslim or a Kafir is faced with Cancer they both have to endure it but in the first two types we have choices either to obey Allah or disobey him.

    With all due respect to the ‘Ulema, I don’t think that is right, at least not for me. The 3rd category can destroy a person’s Emaan. The first two rarely do, and become easy with time. After all, the stories of the Qur’an, Surah Yusuf for example, talk about a person going through category 3, not 1 or 2.

  15. AnonyMouse says:

    SubhanAllah… what an amazing story. Ameen to the ad’iyah above, and may Allah let us also reach such a level as she did, and elevate us in the levels of Jannah, ameen!

  16. Asma says:

    May Allah grant her the highest level of janah Firdowsa Amen
    I ask Allah to grant us patience and have a good ending….

  17. Jazzak Allaahu Khayr for this beautiful reminder.

    Farhan, Part of the dificulty with the first two types of sabr is that people are often lulled into a false sense of security and they forget that they are going through a trial. When hardship hits, everyone is aware that they are undergoing a trial. This is part of the reason why and Allaah knows best that our Prophet (saw) feared comfort and wealth for his ummah more so than poverty and want, although of course there is trials and testing in both states.

    Allaah knows best.

  18. Musilmah says:

    Brother Abu Noor explained it well. Also the story of Prophet Yusuf is really a striking of example of the first two categories of patience than the last (being good to brothers although they treated him poorly, obeying Allah despite fitnah of the wife of Azeez and not commiting zina, remaining steadfast to the command of conveying Tawheed despite being in prison, etc) although I can see why one would think it were an example of the third alone.

  19. May Allah subhaana wa ta’aala give your daughter the highest levels of Paradise, may He give her parents, strength, patience, ease, and wisdom with this difficulty, and I want to personally thank you for this story as it is an inspiration for me to raise my own standards of practice, and I hope insha’Allah, with my own family.

    Siraaj

  20. Mariam 3:36 says:

    As-salaamu ‘alaykum wa Rahmat Allah,

    Jazaakum Allahu khayran for sharing this–for reminding us about the destroyer of pleasures–and Ameen to all he du’aa for Nabiha and her family.

    “Nabiha’s life for us now is a bitter-sweet experience. We fear that after her passing, the chasm between us and our Lord will increase, and we will become more distant. Yet, we dare not say, “O Allah bring on the next test,” for possibly the next test might just be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.”

    SubhanAllah, I think many of us walk this line of wishing to maintain the closeness we feel during tests without the hardship of the test itself waAllahu a’alem. May Allah always bring us what is best and make us strong enough to face that which He decrees and to be content with it and react to it in a way that is pleasing to Him. Ameen.

    It is reported that the Prophet (sallah Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Allah says to His angels when they take the soul of a person’s child, ‘You took the fruit of his heart.’ They (the angels) say, ‘Yes.’ So Allah says, “What did My slave say (upon that)?’ They say, ‘He praised you and made istirjaa’ (meaning he said, Inna lillaahi wa inna elayhi raji’oon’ – verily to Allah we belong and to Him we shall return). So Allah says, ‘Build for My slave a house in Paradise and name it the house of praise.'” (Reported by Imaam Ahmad in his musnad and graded hasan by Shaykh al-Albaani) as quoted in “Testing, Afflicaitons, and Calamities” by Dr. Saleh as-Saleh rahmat Allah ‘alayh.

    Indeed Allah is the most merciful!

  21. Anisa says:

    SubhanAllah….

    Ameen to duas,may Allah grant her and her parents jannah, ameen

  22. Abû Mûsâ Al-Ḥabashî says:

    SubhânAllâh

  23. Hidaya says:

    Ya SubhanAllah….Ya Rabbi, grant her the highest level of Jannah for her beautiful Sabr!

  24. Kadijatu says:

    SubhanAllah, what a touching reminder!

