When Malik talks…

My brother Malik is a confirmed H1N1 case! Not that I’m too concerned, I swing in my theories of H1N1 between conspiracy to hoax, but I think we all agree it has been quite over-rated in the media. Malik is doing just fine; in fact he got rid of flu symptoms even before starting him on Tamiflu!

I love the way Malik views what’s around him, it’s either he reads too much into matters, or he reads way too little, I think it’s the latter. I was the one to break the news over the phone when the swab tested positive. I was acting all serious to tease him, I said “Malik, dear, you’ve been diagnosed with H1N1, you’ll be on home-bound, and you’re to wear a mask at all times. You’ll be starting your medication from today, two capsules daily, one in the morning, one at bedtime, before food. If symptoms worsen or if you feel your face is starting to look more like a pig, give me a call urgently!”. He said “Ok”… now that was a serious calm Ok, like I’ll do that…! He made me laugh; I felt bad and told him it was just a joke 😀

He’s recovering pretty well Alhamdlilah. It’s been almost a week and a half since the start of the symptoms, he calls me today right after Maghrib prayers tells me he had broke the rules “I went to the Masjid today, no doctor will be of use to me on judgment day and gave me this verse of the Holy Quran “يوم لا بنفع مال ولا بنون”  “The Day whereon neither wealth nor sons will avail” (Surah26-Verse88)… I had to admire him but laughed deep inside!

Malik is quite a character, he’s turning all religious these past few years, well religious in his own ways, religious in talks and beards but not when it comes to women! Whoever said that all men are ”caged wolves” must be right. So Malik has decided he’s going to unleash his beard some 2 years ago, I was impressed he was committed, until one day he came back from the barber laughing his head off saying “Hey, check my beard, where has it gone?!” Apparently he’s shaved it off because his girlfriend (?!) does not like it!

I love it when he has his own special interests; it makes him feel productive, unique and special. He feels he stands out. His interests are language (he’s a fluent speaker of Arabic, English and Filipino -learnt through his assistant-) and religion. I must say they’re quite impressive for someone with intellectual difficulties. He quotes Quranic verses sometimes appropriately, mostly not! One day, my little cousin Maryam was saying Salam to us all, so he calmly shook her hands saying: يَا مَرْيَمُ لَقَدْ جِئْتِ شَيْئًا فَرِيًّا (27) يَا أُخْتَ هَارُونَ مَا كَانَ أَبُوكِ امْرَأَ سَوْءٍ وَمَا كَانَتْ أُمُّكِ بَغِيًّا (28) “O Mary! truly an amazing thing hast thou brought! “O sister of Aaron! Thy father was not a man of evil, nor thy mother a woman unchaste!” (Surah19-Verse27-28)

Now this was TOTALLY inappropriate and unrelated, but I still am awe-inspired by the amount of learning he is capable of, specially with Quran verses, where quotation is by heart, word by word!  

I do not even know who is the source of this sudden religious upheaval, neither my mother (she is religious, but he doesn’t like to give and take a lot with her) nor my father (moderate, and happens to be his role-model) and definitely not my siblings, definitely not! To make matters even more surprising, his assistant who is a Filipino is a firm new-born Christian.

We’ve been to New Zealand for rehabilitation in 2003, the religious interest had started kicking in by then , so he goes to his physiotherapist and invites him to Islam just like that, without an introduction! I felt awkward; I did not want the therapist to feel we’ve asked him to do that! The therapist joked “Oh NOO, you get up at 4 am for prayers, I can never do that”. Malik went on to say “life is just a farm, you’ve got to work hard to harvest your fruits in heaven!” I was dumbfounded, deep inside I screamed “WHAT????! This is serious good talk, where the hell did you get it from, MALIK” Of course this caught the therapist off guard; he obviously did not see it coming. Blown away, his reply was “I’ll look into it”. Next I know, Malik has given the man an English translation of the Quran.

Now if you meet Malik for the first time, you’ll certainly have difficulty understanding his speech and that’s of course why I’ve become a speech therapist now! His speech is dysarthric, extremely slow, lethargic and slurred. All that accompanied by slow response rate, so you’ll ask a question, it’ll take him a second or two to respond. He’s also got some memory problems, he can repeat a question or a topic over a hundred times in one week, it can get ummm really difficult to take at times. With all these challenges, if you’re talking to him you’d expect a one-word answer and that is why when you hear him say something that makes perfect sense or words that are BIG like the farm-fruit-heaven thing, you’re prone to just sit there staggered and open your mouth wide wide open :O

Well, no wonder he’s made really good friends from all walks of life. Malik is a character of his own!

