Following is the translation of the preface of the book by Khurram Murad about which I wrote yesterday…
Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has said that a Muslim should not spend even two nights without having written a will about the things for which his family will need his advice after his death. I am writing this last will … acting on the same Hadith of the Prophet (s.a.w)
No one can escape death. It can come anytime… anywhere… all of a sudden… it can come at such a time when there is no one around… or maybe there are people but no one from the close family… or even if they are present there might not be any chance to talk to them or to give them any advice about anything… The fact is that when the time appointed by Allah arrives then it cannot be avoided or delayed.
فَلَا يَسْتَطِيعُونَ تَوْصِيَةً وَلَا إِلَىٰ أَهْلِهِمْ يَرْجِعُونَ
So they shall not be able to make a bequest, nor shall they return to their families.
إِنَّ أَجَلَ اللَّهِ إِذَا جَاءَ لَا يُؤَخَّرُ ۖ لَوْ كُنْتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ
surely the term of Allah when it comes is not postponed; did you but know!
That is why we have been instructed to keep our bequests ready at all times. Another benefit of writing a last will is that it is a constant reminder that life is not guaranteed beyond this day or this hour that we have right now. It is this reminder which ingrains in us the state of mind which the Prophet (s.a.w) taught us to have…
“When it is daytime, do not hope for the evening and when it is evening then do not hope for the morning… rather live in this world like a traveller…”
But alas even though I knew all of this… yet mornings turned into evenings and nights into days… and I could not bring myself to write this last will… until today… when sixty three years of my life have passed… and death which was never far and has been constantly coming nearer and nearer… is now indeed very near…
I am full of remorse for this delay because my situation has been a lot different than an average person. After the first heart attack I had in Novermber,1996 and it was the most massive attack, Allah gave me 30 years of life as a bonus… In this entire time I have been under the constant threat of death. During this period I have suffered four more attacks out of which thrice I was taken by ambulance to the intensive care unit… from which there is hardly ever any hope of returning alive.
For the last twenty years I have been a patient of angina… had angiography four times… and bypass twice in an open heart surgery and doctors are now seriously considering yet another operation because of the increasingly worsening angina.
I have been saying it apparently as a joke that if my medical history is published after my death… people would not be surprised why I died, rather they would be amazed at how I remained alive till now!!
But in spite of all this, the last will could not be written! It doesn’t mean that I have been forgetful of my need to write it. I have been in constant remembrance of death for a long time. From time to time I have been doing this meditation of breathing consciously… concentrating on one breath and thinking whether I will be able to take another breath or not. Focussing on my heart beat… whether it will beat again or not… if it continues to beat then it is only by the will of Allah. At night before sleeping I have always remembered death using the duas of the Prophet (s.a.w)…
I had even written letters before one of my operations… and for the last one year I have been really worried for not having written the will but there were so many other writing projects that needed to be done that writing it kept getting delayed until today… 27th of January 1996… I am starting to write it…
The main recipients of my last will are my children and all my grand children. If they choose to publish it, then I do not have any objection to it… neither is it my instruction that they do so.
(to be continued)