PASIR MAS: For Norhafizatul Akmar Sulaiman, yesterday was supposed to have been the happiest day of her life.
However, what was supposed to be her wedding day turned into a tragedy when her father died mere moments before the akad nikah ceremony was to take place in the family's home in Kampung Banggol Stol here.
Norhafizatul, a 34-year-old lecturer from Sultan Azlan Shah University in Perak, was applying makeup while her family members and other guests, including the imam, was waiting for her outside her room at 11am.
She suddenly heard a commotion. Norhafizatul's future husband and his family were outside the house waiting to enter when her father, Sulaiman Salleh, 73, suddenly experienced breathing difficulties.
"Upon hearing the commotion, I rushed out to him. My siblings and I held him when he died," she said.
She said his death came as a complete shock to them.
"He was healthy and did not even have asthma. He appeared well in the run-up to the wedding and showed no signs of being ill.
"He was so excited at the prospect of the wedding and was the busiest person around the house, making sure everything was in place for the ceremony," she said.
Norhafizatul said although the family was in shock, they accepted his passing as a test from God.
After the necessary arrangements were made following his death, the akad nikah ceremony continued at a nearby mosque.
However, instead of having her father serve as the wali (guardian) in the ceremony, it was her eldest brother instead who had to assume the role. The ceremony was also scaled down following Sulaiman's sudden passing.
"We cancelled the bersanding event as we had to prepare for my father's burial," she said.
Sulaiman was laid to rest after the ceremony about 10pm.