( At Khaif ul Nayeem - Hutaib Mubarak, making best of the barakat received by reading from the Ashara Vaaz Mubarak - 1429H)
(Climbing Zimarmar and getting the sharaf of azan at the masjid)
Years of longing and prayers culminated to fruition when Air Jazeera touched down at S'ana airport, late in the afternoon on 3rd Oct: 2008. After a comfortable night stay at rubaat, our group was told that early morning we will be taking the exiting and difficult trek to Mount Zimarmar.
Although I was armed with a walking stick, climbing mount Zimarmar was out of question for me, on account of my medical disability. I had been running fever the previous night, so although I had secretly wished that I would undertake the trek, I was also not sure how the day will unfold.
After some theatrical scenes , of arguments, hand gesticulations. holding up the Quran and pulling out the dagger, which only the local Yemini are at good at, as our group watched in awe and fear, of our having to return back from the foot of the mountain, where some local leader was telling us to return back, our driver -Hasan Al-gairi came running to our SUV exclaiming 'khalas ! Khalas!' For a moment we thought, that's the end, we will have to return back. But 'khalas' signified that the deal has been struck, and we proceeded.
After a few minutes ride, we came out of the SUV and the climb began. Before I proceed further, herein below is my medical report, which would be of interest to Medical Professionals. As for my MRI report, I distinctly recall the words of the physio therapist, who after examining had commented, that I should not bend forward, should not walk much, and utmost care should be taken, or else I will be completely bed ridden.
‘The findings are suggestive of sacralisation of L5 with degenerative changes in lumbar spine. Postero lateral disc herniation at L1, L2 to L4, L-5 are compressing the thecal sac, cauda equine nerve roots and both neural foramina with encroachment on both exiting L4 nerve roots. There is secondary central canal stenosis at these levels, particularly at L-2 L3 & L4 levels. Spinal canal at L5- S1 is narrowed due to sacralisation. ‘
Dr. S.K. Sharma MD
If that is not enough I am also afflicted with arthritic in both knees, and many have suggested the most currently ‘in thing’ knee joint replacement surgery.
I am thinking of forwarding my Zimarmar mountain climb video clip to Dr. S.K. Sharma, and await his comments. An orthopedic surgeon at Apollo had told me, a year back, that if I do not go for immediate open spine surgery, I will be in real trouble, as my condition is degenerative, and with passing time, I will not be able to walk, as the nerves will slowly die.
As I slowly made my way up, the fresh mountain breeze may have steeled my resolve, not to give up, give it a try, for at the top I will be blessed with the ziyarat of three Doat Mutlaqeen, and be able to say my Zohar namaz in the Masjid. I surprised my own self, by climbing the mountain, being steady at the steep bends, and keeping with the group.
As I climbed higher, confidence grew, and at times I wondered, how is this possible ? I am blessed to have a son -in-law, who is a MD-FRCP and it bemused me to think, that I was not adhering to his medical advice. As I climbed up and up, the trek became more and more perilous, and my family were also amazed. All those who know me, are well aware, how difficult it is for me to walk, a pronounced limp is there, and much effort is needed on part. As my walk and the difficulty is apparent to any one who sees me, I receive countless advice from well wishers, and at times from unknown passerby also. It ranges from open spine surgery, yoga, Ayurveda, physiotherapy, homeopathy, you name it.
After the MRI was done, I had made arz in Hazrat Aliyah Imamiyah seeking advice to go for open spine surgery, and was blessed with a reply that I will get 'shifa' which implied that I should not go for surgery.
Finally after an exhilarating climb I finally managed to reach the Masjid and was greeted by the group on my feat, and received the honor of giving azan for zohar namaz.
What is the point in sharing about my experience and my exploits. Is it self promotion ? Am I seeking self praise or accolades ? At this age I need none of all these. What it is than ? Why am I writing this post ?
The reason for writing this post is based on the firm foundation of 'shukr'.
As I slowly made my way to the top of mount Zimarar, I became aware of my medical condition, and introspected on what has made this climb possible in spite of my disability and the frightening medical reports. With each step leading towards the summit, I remembered all the terminally ill mumineen cases, that I had come across, their fight to overcome the pain, the vortex of clinical trials and tests, repeated dialysis, chemos, aggressive medical treatments, days and months on end on life support systems, the medical vortex that completely drained the financial resources and the spirits of the family, whose member was unfortunately inflicted with the disease.
Families who were barely able to support their livelihood, being made to run from pillar to post, to arrange for rising financial bills, knowing fully well the end result. I had expressed my concerns in my previous post on the subject. The need for the community to come forward and help those, who need no more than the best of Nursing facilities, hospices that will provide comfort and relieve pain. Hospices established near the ziyarat centres like Burhanpur, Mandvi, Hasanfir etc: where those 'lailaz' patients get the best of 'ilaz' of clean enviorment, best medical attention (not aggressive medical therapies ) human love and understanding and care.
Youngsters can do volunteer khidmat, while staying at the roza mubarak. The possibilities are endless. There is a need for joint effort.
Hope my post will evoke a positive responce from, experts in the field of medical practice, who are interacting with a number of such cases.
Now that I have put into public domain my medical disability and my feat of climbing Mount Zimarmar, I seek answers from you, as to what made it possible. For I am sure, in the answers you will provide,. will be found the solution to the treatment of coping with permanent disability, and life threatening diseases
There are many things in life, which we cannot merely 'wish away' but at least we can learn how to cope with it, and Allah Willing, with the Doa Mubarak of Aqa Moula (TUS) with right guidance and advice, we can also succeed in overcoming it.
I hope my post will evoke a positive response, and on a personal note, if this idea and dream of mine, is carried to the next level, my climbing of Zimarmar will have served the purpose.
Hope and pray that something positive evolves from my climb of Mount Zimarmar.
Khaif ul Nayeem - all alone in contemplation, when the group had left. This is the real beauty of Yemen. You feel so small, surrounded by mountains. Solitutude and peace surrounds you. You get an opportunity to go back in time, and feel how it would have been when Syedna Hatim Moula (RA) would be imparting 'sabak' to the fortunate few assembled in the shade of the cool enviorns of the 'khaif', surrounded by mountains, on all sides.