~ A STORY OF REPENTANCE ~
This is an interesting account of a true story of Layla Al Helw, a Moroccan woman who had been afflicted by cancer, and the doctors were completely helpless to cure her. The best specialists of Europe had no hope for her recovery – even Layla herself lost all hope – but Allah Subhanuhu wa ta’ala (SWT) had the solution….
Sister Layla to tells of her ‘Imaan-boosting’ story in her own words – as it is originally a translation from French, please do excuse any grammatical errors. Translated, edited and abridged from the book titled: “Those who repented to Allah”, written by: Ibrahim Abdullah Al Hazemy.
“9 years ago I found out that I have a very dangerous disease, cancer.. everyone here knows even the mention of this name is scary!”.. My faith in Allah was very weak. I had completely drifted away from the remembrance of Allah SWT, and I used to think that one’s beauty and health shall remain all her life.. I never ever thought I would be afflicted by a disease like cancer.. and so when I found out, it did shake me so strongly from the inside.. I thought of escaping.. but, where? where in the world I can escape from this disease that is inside me whereever I go? I thought of committing suicide! but.. I was deeply in love with my husband and my children.. I did not think of Allah’s punishment if I committed such a sin.. because, as I told you before, I was far away from remembering Allah.. It was of Allah’s will that this disease was the reason for my guidance and the reason for guiding a lot of people as well..
I went to Belgium, and I visited many doctors there.. they told my husband that I first have to remove my breasts, then go on certain medication! I knew that such medication would make my hair fall and my eye lashes and brows to disappear.. it shall also grow a beard on my face and make the nails and teeth fall as well… so I completely refused this solution.. “I would rather die with my breasts, teeth and everything that Allah has created for me than to live without them”, I said… I asked the doctors to give me another medication course that is less effective.. and so they did..
I went back to Morocco.. I used the medication course and it did not have any bad effects on my body which made me so happy.. I thought; maybe the doctors were wrong and I didn’t have cancer… However, after about six months, I started losing weight quickly, my color started to change and I had a continuous pain.. My Moroccan doctor adviced me to go back to Europe, and so I did..
There, in Belgium, was the disaster!.. the doctors told my husband that the disease has spread all over my body, that the lungs were completely infected and that they now have no solution for my case… they said: “you better take your wife back to her country so that she dies there!”..
My husband got shocked… and instead of going back to Morocco, we went to France thinking that we might reach to a solution there…… But, we got in France, nothing more than what we achieved to in Belgium!
Finally, we decided to enter the hospital to remove my breasts through a surgical therapy and go on the strong medication (the doctors prescribed before).. However…. my husband thought of something that we had always forgot.. something that was always too far away from our thoughts, sadly.. God inspired my husband to take me to His holy house in Mecca.. maybe we can stand in front of Allah and ask Him to help us find away out of this problem…
We left Paris saying: “Allaho Akbar, La Ilaha Illa Allah” (Allah is the Greatest, No God but Allah)… I was very happy because this was the first time for me to visit the Holy House of Allah and see the “Kaaba”.. I bought a copy of the Quran from Paris, I did not even have that with me before that!…
And we went to Mecca… When I entered the holy mosque and first saw the Kaaba I cried a lot.. the sight, of the place of worship of the prophets of God, the Holy Mosque, the multitude of Muslims and Majesty, the Bounty and the sheer Splendour of my Lord, Allah…!
