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Ali Banat: The Gift of Cancer

by in Soul on 29th May, 2018

ali banat

Ali Banat was diagnosed with cancer three years ago, and his life changed ever since. He has shared his journey with the Ummah online and we have witnessed his remarkable work over the years. Last night at Maghrib he returned to our almighty lord. إِنَّا لِلّهِ وَإِنَّـا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ‎  (Inna Lilah wa inna ilayhi raji’oun) We belong to Allah and to him we shall return.  (2:156) It gives us comfort as an ummah when a soul is taken during Ramadan. May Allah grant him the highest rank in Jannah, and give him a warm, and beautiful resting place for the good he brought to so many.

Reflections from Brother Ali Banat’s journey with cancer are frequently shared on his Instagram page.

He was diagnosed with 7 months to live, staring death in the face.

I am sure that most Muslims will have seen the very raw and heartbreaking video posted by brother Ali Banat on a number of occasions, a lot of people from other faiths and beliefs have also been touched by his journey with Cancer. He believed in that moment that his end was near and preparing to meet his Maker, he humbly asked for our forgiveness.


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For those of you that may not have heard of Ali, he is a young man who, in his own words, was “gifted” with a stage 4 cancer throughout his body. He was given just a few months to live but took this great test as an opportunity to change his life. Upon receiving this news he immediately sold his business, gave up his lavish lifestyle and prized possessions and began a new mission to give up his Dunya and work for his Akhira. Ali has humbly dedicated the remainder of his life to helping those who are far less fortunate than him and in doing so, set up the charity MATW Project (Muslims Around The World) which has already changed the lives of so many.

Brother Ali’s video sparked a viral outpouring of dua’s and well wishes across all the world and never have the words of the following Hadith felt so strong;

The Prophet (pbuh) said “The believers in their affection, compassion and love for one another are like one single body. If a part of it suffers from pain, the whole body will suffer in pain.” [Muslim]

I think for a moment, everyone felt, having witnessed such an intimate moment in a person’s life, that we were in this with him, looking death starkly in the eyes. It reinforced what we already know, but rarely contemplate, that our last breath can be taken at any given moment, only Allah knows. However, by the power of the Ummah’s dua and through the sheer mercy and wisdom of Allah SWT, Ali Banat made a recovery from this episode and was able, as planned, to continue on his journey for the MATW Project to, in his words; “complete the dreams of brothers and sisters around the world,” for three more years.

So what lessons can the Ummah take from this experience and from this and for the sake of Ali as he strived in the path of Allah, how can we as individuals move forward from here positively after knowing about his touching story?

Have Tawwakul

Strengthen your relationship with Allah strengthen your heart and soul. Having Tawwakul is reminding yourself that He is the ONLY one we can trust in. A lot of people believe that they have Tawwakul but become sick and immediately hand their lives over to the doctors to “cure” them, by every mean to seek help and go to the GP but also make dua for it. We have to have complete faith in Allah, in his power, his might and ultimately in His wisdom that he truly knows what is best for us.

There is healing in the Quran

All the cures for our body are written for us in the holy Quran, from black seed oil, dates, to honey, to ZamZam water. There is no harm in accepting the medicines that are offered to us of course and certain medical conditions need specific medicine but our core and ongoing health we could incorporate these into our diet.

Build your Akhira

Ask yourself what you are doing NOW to secure your home in Jannah? Whilst we focus on pursuing and enhancing our careers, buying houses, getting married, going to the gym are we pursuing the Akhira within all of these activities? Is out intention renewed? Are we aware of the main objective?  Take a moment to re-focus every day.

Is out intention renewed? 

Are we aware of the main objective.

Take a moment to re-focus every day.

What legacy will you leave behind?

Think about how people will remember you, what will they say about your character, about the contributions that you made. You don’t have to set up a charity, build a masjid or feed the poor in order to leave a legacy. Although all of these are noble things to do, your legacy is about the impact that you can have on people’s lives; that start with your family, your neighbours, your community or the ummah at large. Use the characteristics and skills that Allah has bestowed upon you and make your mark. We have all been given specific skills and traits to use for the betterment of the world.

We ask Allah SWT to grant our dear brother Ali Banat paradise gardens beneath which rivers flow, we ask that he fulfilled his purpose here on earth, and is rewarded with the highest rank in Jannah. We thank him for sharing his journey and reminders with us all for the sake of Allah.

Sarah Yataghane

Sarah Yataghane

Sarah, a mummy of two, blogs about health and life with two lovely daughters. She is passionate about building communities and uplifting women around her.