16 September, 2019

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Irfan Hafiz- The Indefatigable ‘Silent Fighter’ Whom The Nation Lost!

By Mohamed Harees –

Lukman Harees

Nothing stops the man who desires to achieve. Every obstacle is simply a course to develop his achievement muscle. It’s a strengthening of his powers of accomplishment’Thomas Carlyle

It was days ago that the nation received the distressing news of the sad demise of  Irfan Hafiz, a differently abled ‘keyboard warrior’ as he was referred to, about whom most came to know and discovered how talented he was, only fairly recently. It was not many months ago that  Irfan rose into prominence when the local media and social media highlighted his inspiring story- a silent fighter, who despite being completely bedridden suffering from a rare disease called Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) for the past twenty six years, typed entirely on his iPhone with just the little strength in one finger and authored three booksSilent Struggle and Moments Of Merriment (Stories of children ) and another – his third  book Silent Thoughts. Sounds unbelievable and stunning! but it was true; a life episode of an amazing young man, who was God conscious, persevering and who never gave up amidst life’s hard struggles. The story certainly lifted many distressed hearts, raised eyebrows and provided many motivational lessons and a healing touch of renewed faith  particularly to thousands if not millions, of youth both in Sri Lanka and even beyond, who may be losing hope in a gloomy world with depleting opportunities for them to forge ahead. Irfan sadly lost his long battle with the disease and passed away very peacefully at the age of 37, having answered the Call from His Creator, leaving his fast expanding fan and admirer network in deep grief and extreme sadness. To God we belong; to him shall we Return. 

I thought of penning some reflections from a greatly uplifting life story of  Irfan, who has left an indelible mark in the annals of time, by surmounting many obstacles to reach an enviable pinnacle of achievement in the area of authorship and writing, of Himalayan proportions. 

Irfan Hafiz

Irfan, was born in Matara in 1981 and was the third child of eight children. His father Hafiz Issadeen  is a retired Principal, an administrative officer and an Editor of “Arumbu” Educational Magazine. Mr. Issadeen, the dad was an inspiring figure too, and did not give up on his mission to help others afflicted with this dreaded disease DMD. He was the president of Parent Project MD-Sri Lanka and was instrumental in organising the first ever National Muscular Dystrophy Parents Convention in Sri Lanka, at which event, all important latest developments in the medical research on DMD and other MD diseases were shared.

Irfan maintained a regular flow of motivational ideas and shared inspiring facets out of his hard struggle on his FB Page under the name ‘Silent Fighter’. They capture the immense struggles he has been going through which indeed are really inspirational. Some of them I wish to share here. He said,

Since it was informed that DMD had no permanent cure, my parents were going through a very complicated period. Our neighbours and relatives had started to drive us mad with their various suggestions and advice. My parents had no option but listening to some of those suggestions. I was taken to native doctors, spiritual healers and even to a sorcerer but every effort went in vain. I had to miss many months of schooling while I was getting treatment from a native doctor’.

‘I became chair-bound at twelve years old and since then my life became very boring and some kind of frustration crept in to my mind. My movements were restricted and the things I wanted to do became almost impossible. It made me very irritated. However, I did not realize that I had developed an inner frustration in my mind but it came out in my behaviour..’ 

‘The weakness of the muscles that help breathing is caused by the progressive loss of strength in all my muscles and it is one of the main affects of DMD. Since then, I spent the most of my time in bed and did not get on to wheelchair often. As days passed, I became totally bedridden’…’I transformed in to a matured boy along with the time of woeful life. I could slowly but clearly realize what was in store for me in the future. My father used to sit beside me and would explain what life is all about and how we must prepare ourselves to face this life….During this period, when everything looked gloomy for my family, there dawned a distant light! My paternal uncle found about the Duchenne Parent Project in USA through internet. He got our family registered on behalf of my father…’

‘The progressive muscle weakness due to DMD, leads to serious medical problems, particularly issues relating to the heart and lungs. As my lungs got weaker, things became very hard for me. Whenever I had cold and phlegm, breathing got worsened. I felt hard to cough as my lungs are weak. Thanks to my Lord, my life was saved when I had to go through a very difficult period..’

The firm belief in my religion and the enormous trust in my creator have let me build a strong will power to accept the tough challenges of this life happily, Alhamdulillah. I’m strong enough to say that any difficulties or grievances would never forsake either my courage or faith at any moment, at anytime. I sincerely think that Duchenne has taught me patience and tolerance in my life. Duchenne has united parents all over the world. Duchenne has helped us identify good people in this world. Duchenne made us to know that still there are a lot of amazingly generous men and women in this world. Duchenne has specially helped me to identify true friends of life!’… Great story indeed!

