Never Give Up Hope:
After Rejecting Islam for 23 Years Dad Died Muslim
Abdur Raheem Green describes his father’s last days in hospital before he passed away.
Mr. Green was the ex-Director of Cairo Barclays Bank, and his son Abdur Raheem found Islam over 20 years ago, and is today a well-known figure among Muslim scholars and preachers in the UK.
He thought that his father would never become Muslim, but Mr. Green eventually converted to Islam only ten days before he died.
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “May his face be rubbed in the dust (may he be humiliated) the one who one of his parents reaches old age and he doesn’t enter paradise by serving them.”
In an incident, a man came to the Prophet enthusiastic to join the fight, the battle that was about to ensue, the man said to the Prophet: “I left my mother crying.” And the Prophet said to him: “Go back and don’t leave her, until you leave her laughing.”
Abdul Raheem Green then says “That is why I decided to spend some time here with my mother after the death of my father.
The death of my father is something I would like to share with you,..
and the remarkable story of how, just ten days before he died, he was blessed to take the Shahadah (the testimony of faith).
Allah Almighty told us to pass on the message and not converting anyone to Islam. Our duty is to convey the message, to explain to people the best way we can, guidance is in the Hands of Allah Almighty.
I have never thought that my father will take Shahadah. My father was an amazing father, he was an outstanding personality and no one can describe him as a bad person.
For 23 years, since I became a Muslim, I’ve been inviting my father to Islam. And I decided to give the best example I possibly could of how Islam should be, of how Islam should be lived, of how Islam teaches me to respect him as a parent. But I thought that my father was closed-minded towards Islam, so I didn’t have much hope that he would become a Muslim.
My father had been ill for a couple of years, and my mom really thought that he wasn’t going to make it. As it happened, a few weeks ago when I came back from England I arrived in the hospital and went to see my dad. I looked at him and I thought that he could die tonight. So, I thought to myself, if I don’t say something I’m not going to forgive myself.
I know that I tried inviting him to Islam through so many means. But I thought that I have to make this one the last effort.
I had spent a long time thinking about what I could say. How could I say it? What was the right way to approach him? He was already very ill, so I didn’t want to distress him, I didn’t want to make him more upset.
To be honest I was afraid that he might say “No,” and reject my invitation. And I was even worried that if he did say the Shahadah and did enter into Islam, then he recovered and came home and became more arrogant about Islam; for me that was even scarier.
It is really a difficult thing. Any convert to Islam who has parents who are not yet Muslim they can relate exactly to this dilemma to this difficulty that I was going through. Never underestimate the power of duaa (supplication), because it was then when I was lost, I asked Allah to help me find something to say for my father.
As he was lying there, I said to him: “Dad! I’ve got something really important to tell you; are you listening? My dad couldn’t really speak very well, so he nodded his head. Then I said: I’ve got something to say, if I don’t say it, I’m going to regret it.
And then I told him that “in the Day of Judgment, a man will come in front of Allah and this man have scores of evil deeds as far that he can see, and in each direction, and Allah will say to him, ‘You have something that outweighs all of that.’ And the man would say, ‘What is that my Lord?’ Allah says ‘A written statement that you made: There is no God except Allah and Muhammad is His Messenger.’”
I said, ‘So dad, this is the key to Paradise, this is the success in the life to come, what do you think?’
And he nodded his head.
I said “Does that mean you want to say those words?”
And my dad said “Yes.”
He said the words with me; “There is no God but Allah, Muhammad is His messenger.”
I had to leave the hospital on that day, because it had some strict rules. I visited him the next day, and he didn’t remember anything. He wasn’t able to remember one thing from a day to another, even from an hour to another, but that wasn’t the end of it.
Three or four days before he died, my dad said: Help, help me.
I said “Dad what do you want me to do?”
He said “I don’t know!”
Then he said, “Give me something easy to do.”
I remembered the hadith of the Prophet: “There is something that is light on the tongue, and heavy on the scale.” So, I said “Dad if I was you, I would keep on repeating the shahadah over and over.”
And he said, “Yes, that’s what I want to do.”
And we spent half an hour going over and over with the Shahadah.
Then, I left for the UK, and there I heard my father had passed away…