    May Allah(Swt) grant Nabiha Jannat al-Firdaus, and may He grant her family patience, and may He keep us all steadfast. I pray that Allah(swt) makes us all humble, pious, sincere servants of His until our last breath. Ameen.

  25. bint Chiragh says:

    Assalaamu Alaykum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakaatuh,

    Inna Lillaahi Wa Inna Ilayhi Rajiyun Allahumma’ jurni fi muSeebati wakhlufli Khayran minha.” To Allah we belong and to Him is our return. O Allah recompense me for my affliction and replace it for me with something better.

    May Allah grant Nabiha Jannatul Firdaus and allow her to be joined there with her family. Reading this story truly touched my heart. It reminded me of my beloved father for I too lost my father Rahimahullah just a few months ago. I also was not present at his death and neither were any of our direct family members because he was traveling when he passed away. The regret and pain hurt us so much in the beginning for not being there near him when his soul left his body. But the words of Abu Shoaib were comforting. Indeed this is all a part of Allah’s Great Plan which we cannot alter. It was best for him and us not to be there when he left this duniya. Who knows if we could have tolerated seeing his lifeless body. As the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wasallam said when his son Ibrahim died, “Our eyes shed tears and our hearts are filled with grief, but we do not say anything except that by which Allah is pleased. O, Ibrahim we are sorrowful due to your separation.”

    Allah showed me the miracle of life and the reality of death in the same year. First with the birth of my first child in August last year and then with the death of my father in November. I felt such great joy and excitement seeing my little blessing in my arms with the birth of my daughter. But to remind me no to forget that this is all duniya, Allah showed me the importance of remembering the akhira by calling my father back to Him. Truly it seems death of a loved one is one of the hardest things to go through in life. I still never forget him every moment of everyday. But now that I have experienced the death of someone so dear to my heart, my parent someone I knew to be there for me my entire life, my perspective on the akhira has changed. I feel the closeness, the reality of it more knowing that my father must be somewhere now, knowing how he was taken in an instant and we had no idea he was about to go. It can happen to us. We can go to sleep in our beds one night and wake up to be in our graves. Death is real and we just live life thinking it will never touch us. A great scholar once said, “Death is the one thing about our future which we have no doubt will happen to us, yet we treat it as if it is the most doubtful thing to take place.”

    I pray we all can be like Nabiha in our patience, iman, and courage to battle and stand strong in the face of great tests from Allah. I pray we will be die with La Ilaaha Ilallaha as our last words and die with Islam in our hearts. May we remain steadfast in answering the questions in the grave and be saved from the punishment of the grave and torment of the fire. I pray we can stand patiently when we lose a parent or a child and accept the Qadr of Allah.

    May Allah grant my father and Nabiha Jannatul Firdaus and join us with them. May Allah expand their graves and allow us all to be under the shade of Allah’s Throne on the Last Day.

    Wa’assalaamu Alaykum,
    Bint Chiragh

  26. abuaisha says:

    my mom’s father died wihin 2 weeks of me being born subhanallah i cannot imagine what my mother must have gone through in such an ordeal. it is reflecting on situations like that, and seeing the pain and agony the parent feels for the child – that we see truly how short we fall in being good to our parents. may Allah give nabiha jannatul firdaws and unite her family with her in the akhirah.

  27. umu Meryam says:

    ina lilahi weina elihi rajeun wow, i cry a lot this morning as soon as i started reading this post life is full of surprise that is all i can say the thing that i relize is that in nebihas situwation , a lot of muslim die while singing dancing doing a lot of harm disobeying partent sosososo on when i hear this kind of death while reciting quran being a nice muslim i feel jealous and wanted mine to be in a nice why while obeying allha subhanehu weteal .
    inshall she will be in jenna and i wish for her family and for all muslim may alllha give us suber and iman ya reb

  28. Ibn Masood says:

    Inna Lillahi wa inna alayhi raji’oon.

    Jazakallahu Khair for a beautiful story. May Allah swt make it easy on sister Nabiha, widen her grave, and administer her into Jannatul-Firdaws.

