Glimpses from the indeterminate, inevitable event | Dailytrust

Glimpses from the indeterminate, inevitable event

Once in a while in the past, that which most people dislike to discuss was made the subject matter of this column. We are also making it our discourse today. Allah (SWT) enjoins us in Qur’an 51:55 to keep reminding ourselves of this and other messages of Islam because reminders benefit Muslims.

Every day in our life, we wake up to attend to our routine activities. This goes on until every soul fulfils its appointed term on earth. Thereafter comes death, followed by a spiritual sojourn called ‘Barzakhu’ in Islamic literatures; which connects between life in this world and the hereafter. In the final end comes Resurrection and Judgment, when every soul would receive fair recompense for the actions it has put forth.

With this kind of journey ahead, some of us yet remain so engrossed in their love for wealth, power, women and all that money can buy on this earth without learning any lessons from some of their daily though unnoticed glimpses at death that are designed to transform from a lower stage of ‘sleep’ to a higher one; death. This is ordinarily expected to prepare man for the indeterminate yet inevitable taste of death.

Let us imagine, for instance, that when you went to sleep last night; you did not wake up this morning but instead answered your Creator’s call to the next world. If you had an opportunity to communicate with those who survived you, would you tell them in death that you are proud of the life you lived; given the spiritual relationship you maintained with Allah (your Creator) and that which you kept with fellow creatures?

Take time to attend a funeral to see whether the grave where the dead is buried (which would also be dug for you on your demise, sooner or later) is bigger than the room you currently live in. Grave is traditionally a residence meant to accommodate only one person at a time. Even if the space in it were mistakenly widened beyond the size of the occupant, none of the deceased’s closest relations including his wife/wives, children, parents, friends, colleagues, aides and maids would be ready to follow him/her into the underground apartment.

Death, on the other hand, also peeps at man in different ways. Imam Bukhari relates on the authority of Ibn Umar (RA) who reported that the prophet (SAW) once took him by the shoulder and said “Be in this world as if you were a stranger”. Now Ibn Umar (RA) used to say “when evening comes on you do not expect morning; and when morning comes, do not expect evening. Take from your health (a precaution) for your sickness, and from your life for your death”. Illness, whether brief or protracted, is therefore one of the ways through which death peeps at man. Apart from sickness, death also glances at man through old age, accidents, misfortunes, or failures; some of them mild and others so severe that they leave permanent scars on the victim’s mind. Such is meant to keep reminding us of the specific time destined for us to stare at death, face-to-face.

Assuming that after reading this column, you went to bed at night and in the process of stealing a look at death, it held you back; meaning that you did not live to see tomorrow morning. How prepared are you to give account of your deeds before your Creator? Do the dresses and abayas in your wardrobe containing getzner, lace, English wax or super-wax, and vlisco materials include your alkafani (white shrouding sheet)? If the Prophet (SAW) as a duty sought forgiveness of his sins from Allah (SWT), at least 100 times a day; how many times daily do you seek forgiveness of your sins from Allah? In a pervasively corrupt, sinful, unjust and wicked society like ours, has it not become more imperative to seek forgiveness? Let us heed the teachings of Islam so that when we eventually meet our Lord, we would have no need to appeal to Him (SWT) to return us back to this material world (which is not possible) to put forth good deeds.

When death decides not to disguise by peeping but comes to man in her real form at the appointed time, it would be late to repent from sins because such repentance is described as hypocritical. Let us, therefore, not postpone today’s repentance for tomorrow. Allah (SWT) states in Qur’an 4:18 “Of no effect is the repentance of those who continue to do evil until death faces one of them and he says: ‘Now have I repented’; nor of those who die rejecting faith; for them have we prepared a punishment most grievous”.

Allah (SWT) accepts repentance only when it is tendered at a time the sinner still possesses the strength or ability to sin. Allah (SWT) mentions in Qur’an 4:17 “Allah accepts the repentance of those who do evil in ignorance and repent soon afterwards; to them will Allah turn in mercy: For Allah is full of wisdom and mercy”. Let us repent now from being leaders who betray their followers; from being corrupt judges in the courts of law; from being self-seeking legislators; from being mendacious scholars; from being fraudulent traders; from being irresponsible parents; from being wicked husbands; from being disobedient wives; from being defiant children; and from being malicious friends; and from being bandits, kidnappers, insurgents or their sponsors.

As death approaches man, he realizes his inability to recognize his people without losing sight, let alone respond to their counsels. His hands and feet would remain without movement and his ears without hearing. His mouth opens and his jaw drops. His brow sweats and would remain tongue-tied. This moment confirms to man that the journey to the world of truth and justice had actually begun. Soon after the inevitable transition sets in, man loses hope in the world of illusions, envy, evils, and falsehood.

As man bids farewell to the world of transient comfort, he discovers the irrelevance of his overwhelming political powers and huge economic influence, of his stupendous wealth; of his fleet of cars; of his vast palace or mansion; of his superfluous dresses; of his gold-plated wristwatches, and of his one-in-town mobile handset. At this point of reality, man admits the helplessness of his beloved wife/wives; of his dear children; and of his loyal aides and maids.  Death is certainly inescapable. May Allah (SWT) make our end, when it is time, most fulfilling, amin.



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