It happens every day. Often we know of the person who has fallen into its clutches and at times we don’t! Most view it merely as a cycle of life which is inevitable, as a result they fail to heed the message it delivers. Our pious predecessors used to say that if a person cannot learn a lesson from the Janaazah that leaves before him then nothing in life would teach him a lesson for this is by far life’s greatest and most powerful lesson. This is nothing but the lesson of DEATH that we are talking about here which is delivered more frequently these days than before.
Once a pilot of the air force narrated a personal experience of a lifetime: one that shook his imagination to the core and transformed his subsequent behaviour in life completely. He recounted:
“On a routine flight, the engine of my aircraft developed some complications which I was unable to locate and correct. Frantic messages to the control tower were not proving too helpful. Very soon the plane was accelerating towards the ground in a deathly nose-dive. I got frightingly convinced that my very few moments of life were fast ticking away. As death was staring at me with horribly lustful eyes, I could see the `performance’ of my life flashing across my mind in those very last few seconds of my survival. I was a terrified and an ashamed witness to my own misdeeds. I could see no one around to soothe and comfort me—none of those assuring and reassuring heroes, friends, and relatives who used to help avoid the discomforting question of death and its consequences. The ordeal was terrible; the chances of survival nil!
It was a new life for me when I was miraculously survived the crash: It was incredible indeed. I forced my way out of the cockpit with some minor injuries and the most important message I could possibly learn: Life is too precious to be wasted in the meaningless pursuits of self-gratification. Thereafter, my attitude has undergone a complete transformation. Now I try to make sure that I learn about the Religion of Allah Ta’ala as much as I can and practise it sincerely. I hope my Gracious Creator forgives my shameful past when my unavoidable day of meeting Him would suddenly arrive.”
All of us may not experience a near-death before the real one. We do, however, receive enough reminders of death in the news of the departure of others. There are only two options with us: either to sincerely prepare for the ultimate by submitting to the Message of Allah Ta’ala or to avoid contemplating the idea of death until it actually arrives. The consequence of the first choice will be lasting happiness in the future; the second option may result in an uncertain pleasure in the present existence, but will result in a definite disaster in the next one. The choice is ours!
We can view death as merely a cycle of life and let it have no impact on our lives or we can view it in the way it is meant to- more than a cycle of life, a message that no matter who we are or what our worldly successes and achievements and accomplishments are, one day it will all come to an end, sometimes even abruptly without a warning! Death would render all our worldly achievements and successes invalid and bring us to the harsh reality of what a truly meaningful life in the sight of our Creator Allah Ta’ala is! The Qur’aan and hadeeth are replete with this warning. Suratut Takaasur does a fine job at delivering this message even clearer!
Are the countless Janaazas before our eyes not empirical enough or do we require more to prove this?
Can we still live life with the attitude of wanton of a teenager when death and its most powerful message is all around us?
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