Today, near the time for Fajr, a great soul departed from this wordly life. His name was Shoaib Tauheed and the impact he had on people’s lives was evident in the way his departure struck us all.
Professor Dr Shoaib Tauheed was Head of the Dept. of Physiology at Dow University for a long time. Not only was he intelligent (‘Google’ his name and look at the medical research-work that he’s been part of) and talented, his great heart and excellent character drew everyone to him. Only in his forties, he was made the Head of Department and one of his own teachers was working under him. He belonged to everyone – the students, the teachers, parents, patients, janitors, clerks, peons, security guards – they all knew him like a brother, a father.
I’ve been in Dow for only two years now and I saw with my eyes how people would turn with respect to him as he humbly walked down the corridors, smiling and greeting everyone. He was perfectly in tune with Islamic teachings and never refused to help anyone. You could knock on his door with any problem and he’d never turn you down.
He’d teach us like there would be no tomorrow – hurrying from this fact to that, trying to instill in us the love of education, science and research. He’d constantly follow up on what the other teachers were teaching us, to make sure we got the right stuff. If a test date was worrying the students, he’d consult them and agree to change it if they wanted – so that they’d be better prepared. During the final exams, he’d try to sit in on as many student Vivas as possible, to support give his students support. Just seeing him sitting there, encouraging us, having such great confidence in us – it made everything seem so easy. He called us all, “Beta…” (“My child…”) with such love and affection. His aim was to mould our personalities and for that purpose, he sometimes chided us when he saw something wrong.
Professor Shoaib was a man, the like of which are not found often today. Perhaps that was why Allah(swt) loved him so much that He Wished to purify His slave of sins before calling him back. Sir Shoaib was diagnosed with colon cancer and he sought every treatment available, even going to America for an operation. Slowly, however, despite all the chemotherapy, the disease spread. Yet, he came to college between the chemotherapy, teaching, taking charge of the Department, helping us out in our petty little issues. He wrote a book on Physiology and published it in March this year – it’s an excellent book! When the cancer took his vertebrae, he could no longer walk and had to use a wheelchair. Still, he came to college and taught the First year students a month ago. He asked if we were fine and had done well on the second term tests.
His health started deteriorating rapidly and he was hospitalized this month. Students, colleagues all tried to visit him and were struck by the sight of the man they had difficulty recognizing. And yet, he asked them all how they were doing, loved to meet them and told them simply that he was in pain, that they should pray for him. My friends told me that he weighed only 24 kilograms, they couldn’t recognize him. That was why his wife, also a teacher at Dow, didn’t want his students too see him in the end, so that they could remember him as he was when he was healthy and up.
Allah (swt) must surely love this great person that He let him see Ramadan, let him pass away in Ramadan. The news struck everyone – the studies at Dow were paralysed. Students and teachers huddled together, sharing kind words for their mentor. As I write this, buses are leaving from Dow to attend his funeral prayers at a large mosque. After Zuhr, he will be laid to rest.
May Allah (swt) bless Sir Shoaib with the BEST in the Hereafter, the Jannat-ul-Firdaus. May he be in the company of the martys, the righteous…! May all his sins be washed away from him as touched hearts pray for his kind soul. May Allah enable us to always learn from him, through his legacy, through his words, and through his great morals. May Allah teach us piety and the excellence of character through people like Sir Shoaib. May Allah (swt) accept Sir Shoaib into the Muqarribeen for truly, I bear witness, that I saw in him no evil but only good. May Allah (swt) grant his family patience and fortitude in this loss, which will be greatest for them.
JazakAllah khayr Dr Shoaib for touching all our lives and may you now find the rest and comfort that you were praying for. You gave your test and we are giving ours. We saw you emulate the Prophet (s.a.w.)’s example and we pray that it will teach US to do the same! JazakAllah! And may we all meet you again in Jannat-al-Firdaus, InshAllah! Ameen! Summa Ameen!
“The Muqarribeen” (“The Close ones”)
And those who surpassed have indeed excelled. It is they who are the close ones. They are in Gardens of peace. A large group from the earlier generations. And a few from the latter. On studded thrones. Reclining on them, facing each other. Surrounded by immortal boys. Carrying bowls and pitchers – and cups filled with wine flowing before them. Their heads shall not ache with it, nor shall they lose their senses. And fruits that they may like. And meat of birds that they may wish. And gorgeous eyed fair maidens. Like pearls safely hidden. The reward for what they did. They will not hear any useless speech in it, or any sin. Except the saying, “Peace, peace.”
(Quran: Surah Al-Waqiah, Verses 10-26)