It was really amazing how he persevering he was , to have authored three books nevertheless, just by using one finger and being bedridden and on oxygen. I listened to the great inspirational speech he made at the launch ceremony of his last book, lying on a stretcher. The gems  he shared at this event brought tgears to my eyes, and may have surely led the audience too to tears- the way he expressed how he overcame the difficult patches of his life to achieve what  he achieved and the great trust and confidence he had on the Divine mercy was phenomenal and beyond words.   

He was thus indeed a positive role model not just for those with different abilities, but even for those without as well. He helped others to learn the challenging art of coping and achieving in the face of adversity. Irfan indeed leaves an abiding legacy which will continue to inculcate apt motivating lessons to all of those so inclined to move ahead in life, which will stand relevant, way beyond his short but ‘qualitatively rich’ span of life which sadly ended recently.    

May Almighty Lord grant him the highest stations in afterlife and may his supporting family be blessed with the highest levels of patience and Divine mercy and reward . 

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Latest comments

  • 25
    1

    ( Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un )
    “We belong to God and to Him we shall return.”

    O Allah, he is under Your care and protection so protect him from the trial of the grave Indeed You are faithful and truthful. Forgive and have mercy upon him, surely You are The Oft-Forgiving, The Most-Merciful

    • 2
      23

      Rafeek,

      Now that you’ve begged to Allah, there is nothing to worry. He should start walking ASAP. Allah will make sure he does. Ask the Doctors to go home and relax. Allah will do the rest now that you asked him. The most the most the most Merciful Allah will get this bugger going.

      • 19
        2

        Rtd. Lt. Reginald Shamal Perera:

        As long as uncivilized ones like you are around, China will continue to give us loans with surety that we will be able to settle with our lands and properties. EU will continue to blackmail with not-so-useful GSP+, India will manufacture more tuk-tuks and sell us as much as they want, Arab countries will get more slaves from SL to wash their toilets, and rest of the world will have fun time mocking at a backward poorest nation with such huge debt burden.

        Keep up, God has created people like you for a reason

        • 7
          0

          Well said !

      • 12
        0

        You retired bugger, you beggars won’t spare even a dead human w/o your racial taunts. You will rot soon for all to see, dirty skunk.

      • 1
        0

        Jesus is coming he will deliver the message form ALLAH the Universal GOD.

      • 6
        0

        Rtd. Lt. Reginald Shamal Perera is a living proof that tigers don’t eat rats

  • 38
    0

    He is my son. Thank you for writing about him. He was indeed an exceptionally strong-willed individual. The speech referred here was delivered during the launching of his first book in 2012 – not the last book. He was not on oxygen and was on his movable bed – not a stretcher.

    • 11
      0

      Dear Mr issadeen
      Thank you for your correction. He indeed was an inspiring personality. So I thought of writing about him. If u are based in dharga town then you must be knowing my father Harees master who was at alhambra school.

    • 10
      0

      Mr Issadeen He was really inspiring, Deserves to be mentioned and admired . You should be proud of him.
      As you may be from Dharga Town , you may know my father Harees Master who was at Alhambra.

    • 10
      0

      Death is not extinguishing the light; it is only putting out the lamp because the dawn has come.

      Rabindranath Tagore

    • 2
      0

      Subahanallah- Glory to Allah

      Best Muslims in terms of their eeman (faith) were the anbiyah (prophets) and those like them. They were those who endured the harshest of trials and tribulations especially tailor made by The Creator of the seven Heavens and Earths and everything within it.

      I know Bro Irfan had his share of his tailor made trial, it seems he took it well. I sincerely wish he passed the exam.

      “[He] who created death and life to test you [as to] which of you is best in deed – and He is the Exalted in Might, The Forgiving” Al Quran 67:2

      Nishthar Idroos
      Toronto ON

  • 4
    31

    [edited out]

    • 23
      1

      What a horrible human being you are, commenting so brutally when a disaster has struck this lovely family. Irrespective of what nationality he is, we Srilankans should be proud of Irfan and his family.
      I am really ashamed of you as a Sinhalese. Army should be taking away your Lt. Post. Curse on you

      • 16
        0

        Dhesapremiya,

        Rtd. Lt. Reginald Shamal Perera, a human-being? Let’s help him become one

      • 3
        0

        This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

    • 21
      1

      What a horrible animal ( in the shape of a human being) you are; specially when you have been a Lt in the army as you claim . I am ashamed of you as a Sinhalese. Can you ever say such a thing to a person like Irfan who despite his disabilities have done so much and still you had the audacity to say those horrible things. Irfan is a pride to all of us . Change your name to Sunaka Perera

    • 17
      1

      Retarded Lt. RSP – Why did the authorities release you so soon?

    • 14
      1

      R L RSP
      Stupid man. Only comment suitable.

