By the winter of 2008, Rashid was noticeably looking and feeling frail. He physically had lost a lot of weight. He could not maintain his appetite and was unable to digest much of his food, due to his pancreas malfunctioning. He had minimized eating rich foods, including curries and fried foods as his stomach was unable to absorb these complex food groups. He ate primarily fruits and cereals. Additionally his heart had weakened slowing the blood supply to his legs and feet, which increasingly slowed him down.
He found that he was spending more and more time awake at nights, unable to sleep. He loved drinking coffee and was convinced that he should switch to decaffeinated, which he did and his problem improved marginally.
On the 4th and 5th February 2009 there was heavy snowfall in Glasgow and Rashid had remained home due to the fact that the snowfall on the driveway had prevented his car from being driven out.
On the 6th of February an old friend of Soofwan’s, Sijjad Rafiq, had dropped by to see how Rashid and Razia were doing. Sijjad was in the neighbourhood and kindly assisted Rashid with buying groceries from the local supermarket by accompanying him in his truck.
On the 7th of February, Rashid stayed at home with Razia and they enjoyed a light dinner together.
On the 8th February 2009 received phone calls from his sons and remarked to Rizwan how helpful Sijjad had been the day earlier. At about 6pm on the 8th he had prepared himself three boiled eggs for dinner and had said goodbye to Shahida who had come over to visit.
An hour later he experienced sharp abdominal pains. He immediately asked Razia to call Shahida who came over. Shahida arrived quickly, despite the snow, and called NHSDirect (24hr health hotline) explaining the systems. At this time Rashid advised it was heartburn, however shortly afterwards he started vomiting violently.
Shahida called the doctor who came an hour later and arranged for Rashid to be taken to hospital by ambulance. As Rashid’s condition worsened it was clear to Shahida that this was an emergency and increased pressure on the hospital to accelerate the arrival of the ambulance.
The ambulance arrived and took Rashid to the Victoria Infirmiry, arriving there at 11.30pm. After many tests it was discovered early the morning of the 9th that his pancreas had ruptured. The medical staff transferred him into the High Dependency Ward around 5am on the 9th February where he was kept while they assessed the impact to his organs.
While in hospital he was visited by his three daughters; Shahida, Robina and Rehela and his wife Razia on the morning and afternoon of the 9th. Rashid appeared to be in good spirits on the 9th February. Although he was unable to speak he could indicate by hand movements that he felt better. However by the evening on the 9th February it appeared that the chronic pancreatitis had affected his other organs and he needed immediate intensive care and there was not that facility available at the Victoria Infirmary.
Late on the evening of the 9th February the doctors had learned there was a bed available at the Stobhill Hospital in the Intensive Care Ward and in the early hours of the 10th February he was moved to Stobhill.
Shahida immediately informed the brothers Shahbaz and Soofwan (in Virginia, US) and Rizwan (on travel in South Africa) that Rashid’s condition had worsened significantly and he was on Life Support. By midday of the 10th February the toxins released from the pancreas rupture had resulted in multi organ failure. He was now on dialysis for his kidney failure and a ventilator for his lung failure. Immediately the three sons took the next flight to Glasgow arriving at around 9am on the morning of the 11th February at Glasgow Airport. Helped by the three sisters they arrived at Stobhill Hospital, Intensive Care Ward, at 10am .
By now Rashid was in a terminal state and barely conscious. He was fighting the toxins with all his strength helped by the heavy drugs. He was desperately willing himself to stay alive to see his whole family around him.
With his six children and Razia by his bedside, he felt he had completed his mission, and slipped away from us peacefully at 12.10pm on the 11th February 09.
It was a dignified end for a most dignified man.
Rashid was taken to the Central Mosque and was washed in the Islamic way by his sons on the 12th February and laid in a coffin on the evening of the 12th of February. Following the Friday prayers at Central Mosque held on the 13th February, his Janazah prayer was carried out. It was attended by many friends and well-wishers who came from all over Scotland and further a field. The family was overwhelmed by the amount of support provided by the whole Glasgow community and by the Mosque Committee.
It was clear that Rashid was well-loved by everyone he came into contact with. His personality and love for life left an impact on all who knew him and he was an inspiration to all of us.
May Allah (swt) grant our father a place in Paradise – Ameen.