Our penultimate year in medical school involved going on a field trip to a rural area for community health posting. It was the first time such was happening so we were the ‘guinea pig’ set billed to spend a gruelling 2 weeks in a rural setting, devoid of all the comforts we were used to. We were excited, but we were not. It was an adventure but we would miss our luxury items and all those things we took for granted.
As we began to unpack at the camp, we discovered (much to our chagrin), that while we had brought instant noodles, lots of foodstuff, formal clothes and shoes, many of us forgot to bring pots and other kitchen utensils like knives, tin cutters; cups, salt, bedsheets, blankets, pillows, sunshades, hats, umbrellas and lots of money. I guess we thought we were going to be lodged at a hotel not a camp. We suffered ‘well well’ but we learnt from it and so did the sets after us. They had more enjoyable trips because they were able to prepare better from the checklists we gave them; they brought the important things and left the irrelevant. Those from the latter sets who would not follow our advice would have suffered, perhaps, even more than we had. Either they would have over-packed or they would have under-packed.
Life is similar.
Some of us are born lucky, as Muslims, (with the pride that comes with it); some actively seek Islam; others stumble into it guided by Allah. Many are left wandering through life, without guidance, dying without embracing Islam.
The first group have a Reminder, a Criterion (between right and wrong), a checklist handed to us by those before us; a Guide to make our stay on Earth and sojourn to the Hereafter worthwhile. Instead, we refuse their help and insist on trudging through life laden with extra books, credit cards, food, clothing and other items which are unnecessary.
Life is short. Take advantage of the checklist and pack light.
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