I was crieing because I couldnt face all this, because I regretted all those past years I had spent without praying and seeking Allah’s help… I said: “O’ Lord, the doctors were disabled to cure me… (You) have the cure for every disease.. All the doors are locked in front of me.. I have nothing left to seek except Your door, so please.. please Lord, don’t close Your door on me…” I kept on praying to Allah and making Dua’a while I was going around the Kaaba.. I asked Him not to disappoint me or send me back with empty hands…
As I said before, I was completely ignorant regarding the religion of Allah, so I went to the scholars there and asked them to guide me to the little books and supplications that can be easy to read.. They adviced me to read as much as I can from the Quran.. They have also adviced me to make a lot of “Tadhalloo” from Zamzam water (Tadhalloo: is to drink a lot of water until the water reaches your ribs)… They have also adviced me to mention Allah’s name a lot and make Salat on the prophet SAAWS.. In Allah’s holy place I felt very peaceful and relieved.. I asked my husband to allow me to not go back to the hotel and stay in the “Haram” all the time(the holy mosque).. He gave me his permission to stay there.. In the holy mosque, there were some Egyptian and Turkish sisters beside me, who saw me crying a lot.. They asked me about the reason.. I told them that I came to the holy house of Allah and I never thought I would love it that much! I also told them that I have cancer.. They kept beside me all the time and did not leave me.. they also took the permission of their husbands to stay with me at the mosque… During that time, we rarely slept.. we ate very little quantities of food.. but we drank a lot of “Zamzam” water.. And as the prophet SAAWS said, “Zamzam water is for whatever you drink it for, If you drink it for the intention of being cured, Allah SWT shall cure you.. If you drink it because you are thirsty, Allah shall quench you out of thirst…” etc. and so we didn’t feel hungry.. We kept on doing Tawaf (going around the Kaaba)continuously.. and read Quran a lot.. This was the way we were day and night..
When I came to the holy house of God I was very thin, and the upper part of my body and my breasts were filled with swells, blood and pus… This was because the cancer had completely spread all through the upper part of my chest… so the sisters kept on begging me to wash the upper part of my body with Zamzam water.. but I was very afraid to even touch it.. I was afraid to remember my sickness, because then that sickness shall occupy my thoughts instead of remembering Allah and worshipping Him in complete submission…. hence I was always washing my body without touching the part affected by cancer..
On the fifth day, my friends insisted that I should go over my whole body with Zamzam water.. at the beginning I refused.. but I felt something forcing me to do it! I slowly started trying to go through the parts I always avoided, over my chest.. but I became frightened again… then I felt this thing forcing me again.. I hesitated… and on the third turn, I forced my hand to the upper part of my body and finally went over my breasts! Something unbelievable happened.. there were no swells.. no blood.. no pus!!! I couldn’t believe what I felt.. I went over my breasts with my hand again, and it was true! Yes that was true!.. I shivered!! But I remembered that Allah SWT is capable of doing anything whatsoever….
I asked one of my friends to touch my body with her hand and look for the swells.. she did! ..and they all automatically shouted: Allahu Akbar.. Allahu Akbar!! I ran to my husband in the hotel… When I saw him, I tore my shirt up and said: “look at Allah’s Mercy!” I told him of what happened and he couldn’t believe it!!.. He cried and cried.. He said: “Do you know that the doctors swore that you shall die within a period of three weeks only”? .. I said: all fate is within the Hands and Will of Allah (Praised be He), no one knows what the future is holding for us except for Him SWT..
We stayed in the holy house of Allah for one week, I thanked Him for His un-countable Graces.. Then we went to the prophet’s mosque in Medina.. then we traveled to France..
There, the doctors were confused and surprised.. they nearly become crazy!! “Are you the same person?!”, they asked me.. I was very proud to say: YESS!! .. and this is my husband.. we have returned to God.. and I now fear nothing but Allah SWT.. The fate is from Him SWT…. They told me that mine is a very strange case.. they said they want to examine me again.. They did it again, and they found… nothing! Before, I could hardly breath because of the swells.. but when I went to Allah’s holy place and asked Him to cure me, the cancer has all gone…
I looked for the “seerah” (biography) of the Prophet(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) and his companions (may Allah be pleased with them).. I read them and I cried a lot.. I cried, as I was regretting all what I have missed in my past life.. I missed the love of Allah and His prophet(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam)… I, a humble slave of My Lord, who should have Loved Allah with all my soul, had spent my love, for all these years, on meaningless things of this world…. I cried for the time I have wasted away from Allah SWT, my Creator….. time which we should all spend worshipping Allah whilst loving Him truly, and loving the Messenger by following His Noble Example, his Sunnah and the Hadiths…
I ask Allah to forgive me, my husband and all Muslims… and to accept me as His sincere worshipper.
And when My slaves ask you concerning Me, then I am indeed near.I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when he calls on Me.So let them obey Me and believe in Me, so that they may be led right. (Qur’an 2:186)
The Prophet(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) has said that: ” Zamzam water is what one intends to drink it for. When one drinks it to be healed, Allah heals him; when one drinks it to be full, Allah makes him full; and when one drinks it to quench his thirst, Allah quenches it. “ [ Ahmad, and Ibn Majah]