KOZHIKODE – Praises and blessings are pouring in for a Hindu woman doctor who recited the Islamic prayer for a Muslim patient on the latter’s deathbed at a private hospital in Pattambi in Palakkad.
The patient, who was suffering from Covid pneumonia, was on ventilator for more than two weeks and her relatives were not allowed in the ICU.
“The patient was taken out of the ventilator on May 17 as her conditions worsened. As doctors felt that there was very little they could do in such a condition, we informed the situation to the relatives,” Dr Rekha Krishna, who is working at Sevana Hospital and Research Centre, said.
“As I approached her, I felt that she was having some problems in leaving the earthly abode. Then, I slowly recited Kalima (La Ilaha Illalla, Muhammadur Rasululla) in her ears. I could see her taking a few deep breaths and then she flatlined,” said Dr Rekha.
“My act was not planned. It happened at the spur of the moment. I was born and brought up in Dubai and I knew the customs and practices followed by Muslims,” she said.
The doctor said she only returned the respect and consideration she got in the Gulf.
“I was never discriminated against because of my faith when I was in the Gulf and I returned the respect when I got a chance. I was brought up in a surrounding where every faith is respected,” Dr Rekha said.
“I don’t think mine is a religious gesture; it is a humane act. A major problem with Covid-19 patients is that they feel lonely and isolated. Health workers are the single point of contact for them without their family around and we should do all we can to help the patients,” she said.
As a person who knows Arabic, Dr Rekha recited the prayer fully comprehending its meaning.
“It says that there is no other God except Allah and Muhammad is his Prophet,” she said.
Dr Rekha had no intention of making her gesture public. She shared the incident with a fellow doctor at the hospital while narrating the extraordinary experiences during the time of Covid-19.
“However, the news of the incident reached more people after that doctor wrote a post about it on social media. This post subsequently went viral,” she said.
Many Muslim scholars have congratulated the doctor for taking the initiative to perform a custom which is usually done by relatives.
“The news is heartening, especially at a time when people are beaten to death because of their religion. The doctor has set a new example for the country,” wrote Sunni scholar Abdul Hameed Faizi Ambalakkadavu.
“The Prophet had opened the doors of the masjid in Medina for the Christian delegation from Najran for their prayers,” he wrote in a Facebook post.
“This is Islam’s approach to other faiths. We sincerely hope that those who nurture hatred towards Islam and Muslims get a chance to study the religion,” he added.