It was Friday March 15, 2013 when a group of brothers decided to go on a little trip to Fayyum, a province located South of Cairo. Upon arrival, they decided to stop by a beautiful lake that was nearby and just enjoy the gorgeous scenery.
There was a small patch of land in the lake (it could perhaps be considered a small island), so everyone except one entered the water. Ferdous was among the ones who went in for a swim.
The water was about belly-high, the waves were very calm, and the golden Egyptian sun was shining above their heads. Moments after, the waves started becoming rough, the water that was belly-high started reaching their heads, and the sand underneath was sucking them downwards. It could have possibly been quicksand or something of that nature.
Everyone but three managed to make it back to shore. Ferdous was one of those three who were stuck. One strong courageous brother rushed to the rescue but was able to help out two.
They waited for seven hours hoping that his body would float back up. The taxi driver that had initially driven them to the sight, left saying that he was going to get some help, but instead he fled and never returned.
The brothers were now short one person, in the middle of nowhere, abandoned, terrified, confused, lost, hungry, thirsty, cellphones out of service, and absolutely had no way to communicate with anyone. Eventually, they received help from some very kind-hearted locals and were taken to the nearest police station.
At the police station, they informed the officers of what had happened and hoped to retrieve the body immediately. However, this was not possible as there was a sandstorm taking place.
The next morning, the police went to the scene of the accident and attempted to retrieve the body—but to no avail. After being unable to find the body they called up a person who arrived wearing normal clothes. With Allah’s help, the man was successful in finding the last brother’s body.
Everyone present could not hold their tears. You could just imagine the grief, the sorrow, the pain that these young men were going through seeing their beloved friend who was just with them hours earlier now no longer with them. It must have been beyond real to bear such a sight.
It was Ferdous. He did not make it. They said that his arms and legs were a little bent—the posture that he was in when he drowned was the posture that he was in when he was found. They also described his face as being filled with light, radiant, as if he was glowing.
Who will break the news to his family back in England? This was probably the most daunting of tasks for the brothers. I mean who would have the strength to muster up the right words and mind to spell out such a heartbreaking story?
One of them called and as he started to talk, he broke down weeping and could no longer continue. Another person had to take over in order to complete the conversation. Just imagine those words reaching the ears of Ferdous’ mother? His father? They have not seen him for over a year and were eagerly waiting for his visit that summer. Ferdous recently had a baby sister whom he was so excited to see for the first time.
I remember when I was living with him, he used to speak to his mother twice a day—once in the morning and once in the evening. He was so glad that I moved into his apartment and told his mom how happy he was now that he had an American roommate. Just imagine the last conversation he had with his mother. Did she know that that was the last time she was going to hear the voice of her beloved son? Did he know that that was the last time he would be speaking to his beloved mother?