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It is written.

The pens of destiny have been written, and the ink of the scrolls has died.

Each and every other passing day we set out to fulfill this destiny with the choices that we make. But just like all phenomenal masterpieces that have been written, each and every of our chef-d'oeuvre, will come to an end. Like all the journeys we partake in life for a certain destination, this journey of life will indeed take me, you, and the rest of the world’s inhabitants to our final destination; where the body shall return to the clay it came from, and the souls shall depart to their rightful owner.

Saturday 5th April 2014.

We stand for prayer in the masjid as we await the iqama for swalatul dhuhr. This is the first time in my life that I have purposed to attend a funeral prayer. A friend that I barely knew, but accurately concluded the beauty of her soul, had lost her dad. What do you say to someone in distress? What can possibly be the right thing to say to a daughter who has just lost her dad? That it’s going to be okay?  That Allah knows? He will see you through? A hug?

“Allahu Akbar”

I feel a tear-drop make its way down my cheek.

I am standing before the One in whose hand right now is the soul of that man- the One who owns my soul as well as everything that I am. Similar to the deceased my time shall end too. Sooner than I actually think, I shall be nothing but a mere memory. Neither will be there be a last time for one more prostration, nor prayer and last call out to Him. Because after the angel of death usurps thy soul, it really is indeed the end of it all!

The tears found their way out after the prayers. I prayed to Allah to give Ruwaydah and her family patience; patience because amidst all that seems like darkness, He has and forever will be the light, and that He lights up their hearts with His love. I never found the right words to say to her. I could only hug her amidst my tears.

I felt pain; a weird pain that refused to die. I thought of close friends that had lost their fathers, but then braved through each passing day with smiles that only got brighter. I remembered friends who lived life not knowing who their dad really was and woke up everyday with more unanswered questions. I felt for friends who craved the love of a father in their lives and those that I watched break down to the news that their dad was no more- I cry. Maybe I feel their pain in ways that I will never understand. Maybe it’s for the things that I have always taken for granted or for not knowing what to say. I felt pain wishing I said to them that I didn’t, for all the unspoken words that we chose to hide beneath the casual conversations.

 

Later that evening

Late night phone calls when you have ailing relatives may be really tragic. But the tragedy begins when you hear:

 “Inna Lillah wa inna ilayhi raajiun”

(To Allah we belong, and to Him we shall return)

What is this life really? He was gone. Just like that. Gone!

This is where my words fail me terribly. They cannot hold the pain of my adrenalin sparking to high levels as I write this; or the change in rhythm of my heartbeat; the apprehension that is settling within. These tears that flow, as if flowing on the edges of each letter- they fail me in my mere attempt to bring this painful reminiscence to life. We had all lost a man who had very aptly yet subtly played the role of a father in our lives.

And as the rest of the world filled the night with their dreams, the networks were filled with despondent cries as calls came streaming in and out. Preparations for the journey to Mombasa were made. 2 a.m. The emptiness in her mother’s eyes is painfully apparent- like she has been put in an abyss of no hope for tomorrow and how will life be.

Despite the sadness and misery that al-marhum Professor left us with, he left behind a great deal of lessons too. He was a man who had a joke ready to crack to light up the mood. He had an almost permanent smile that shone with a magnificent brilliance. He gave and gave like there was no tomorrow. He gave in every way he could: his stories, his jokes, his laughter, his words. He shared a part of him with everyone through his poetry. And one can sure conclude that his artistry surely brought justice to the Swahili language.

He casually jokd about his death in a way that amazed people yet sustained his comfort; it now makes sense that he long gave up the life of this world. Nothing was ever too big a deal – lisojaaliwa nakuwa haliwi, shukuruni silie ndicho kilimwengu. Recalling what he shared about death, he always said|:

siku yangu ikifika, ya kifo niloekewa,

kufariki sina shaka, na siku hiyo ikiwa,

hapatazidi dakika, wala haitopunguwa,

kifo ni ndiya ya haki, hakuna wa kusaliya.

His death has made me scared. Scared for my soul- my wretched soul; my fate that I know not of; for the state of my grave. I am scared for my home- the home that I will reside in for hundreds or thousands of years. I fear the of the angel of death when he comes for me.

What is our fate?  For many times we obliviously fall into shaytaans menacing traps of thinking we still have a long way to go. But brethren, death is harsher than reality could ever get. While we’re busy taking selfies for Instagram and tweeting our whereabouts, we could be drowning in this worldly ocean of meaningless illusions.  We continue to sin and increase our hopes in His mercy. We rush through our prayers for the burden they have become. We could always learn the Quran and its teachings later.

We need to ask ourselves- are we really guaranteed another tomorrow? Even with the escalating rates of insecurity and bombs that are being hurled all over, are we safe? Do we really have time to always snooze? Do we expect to miraculously secure a place in Jannah when we are known to commit so many sins? Woe onto us!

The end of our lives has been predestined and the angel of death shall come to all of us when the time arrives. It’s about time we got up!

N.B

I consider this a reminder to myself and I take my Islamic obligation to remind you all.

I ask Allah to remove the veil in our eyes and hearts so we could see the truth, to open our hearts and make room for His love. To grant us all the kalimah in our deaths and May we die as Muslims. I pray to Allah the he grant the bereaved families that have lost their loved ones unlimited patience. And for those that have preceded us- may He illuminate their graves with His nur.  I ask Him for peace, peace of our hearts, in our families, our country, and the entire Muslim ummah. Ameen.

Peace.

photo credit: stormwarning. via photopin cc

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