By Neda Shams,
Dammam, Saudi Arabia
Every beginning has an end, every start a finish, and there’s no journey without a destination. Imagine if we could attain immortality, what would our aims be? What would be the force that would drive us to actions and achievements? Would we make each day, each minute, as useful as we do now? Or would the idea for eternal existence wash out our passions and goals and eventually reduce us to a crowd of aimless bored bystanders, bringing the world as we know to a halt?
But this is where we make a mistake, we think death brings an end, while in truth; this journey that we call life does not reach an end, but merely a transition.
Death is one of the greatest realities of life, and ironically, one that we find difficult to imagine for ourselves. Even though it’s inevitable, no one likes the thought of dying. In the aftermath of the demise of close friends and family, we have sat many afternoons and kept ourselves awake many a nights thinking about the state of our loved ones in the last moments of their lives, yet it fails to have as lasting an impact on us as it should. What should actually happen is that it should move us, and move us in such a way that we wrench ourselves out of the sweet dream of delusions and recognise the presence of the stark reality that’s staring us in the face, every moment since birth. It should move us in such a way that we close all those chapters of envy and grudge and despise, and run looking for any and every deed that will ensure a place of peace in the after world. We spent many hours discussing the last breath of people we’ve loved and lost, but they eventually become whispers in our ears until they’re lost in time and the memories fade. Avoiding talking about things that displease us is a natural tendency in man, they makes us feel powerless and weak. The best remedy that we’ve figured for this displeasure is to keep the thoughts and concerns about them under wraps.
Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) says in Surah Al Imran:
Every soul will taste death, and you will only be given your [full] compensation on the Day of Resurrection.
Any being that has taken a breath of life has an end written for it, and this is a fact that is not, in the slightest, debatable. What should be debated is if it is a beginning or an end. Our faith makes it clear that it is definitely a beginning, and one that should be prepared for with a serious thought. The reason for our existence is quite clear.
Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) says:
And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.
And We did not create the heaven and earth and that between them in play.
Many have asked this before, and continue to do so: Why must we die? Why must we be resurrected? Why do we have to be so mindful of everything we do? If we use even a fraction of the insight and intelligence that Allah has gifted us with, this question will not remain a question, but will form a statement that demands immediate work.
Is it fair that one who works hard and the one who idles about stand at the same receiving end of bounties and approval from the Creator? Of course not! It would be preposterous and unfair to say the least, and who can be fairer in dealings than Al Adil, The Just.
For every hard work, every struggle, there is, and should be, a reward. This is a system that is not new to anyone and cannot be rejected by any standard of morality. In reality, it is more of a question of the conscience, of whether we want to meet our Creator, and if we have prepared to stand before Him. If we have, leaving the world would not seem unimaginable and frightful.
As Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) says to His most beloved and deserving slaves:
[To the righteous it will be said], “O reassured soul, Return to your Lord, well-pleased and pleasing [to Him], And enter among My [righteous] servants And enter My Paradise.”