  29. […] ‘Nabiha My Love’ – But a Person is With the One Whom They Love […]

  30. Nihal Khan says:

    “‘…nothing could be more agonizing to Nabiha than not being able to pronounce the words of Allah’.”

    She knew how to pronounce them but couldn’t….how about us people who don’t even make an effort…May Allah (SWT) have mercy on Nabeeha and ourselves. Ameen

  31. Alia Abuzaid says:

    In Allah etha ahbba abdn ebtlah,( If Allah loved someone he will test him) .I lost my father and mother in the same year ,it is the most painful experience i ever been through ,may Allah bless their soul and all muslims. It is hard to find the people that u most loved gone but this is Allah’s wish and we have only to accept his wish and pray to Allah to gather us all in Jannat Alferdaous, Allahm Ameeeen.This story is to remind us of the destroyer of pleasures( death). Allah yrhm Nabeha and all muslims and Allah yhdy kol shabab almuslemeen.

    Alia

  32. Azara says:

    May Allah SWT grant Nabiha the highest of Jannah, Ameen. Its been a year and 3 months since her death, yet for people who knew her it feels like it happened just a short while ago…
    I am glad I got to know her even if it was rather briefly, during the last year prior to her death and she was very nice sister. May Allah SWT preserve her family and reward them for their patience and this indeed is a reminder for all of us we dont know when our time is and we can die at any time be it when we are in our 20’s or even younger…

  33. UmmAbdullah says:

    Salaam Alaikum

    May Alllah bless her with Firdous.

  34. Fewthoughts says:

    Salam,

    This was a very moving, and an emotional narrative. May Allah ease their burden and grant us all good in this life and hereafter.

  35. Hannah says:

    hearing a speech might make me cry, but reading one never did until now.

    may Allah lift the load from the hearts of nabihas family and may they meet again in firdaus inshaAllah.

  36. Yasir Hilal says:

    Inna Lillahi wa inna alayhi raji’oon.
    May Allah give her family the sabr and strength to withstand the loss. This is yet another example that this world is temporary and a glimpse of the people we will live with for ever in the hereafter, inshAllah in Jannah.

    May Allah not test us for what we cannot bear.

    Wasalaam

  37. AbuZayd says:

    SubhanAllah… ina lilahi weina elihi rajeun. May Allah swt grant her the highest levels of Jannah, inshAllah.

  38. Ikhlaas says:

    Subhanallah, an extremely emotional account.

    The bit that really penetrated my heart was when the brother wrote:
    Even close to the end I probably lost it when I said “bint, where do you get all this strength” and lifting the frail hand into the air she pointed upwards, a move that words cannot do justice.

    She could not speak but as it famously said, actions speak louder than words, and Allah swt granted her the ability to demonstrate this. This sister is a role-model for us, she did not suddenly turn to religion after her illness but she continued in her sincere Ibaadah. Allah swt tests those whom He Loves, the severest of tests were for the prophets and so on while the mildest are for those weak in imaan. and I pray Allah swt makes us strong so that we too can maintain sabr like this beautiful sister did.

  39. Al Madrasi Al Hindee says:

    Subhanallah .

    What a moving account . May Allah grant Nabiha Jannathul Firdaus .

    May Allah give us the strength to bear the trials and tests he bestows on us .

    Jazakallahu khairan Ya Sheikh . May Allah grant you a high darajah amongst the scholars that will be raised on that DAY . Your articles and books and speeches have been a great source of inspiration for Muslims of this generation world over and not just the states , BI ithnillah .

    Wassalam
    Al Madrasi

  40. Sookoor Ali says:

    Assalaam u alaikum to all.

    Ashmead is my kid brother, and Nabsi (nabiha) was my beloved neice.

