The silent narrow pathways of graveyards help you to understand the brevity of life. There is very little noise there – perhaps just the wind rustling through some lone trees and the faraway chatter of gravediggers that have taken a break from their work. Perhaps the muffled cries of the deceased’s child or relative. Perhaps your own nervous heartbeat that thuds loudly in your chest and ears.
The graves are full of people who were great conversationalists, talented writers, illustrious cooks and fashion idols. They all met the same end.
Somehow what brand sunglasses or watch you wear doesn’t seem to matter when you walk those lone pathways. Somehow your sharp mind that often wins word-wars with others doesn’t seem to be able to bring itself to say a word as you touch the soil beneath your feet, the soil above their heads. Somehow the expensive shoes that are covered with the dust of that hushed graveyard don’t seem so valuable anymore.
Everyone who existed died. Everyone who exists will die. The breath in your chest as it rises and falls is an indication that time is passing. Every moment gone is a piece of your one chance, gone.
At death you will not wonder – what would my life have been like if I had more things?
You will not wish to have made more money or been more fashionable. You will not wish you had more degrees to your name.
You will only wish that you had worshiped Him better. Only that, nothing else.
The angel of death stands by unbeknownst to you as your time nears its end. The angel of death makes mourners of merry people. He obeys the orders of Allah Ta’ala without fail, without choice in the matter.
One day it will be me under soil. One day it will be my loved ones wiping their tears and walking with hushed words away from where I am. One day I will wish that I had worshipped Him better. I will only wish that, nothing else.
That day it will be just me and my deeds . And perhaps I will not have done enough. Perhaps the angel of death will take me before I am ready to meet my Lord, before I have given away my money to those who had a right to it…before I had decided to give up everything that leads me away from The Path of Truth.
And so restlessness is what I seek. Tired eyes and worked hands. I seek until the day I am deposited into the graveyard, to never rest until I have given everything I can, worshiped Allah Ta’ala with every limb of my body and carried others through their difficulties.
Restlessness in this life is what I seek. The time for rest will come soon.
“Every soul shall taste death. And you will be paid your wages in full on the Day of Resurrection. So he who is distanced from the Fire and admitted to the Garden, has indeed triumphed. And the life of this world is only the enjoyment of delusion.” [3:185]
The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “ Remember often the destroyer of pleasures, ” by which he meant death. (Sunan al-Tirmidhī 2307)