It is with great sadness that I’ve received news from Sharief of Nasser’s death… his janazah was just the other day… Nasser’s father did not want the news to go viral, unfortunately some people spread the news on internet forums and now everyone is aware. I am openly giving my condolences to his family and dedicating this post to Nasser, a bodybuilding legend and a good man by those that knew him. He has passed away at a very young age of 47. He told his family that he was going to take a nap and never woke up subhanAllah.
He was recently invited to the Arnold Classic but politely refused and instead stayed with his family for over a month in Egypt. I’ve been told he had health issues he was dealing with and took a one way ticket to Egypt but I am not 100% sure of the facts as there are always vile people who like to spread disrespectful and indiscreet rumors. As far as his death is concerned no one knows the cause of it at the moment. Sharief was spending time with him and trained with him while in Egypt. Recently he even posted a video of them training together on our forum. Truly and sadly the last recording of him in this world. The one and only spectacles wearing bodybuilding legend.
Sharief called his family to confirm their plan for Sunday and instead his father gave him the bad news. They were planning to go out and train at the gym this coming Sunday but qadrullah, malik-ul-maut took his soul.
I did not know Nasser personally but he was a very close friend of Bobber and Sharief. I talk to Sharief every day and a few days prior Nasser was asking about me, the next thing I know he has passed away… truly shocking…
A lot of envious people over the years have tried to spread rumors relating to Nasser and slander him without knowing him. Several times over the years false rumors were spread about his death. Unfortunately this time, he has indeed passed away.
Politics and racism endured during his competition years, being half Arab, half Bosnian and Muslim didn’t go well with prejudice judges. He has unfairly been stripped of the first spot multiple times while superior in physique and athleticism to other Olympian competitors. He is to many to this day a multiple times uncrowned Mr Olympia.
No human being is without faults, but those that knew him, knew him as a good loyal friend. A down to earth man who was hospitable to everyone and someone who would go out of his way to help others.
I spoke with Bobber over the phone and he’s devastated as they were very close friends, I leave with a quote Bobber posted himself:
We don’t have an official cause of his death. He took a nap and did not wake up. As Muslims we bury the dead as soon as possible, often even if it means not investigating the cause.
From among the whole world’s population who lived while I was alive, Nasser single-handedly was by far the most inspirational person I knew of. Eventually we became close friends, and I did not view him so much as the pro bodybuilder anymore but someone I consider myself very lucky to have been friends with.
A few of my better memories of Nasser:
- I wrote him a fan-letter in 1996, he wrote back a lengthy letter and included in 8×10. I met him for the first time three years later in 1999 at a photo-signing. I gave him my first name to address the photo to and casually mentioned that I wrote him three years ago. He then asked from what city? When I told him the name of the city he asked me “Raja?” (my last name). I was astounded that of the tens of thousands of fans he met he would have remembered the name of a teen who wrote him three years ago. Many others had similar instances of Nasser remembering their name at various photo signings and wrote to Flex magazine about it. A few years ago I asked him how he remembered my name? He said he obviously did not remember all names, but whenever he’d come across what he felt was a touching letter or fan he made it a point to remember them, even though he knew he would probably not see or hear from the person again.
- During a calamity I was facing a 4/5 years ago Nasser was extremely supportive. He literally called me every 4 hours or so to see how I was doing and how I was handling things. He would tell me to call him any time I needed to talk to someone, even if it was at 3-4 am during his sleep he would wake up to call me or answer my call.
- The second of the three times I visited him in SD was with my wife on 2010 NYE. Since I was travelling with my wife I would be often doing the touristy things in SD and having lone-time with her. For that reason I booked a rental car so that I would not be depending on Nasser for rides everywhere. Our flight was to LA and I booked a rental car to drive to SD the evening we arrived and to drive back a week later. When I told him I had booked a rental car he insisted I cancel it and that he would drive from SD to LA and back to pick me us up from the airport – a 6 hour round drive, followed by another 6 hours upon our return. I told him no it’s alright, and he kept asking me to cancel it, saying that after the flight we’ll feel tired and not in the mood to drive during the busy NYE streets, and that he would drive us anywhere we wanted to go during the week in SD as well. I kept the rental car, but his generosity in insisting several times that I cancel it was very flattering.
I could go on and on but I just wanted to share a few of my experiences with him.
Sherief was at his funeral in Egypt. Why did Nasser go to Egypt? I believe God wanted Sherief to get to know Him before his time was up.
Although Nasser wasn’t a practicing Muslim for a majority of his life, at the end of his life he was a better man, he attended jumuah, gave life thought and wasn’t so far from Islam as some people think. In the end he is a man who professes the shahadah, his faith in Allah (swt) and Muhammad (saw) and Allah (swt) will judge him accordingly alone. For the best of it as Bobber said, Allah (swt) decreed that he go to Egypt, be with his family, get closer to Allah (swt) and pass away in a Muslim country. May Allah (swt) forgive him his shortcomings and accept his good deeds. Ameen.
I leave with this reminder to us all, to remember malik-ul-maut does not discriminate young or old. No one can stop Allah (swt)’s decrees and when it’s our time, it’s our time. It’s best for us to do our best to be better Muslims as we may die any day. In the end we all face Allah (swt) no matter how strong we are in this life.
Every soul will taste death. And We test you with evil and with good as trial; and to Us you will be returned. – Quran (21:35)