‘Death is like us going round and round in a circle without any regard of the circle itself’ – Egyptian writer Yousef Idrees (1927-1991).
Of all the facts in this world, there is none that is as crystal clear and realistically tough as death.
Death is the eternal separation, absolute departure and real disappearance. It is a reality that haunts every living creature in the simplest manner.
Death does not consider whether one is an adult or a child, strong or weak, rich or poor. Death awaits every living being irrespective of the time they spent on this earth.
Imam Al-Shafi, one of the prominent Muslim jurists in the Islamic Golden Age, said in one of his famous poems about death that, “How many have died without any illness. How many sick have spent a significant time in life?”
Indeed, Imam Al-Shafi was on point regarding the reality of death. On one hand, death can take away one’s life when he/she is at a tender age. On the other hand, a person could live for 23 years or more in a coma before he passes away.
Another harsh reality about death was described in the classical poem by Ibn Al-Nabata Al-Sa’adi who said, “Those who do not die by the sword will die by something else. Death is the same despite its various causes”.
If people can deal with the concept of death in a more realistic manner, many of the calamities and disasters would disappear.
Most people deal with life as though they will live forever, forgetting that a day will come when they will return to their Creator. That will be the day of the final departure and separation.
Such people assume that human beings represent just a number among billions and billions of human beings that existed throughout ages since the time of our forefather Adam (Peace and blessings be upon him) to this day. Since the final departure is inevitable, when the appointed time comes, all other appointments and engagements come to an abrupt end.
We, as humans, should not fear death because it is a magisterial and irrefutable reality, which gets stamped by the final worldly abode – the grave. However, the grave is also just a temporary abode into which every human being goes before reaching their final destination – back to the One who created everything inside and outside the universe.
Some of the methods for one to live his/her life to the fullest while, at the same time, prepare for the final departure are – following proper spiritual teachings, observing the desired religious and moral standards, and considering every minute, or rather every second, as the last one.
We are not eternal. However if we strive for the three things that prophet Mohammad (PBUH) guided us to follow, we will be made eternal after our departure. Those three things are – continuous charity, giving knowledge for people to benefit from, and having a child who will pray for you even after your departure.
Let go of things that do not fulfill your purpose in life. This doesn’t mean you should not enjoy life. In fact, enjoy it and make others with you enjoy it as well but within the legal and traditional limits.
Live your life for you, for your family and for humanity in general. By doing so, you are fulfilling the call of your Creator. Being religious is happiness and not gloominess. Live your life as you prepare for the day when you will meet Allah. Keep smiling! Following the ways of Allah does not requiring frowning and immoderation while pursuing His course.
By Yousef Awadh Al-Azmi