A Daughter’s Tribute to a Father

 

Assalamo ‘Alaikum,

 

Thank you all so much for taking the time to join us in prayer today and for supporting us in these difficult times. It’s truly amazing to see just how many people came to share this tragic loss with us.

Baba always told me that your closest friends are your family, and though I would laugh at him when he said that, he proved his point, because I know today, I have lost not only my father, but also my best friend.

A friend who was always busy helping other people, so immersed in doing whatever he could to help others that he would often forget about everything else when faced with someone else’s problem or dilemma. Sometimes I would call him and he would be talking on more than one phone at a time switching lines, telling me he would call me back. My sister and I were always frustrated with him saying he never spent enough time with us. He always felt bad hearing this and would soon make it up to us in any way he could.

But he made sure to let us know that he was not helping those people for his own sake, but for the sake of Allah (SWT). He said he felt closer to Allah (SWT) when he was given the chance to be there in someone’s time of need and reminded us that we never know when Allah (SWT) would accept and reward us for our actions. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to see how greatly Allah (SWT) rewarded him for his kindness and compassion, but my family and I are able to appreciate the great love and respect for him Allah (SWT) has bestowed in people’s hearts.

My father would always joke that he wouldn’t be able to throw me a graduation party, because he would never be able to find a place big enough to host all the people he knew and couldn’t narrow down a guest list because he would not be able to refuse anyone an invitation either. He definitely had an idea of the great number of people he knew, but he himself could never have imagined just how many people’s lives he truly impacted.

The beautiful thing is he had a special relationship with each and every person here today. We are all here to remember the same person, Asif Syed, but we all remember our own Asif. He made a unique connection with every person he met – from children to teenagers to the elderly. Whether it was advising people about college, marriage, business or coping with illness, he made sure he spoke to each person as a friend, not as someone who knew more or was better in any way.

I hope each and every one of you treasures those unique memories you had with him and finds it in your hearts to forgive any of his mistakes. Because I know I will strive to continue those relationships he worked so hard to establish, to cherish the kindness and compassion he valued so much and to become what he believed was most important in life – an honest, decent, human being.

Jazak Allah Khair.

Sabrina Syed

(Remarks of late Asif Syed’s daughter at his soyem at ISOC on December 12)

 

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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