LIVE EACH DAY LIKE IT’S YOUR LAST Q3.102, Q63.9-11

We lost our class representative a few years after graduation. He was a vibrant young man, a politician on campus and had been our class rep for majority of our almost 7 years in the university. I had worked quite closely with him in our last year as officials of our student body organisation. The news of his death hit me like a ton of bricks. He had supplied me with materials for entrance examinations into residency training (as he had passed his) since we shared the same interest in specialisation.

Still shocking how he was said to have died in his sleep; healthy the night before, no complaints, no warning. I wondered if he had an idea his days were numbered. I wondered how and if at all, he had prayed the night before. If he had prayed, he must have had no inkling it would be his last. I pondered on how his parents and siblings felt.

He couldn’t have lived much longer than 3 decades but he had a lot to show for it; so much that even some of us, who might live to ripe ages, may not get to achieve. It is sad but it is life. ‘It’s not the duration but the donation’. He had donated a lot of his time to improving our welfare in our varsity. His footprint is still visible in the teaching hospital where we trained years after his demise.

image credit: exquisitefamilymortuary.com

image credit: exquisitefamilymortuary.com


Do our lives count? Are we waiting for a certain time in our lives before committing ourselves to Allah, helping people, giving charity, loving our families?

We should not feel like Allah owes us our lives. We may not see the next salaah. We might not return home tonight. We might not be awake this time tomorrow.

Let’s make the next salaah count and spend time in supplication to Allah. Who knows? It could be our last.

Did you know any young person who died suddenly?

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THE BEGINNING OF THE END Q83.18-20

angels in flight
THUMP, THUMP…THUMP, THUMP
He feels himself slipping away
Thump, Thump…Thump, Thump
Like a dancer in a ballet
Thump, thump…thump, thump
He sees the light; that fabled light
Thump, thump
Thump, thump

As all becomes enveloped in night.

With the final thump, he becomes fluid
Like an ocean tossing a seaweed
On angels’ wings, he takes his flight
Defying gravity, gaining height

Mantled in robes of ivory tusk,
All around him, the scent of musk.
With each ascent, they’re put to task;
Reply his name to those who ask

The gates open by beings – pretty
Ahead, behind: splendour, beauty!
Peace and colours; summer in June
His book is registered in Illiyun

His soul’s escorted back to Earth
Right back to the land of his death
No one seems aware that he’s gone
As all around him life goes on.

© 2014 AwK

GETTING INVOLVED Q3.154, Q64.11-3

As we live, we learn. We lost a patient today.

Sometimes, we keep our distance from people so we do not get bothered or hurt; so they can’t reach us within our shell. We call it ‘professional distance’. We are told to empathize not sympathise but sometimes, we don’t, nay, can’t obey. Sometimes, we wear our hearts on our sleeves and get so involved such that when they eat, we get filled; they drink and our thirst is quenched; they die and a part of us shrivels up. We grieve for them like they are family.
open grave
Other times, our affinity and commitment implodes in our faces. Either way, everyone says, ‘I told you so’. Such situations eventually cause us to harden, develop shells we withdraw into or just go out there to keep getting hurt.

In spite of these setbacks, we should not avoid volunteering, giving care, or helping the cause of Islam. It doesn’t have to be in a hospital, it could be in the mosque, at PTA meetings, in the office. We should keep trying to attain a state of equilibrium, balance and keep seeking Allah’s Favour. Such experiences make us more wholesome because at the end of our journey on earth, our lives must have mattered to someone.

And to medics reading this, the benefits (of saving lives) far outweigh the demerits. It’s not our call to extend life. Allah simply uses us to achieve His Will. We are not to rely on our strengths as the ultimate for we can only do so much. Our trust should be in Allah. We should do our best and leave the rest to Him.

To the rest of us, put yourself out there and serve people for Islam.

Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi raajiun “Surely we belong to Allah and to Him shall we return.”

FINAL TESTAMENT Q2.180-1, Q4.5-14

When we need to embark on a trip, we often inform our neighbours or relatives so that they can look after our house and take charge in the case of an emergency. We entrust our pets to them, if we cannot travel with them. We hand over our potted plants; set our security lights to flip on in the evenings, set our house and car alarms.
Hand writing using quill pen
We take all these precautions for inanimate objects in our possession when we travel, but what do we do about the dependants in our care when we leave them behind for good?

When you take a look at single parents who have been widowed, you realise how few of them had husbands with foresight. It is simply disheartening to see how the family plunges from grace to grass because the head of the family and breadwinner, did not make proper plans to ensure his dependants are catered for even in his inevitable absence.

Families abound where the wife has not a clue of the husband’s possessions or bank accounts. Indeed, some women may not even be aware of where their husbands work. Those who bear the brunt the most, in this society, are women who were totally dependent on their husbands with no financial independence of their own.
They end up sharing the children amongst relatives to cater for, or engage the kids in child labour. We are all aware the dangers involved in both. Others begin to dabble unsuccessfully in commerce to fend for their dependants. Some widows are known to become mistresses to wealthy benefactors while a couple of the widows remarry and with hardly a backward glance, walk into the sunset without their children who are left at the mercy of who will have them.

And these incidents are not limited to Nigeria; it is a worldwide trend. In the times of old, such widows were married to provide protection and provision for both the mother and child(ren). These days, few of these altruistic men like the Prophet (SAW) remain.

It is not acceptable for a man to embark on a journey without making adequate provision for his family so how can it be acceptable for him to embark on an eternal journey without thought of the tomorrow of his family? Islam is a completed religion and Allah has called our attention to dotting our i’s and crossing our t’s before we venture into the Great Beyond.

Dear Muslim men (and women), put your house in order today. You may not get another opportunity to do so.