The Last Speech by Ghulam Abbas Sajan
As I lie dead before you, I cannot but not give my final speech. Over the course of my life, I noticed that it was a close relative or a friend who gave a speech on behalf of the deceased and his/her family. This was not acceptable to me; after all it is my funeral! Therefore, it is I, the egoist, who will have the final say.
I have lived a full life of 74 years. As I was writing this on my deathbed, I very quickly reflected on my life.
Like every human being, I had trials and tribulations but when I reflected, they were minuscule compared to many others who went through many pains and sufferings. I realized I had a very easy passage of life, Alhamdulillah. Yet those in great pain constantly said, “shookar-Allah”. Today I say, “shookar-Allah”. At this stage my only prayer was that Allah be pleased with me.
I knew myself more than anyone present today. The only Being that knew me more than I was Allah (swt).
At times I knew what I did and there were times I may have acted unconsciously. It is possible that I may have done harm to people not ever realizing my harmful acts. For those who are alive and hear this, I apologize. For those who preceded me, I ask Allah (swt) to permit the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.), led by the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.w.), to intercede on my behalf and ask those whom I have hurt to forgive me.
For forgiveness, who best to quote but Imam Zayn al-Abidin (a.s.). The following is from al-Sahifat al-Kamilat al-Sajjadiyya, Supplication No.63 for Monday:
“I ask Thee concerning the complaints of Thy servants against me: If there is a servant from among Thy servants, or a handmaid from among Thy handmaids, who has against me a complaint because I have wronged him in respect to himself, his reputation, his property, his wife or his child, evil words I have spoken about him in his absence, an imposition upon him through inclination, caprice, scorn, zeal, false show, bigotry, whether he be absent or present, alive or dead, such that my hand has fallen short and my capacity has been too narrow to make restitution to him or to annul my obligations to him,
“I ask Thee, O He who owns all objects of need – which are Granted by His will and hasten to His desire – that Thou blessest Muhammad and the household of Muhammad, makest (the one that I have wronged) satisfied with me in the manner that Thou willest and give me mercy from Thee. Forgiveness decreases Thee not and giving injures Thee not, O Most Merciful of the Merciful”.
In the course of my life, I came across situations where I stood my ground and I am not at all sorry for the actions and positions I took. This includes challenging some maullanas on their integrity and adalat. I maintain they were wrong in accusing a marja. For this, I ask Allah (swt) to do justice and not use his Rahma.
Therefore, you can see, I go fighting as was usual in my personal living life.
I know it is a tradition and culture to hold several majales after one is dead. Please do not do this for me. Please no 1, 7, 10, 40 day maljis after I am gone. Instead donate the money to the needy. There are many and they will thank you for your good deed.
You should know that I am gone to meet my Maker and my Master. This should be a joyous occasion, especially if He is satisfied with me but you will not know this. Therefore assume and be contented. What more can one ask but be with his Master?
Before my funeral cry and lament as much as you want but please ensure that this does not affect anybody’s health. But once the funeral is over celebrate. Celebrate that I had a funeral whereas there were and there will be many who will not get this. Remember my nephew, Mehboob Dattardina whose body could not be found. Remember the martyrs of Karbala whose bodies lay unburied for three days. Celebrate that I am going to meet my Master and meet the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.), if I am worthy of it. Pray that this happens and celebrate.
To the community, I request that please be united. My community consists of several levels:
- My immediate family – ensure that there is a leader from the family and follow him or her
- My extended family – do not fight over petty issues. Again, have a leader of the clan. My clan includes the ones where our children have married into other families and various Sajans and their off springs.
- My immediate community – Be role models to the other Shi’a communities. Have discussions and disagreements but at the end of the day be united. The decisions of the majority should be accepted even if these may appear to be wrong.
- My Shi’a Community – work together. Aim to eliminate culture based institutions and work towards having one single Canadian Shi’a unit.
- My Muslim Community – Work towards unity of purpose. We can have madhabi differences but the bottom line should be “we are one Muslim, one ummah”.
- To all. Remember the rights of non-Muslims on us and the rights of our neighbours. As Imam Ali (a.s.) has said, “A Muslim is your fellow brother whereas a non-Muslim is your fellow traveller”. Look after the fellow traveller.
This is a long farewell speech. I apologize. But this is my crossing the bar. This is my crossing the bridge and I will have the last word.
Now I am totally dependent on the Mercy of Allah and, hopefully, not dependent on His Justice. His adalat will find me guilty of many things but it is His Rahma that will save me. I ask Him with the wasillah of the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) to forgive me and deal with me with His Rahma.
I pray, and beg Him to allow me to say “attubillallah” and “al-afw” even as I am being buried and as my body goes through decomposition. Ya Allah! allow me to say “attubuillallah” and –”al-afw” till the day You raise me again. Please honour me by being one worthy to be a foot soldier of Imam-Zamana (atf). May Allah forgive me for all the wrongs that I have done. For all the wrongs were done by my person whereas it is He who inspired me to carry out some good – little as it may be.
To you all, I say enjoy and have fun. Time is too precious; do not waste it on unwanted death rituals. If there are any weddings or other parties that you committed to, GO. This will insha-Allah make me happy.
To bring happy atmosphere on this day and enliven the gathering, let me remind you of the story of the day of judgment. On that day after peoples’ records are checked, some will be pushed into hell and others will be respectfully lead to jannah. However, they will be told to be very quiet passing by room “8”. Everyone would say okay but one nosey person will ask, “what is so special about room 8″. He will be told “there are Khojas in it and they think they are the only ones in heaven. We do not want to disillusion the Khojas”.