Man’s faith sustained him through dad’s Covid-19 battle 00:00

Identity Abiding Faith

Man’s faith sustained him through dad’s Covid-19 battle

When Faran Ahmad’s father was hospitalized with the coronavirus, he turned to prayer for comfort, finding peace in his connection to Allah, and ultimately, to extended family members living in Pakistan.

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Thirty-five percent of Americans say the pandemic carries one or more lessons from God. Thirty-seven percent say lessons were not sent by God. Source: Pew Research Center survey conducted in July 2020

Faran Ahmad

And you know, that was the first time my father was actually taken away by an ambulance in such a critical condition. I didn’t know what the future will hold and when someone so near to you goes away like that, you really feel a shock inside your heart. And that’s what I felt.

(Azan prayer) 

Krina Patel  

In January 2021, Faran Ahmad, a senior at the University of Houston, faced what he calls the enemy. The coronavirus that was raging across the country was now at his doorstep. Like so many other families, Faran and his family had to deal with the virus. It infected his brothers and made his father very ill. Faran talks about prayer and faith at a time like this. 

(Photo courtesy of Faran Ahmad)

Faran Ahmad 

I saw the ambulance driving away and not knowing what’s going to happen, I just walked back inside my house and the first thing I do when I get into my room is just fall into prostration. And that’s a part of Muslim prayer that we prostrate and humble ourselves before God. And you know, I’m just prostrating and just praying to Allah. And there’s a verse in Quran in which Allah says ‘that when my servant asks you about me, indeed, I am near.’ Right, so I’m seeking that nearness from Allah, when someone who is also near to me is taken away. Right? And Allah says, ‘I respond to the prayer of the person who is calling upon me.’ Right? And that response was given in two weeks after that, but at that time, to seek nearness to Allah was, was a sense of relief for me. 

(Azan prayer) 

Faran Ahmad

You know, I usually seek inspiration from an anecdote from our Prophet Muhammad peace be upon Him’s life, in which a Bedouin comes to visit him on a camel. And he says, ‘Oh, Prophet, should I tie my camel? Or should I let it be?’ Prophet Muhammad peace be upon Him, He replies, ‘Tie your camel and leave your trust in Allah.’ So I believe that we have to tie our camel, that we have to do our duty, what’s in our capacity, there’s this sense of accountability that your efforts are going to be rewarded. Right? So, I always in circumstances like these, I try to tie my camel. I tried to do what’s in my capacity to my best potential. And at the same time, I’m having trust in Allah that He’s going to reward me for my patience and fulfilling my duty. 

When you have your Creator who created you, and since He created you, He knows you more than you know yourself, and He knows your suffering, He knows your situation more than you know it yourself. You don’t feel many ups and downs emotionally, when it comes to circumstances like these, and obviously, you’re a human being, you’re going to feel sad. And there’s a place for emotions, but not to an extent not at a time when you stop functioning practically. 

And so we have this idea in Islam of tawakkul, which has deep trust of your heart in Allah, in His protection. And once you have that, you are able to practically work. And, for example, on the day, when my dad’s oxygen levels dropped very low, I called 911. I was in constant contact with the paramedics and giving them information about his insurance, his primary care physician, and you know, at the same time providing comfort to my family, my dad, while he was waiting for the ambulance, giving him extra pairs of clothing, hygiene materials because I knew he was going to be in the hospital for some time and at the same time, telling him, you know, that they are just going to do some oxygen therapy, and you will be back before you know it. But I was just trying my best while, you know, deep down panicking but just trying my best to be as, you know, rational and practical as possible. 

And this is the funny part of the story, my dad informs his extended family in Pakistan about his situation from the hospital. And he gives them my number to ask for a daily updates. So, you know, I’m getting WhatsApp calls from my uncles and aunts at 2am, 4am, 6 in the morning, you know, and they are in a state of panic, which is understandable because they are so far from him. And I’m pretty much repeating the same thing that the doctor said this and that, and he’ll be fine in a couple of weeks. But at the same time, there’s a sense of unity, and there’s a sort of comfort in that because they also told me that, you know, they are making charities on his behalf and they are making special prayers for him. And after so long, you know, I got to talk to them, I got to speak to them at a level, which I hadn’t before. So yes, it was chaotic. But at the same time, there is a deeper meaning that I felt in that whole process. 

You know, although it was a tough time on me and all my family was still a chance to connect more with your Creator. Right and I believe that Allah tests those the most who He loves the most. And that’s why prophets, like Prophet Muhammad peace be upon Him was persecuted and Prophet Jesus peace be upon Him was persecuted and other prophets before them like Jonah, Moses, they had tough lives. And that’s really an outlook I approached the situation with. And we made additional prayers, we united as a family, and many private prayers that are between me and Allah. But overall, I think I’m thankful for the circumstance, honestly.

(Azan prayer) 

Krina Patel  

Faran’s father returned home after spending eight days in the ICU. He has now recovered. Faran’s brothers are also fine. 

For iPondr, this is Krina Patel. 

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Episode Abiding Faith