Friday, November 28, 2014




"Who, when afflicted with calamity say: "Truly To Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return."" [The Qur'an; Chapter 2 (Al Baqarah - The Cow) : Verse 156]

I cannot go to reflect on our loss without addressing the pain and the sorrow of my beloved father, after all it is that which triggered me to write this memoir.To him Mohammed was everything, not only a son but a friend, a colleague and above all a manager of his affairs. 

My dear father,

As you may know, I am not the writer nor the talker, I am more of the reflector, and therefore I require time to allow myself to respond to my own emotions. It has just been over two weeks since our beloved Mahammed has left this world and I can only manage to gather my thoughts together.
I have read every single word that you have written regarding the death of our beloved Mahammed , and I was overcome with emotions. Your ability to report the exact facts at the most traumatic time is impeccable.
The death of my only brother and your only son has left a whole in my heart, and on most days I feel as if someone has cut off my limp. As he was my everything, my shoulder to lean on, my adviser, my best friend, my guardian, my protector, my role model, my councillor, and my motivator. In all the roles he played as a son, brother, husband, father, nephew, friend, cousin and grandchild he played them ever so perfectly. He filled all our lives with love, kindness and generosity. I was always in awe of his ability to handle life's predicaments with grace, humility and most importantly with enthusiasm, always putting a positive spin on things. Mahammed always ensured to give everyone the time and attention they needed, was never too busy for anyone. In my entire life, I can not think of one memory that sees him in a negative light. Always the peace maker, the joker, the humanitarian, never the fighter.

I feel that there are hardly any words in any language that can truly describe my beloved brothers character. Word used would just seem like an exaggeration or even false!! But the truth is he was simply a rare gift, a blessing that was bestowed upon us by Allah. Mahammed's time on this earth might have been short but was very propitious. He was only 36 yet his accomplishments in life can be comparable to a retired 70 year old man. In his evanescent life he has achieved more than most adults can attain in their lifetime.

My dear brother always joked that it was not only you and mum who raised me, that he was also a big part of my upbringing. It is ever so surreal that I am the teacher in the family yet I always saw him as the original eccentric educator. Mahammed taught me valid lessons everyday in The School of Life. I still can hear his voice saying "Najat when was the last time you spoke to aunt or uncle so and so, go and make that call now". Constantly reminding me that life gets us all busy "But sis, you must always make the effort and give time to those you love the most, especially family, young and old. It only requires you to spend a few extra minutes each day to reconnect and make someone's day, month, year or lifetime. What a little sacrifice for such a pleasurable reward ". Who would have thought such wisdom would come from such a young man!! But he was always wiser than his years, born with such a traditional and loving soul.

Even in his death he is still teaching us lessons on good citizenship, humbleness, sincerity and mostly humanity. The amount of people that turned up to his funeral was so overwhelming. What a sight it was, to see people travel from all corners of the UK and rest of world just to pay him and us respect. The mosque was so full, that people were praying outside, Masha Allah what a beautiful sight it was. He had made an impact to every one that he met, all saying how amazing he was, and all agreeing that he was the ideal son. It was so touching to see how family members stated that "Mahammed was one in a million, unique, loving, giving and generous. No other can replace him nor can he be compared to". He was everyone's best friend, but those friends that he loved, cried as if they lost a brother too. They felt our pain and turned to my dear mother in her darkest hour and uttered weepingly "Mahammed was our brother and therefore you are our mother, whatever you need, call us just like you called for Mahammed. We are all your sons". That alone was a testimony to his character.

Mahammed was so loved, and nobody loved him more than you and mum. To lose a child is painful enough, but to lose such a rare and extraordinary treasure is unbearable. As parents we constantly feel that we could always do more for our children, guilt ridden, never satisfied with our efforts. However my dear father, you should not feel guilty over anything. Your son knew that you truly loved him and that is all that matters. He did not become the honourable gentlemen that he was without your help. If you feel proud of us , then you and mum should feel proud of yourselves first. We are not products of magic, we became the adults we are because of all the good qualities that you both instilled in us. Mohammed had your entrepreneurial skills, your wisdom and knowledge. He had mum's heart, kindness and faith, and both of your senses of humour and strength. Can't you see my dear father?? that without the combination of both yours and mum's character and love, we would have amounted to nothing, living a life with no sense of direction. Mahammed and I always felt blessed to have two amazing parents, and thank Allah everyday for choosing us to be part of your lives. We deeply love you both. Rest at ease my dear father as you have nothing to apologise for.
I know that there is a slight emptiness and loneliness that has take over our hearts, especially for my dear mother. She has lost her soul mate and best friend. It was such a joy to witness their relationship, two peas in a pod, we constantly used to tease them, wherever mum was Mahammed would be there too. He always used to put your needs before his own.

