This week a truly inspirational soul passed away. His name was Ali Banat and he died aged 32, from cancer. His message resonated with a lot of people because he was so young, yet so full of acceptance with his condition. When he was first diagnosed, he was given only 7 months to live. He went on to live 3 more years. Ali’s reaction to his diagnosis was by admitting that all the material wealth he possessed meant nothing to him and then he decided to give it all away. He was a millionaire and had accumulated lots of designer clothing, watches and jewellery. Four months after he was diagnosed he made a video called ‘Gifted With Cancer’ which went viral. In the video, you get a taster of his lavish lifestyle and his spending habits.
When Ali showed off his £450,000 Ferrari Spider, he said: “When you find out you’re sick or you don’t have much time to live, this is the last thing you want to chase.”
Remember my post on death? There was a reminder on there that the intelligent person remembers death often. This is what he urges all of us to do. And that’s how we should live our lives every day. “It will change our perspective and help us to realign our priorities.’ he said.
Since his death, may God grant him the highest place in Paradise inshaAllah, his story and message has been reported in various national and local newspapers around the world mashaAllah.
When one wants to think of a good example of a muslim, think of Ali Banat. He was 29 years old when he was diagnosed but he has always been mature beyond his years. He was one of eight siblings and really has a lot to teach the world about humanity.
In October 2015, he launched the charity project “Muslims Around The World” (MATW) to assist those less fortunate in poor areas of Togo, in Africa. He smiles for the first time in the video, when he talks about this new project; it is apparent that these children he had decided to help now brought joy to his very existence, no matter what hardship he was going through with his illness.
To give to charity is a huge blessing for those fortunate enough to be able to do it. Indeed, it has been reported that it is not necessarily only the rich who give to charity. That poorer people actually give more! Maybe they have less to lose but it’s a great reminder that we don’t have to be rolling in money in order to dig deep and give to those less fortunate than ourselves. It will actually make us feel richer if we do so.
It is a reminder of the good we can do whilst here on earth; the legacy of goodness and hope that we can leave behind. It is proven that such acts of goodness will actually lengthen our lives!
7 Great Reasons to give to charity:
- Giving to charity makes you feel good
- It strengthens personal values: moral duty to use what you have to help others, a sentiment very much rooted in personal values and principles.
- Introduces your children to the importance of generosity
- Be part of something bigger. It will teach childern about difficult situations around the world and how we can help a little
- It could encourage family and friends to do the same- raising money for a collective cause could strengthen the bond between you and have a very positive impact on a family, especially if the cause is dear to them through losing a family member to it.
- You’ll feel richer. Giving to others increases your capacity for love. It makes you realise that even if you don’t have much, you have enough to share with others.
- Join a cause that you feel passionate about and realise that you can make a difference in this world!
Ali Banat actually made another video for people to watch after his death. In it he urges people to have a goal, a plan,a project just to do something because ‘wallah you’re going to need it on the day of judgement.’
He continues ‘We’re following our desires more than we’re following islam these days
Its not a joke anymore. Everyones getting affected our kids are getting affected.’
He carries a strong message of hope and a warning to do what we can, before our time runs out.
He continues, ‘Those who are sick or worried or stressed, don’t worry, God will send you people from where you never expected – you just have to have trust in Him.’
His is a message of hope and love and commitment to God and our purpose here on earth. He reminds us that God sends us people to help, if we ask Him to and put our trust in Him.
In the book ‘Joy Jots’ by Tamara Gray which was gifted to me by one of my dearest friends (and is a book which I highly recommend!), we are reminded to do our utmost to make the most of our lives before it ends.
If we wish to have a husn al-khatim (an ending that is good), we need to perfect our daily, weekly, yearly and seasonal endings. We must strive to complete projects; when changing jobs, we must complete the first one as though we were staying forever. We must avoid ‘petering out’, stay away from despair and never allow pessimism to make our final decisions for us.
My theory is that if we work hard to create husn al-khitam in our daily lives, Allah سبحانه و تعال will bless us with it at the end of our lives.
What are some projects that you would like begin? Have you already taken steps to start working towards them now? Have you been inspired by Ali Banat’s perspective on life? Do let me know in the comments below.
Peace and love,
PS To help me on my journey to enoughism I will write down 3 things I am grateful for at the end of each post. These are:
1. My eyelashes
2. The fact that I can blink
3. The fact that I can get up on my own and walk to the toilet every single time I need it.
I am grateful for people like Ali Banat, who help us to realise how truly lucky we are to be alive, to be content and to have a purpose in life. I thank Allah سبحانه و تعالى for all our blessings, big and small, those that we are aware of and those that we aren’t.
Let us be of people of gifts and not trials. Let us not be of those people who need ‘wake-up calls’ in order to remember God in our everyday lives. Ameen
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