Perhaps one of the most eccentric acquaintances I ever made with anyone was my omni encounter with a young Canadian guy named Adam, our mutual friend (Maher) introduced me to him when he came to reside in Jordan working as a pilot for a newly established charter airliner.
Beyond the hype that surrounded his death, the portraits in glossy English magazines & the instantaneous mourning of the circle of people he was surrounded with (with few exceptions of the sincere few), allow me tell the story of Adam, the one that my humble self was subtly part of, yet its profound effect upon me, still trickles down to the very essence of my consciousness!
The gathering took place at Adam’s home in late spring’04, it was a very interestingly located classic old-Ammani style house opposite the books@cafe, vividly over looking downtown, and because it was a purposely arranged gathering, there was an uncomfortable sense of what’s-next? to it at start, but the easy-going & engaging charisma of Adam overcame this stall.
Wanderer Adam was seeking answers or perhaps directions; he had far too many unanswered (or unsatisfyingly answered) questions about existence, life & so on, the typical set of things you’ll frequently dwell upon if you reflect upon yourself and the life you’re leading (or being dragged all along in it).
We conversed in a very relaxed manner, beyond any characteristics you may attribute to the fact that I’m an adherent of Islam & he was closer to agnosticism at the time.
The discussion was left with loose ends, no prevailing thoughts or opinions, just a civilized exchange of thoughts... EDITED*
Days went by, and I never heard of the guy again, until a couple of months later, when I called my friends back home around Eid-Al-Fitr time the following Ramadan of Autumn'04, when they informed me of his death, which happened when his airplane crashed during an air-show (I think it was a rehearsal) at Wadi Rum the first day of Eid…
That piece of news was momentous on its own, the inevitable reoccurrence of death never fails to overwhelmingly strike me even when I'm not acquainted with the deceased, but that was not the only piece of news I was told, my friends informed me that Adam embraced Islam during Ramadan… May Allah rest him in piece & have mercy upon us!
A Few days later, Maher called me and told me about the encounter he had with the Shiekh who led the funeral prayer at Ibad-Al-Rahman mosque in Sweifieh, who asked about the identity of the deceased, he was told it’s Adam, he was astonished & reiterated that this new convert joined him throughout Ramadan in Taraweeh prayers (the prolonged Ramadan-exclusive optional prayer after Isha)!
Please understand that I’m not trying to promote Islam here blunt manner, despite the fact that the story itself is profoundly influential, yet if one can contemplate the human story line, in which a guy from a distant land, travels halfway across the world to a tiny foreign land, whilst having lived the bulk of his life either adhering to a certain axiom or wondering (for the most part) about his existence & the truth beyond matter & sincerely attempting to give meaning to his livelihood!
And then, far away from where he considered home, he acquaints himself with a new religion, a way of life or a philosophy (whatever floats your boat; “open-minded” claimants) and he embraces & practices it for the rest of the few days remaining in his life!
It was an undisputed manifestation of the prophet Moh’d -pbuh- hadith:
Call me mystically emotional, but I shiver when I think of Adam & this hadith at the same time.
I’m not sure if his parents knew of the conviction he carried with him to the afterlife... EDITED*in order to bury him at a Moslem cemetery observing the Islamic rituals as he would’ve deserved after his body was sent back to Canada.
At any measure, this was not the average numb existence of your average person! This was not onw of your average hyped up converts stories that are usually told rhetorically! It was simply the story of Adam… and from my humble perspective, it was The story of Adam: the one day friend, the one month Moslem and the martyr.
* EDITED : Edited on the 10th of June upon the suggestion of reader Lamer, thank you.