Death: A Wakeup Call

So much has been written about death and it being inevitable that whatever that I am going to write here may not seem something new.

A few weeks ago, an extended family membet succumbed to the deadly disease of breast cancer. She had been fighting it for over an year; when she found out about it, she was already stage four. She was just 35 and had lost a son to brain tumor a couple of months back! Though all of us knew what she is heading for, we all hoped that she could buy more time for herself. I didn’t see her much but she was there at weddings and dawats and I remember her ever smiling beautiful face. I just couldn’t get it out of my mind. I thought about her other kids, her mother and father and a heavy weight just settled down my chest. Some deaths just leave you heavy with sadness…

And last week, the heaviness, the sadness thickened when I recieved the message that Junaid Jamshed passed away in a plane crash. I couldn’t believe it!!! His passing away was… is like as if someone in my family has died. I never met him, never talked to him. Though I don’t want to say it but I grew up listening to his songs and memorizing them and then I quit listening to music and he stopped singing… I used to listen to his nasheeds… I had differences with him on so many levels and I don’t know why but Allah Subhanahu wa Taala had put love for him in my heart ( not the kind of love we see today but a kind of love that one Muslim has for another), that his sudden passing came as a shock, that I prayed for him in my Salah. I know someone was criticizing him last night about something, and I couldn’t help thinking that if this person had such a problem with his way of doing things, why didn’t he do something about it. I was saddened even more and angered that now that he is gone, can we not pray for him. Would we not like someone praying for us when we are no more just because we were their fellow Muslim brother/sister in Islam. I prayed for every departed soul of the plane crash but why Junaid Jamshed came in limelight is because he was a household figure, he was in our lives by one means or another.

And admist all this is Aleppo!!! It will forever be etched in our book of deeds that all we did was share facebook posts about Aleppo and didn’t lend a helping hand to those dying in the streets of Syria. A bunch of people being bombed by Syria’a Assad’s forces and his allies and we watched from the comfort of our houses doing nothing. The images coming of babies being killed or pulled out of rubble, men and women dying and hospitals being bombed and the ladies asking if they can commit suicide before Bashar Assaad’s men rape and kill them, of men asking if they can kill their kin before Assaad’s forces torture them and play around their dead bodies, are just too heart wrenching. This breaks my heart and puts things in perspective too… why am I always complaining when I have warm bed, food on the table. My kids were sick and then I fell ill, I remember how claustrophobic things became for me with sick kids and no end in sight but what of the mothers of Syrian children, or teenagers or men and the never ending bombardment and firing and fear and I feel that my troubles weigh nilly willy on that scale. I saw a footage of a mother asking her dying son to recite shahadah and repeating again and again that,’ darling! Say LA ILAHA ILLALLAH’ and made me feel so small and so shallow. I am nothing compared to them. I do not have that level of imaan that can stand such test. May Allah make it easier for them.

Death, that we defer to think about or that we think will only come to us when we are old and have prepared for the Hereafter. Recent turn of events show us that we do not know when will it come and how will we die. I haven’t prepared much in this regard… I am.not prepared at all… I do not have one good deed that will ensure a safe passage to Jannah and what if on the Day of Judgement, I stand in front of my Lord and He asked me about my brothers and sisters in Islam in Syria, Palestine, Sudan or Kashmir or Myanmar, what answer will  I have up my sleeve.

Death will come to us all but let us strive to be the person to whom death shall bring glad tidings rather than sad demise.

‘Maut ko samjhein hain ghafil ikhtetam-e-zindagi

Hai ye sham-e-zindagi, subh-e-dawam-e-zindagi’

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