    One day I read for her Sura Hashr, and she said ” Unks, I am so proud of you, You dont know one word of Arabic, yet your recitation is very pleasing” what she meant was, I sounded like a frog jumping in a lake, She couldnt bear to hurt me by correcting me, yet she was a master of tajweed, May Allah give her Jannah, AMEEN

  41. vindicated says:

    Subhanallah.

    The way that people react in times of difficulty is a true test of character.

  42. Mohammad says:

    One of the lessons I take from this is, although this muslimah had a diseased mouth, her heart was healthy and she struggled to do dhikr with her tongue.
    As for us, our mouths are healthy but our hearts are diseased. Instead of our tongues being moistened with dhikr, they are engaged in sins…..

  43. LH says:

    May Allah bless Nabiha and grant her Jannah. Ameen.

  44. Jawharah says:

    Inna lillahi wa inna illayhi raji’oun. :cry:

    That was beautifully written and very touching.

    SubhanAllah, Nabiha’s patience and the patience of her family was amazing. Reading about how she made the most of their days in Madeenah is heart warming…

    Jazakallah khair for sharing Sheikh Abu Ammar.

    Ameen to all the duas.

  45. Shalima says:

    Assalam Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh….’Princess Eman’ as she was fondly called,was truly a beautiful sister…on the inside and on the outside.It was truly a blessing from Allah that I had her friendship and love…..even if it was for a short period…..

    When you were around nabzy…..u would be happy,excited and have so much fun(her enthusiasm was contagious)…but most importantly…she would NEVER leave your company…without taking your hand and bringing you closer to Allah…whether it was through advice,an ayah of Quran,an answer to a question,giving you a book,encouragement or even just the way she lived….was dawah!….

    Nabzy was the first sister that encouraged me to wear hijab…..and by the Grace and Mercy of Allah…she supported and advised me untill eventually,I did take that step Alhamdulillah!…..Even then her kindness did not stop:)….She showered me with gifts of hijab,abaya,jewellery and even a visit to my home to demonstrate how to tie the hijab properly SubhaanAllah!…(I was overwhelmed)…She was so excited for me…..I’ll never forget how happy she was that day! She was a true sister in Islam…..This is only one example of how wonderful this sister was…..only one small example…

    We can only pray and ask Allah to bless us with qualities similar to this….Her extremely strong faith in Allah,her contentment with His decree,her love for Allah and the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him),this deen,her patience,her sincerity…..what a true sister in a world filled with deception…..she liked for others what she would have liked for herself.

    May Allah forgive her and reward her with the highest station in Paradise and May Allah continue to bless and protect her parents and family,Ameen.

  46. fatima says:

    Subhanallah, subhanallah, subhanallah!

  47. Jaffar Lone says:

    Asalam ‘u ‘Alaykum,

    Inna lillahe wainnna ilayhe rajoun

    May Allah forgive nabiha’s sins and give her a place in jannat al-firdous.

  48. Nabiha Abdul Karim says:

    Assalmualaikum to Nabiha’s father
    my father named me Nabiha and your letter moved me greatly Nabiha means pure and eminent your daughter was truly so. She has shown me what it is to be patient and strong and i thank you for your selfless act of telling us her story. Allah bless you with Jannatul Firdous. I hope you get this message

  49. true friend of nabiha says:

    Asalamu Alaykum Wa Rahmatulahi Wa Baraktu,

    Barak Allahu Feekum. Inna lillahi wa inna illahi raji’oon.

    as a friend of nabiha me knowing her for few years we were as close as sister so me sayin friend is not right u can call us sisters,
    kept in touch with her while she was in india
    she was a wonderful person she never complained or question allah for the sickness that had over come her
    she always had trust in allah and alway told me in any difficulities just ture to our creator allah and he will help u cause he is the one that put u through it. i still treasure all her letters that she wrote to me from the day we met.
    it was really hard for me to accept the allah has taken her to a better place then this world but was happy for her at the same time.
    we shared n treasured lots of things we had trust in each other n could share all our deepest thoughts …….ect
    i really do miss her alot she is never out of my heart n my prayers so is her family .
    as for her love for the quran there is no way i can explain that her knowledge on deen was very good
    we aslway reminding each other to read a postion of quran daily n as for salaat too was very imp to us

    i can carry on but with all the emotions i will stop now

    may allah rant my sister the best of jannat an may her family and all those who were close unite with her in her beautiful place. ameeeen
    may allah grant us the love of the quran and the love for salaat n his deen
    ameen
    wasalam
    sister ifrom south africa

