Thursday, April 29, 2010
Yesterday morning (it is presumed), a very dear member of the Minnesota Muslim community passed away in his sleep, quite unexpectedly. He was young, had a wife and 6 children—one of whom is just two months old. He was a founding member of Abubakar as-Saddique Islamic Center in Minneapolis, the largest mosque in Minnesota and the gathering place of many of my friends. His Janazah, or funeral prayer which took place today, was the largest many of us have ever seen in the U.S. If I had to guess, I would say at least 3,000 people attended after receiving hardly any advance notice. May Allah reward them.
Abdiweli Mohamed Yusuf will be missed, but his mile-wide smile will not be forgotten. We always called him "the tall guy" because most of the board members' names started with Abdi, as most Somali names do, and for a time, we couldn't keep all of them straight. Now, I don't think I could ever forget the name of this kind, jovial, and good-hearted brother.
I have been sad in the last 24 hours thinking about his mother, wife, and kids and the grief they are experiencing right now, but every time I think of Br. Abdiweli, it's his big grin that keeps popping into my head. I guess that's his lasting mark on us, aside from the tireless service he gave to the people at Abubakar for the sake of Allah.
The death of this young, healthy, and happy man is just one more reminder that we are not immune to the will of Allah—that He will give and take as he sees fit. However, we also have a responsibility as members of society to use the knowledge, compassion, and reason He gave us to make the best of our time here as well as use our own free will to make the choices that determine how we spend our time in the hereafter.
People always ask me, "How can there be a God when all of these bad things happen to good people?" and I say, "How can there not be a heaven for them in which to spend eternity?"