My mobile phone rang when I was grabbing a box of tissue paper from the shelf at the supermarket yesterday afternoon. I grappled for the phone in my pocket, and glanced at the name on the screen: it was Bluewonder - what a surprise!
Unfortunately, I should have guessed that the phonecall would bring me sad news - a much dreaded news for anyone! Our mentor in Edinburgh, Dr Haji Zainuddin Jaffar, had passed away in Brunei - fighting cancer of the lungs at a rate most admired! (he'd be delivering his lectures a day after his chemo session; believing that he was still able to serve the ummah!)
Dr Zainuddin, or Ustaz Din as we knew him, was an intelligent and friendly man who portrayed qualities of a true leader. Many of us will never be able to forget his bright smile and warm heart. Together with his wife, Kak Ni'mah (the daughter of the late Mufti Brunei), they were always warm to us and offered us invaluable advice about almost everything under the sun: from studentship to marriage!
Even after returning home from abroad, Ustaz Din and family still kept in touch with us, despite everyone being all over the place and busy with our own schedules.
Thank you Ustaz, for being there for us and for shaping us into what we are today.
For more details of this respectful man, check out his eldest daughter's blog.