What an inspiration my brother was. Let us keep his dreams alive and remember his positive view of the world, his laughter and smile, his advice and wisdom. Let us all aim to be better human beings, better communicators and make our presence in this world actually count. Allah has only blessed me with one brother, but he simply was the best. I am so proud to be your sister my dear Mahammed, I truly wished that you knew how many people loved you, and how you impacted their lives. Some people even admitted that they loved you more than their own children lol. I promise I will look after your heart, your life, your wife Fathiya Noor, and your beloved son Ahmed-Ameer. I will do my utmost to raise my children, especially my son Maahir to have your exceptional and commendable qualities. If he turns out to be just 10% of the man that you became then I will be satisfied.

May Allah the almighty grant you paradise, the highest level of all, Janatal Fardoos. Ameen.

Najat Ahmed Hassan Arwo.




"Who, when afflicted with calamity say: "Truly To Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return."" [The Qur'an; Chapter 2 (Al Baqarah - The Cow) : Verse 156]

 Our destiny is prearranged. I would like to share with you my poignant experience of an episode of our life that waits us all. For five days I learned more about life journey than my entire life, the death of my son Mohammed and the process I went through till we put him in his last room on the world and first hereafter. It is a tribute to dear son and a lesson to us all. 

Death respects no age, no gender, and no strength. We saw daily young dying, old surviving, strong dying and weak surviving. We witness fragile patients that survive on comma for decades. All these testimony and yet deep in our mind we think it is the old that dies. Every one of us will taste death at preset time by no one else but by our creator. That time can be sooner or later by the will of Allah.

I buried my beloved son MOHAMED yesterday, a young man at the best epoch of human life, man with entrepreneurial talent always thinking of building empires without neglecting his duty towards Allah and to us. He needed my input which I grossly failed. I regret utmost and it will remain a painful reminder in my life .It was just before Ramadan when finally we agreed to put the foundation of that empire in Hargeysa, a business empire under his leadership and my guidance. We were so happy so optimistic so looking forward that I was counting days. Alas just after Hajj he hinted he has light health problem. He was so strong physically and spiritually. He hid all his pain without whispering to the ears of those close to him. None of us knew the seriousness of his case. He endured all that pain all alone to save us from worry. I knew him for he never let us know anything that can worry us. Allah will be kind to my son as he was kind to us. That is what Allah promised and his promise is done before it is said.
On Sunday afternoon, I spent an hour with his body in mortuary reading Quran and offering Du’a. Each time I touched his body and see his face it was as though he was telling me " father don't worry I am in better hands, hands of Angels of heaven." Alhamdulilaa”

Our destiny is in Allah’s hands. I was not busy, not sick, not occupied, and no financial problem, yet I couldn’t move towards my beloved son, my only son. I regret very much and ask myself why and why yet I know I cannot take a step without Allah’s willing. It is hard to excuse myself from this gross irresponsibility. Astaqfurulla, Allah forgive me, I know my destiny is in your hands.

 I was so unlucky that I arrived a day late to see him alive but Allah gave me a way to communicate with him. I sensed he was listening and I promised to him to uphold his dreams Insha Allah. I promised to him more, that I will not share with you but ask you to help me by offering prayer so Allah help me  make it a reality.

Monday Duhur prayer I went with group of elders to pray in a Pakistani mosque in Grangetown where my home is located. After prayer I was surprised to hear the imam calling us to pray for the deceased. “Let us offer Du’as to the deceased young man Mohamed Ahmed Hassan Arwo" tears come to my eyes. He offered the best of Du’as and no one moved" then after Sunna prayer all came towards me giving me a hug and offering condolences. I was touched with their kindness and solidarity.

Tuesday morning and the washing ritual. The washing cermony was done in Aljalalia Mosque, in Grangetown, Cardiff. I washed him with my hands with the help of my close family and under the direction of Sheekh Omar, and Salama Funeral Services. I was delighted to be there to see his youthful body never changed glowing with freshness. Thank Allah he was so clean, so neat, so stunning, no trace of anything but shining body with nice smell. It was as though he was bathed before us. Deep in my heart I thanked Allah for this is a sign of Ehlu Jannah. The body of the deceased shows signs of hell or heaven. My son’s body was that of whom Allah promised for better life in Heaven.

After washing session finished I looked at him, not scaring but rather with exhilarating gesture I realized how his body is gleaming and how he grew a full dark beautiful beard. It looked trimmed and recently combed. A beard he never had but last days of his life.  The nice smell of his body was sensational. I hold his right hand and every part  was as  alive, bending, not stiff but nearly moving. . I entangled my fingers with him and offered a special Du’a.

