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’

Is It Mine?!

I was talking to a friend of mine and we were discussing things. Anyway here’s what it went like;

R.: You know when you give life, you actually give your own life because after that you don’t live for yourself. You give away your life in bringing up your kids.

Me: Well.. I think when you sign those papers, that’s when you give your life! hahaha

Apart from the joke, i justkept on thinking on those lines. So when is it really my life? When I am a kid when I don’t know right from wrong or when I’m old enough and I don’t just don’t live for myself but for others. And then you get married and have kids… So when is life actually your life? Quite a question.. hunh?

I kept thinking and I remembered so many things in that I’ve heard from my elders. I remember even posting it here as well, that when you love someone, the other becomes so important that you don’t exist anymore for your own self. When you love someone, you submit! Though at an early age we don’t understand it but when you grow older and you start making sacrifices for your mum or dad or sisters or brothers, that’s how you know that their happiness is what would make you happy rather than just being happy for yourself. Same goes with all other things.

And this whole conversation with my friend, which wasn’t supposed to be this serious, took me somewhere else as well. The purpose of my existence. Submission to a my Creator. How am I supposed to live my life? One of our professors used to say that it’s so easy to say,”follow your heart” like in those Indian movies. And he used to say that you can only follow your heart if you have a very sound heart. A very sound heart?! Now what’s that. A person who has completely submitted to Allah! So, you and I?! Oh God! I am no way near anything like that. ( May Allah guide us and give us taufeeq. Ameen). One of our teachers used to ask us, that do you think that human beings are capable of having wholistic knowledge about the whole world, from human nature to what’s hidden from the naked eye to whatever that is between heaven and earth.? The answer is, no. We are humans. Like Naeema has posted on her blog that Western epistimology is based on doubt.  Doesn’t that make every discovery more doubtful than the previous one.  Anyway, the point I am trying to make here is that human beings are bound to make mistakes because they are not perfect. So when Allah Ta’ala has sent us down the perfect way of living our lives why should we go to West or other researches to see how should we live it. I mean life’s too short for a trial and error game. Why not follow what is eventually the Truth. Back to where I started ( I drift alot), my life is never my life. I can only live a peaceful life by fulfilling the rights of Allah who has given me this life.  And I can only do that by completely submitting to Him. He’s there to forgive my short comings but atleast try to follow the the Quran and Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad SAW in every walkof life. May Allah give us the taufeeq for doing so. Ameen.

Farewell…

It all came to an end. I never thought it would all end so unceremoniously.

There’s nothing in my life to which I can look back and say that this place has taught me so much except for the time that I have spent at KU. While we were in our first year, one of the teachers there told us that after four years of University, you will be what your friends are right now, so choose your friends very carefully. And friends… I’m so glad I never had to choose, Allah ST blessed me with the best of friends, friends that always stood by me in tough times, friends who accepted me, friends who made my faith stronger and never led me astray. Alhamdolillah. They surely are blessings from Allah and I can’t thank Him enough.

The time that I’ve spent in KU will always be the most memorable. The best thing about it was you never felt unwelcomed anywhere. Once a teacher said that in KU, the nexus between the students and the teachers is never based on money. And I felt it strongly. Most of us who were interested in Philosophy and didn’t have it as a minor used to go and attend the classes and the teachers never complained, nor they let us out. Not to mention that we were mostly found in the classes and sesssions in the IR department, and this teacher always welcomed us. Not to mention teachers of our own department. We used to sit in their classes when they taught others as well. We even went to see them later to talk about other books and stuff that we have come across. Last semester, I remember how we asked help from other teachers for books and articles other than our supervisers and they were more than eager to help us out, never said no to lending us their books and sharing their knowledge, views,opinions and articles with us.

These teachers wrought changes in me. And they have given me so much that I don’t think I would ever be able to thank them or repay them. These teachers and their selflessness and their humility taught us more than whatever that was in the books. They became our role models, people with beautiful souls who taught us how we should live our lives. They taught us that our lives should have a purpose and our actions should have a positive impact on our afterlives. These people taught us never to accept things at their face value and look for deeper meaning in things. And these people taught us that we have our own tradition and we don’t need to borrow it from the outside. They have taught us soo much that I don’t think I could do justice to everything they did.

KU has become an organ for me. It’s certainly is hard to detach it from your being. I think I never would have learnt so much if I were in an Engineering University or Med School or some Business School. KU even gives you a free crisis management traning as well – Clashes! I know these are bad but the place prepares you for real life.

Yesterday was my last exam of the first semester of my fifth year at KU.  I have my masters degree and I thought I can spend some more time there but that would coem to an end so quickly, I could never have imagined that. Not going back … it feels awfully sad. But the teachers, whom I respect the way I respect my father, the teachers who are like father figures, have taught me to give priority to my family. Though it’s sad leaving KU, the teachers, the friends, etc., I know whatever that I am going to do next is more important, and this is what they have prepared me for.

Love

“Near the brick grave there was a tomb erected very soon after the flood for two bodies that were found in close embrace, and it was visited at different moments by two men who both felt that their keenest joy and keenest sorrow were forever buried there.
One of them visited the tomb again with a sweet face beside him – but that was years after.
The other was always solitary. His great companionship was among the trees of the Red Deeps, where the buried joy seemed still to hover like a revisiting spirit.”

Why?!

I’ve been wondering lately about why should I write here. Everything that I write is personal- feelings, thoughts, ideas etc. Why is there a  need to pour out my innermost feelings?! And I am still thinking. But most important of all the questions : What’s the purpose behind everything that I do?! Are all my actions and thoughts generated by one purpose in life?! What should be the central purpose for my existence?! Whatever that is I’m doing, is it for my own flesh’s gratification?!

And I found myself divided. I realised I have multiple personality disorder. On one hand I crave for worldly pleasures and on the other I want to be closer to that One Being. All my actions, thoughts, deeds and intentions are not directed towards the attainment of love of that One Being. And I realised how shallow I have become.

So, why am I writing this? Because maybe someone who’d read this might probably think on the same lines and maybe some good might come out of that.

Love

While doing Wuthering Heights the teacher said something which struck me. He said that when you fall in love and become one. The whole idea of being one is that one person has to submit totally forgetting his/her ego to the other person. The other becomes more important.