    • 1
      21

      Lt. Perera is right.

      Also, isn’t Lakman Harees aware of thousands of children, men and women from other communities dying of similar conditions, unnoticed by people like him? Clearly there is something more than the disease that is being praised here. f

      Harees’ condition is called bigotry.That major disease oMuslim bigotry needs to be rooted out before looking at physical disease.

      • 19
        0

        Focus on the person, not his race you racist moron. People of your type should be treated for mental Condition.and sent to an asylum
        What a pathetic character you are.

      • 7
        2

        Sunanda Hewage

        “Lt. Perera is right” – Why not take him home then?

      • 10
        0

        Another bugger with hate syndrome like the other son of a bitch talking religion. Shame on you animals calling yourself human.

      • 1
        0

        Sunanda Hewage.
        Another stupid comment.
        Get lost, man.

    • 18
      1

      Rtd, Lt.

      What a pathetic character full of Hate you are. Where did you learn to Hate so much? Even in retirement, the Hatred you have acquired has not left you.

  • 0
    16

    Mr Lukman Harees: I am not saying about the individual who passed away. What does your religion says when an individual passed away when he is very young. Why did Allah do that ?

  • 9
    1

    Shame in the name of humanity @_Shamal ,what a heatless creature you are .

    Thank you for sharing This sad ,very sad ,heart breaking story Mr.Harees ,how true the scripture clearly mentions there are even hard rocks that Breaks open and from it gushes water ,but there are men who’s hearts are even worse than rocks a fine example of Shamal.

    What sprit ,how inspiring ,what a great soldier .
    He is indeed a great inspiration to all those who are differently able.

    His Naffs was perfect (Inshala) from God we come and to him we be returning .

    May he be blessed in the company of the chosen one.

  • 13
    1

    I really appreciate all members of this family ..
    Irfan did not give up his hope and faith in predestination..He happily accepted what has been written upon him by Allah..
    He did it mourn about it ..
    In HAVE not seen a family of patience and tolerance like this in my life ..
    Allah tests people in different ways ..
    ALL WHAT I could say is that this family passed the divine testing with a great success .
    They are good example for the entire nation..
    His creation of three books are good example how people could use their time and energy in life .
    May Allah reward him with Jennath firdaws.
    May Allah make it easy for them ..

  • 15
    1

    Shame on you Perera.
    What kind man are you ?
    You DO not have any human remorse to share people sadness in life ..
    You are an animal in the name of human or devil in the name of human .

  • 10
    1

    I am. shocked to note all.most zero comments on this sad story , except the ruthless Shamal Perara’s

    More than 24 hours no appearance of comments from any CT readers condemning Shamal Perara ,
    ——

  • 14
    1

    @ Shamal Perara ,
    ——
    So how many women you raped ?_ how many babies you burnt alive ? How many innocent civilian men you slaughtered ?

    Please tell us your sadistic games during the War …

    • 2
      13

      We did all that during War time so that loosers like you could breathe another day and still blame us for it.

      You know what the LTTE did to you fellas in the Jaffna peninsula. They would have done the same throughout the Island to all you Muslims if not for Army soldiers like us. Be grateful even for a minute, you ungrateful piece of S.

      • 1
        0

        What is this

        Sri Lankan military official from the UK after he was filmed making “throat-cutting gestures” to Tamils protesting outside the embassy in London.

      • 5
        0

        That’s why you were paid for. And u never came with the intention of saving mother Lanka. You came to feed urself

      • 4
        0

        Rtd. Lt. Reginald Shamal Perera:

        When in uniform, that is your duty to safeguard the citizens from terrorists, it is not a favor.

        • 2
          0

          Fathima.
          Y. apt comment.
          This Rtd. Lt.is a fake.

  • 16
    2

    Sharma . You dont digest a Muslim young man’s talent and dedication in achieving plausible achievments even though he was a disable man.. Shame on you Boothaya..

    Sinkeleya like you take money forcefully from Muslims and Kirisitians , thamil to run dansal and other usless festival.. You talk about charity.. ?
    You are just an old Kasippu boothaya like Induthtuva kaavi barbarian who kills human for cows and buffaloes.. . Give birth like dirty rats .

  • 3
    0

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

  • 4
    1

    May Almighty God forgive his sins and shower his Mercy….parents and family has showered their love which had made him to live with courage.
    Thank you for publishing this story…

  • 2
    0

    Jesus is coming he will deliver the message form ALLAH the Universal GOD.

  • 5
    0

    Shamal you shxt hxlx .

    Don’t you dare talk on behalf of the whole armed force you pig .it’s pigs like you who were taken in without proper background check who ruined the end of the war and the good name of the forces ,
    Had you no nose you will be eating shxt you pxg

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