By Rebecca Minor
My father took his shahada in the Emergency Room eight and a half years ago. At the time, he had been learning about Islam for a while. He would pray with me and even attended Islamic Sunday School along with the high school class to learn more. But my dad isn’t one to make big decisions lightly. I feel like Allah swt knew that when it came to my dad, he would need a push.
That push came unexpectedly one day when my father passed out at work and needed to be taken to the ER by ambulance. What we didn’t know at that time is that his liver had burst and he had passed out because he lost so much blood from internal bleeding.
He called my mother from the ambulance. When she told me what was going on, I remember a strange sense of calm. I wasn’t nervous or worried. I remember saying, “Daddy may die today. He’s been studying Islam. If he sincerely believes, he may want to take his shahada.” My mom got to the ER a few minutes later, told him what I had said, and then held my father’s hand as he took his shahada in front of her.
My father had a very rare type of liver cancer that had spread from his liver to his stomach. We were told that before they could operate, he needed to go home and let his body reabsorb the blood he lost. This meant 6 weeks of lying down, not moving.
My father spent these 6 weeks on the couch or in bed memorizing several short surahs. His first surah was Surah Al-Ikhlas. We later found out that the root word of ikhlas means “purity”. After the 6 weeks, he underwent surgery and when they opened his body they found that the cancer was no longer in his stomach but instead was isolated to a small part of his liver which they were able to resect and remove. Alhamdulillah, he’s been cancer free ever since.
“Verily with hardship comes ease.” Passing out from internal bleeding, coming close to death, being immobile for 2 months, undergoing major surgery and recovery - that’s hardship. But look at what came with that hardship. My father accepted Islam. He was given time to memorize from Allah’s Book and he was granted shifa. Nothing more to say than Alhamdulillah.