I cannot forget a young man I knew while I was at university. He was one of the best people I had ever met. He was very young and radiated good health. Once we graduated, we lost contact with each other.
One day he called me and asked me to visit him. He said: “I cannot visit you and don’t ask me why. Once you visit you’ll Know the reason.” He said sadly, and gave me directions to his house.
When I arrived there and knocked on the door, his young brother opened up and took me to him. I found him lying on crisp white sheets with crutches beside him. I also saw some medication and a device attached to his leg to help him walk.
He looked exhausted as he lay on the bed. He tried to get up to greet me but could not do so. I sat near his head, concealing my tears and said to him: “Forgive me, I did not know about your illness. Didn’t you graduate from the university? Dint you tell me that you were to going buy a house and get married?”
He said: “Yes, but something happened that I didn’t expect. I graduated a few months ago and got a very good job. After some days had passed, I developed severe headaches that bothered me from time to time. This was followed by my eyesight worsening over time. One day it became so unbearable that I had to go to the hospital. I met a doctor who asked me to undergo some medical tests and advised certain X-rays for my head.
“When he checked the X-rays, he exclaimed: “There is neither might nor power save in The Lord! Then he made some phone calls and consulted other senior doctors. They all started checking the reports and the X-rays. I couldn’t understand them because they were speaking in English. An hour passed and I was in a miserable state. I kept telling myself: It is not a big problem, just two pills and some eye drops and everything should be alright. Then, one of them looked at me and said: ‘Listen, the tests and x-ray indicate that you are suffering from a brain tumor. It is getting bigger and pressing on the veins in the eye. If this pressure increase, it could lead to blindness followed by internal bleeding in the eye, followed by death.’
“I screamed: What? How? A tumor and I’m still so young? I ask The Lord’s protections against cancer! There is neither might nor power save in The Lord.
“He said: ‘Yes, it is a tumor and it must be treated quickly. Tonight, you will be referred to the hospital to take the necessary tests. In the morning, we will take part of the skull bone out to remove the tumor and then replace it.’
“He gave me some documents to sign but I refused and left. I couldn’t stop crying. I kept thinking about where to go. Should I go home? Should I go to the hospital? After thinking deeply, I decided to go to another hospital. After undergoing all the necessary analyses and x-rays, the doctor told me the same thing. He told me to have the surgery as soon as possible.
“I was shocked and I phones my father, an elderly man of about seventy years of age. He rushed to the hospital and was deeply disturbed to see me in that condition. I said to him: ‘You know father; I suffer from constant headaches. Medical checks show a tumor in my head and there is no way out but to have an urgent operation. ‘My father exclaimed: There is neither might nor power save in The Lord! HE sat down and kept repeating: There is neither might nor power save in The Lord!’
“He said: ‘We will send you to your brother in America.’ His words brought back memories of how my elder brother has suffered while being treated for cancer, and how my father had prayed that The Lord would grant him a full recovery.
“I looked at my father. There were tears flowing down his cheeks. My brother Khalid had died two years ago in a car accident. My elder brother was suffering from cancer and I was at the beginning of an uncertain road.
“I travelled to America and was referred to a well-known hospital, where they conducted the necessary tests and admitted me to the operating theater.
“The doctor shaved my head and after anesthetizing it, removed the upper part of the skull and excised the tumor.
“Everything went well for the first two hours. Then suddenly there was a disorder in the blood circulation in my head. The blood stopped flowing in the arteries and I developed a clot. There was chaos in the theater and the doctor unintentionally made some errors which caused hemiplegia (Paralysis) in the left part of my body. After the doctor has finished the operation, I spent five hours in a coma and developed a clot in my left leg. They carried me quickly to the theater, treated the clot, and then brought me back to the recovery room.
I stabilized for only four hours and then my lungs started bleeding. They carried me quickly to the theater, treated the bleeding and took me back to the recovery room.
“I was stable for twenty-four hours, but then my temperature increased in a fearful way. The doctors made a very quick check and found that there was severe inflammation in the area under the skull bones.
“The doctor called for the theater staff and they carried me in as if I was deceased. I could only at them helplessly. I looked towards the sky and cried. I beseeched The Lord saying: ‘Verily, distress has seized me, and you are the Most Merciful of the those who show mercy.’
“I raised my eyes to the heavens and said: ‘O The Lord, if this is a punishment, I ask for your mercy and forgiveness. If it is a test, then give me patience and double my reward. Then I thought: tomorrow I will be buried in a grave. O Lord, save me when my foot slips on the Day of judgement, when weeping increases, and when it is too late to regret. Woe to me when my Lord questions me for major and minor things! On that day, disobedient slaves will be shown before the people, sighs and pain will increase, and desires will vanish as if they were dreams. Then I cried and wished to live – not for the sake of enjoyment but to reform the relationship between me and my Lord, the Exalted.
“Suddenly, the doctor came in and ordered that I should have complete general anesthesia. A few hours later, I felt my head and found it was unusually soft. I asked the doctor: ‘Where is the rest of my head? ‘Your skull bone will be kept for sterilization and you have to come back after six months to have it replaced.’
I stayed for one month in the US and then returned to Riyadh. Now I am waiting to have my skull bone replaced. Earlier I was preoccupied with my life and forgot all about death. I was completely focused on this worldly life. Today I feel as if I have been born today”
My old university friend eventually recovered from the paralysis and managed to walk. I visited him after seven months and found him very cheerful. He gave me an invitation to attend his wedding. Today he is very eager to do good deeds and to call people towards the right path. He also helps to print and distribute great books, and is very kind to the weak and poor. This shows that, sometimes, adversity leads to prosperity.