The sudden passing of a dear friend

As Shabana has reported, a dear friend, Ahmed Hussein, just passed away suddenly and completely unexpectedly in Baltimore.  Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi rajioon.   May he be forgiven for his sins and he be blessed with Jannah.

Ahmed was a rarity, a truly kind and warm person.  He was also a budding scholar whose knowledge of Islam, Sufism, and spirituality in other religions was inspiring.  His jovial, light-bringing presence and mischevious sense of humor will be sorely missed by myself and countless people in  DC and around the country.  He really brought happiness wherever he went, which is so much more than most of us can say.

Shabana reported his penchant for carrying a lota (see Wiki for an indelicate but accurate explanation of this object, which, however much it may send shivers down contemporary Americans’ spines, is at the heart of South Asian Muslim domestic life, and rightly so) around the office, to the utter horror of some of our non-Muslim colleagues (who couldn’t grasp the fact that it was completely clean).  That comical sight and the periodic ritual/workout of giving him backrubs at his desk when his back acted up are the fondest of memories. 

I remember the impish glee with which he’d conspicuously tote the lota in front of one particularly horrified colleague.  Then there was the spectacle of his intense groans of  relief intermingled with deep, Santa-like bellows at the pain sometimes caused by my violent efforts (he was a big man).  It was a ritual we both came to enjoy.  Those memories and countless others of his company I will always treasure.

His janaza (funeral) service will be held at a Baltimore mosque, Masjid Rahmah, after jumah prayers this Friday.

Please include him in your prayers.

A reminder of how short life is and how precious good health is.

Update: I’ve since posted a longer reflection on Ahmed and his life.

  • Firas

    Thanks Svend and Shabana for the posts. Ahmed was a powerful and beautiful soul, powerful enough that so many became open to Islam through him and beautiful enough that he never for one second ever took pride in that fact. He was a humble seeker of knowledge. May he be granted the highest space in jannah, inshaAllah. ameen.
    I dont think people quite realize how much of an impact he had on the Washington DC area. Maybe after some time it will come to light, but Ahmed in his own way really revived Islamic spirituality in an city dominated by politics. While there are other more well known sheikhs and scholars of tasawwuf here, one cannot discount the way Ahmed would connect with people at their own level. And connect with so many people he did.
    I am going to miss him very much.

  • umbreen

    salaams svend,
    i too really appreciated this post, along with shabana’s. i am out of town this week, and sad that i cannot make it to ahmed’s janazah, and frankly, in a bit of shock, as ahmed was one of the kindest and most welcoming faces of dc for me, for years before i actually finally moved here this past october. i hope that the rows are overflowing tomorrow, and that his family gains some solace, however small, from the fact that ahmed touched more lives than almost any among the living today. a really spectacular person, mashallah; i hope and pray that Allah fulfills all his wants in the next life, inshallah.
    thank you again for your post.