Mohamed with me and my daughter in Jubail,Saudi Arabia

 Immediately family females members, led by his mother and sister came in. It was really a testing time. Thank Allah our worry never materialized. I never saw and never heard a pack of women under this circumstances as strong as they were, withholding all their feelings and clearly stating Du’a one after another, no cry at all, no chest beating, no hair tearing, just offering Du’as. His mother Amal a strong Muslim with mountains of Iman and courage of lion, told him what he has to say at the grave, when Angels question him about his beliefs  and asked Allah to forgive him for all that he has done for her and for me. She recited Quran and Du’as. It was the Du’as of his Aunt Hayat Omar Arteh, that touched my heart " Alhamdulilaa you are beautiful you are clean you are so sweet, you are Ehlu Janno, all signs are here Thank Allah” she continuously said without hesitation.

Then came the real test, the most touching. My daughter Najat kissed him and whispered into his ears “My brother you were all to me. You were my brother, my protector my guardian, you always advise me. I ask Allah to forgive you and to reward you Jannatul Fardaws for all the good deeds you have done and your love to us. You died young but accomplished great, Allah loves you” The courage of my daughter is beyond belief. I was shaking not with fear but with admiration. Thank Allah who gave me such strong family, thank Allah for giving me Amal as wife and Najat as a daughter.      
Then they kissed him and concluded with Du'as that we men couldn't offer. We were standing motionlessly, holding open hands towards heaven repeating Amen after them and in whispering voice.
Mohamed with his son Ahmed

We moved towards Al-Nur mosque for prayer. In front of the mosque I was met by my people of Cardiff. They are my people for they all love us as family. They are not just family but really good family, sharing with us the hard and the soft .My fellow Somalis and good number of other Muslims lined up to hug me and to offer condolences one by one. Masjidu-Nur of Butetown was crammed downstairs and upstairs. Women were given a special area where they were literally compressed like sardines in a box. After Duhur prayer Sh. Mohammed led Jinaza prayer. Tears filled my eyes but my heart was so cool and my mind told me my son is in the hands of his creator and he will be in better life than his short life here. I offered the Du’a wih parental tone and in my special words, as the rest of the congregation did. Then again I was attacked with love and solidarity, they offered condolences tears in their eyes and some cannot hold their sorry and openly cried.

We took the last episode of Mohamed's life, a trip to the Ely Cemetery. The ground was covered with my fellow Somalis and my fellow Muslims. Thank Allah for the number of attendants. Cars filled all open spaces and people covered all the grass area. They came from all over the world . From Holland, from Canada , from Saudi Arabia, from all UK of course large number came from our next door cities, Bristol and Newport. Many of them cried openly. I learned nothing is better than true friendship when I saw my son’s friends crying openly. I learned men cry not of fear but of love and sorry.
Mohammed with his grandfather Omer Arteh and his late grandmother Shukri Jirde. 

The grave itself is located at a corner and under a tree. A location anyone with choice would have chosen. Allah has chosen for my son MOHAMMED.  

May Allah bless his soul and make his grave a room from heaven. May Allah bestow his mercy and reward him Jannatul Fardaws for his loyalty to Allah and to his parents. I pray Allah to forgive me for all I haven't done for him. He gave me all his love while I did gave him a little of mine. Making his parents happy and satisfied was his utmost priority. It is painful to see ones child die before him but I am happy for all good deeds he have done in his short life. He never used his hand and tongue to harm any creature . To him they were tools to support, help and praise everyone. His heart was so huge he never found difficulty to entertain entire humanity with love and joy. I am proud to have Mohamed as my son. He departed us physically but he rests in my heart and mind for ever. He gave his entire life to serve us, never feel tired to execute our endless demands. He was a tower of help, mountain of support and river of love. Allah took my son for better life Insha Allah. His loyalty to Allah and to us will be rewarded with Allah's love.

Ahmed Arwo with his grandsoin Ahmed

Mohamed left in this world a son, named after me, Ahmed and a lovely wife who changed his life during this short period they were together. She made him happy, forward looking for better life. I noticed all these changes from the day they get married. My daughter-in-law Fathiya Sh Ibrahim I pray Allah to compensate your loss with better future and happy life in this world and forgiveness and Jannatul Fardaws hereafter.  

  Please do offer Du'a for him and for us.

My tribute in Somali:


Please do offer Du'a for him and for us.

Father Tel:  07903744256 (UK)

Mother Amal Tel:  02920344085 (UK)

Ahmed Hassan Arwo
Mohamed Ahmed Arwo with Abdiwahab Ismail Raja, me and uncle Abdihakim,

Mohamed in white thob with uncles and first cousins
Mohamed behind in black suit with uncles and first cousins