  50. Azan R. Khan says:

    Asalamu Alaikum Brother
    Your story was so moving. I read it while sitting in class and it literally brought tears to my eyes. May Allah SWT have mercy on your daughter, I hope that she breathes the sweet scents of jannat al firdous and may she recieve her book of deeds in her right hand.

    Wasalam

  51. Innalhamdolillah! ‘Inna Lillahi wa inna ilahi raji’oon,’ and ‘Allahumma ujurnhum fi museebathum w’ukhluf lahum khayran minha’
    bismillah. my apologies if i did not change the suffixes appropriately in the dua.

    for an individual who has been tested with calamity, few examples are like those of this Imam. may Allah protect him, his family, and all of us from similar tests of our faith, and may He accept from them. ameen.

    the hadith of umm Salamah, radi Allaho anha, does come to mind though, and the dhikr she narrates was ‘Inna Lillahi wa inna ilahi raji’oon,’ then, ‘Allahumma ujurni fi museebati w’ukhluf li khayran minha.’ (the text i use was reported here.)

    and the promise of Allah is always True and always Fulfilled.

    jazak Allah khayr for this article.

  52. bismillah. MM, maybe we need a full-time category called “heart softeners” in which articles like this one can serve as reminders to all of us in times of trial or self-doubt.

  53. om Anas says:


    assalamu alaikum wa rahmatu’Allahe wa barakaatuhu
    i don’t know how to start,i feel what you feel,i know what does it mean to loose a child,mine was 16 when he passed away,Yassir Qadi talked to him in the phone,i remember his word when sheikh told him do you know me?he replied yes of course i always listen to your lessons.he lost his buttle with cancer last year in december.almost all the community knew him and his story here in houston,his name is Anas,but u know the difference between us and you is that we,me and his father, were next to him when his soul travel to Allah,and when his tongue was saying shahada,it was hard to see him go but i know he was going to the most generous,i didn’t show him that i was sad when he was going,any way,u know they are there we can not say anything where they are,we only ask Allah to bless their sole and give them the best that a mo’omin can ask from his lord.

  54. Amad says:

    asa Sister Om Anas, I am really sorry to hear about your loss. I can only imagine how it must have felt. I applaud your patience and perseverence. May Allah forgive all your sins for your sufferings, and reunite your family with Anas in jannat ul firdaus.

  55. Yasir Qadhi says:

    Om Anas,

    I remember Anas very well. I found him to be a brave boy; I had tears in my eyes after I hung up the phone because of the bravery that I heard in his voice, knowing his fate yet putting his trust in Allah.

    May Allah accept your patience and grant you and your family much reward for all that you have suffered, and may He place Anas in His highest Jannat, Ameen!

    Yasir

  56. ali choate says:

    I am the uncle who visited her in her real surrondings in medina and trinidad and happy to say
    this child is a lover of ALLAH and his beloved prophet,sixty three years old and i never met someone, that young that rekindles the flame of islam in people like me , i cried when i saw her but left laughing when she answered my
    questions on life and death,i make sincere duas for her every salaat and beg ALLAH subhanahoowataalla to grant her the wish of all muslims jannahfirdous ameen .
    uncleALI

  57. Megan Wyatt says:

    Bismillah

    Thank you for posting this. Every time I read a story like this, I am reminded
    that it’s not just the “people of the past” in the Seerah texts who were amazing
    Muslims. We recount the history of early generations of Muslims with feelings of
    “where are the muslims like THAT today?” (not denying the special place of the
    Sahabah of course)

    And then we realize, if we talk to enough people, that they are all around us. But
    because their stories aren’t part of “history in the making” we don’t hear about it.
    And this piece is a beautiful example and reminder that the awliya of Allah are
    many, may Allah grant us all Jannatul Firdous and to be amongst them.

