Death…

We all have witnessed death in one way or the other… some relative… some friend… some acquaintance… we can recall many people who have gone from this world… we think of some and make dua for them… and some we have forgotten as time moves on and on…

Death is the one definite incident that’s going to take place to every one of us… a reality that we cannot deny… but a reality which, ironically, we choose not to think about… for many people this is a cause for anxiety… they don’t want to face this reality… because it makes them uncomfortable… they fear death.

And you know the only reason we fear something is because we don’t think that we have the ability to handle it… or because we know in the deepest core of our heart and soul that we are not doing what we should be doing in preparation for that event that is heading towards us with every passing moment…

So in a way most of us prefer this self-created illusion that it’s not going to happen to me or my loved ones… or at least not in a very long time surely? So basically we have reduced death to a nightmare…

While the fact is that Allah didn’t give us any false hopes of an eternal life here… rather He gave us clear knowledge of the hereafter so that we can live in this world in full knowledge that it is just a temporary abode… and as compared to the limitless time of the hereafter, the time that we spend on this earth is just as long as a fraction of a day… not even a whole day…

Just imagine what kind of life we’d be living if we spent it from a realistic perspective… knowing that at any moment it could end… knowing that my purpose of existence is not to avoid death but to prepare for it… being fully convinced that the purpose of this life is to do the deeds that would qualify me for Allah’s special mercy and forgiveness… so that he will save me from the tormenting punishment of the hereafter and will grant me a place in paradise… would I still be yearning for the same things?

So our preparation for the hereafter cannot even begin to take place unless we remind ourselves of death…

But what happens when we don’t mention something? When we don’t remember something? That thing does not bother us… we stop giving importance to it…

This is the result of not mentioning death… not reminding one another about death… that now we live as if there is no hereafter… if this sounds too extreme, you can just go to any gathering and hear what people are talking about… are they discussing their concern at what is going to happen them in the grave? Are they asking each other what will be the questions of the angels in the grave? Are they giving each other any advice about how to protect themselves from a bad end? Or what will give them benefit on the day when they will be facing Allah with all of their deeds in front of them?

Forget about social gatherings… because you might argue that those are moments of relaxation so why should such serious topics be brought under discussions… but what about funerals? Even at the time of death, what are people discussing? Yes, the same old world… this life… its concerns… its events… its highs and lows…

But why? Because we don’t want to face the fact that this same gathering of people will be happening someday for burying me… and what will I be needing that day? Only their prayers…

If each one of us could realize this then how could we spend those moments of contemplation and reflection in idle chit chat?

In my experience there is nothing more effective in straightening my web of thoughts as the reminder of death… all the desires of Nafs… and the complaints of the Nafs… all laziness and heedlessness that sprouts from self pity and self centeredness… all of negativity against people… everything just fades away immediately when I am reminded of death… when I realize that this could be a day when I wont see the night… or this could be a night which might be my last one… this thought gives me the clarity of what I should be doing and where I should be investing my time… because to reach a goal you have to keep the end in mind… and so to be successful in this test of life you have to keep your end in my mind… the end is death… from where starts our real life… the life of the hereafter which will never end…

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