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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Are we planning for the Present or the Future?


The dark sky encompassed the whole street except for the light being emitted by my bike's headlight. I was hurrying to the mosque when, suddenly..., I heard a loud clicking sound and a sigh of pain.


A few minutes were left for the Isha prayer and I was still unsure whether I should go to the small prayer area (where the prayer was supposed to be 15 minutes late) or to the mosque where I usually go. Shaitan was making the small prayer area seem more attractive to me as I was unsure of the exact time when the prayer in the other mosque would be performed.

I, quickly, made Wudu and started praying the Sunnah rakahs before the fard prayer. I was still unsure of where I should go for prayer. I thought that if I heard the Adhan from the other mosque, it might be an indication that I am right about the time of the congregation prayer. And there it was. 'Allah u Akbar Ullah u Akbar' was what my ear drums detected. That was it. That was the beginning of the Adhan and the end of it. I heard no more. It might have been an imagination or a reality but it was good enough to help me decide where I should go.

I went outside, put on my gloves, got onto my bike and hurried towards the mosque, reciting the Adhkar that I would usually recite when going to and coming back from the Isha salah. When I had covered a bit more than half of the journey, a car passed me and, as there was no street lamp there, I was left in complete darkness. That was when I realised that I had a headlight on my bike which, to some extent, would help me in my journey. So I turned it on.

In the light of my bike's headlight, I saw a man, talking on the phone, change his path from the road to the mud path to avoid a collision with my bike. However, it was only after a couple of moments that I heard a loud clicking sound and a sigh of pain.

I looked behind to see what had happened even though I thought that I knew what had happened. Two bikes had collided headlong into each other and one of the boys had fallen on the road.

The words 'Allah u Akbar' and 'Inna lillahi wa Inna ilaihi raji'un' rolled out of my mouth. I thought for a split second, got off my bike, put it on stand and rushed to the two boys but the man talking on the phone was already there. He helped the boy who had fallen to get to the side of the road. He quickly checked to make sure that no injury had occurred, all the while comforting the boy by telling him that accidents do happen and that it'll be alright.

I took the bike of the boy who had fallen, from the middle of the road and moved it to the side. The other boy had taken care of his bike himself. A car had also stopped to observe what was happening.

After ensuring that no injury had occurred, the man patted the boy on the shoulder blade, asked the other boy how he was and headed his own way.

I picked up the cap that had fallen to the ground and returned it to the boy. I, then, also, got on my bike and hurried towards the mosque.

As I entered the mosque, I thought how suddenly and surprisingly, death can come. And a while later, as I left the mosque, I was wondering whether the following might have happened.

Could it have been that the boy had been taking his last breaths and spending his last few moments at that time? Could it have been that it would have become too late for the boy to seek forgiveness from the Almighty Allah (swt)?

كَلّا إِذا بَلَغَتِ التَّراقِىَ وَقيلَ مَن ۜ راقٍ وَظَنَّ أَنَّهُ الفِراقُ
Some people, certainly, do not believe in it, but when a person's soul reaches up to his throat and the angels say, "Who will take away his soul, (the angels of mercy or the angels of wrath)", then, he will realize that it is time to leave this world.
The Holy Quran (75:26-28)   

And most importantly, could it have been me instead of that boy and I might have been breathing my last? For all it may be, I was also riding a bike and I was also not far away from the place where the incident occurred. I was, at most, a couple of metres away. Will I, then, still delay the plans that I have made for the welfare of Islam?

The angel of death is about to knock on our doors. Would we still remain immune to this fact and not improve our lifestyle according to the one prescribed by the Almighty Allah (swt) through his prophet Muhammad (SAW)? Would we still be disobeying the orders of Allah (swt) and expect him to forgive us without seeking forgiveness?

Would we still be asking for shade on the day which will be 50,000 years long when we know we aren't the ones who deserve it? Would we still be regretting that we did not do more in this world for the next when we are shown our fruit of this world? Would we still not fear the fire of Hell and disobey the rulings of Islam when we know that the fire of Hell is 70 times more severe than the fire of this world and that the minimum punishment there would be fire upto the ankles making the brain boil? 

