Feb 20, 2018 Letters
I would like to acknowledge my debt to an extraordinary man. His name is Dr. Mohammed Shahabuddeen – former Attorney General and World Court Judge.
Uncle Shahab, a man of par excellence. He was the spark of my intellect, the fire of my soul. He humbled me with his intelligence and his passion for knowledge and growth. He made us all Essequibians proud. He was an eminent world court jurist. His passing brought us sadness and irrevocable memories.
Uncle Shahab and his two brothers Moeen and Zahir frequented us at a little Mosque at Johanna Cecilia, Essequibo Coast. A humble man, he would pray with us on that hard floor covered by a discoloured carpet. He would exchange pleasantries with the old folks and encourage us the young ones to work hard at school. I can never forget him and his brother’s generosity. We ate from their hands during the rough days of poverty. My mom looked forward for their charity and Zakat, and Uncle Shahab never failed us – for that I am eternally grateful.
Recently, my daughter and her new family paid us a visit. I took them to Essequibo Coast so that they could connect to the place of my birth. I stopped at a small house at Adventure. When I told her this was where one of the world’s most brilliant legal minds came from, she was shocked and puzzled. She put her hand on her mouth and said ‘you are lying’.
Uncle Shahab has impacted my life tremendously, words fail me and adjectives are limited to aptly describe this gem – Dr. Mohammed Shahabuddeen, but I will still try.
He was full of grace. Grace is the life of talents. Grace is the breath of speech. Grace is the soul of action, and Grace is the ornament of ornaments.
Perfection is the adornment of our nature. But grace is the adornment of perfection itself. Without grace, beauty is lifeless. It surpasses valour, discretion, prudence, even majesty itself.
That was Dr. Mohammed Shahabuddeen – pure and amazing grace. It’s a pity that a fantastic, astonishing man like Dr. Shahabuddeen is only born once in a generation. He consumed my entire being through his extraordinary brilliance. His stunning words were the most dazzling pearl necklace around the neck of humanity.
Millions will stand in front of God-Almighty wearing his necklace and be granted salvation through the fact that his astonishing words brought them into contact with the Divine Author.
Additionally, when our contemporary historians write the annals of our history, Dr. Mohammed Shahabuddeen will be on top of the list of the most influential men of our times. He stood tall like a palm tree and was never swayed by the wind.
The joy of having known him trumps all the other temporary pleasures I ever had. I cannot bear the thought that if I were to subtract him out of my history, what my life would be like. Throughout our sojourn on earth, one person can touch our lives and we become better, much better.
Peace to the greatest jurist of the 21st century, as he has returned to the Divine Author, peace to a stern advisor, peace to a generous giver and peace to a friend.
May Allah – the Almighty, bless him with the highest station in paradise. May Allah – the Almighty, give his loved ones patience and perseverance in this time of grief.
Mr. Nazar Mohamed
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