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Suppose you learn today that you have one more day to live. How will you spend your last day?

This question was asked hundreds of years ago, long before the age of market surveys and opinion polls. The most inspiring reply came from someone who had no list of wishes for virtuous deeds for the last day of his life; the great Muhaddith,AbdurRahman Ibn abi Na’um replied : “there is nothing that I could change in my schedule, learning that is my last day. I already spend every day in my life as if it is going to be my last day.”

Subhana Allah, how often do we ask ourselves that question? Death is the most certain aspect of life.

“O mankind! if you are in doubt about the resurrection, then verily, we have created you (i.e. Adam) from dust, then from a Nutfah (mixed drops of male and female sexual discharge ,i.e. offspring of Adam) then from  a clot  then from a little lump of flesh – some formed and some unformed (as in the case of miscarriage) that we may make it clear to you. And we cause whom we will to remain in the wombs for an appointed term, then we bring you out as infants, then give you growth that you may reach your age of full strength. And among you there is he who dies (young) and among you there is he who is brought back to the miserable old age, so that he knows nothing after having known. And you see the earth barren, but when we send down water (i.e. rain) on it, it is stirred (to life) and it swells and puts forth every lovely kind (of growth)”    All HAJJ 22:5

We witness death all the time. Yet amazingly we ignore it as if it will not happen to us, at least not anytime soon .We bury our friends and relatives but think that we will live forever. This attitude defies common sense.

In some ways we recognize the inevitability of death, even plan for it. We take out life insurance policies to care for our loved ones after our departure from this world. We may plan distribution of assets and estates. However, this is only recognition of death as an end of this life. Where we fail is in recognizing death as the beginning of another life that will never end, and where we will reap what we had sown here.

A central teaching of Islam is that it is our recognition of and preparation for that eternity that must separate those who are smart from those who are not. As the Prophet (S.A.W) said: ‘Truly smart is the person who controlled his desires and prepared for life after death.’

How about preparing for the journey into eternity? How about making the concern for the hereafter the cornerstone of our lives here? Such concern could change our lives here as well. This world is a false abode, an illusion. A person who realizes and remembers that, one day he will have to stand before his creator and be accountable for all his actions simply cannot continue defying God.

May Allah Azza Wajal grant us HUSNUL QAATIMAH and may he make the Shahada our last words….AMEEN

 

photo credit: Mohammed Abdifatah

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