Would we still, then, continue to add bid'ahs (innovations) to Islam or follow the bid'ahs invented by our forefathers when we know the severe consequence of this action of ours?

إِنَّ عَذابَ رَبِّكَ لَوٰقِعٌ ما لَهُ مِن دافِعٍ يَومَ تَمورُ 
السَّماءُ مَورًا وَتَسيرُ الجِبالُ سَيرًا فَوَيلٌ يَومَئِذٍ لِلمُكَذِّبينَ الَّذينَ هُم فى خَوضٍ يَلعَبونَ يَومَ يُدَعّونَ إِلىٰ نارِ جَهَنَّمَ دَعًّا هٰذِهِ النّارُ الَّتى كُنتُم بِها تُكَذِّبونَ أَفَسِحرٌ هٰذا أَم أَنتُم لا تُبصِرونَ اصلَوها فَاصبِروا أَو لا تَصبِروا سَواءٌ عَلَيكُم ۖ إِنَّما تُجزَونَ ما كُنتُم تَعمَلونَ
The torment of your Lord will inevitably take place and no one will be able to prevent it. On the day when the heavens will swiftly fly and the mountains quickly move. Woe will be to those who rejected the Truth and who indulged in false disputes against (God's revelations). On that day they will be violently pushed into the fire and they will be told, "This is the fire which you called a lie. Is it magic or do you not still see? Burn in its heat. It is all the same for you whether you exercise patience or not; This is the recompense for your deeds".
The Holy Quran (52:7-16)

Would we still feel protected from the most evil enemy of humans, Shaitan, when we know that he starts his mission against us the day we are born by stabbing us and making us cry and does not end his mission until the soul has left the body? Would we still not fight and instead surrender when we know that Shaitan is planning traps for us even at this moment? Would we still feel secure when we haven't sought the protection of the Ultimate Protector?

Would we still feel afraid and weak when we know that we could have the Strongest and Most Powerful Allah (swt) on our side? Would we still rule the land with our own laws and reject the laws of Allah (swt) when we can almost see the Hour in front of us and the only true help that we can get is the help of the Almighty Allah (swt)?

أَزِفَتِ الءازِفَةُ لَيسَ لَها مِن دونِ اللَّهِ كاشِفَةٌ أَفَمِن هٰذَا الحَديثِ تَعجَبونَ وَتَضحَكونَ وَلا تَبكونَ وَأَنتُم سٰمِدونَ
The Day of Judgment is drawing nearer. No one besides God can rescue a soul from hardship. Does this statement seem strange to them and do they laugh instead of weeping, indulging in carelessly idle games?
The Holy Quran (53:57-61)

Would we still assume ourselves to be among those people who would rejoice in Paradise the day when death, in the form of a ram, will be killed when we know the sins that we have been doing the whole of our lives? Would we still classify ourselves among those people to whom will be announced by Allah (swt) that He is pleased of them? Would we still not long to do good deeds when we know that the minimum reward for a person in Paradise would be a few times of this world and everything in it along with the fulfilment of every wish?

