Allhamdulilah. The Hokkaido Islamic Society was established on September 13th 1992, by our elder brothers, but its actual start was a little while before that. Its rooting was inspired by A little girl named Khadija, who passed away at birth on January 14th 1993. (2:156 Who say, when afflicted with calamity: “To Allah We belong, and to Him is our return” ).
Khadija was supposed to have been sent home for her final rest, but based on information we received we came to believe she could be buried here in Hokkaido.
However, due to a mutual lack of understanding between our two cultures, we soon found ourselves facing many obstacles. Back in 1993 we were an isolated Islamic Society, lacking guidance, support and experience. Because of this, may God forgive us all, we lost valuable time in looking for a cemetery for Khadija. By this time the airlines were refusing to allow us to send her home unless she was infused with substances to preserve her body. It might have been possible to force matters in order for her to be returned home, but that would have left lots of sad memories and grief in both her family and our minds and hearts.
After much effort, we finally managed to find a grave for her in Yoichi. We had all the burial documents necessary, clearance and the burial charge of 300.000 yen arranged as requested.
Unfortunately, the owners of the cemetery interrupted all our burial plans on Saturday a few hours before burial. The owners reason was that the cemetery partners could not decide how much we had to pay. God blessed us with patience, as we were forced to wait another four hours in their office, only to be shocked and told that they need more time and that we will be contacted again on monday after the weekend.
Being very hurt and disappointed and at a loss on what to do next we returned home, keeping Baby Khadija preserved with dry ice. By Tuesday the burial partners added to our grief and agony by informing us that the burial conditions had been changed and we must pay 1,700,000 yen.
On the 8th day following the death of Khadija, we were given the number of a man named Mr. Kashiwara. Upon explaining our situation to him, he scolded us and ordered us to immediately bring the baby to him for burial.
Due to our previous unfortunate experience with the cemetery partners, we were a little cautious with Mr. Kashiwara, and asked him to confirm all burial conditions and burial charges first. This seemed to anger him further and he urged us not to worry about prices and contracts. That if necessary he would dig the grave for Khadija with his own two hands. He instructed us to take the first flight to Tokyo, then get on the train to Yamanashi, and if we informed him which train we were on he would find us.
May God bless him for taking such an ordeal off our backs. We later on discovered that the man was Br Yusaf Kashiwara a Muslim brother. The father and the coffin got the last flight to Tokyo, took the first train the next morning and were met as promised by Br Kashiwara on the train.
Today Baby Khadija rests in peace in Yamanashi at the cemetery in Inzan. This experience has left a scar in our hearts, but thanks to Allah, to Br Yusaf Kashiwara, and to all who supported us.
We were able to live past this ordeal. We will always regret our inexperience and will always ask for forgiveness from God and the family of the deceased. What we have learnt from this experience is that we Muslims must build a strong society regardless of color or nationality, uniting for Allah the Quran his words in mosques and working together for our communities.