    When I recently watched this long uncut video if the turkish ship in the flotilla,
    I was in tears, because I watched as a few men on a ship, a SHIP, were praying
    qiyam al-layl, and then it showed the athan at fajr – over the ocean (just the fact it
    was on the ocean made me feel wow… that would be a new experience for me)
    and then watched as they prayed fajr. And with all their du’a, soon after, came such
    a great test from Allah, because it’s not long before the opposing ships arrived
    and began shooting at this ship. A ship that was floating with people having just
    sat making thikr of Allah,…then men bleeding, reciting the shahadah, and then
    passing away.

    Anyhow… I appreciate that the sheikh reminded us of purifying intentions before
    sharing the beginning of this story, but I am also grateful that this story was shared,.

    May Allah have mercy on Nabiha and her family, and grant them Jannatul Firdous. Ameen.

  58. Farweez says:

    Assalamu Alaikum
    it indeed overwhelms me. it was a lesson when i most needed it. May Allah reward you with the highest Jannah for changing the way I was looking at things even at this very moment and may Allah reward your daughter with Al firdaus for her patience and forbearance.

  59. UmmuYahya Sultaanah says:

    Assaaamu alaikum. My name is Sultana and i met nabeeha through her cousin who was my friend since were were 13 going to high school together. Anyway, nabeeha was there for me showing me islaam through her example as sisShalima said and she never left my side. We spent soo much time together and her life was dawah not just her words.
    I was fortunate to know her, to be loved by her and to be chosen by her as a companion and sister in islaam. Sad to say there are no sisters like her today that ive met. Nabeeha stuc like glue, and thats what i loved most.
    In her last years we grew distant. Myself and shaytaan to blame, but contrary to what ppl thought,i never stopped loving her and i always remembered EVERYTHING with her. Till today, i was telling my husband, there ist a day that goes by that i dont think of nabeeha and wish i could hear her voice again. Allaahknows i wish to be reunited with her in jannah Ameen.
    May Allaah forgive her and me, make her grave spacious, bright with nur and fill it with the scent of jannah, and may He raise her and her fam and me and my fam to jannatul firdous Ameen!!

  60. Aunty Zalie says:

    Thank you Brother for this true and blessed life and death story of my Niece Nabiha Choate…I am the big sister of her dad, Ashmead Choate, whilst he is and was the baby in the family…I was at Nabiha’s bedside until she leave us…was her wish and I had to be there..I live in Canada and quit everything for her my loving niece and blessed child…I’ve got this here just by chance being on the internet clicking on choat’s and there this beautiful page of choice I’ve found…I was told about this but too busy until now..a retiree…THE WORDS HERE IN YOUR PAGE IS ALL THE TRUTH BECAUSE I WAS THERE AND EVERYONE HAD TO ANSWER TO ME BEFORE THEY ENTER THAT HOUSE…NABIHA HAD A LIST FOR ME WHOM SHE WILL AND WILL NOT SEE…AS SHE WAS DETERIOATING BODILY SO FAST AND UNABLE TO SPEAK AND EVEN WRITE NOTES ANYMORE…MAY ALLAH BLESS U BROTHER FOR ALL YOUR BLESSED TRUE WORDS OF WISDOM HERE AND SALAAM..THANKS FOR THIS…sister Zalina Ali Narinesingh…in Canada

  61. waliyah abdullah says:

    Assalaamu Alaikum. I would often hear Shaykh Ashmead Choat talk about his beloved daughter with such love. Its a parents worst nightmare to lose their child. Very touching story indeed.

    Ya Rabb, reunite this father (and family) with his beloved daughter in Jannah.

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