Sometimes I wonder what would have Malik been like now had the accident never happened. Of course the accident had stolen my 7-year old brother at the time, but it has certainly given us an all-new soul, a new character, it gave us a story, a Malik…

Read about Malik: here

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12 Comments

  1. um3azzan said,

    August 20, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    This post made me laugh, tear and smile.

    Malik is malik, I cant imagine him being different .. this is why I consider the accidient is actually a blessing .. it gave us Malik!

    • Shahrazad said,

      August 23, 2009 at 8:31 pm

      You would relate to it like no one else. You’re the eldest of us, you’ve felt and seen our 7 year old Malik go into coma, only to wake up a few weeks later as a new soul all-together.

      Remember the journey to get him to start talking and walking all over again?! Memories… not necessarily sad as you said. There was and still is so much hope, isn’t that what keeps us living happily? Alhamdulilah!

  2. Hamed Alazri said,

    August 22, 2009 at 2:28 am

    Salam Shahrazad!

    What a wonderful way to present Malik to the world 🙂
    Indeed, what a character he is MaShaAllah. Even with his disability, he’s able to do things most people can’t. I personally enjoy talking to him and have learned so much. You might not know that Malik is a main factor in inspiring us to make Hajj last year, alhamdulillah.

    Getting more religious is a matter of guidance. May Allah guide us all.

    Ramadhan Kareem

    • Shahrazad said,

      August 23, 2009 at 8:34 pm

      Subhan Allah.. that’s totally new infomation. Care to share the Hajj inspiration story?

      True “يهدي من يشاء بغير حساب”

  3. Nadia said,

    August 22, 2009 at 9:08 am

    Wow. Masha’allah, I had to read your post twice. First of all, you’re an excellent writer and your descriptions had me imagining Malik right in front of me. Everything in this life happens for a reason. Allah took something away from Malik but he also gave something that we don’t have. I wonder how he sees the world and what he thinks about when he’s alone. I wish I could read minds. May Allah Bless him, you and your family with happiness, love, and peace. Ramadan Kareem.

    • Shahrazad said,

      August 23, 2009 at 8:40 pm

      Thank you Nadia, for your compliment and for your empathy 🙂

      Exactly, everything happens for a reason. My father always repeats this, there is a reason (7ikma) behind this. One clear to the naked eye is the test of endurance (Ibtila2) to both Malik and my family.

      Malik has shown patience, determination and endurance of fate that many others cannot handle. It all adds up to his rewards in heaven Inshallah 🙂

  4. Alisha said,

    August 24, 2009 at 4:15 am

    Oh Malik seems such an interesting character! 🙂 Btw I really like your writing style.

    • Shahrazad said,

      August 25, 2009 at 11:38 pm

      Thank you Alisha 🙂
      I’ve passed by your blog, impressive to say the least, especially considering your youthful age! Will visit more often Inshallah 🙂

  5. Rayyan said,

    August 26, 2009 at 10:56 pm

    Well said mashalla.. now I didn’t know that Malik has some memory problems.. he kept telling me to name my baby as my father’s name each and every time he sees me.. but I just thought he’s insisting not that he doesn’t remember that he already told me! hmmmmm..

    • Shahrazad said,

      August 28, 2009 at 1:27 pm

      I thought you knew!! Sub7an Allaah……
      That’s exactly how his memory problem is, he’ll repeat a question/topic over and over again!

  6. FAITH said,

    August 27, 2009 at 12:09 am

    Shahrazad,

    You never ceased to surprise me. First of all, that was so DEEP and touching that am in tears right now. Things happen in this life for a reason and Allah knows what’s best for every creature on face of earth.
    May god bless Malik, and grant him an ever lasting health and happiness. And I can surly say that he’s blessed with a great and loving family like yours.

    Allah ye5alekum le ba3’9 🙂

    • Shahrazad said,

      August 28, 2009 at 1:30 pm

      awww Faith, thank you so much 🙂
      Exactly, everything happens for a reason!


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