إِنَّ المُتَّقينَ فى جَنّٰتٍ وَنَعيمٍ فٰكِهينَ بِما ءاتىٰهُم رَبُّهُم وَوَقىٰهُم رَبُّهُم عَذابَ الجَحيمِ كُلوا وَاشرَبوا هَنيـًٔا بِما كُنتُم تَعمَلونَ مُتَّكِـٔينَ عَلىٰ سُرُرٍ مَصفوفَةٍ ۖ وَزَوَّجنٰهُم بِحورٍ عينٍ وَالَّذينَ ءامَنوا وَاتَّبَعَتهُم ذُرِّيَّتُهُم بِإيمٰنٍ أَلحَقنا بِهِم ذُرِّيَّتَهُم وَما أَلَتنٰهُم مِن عَمَلِهِم مِن شَيءٍ ۚ كُلُّ امرِئٍ بِما كَسَبَ رَهينٌ وَأَمدَدنٰهُم بِفٰكِهَةٍ وَلَحمٍ مِمّا يَشتَهونَ يَتَنٰزَعونَ فيها كَأسًا لا لَغوٌ فيها وَلا تَأثيمٌ ۞ وَيَطوفُ عَلَيهِم غِلمانٌ لَهُم كَأَنَّهُم لُؤلُؤٌ مَكنونٌ وَأَقبَلَ بَعضُهُم عَلىٰ بَعضٍ يَتَساءَلونَ قالوا إِنّا كُنّا قَبلُ فى أَهلِنا مُشفِقينَ فَمَنَّ اللَّهُ عَلَينا وَوَقىٰنا عَذابَ السَّمومِ إِنّا كُنّا مِن قَبلُ نَدعوهُ ۖ إِنَّهُ هُوَ البَرُّ الرَّحيمُ
The pious will live in bountiful Paradise, talking of what they have received from their Lord and of how their Lord has saved them from the torment of hell. They will be told, "Eat and drink to your heart's delight for what you have done". They will recline on couches arranged in rows and We shall couple them with maidens with large, lovely eyes. The offspring of the believers will also follow them to Paradise. So shall We join their offspring to them because of their faith. We shall reduce nothing from their deeds. Everyone will be responsible for his own actions. We shall provide them with fruits and the meat of the kind which they desire. They will pass cups of un-intoxicating and unsinful wine to one another. They will be served by youths who will be as beautiful as pearls. They will turn to one another ask questions, saying, "We were afraid while in the world. But God has granted us favors and saved us from the scorching heat of the torment. We had prayed to Him; He is Kind and All-merciful".
The Holy Quran (52:17-28)

Would we still make this world dear to us and ruin the Hereafter for us when we know that real achievement is the achievement of Paradise and not learn from the mistakes of the nations before us when we know about their fate? Would we still not live in this world as travellers when we know that this world is temporary and the next is forever and that the ratio of any number to infinity will always come out to be zero?

Would we still sell our Islam for a small price when we know that the value of Jannah is more than the value of this world and everything in it combined? Would we still then not remind ourselves continually about the Day of Judgement, Hell and Paradise so that we do not indulge in indecent acts when we know that they will surely come to happen? Would we still not love death more than this life when we know that this world is supposed to be a prison for the believer and paradise for the disbeliever? 

Would we still wait for science to prove the benefits of the orders of Allah (swt) and the lifestyle of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) when we know that we should be following them blindly? Would we still grieve over our small losses when we know the great loss that we had the day when the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was taken away from this world?

وَلا تَهِنوا وَلا تَحزَنوا وَأَنتُمُ الأَعلَونَ إِن كُنتُم مُؤمِنينَ
Do not be discouraged or grieved. You alone will have true dignity if you only are true believers!
The Holy Quran (3:139)

Would we just respond by saying how 'Islamic' this article is and then head back to our old ways ignoring it's teachings? Would we start praising the author and cause fitna (trial) for him when we know that it was the Most Knowledgeable Allah (swt) who allowed him to write this?

OR WOULD WE FALL DOWN IN PROSTRATION, CRYING AND SEEKING FORGIVENESS FOR OUR SINS AND THE SINS OF OTHERS, TRY OUR BEST TO IMPROVE OURSELVES AND TAKE THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD (SAW) AND HIS SAHABA (RA) AS OUR ROLE MODELS INSTEAD OF THE CELEBRITIES OF TODAY SO THAT ONE DAY WE COULD BE AMONG THE ONES WHOM ALLAH (SWT) WOULD BE PLEASED OF?

حم تَنزيلُ الكِتٰبِ مِنَ اللَّهِ العَزيزِ العَليمِ غافِرِ الذَّنبِ وَقابِلِ التَّوبِ شَديدِ العِقابِ ذِى الطَّولِ ۖ لا إِلٰهَ إِلّا هُوَ ۖ إِلَيهِ المَصيرُ  
Ha. Mim! This Book is a revelation from God, the Majestic and All-knowing who forgives sins, who accepts repentance, whose punishment is severe, and whose bounty is universal. He is the only Lord and to Him all things proceed.
The Holy Quran (40:1-3)

ARE WE, THEN ACTUALLY, PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE OR THE PRESENT WHEN WE ARE PLANNING FOR A REWARD IN THIS WORLD WHILE KNOWING THAT THE ACTUAL FUTURE IS THE HEREAFTER?

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