This is something I’ve been thinking about lately. This is something that has been haunting me lately. I don’t mean to burden you. I don’t mean to scare you either. Nor am I trying to relieve my mind by letting it flow. Or perhaps I am. But penning it down would do no good. Penning it down won’t make things easier for you and me.
Perhaps you’ve guessed what I am talking about. Perhaps you can sense what is to come next. Perhaps you want to hit the exit button this moment and not read the upcoming depressing thoughts. Perhaps you don’t want to ruin your bright day with gloomy thoughts by reading on. Exit now if you wish to, but these aren’t just gloomy depressing thoughts…this I have been realising more and more recently is the biggest fact of life….about this temporary life. The clock is ticking away, the minutes are numbered.
I am not sure what I am wishing to write down. Perhaps you may find this as a very different post from my past ones. Perhaps you might wonder what’s gotten into her so suddenly. Perhaps you might think I am either going through one of my “emotional mother hormone” or perhaps that I’ve had a bad day or a bad week and am just depressed about it. I quite disagree. This post has nothing to do with my personal life at the moment. It’s just something I’ve been thinking about for quite a few months. Perhaps in tids bits but the thoughts seem to become stronger each week. I often think about death these days and the thought just explodes in my head suddenly…whilst I am eating, cooking or at times when I am feeding my infant…there isn’t a particular thing triggering it. Yes, what triggered it in the first place can be examined a little.
Well if I think carefully about it…perhaps it has become quite dominant after I became a parent. Mostly because I tend to think that I’ve grown old and that I’ve wasted 26 years of my life…well to be fair 27…since my birthday is only 2 months away. But then when I look closely at my daughter …her innocence and lack of understanding of the right and the wrong, I realise that I can’t count all those years of childhood and adolescence. Perhaps even if I start counting from when I turned 15…that still means over a decade worth of unjustified wasted time!
Wasted? Let us examine this in a bit more detail…studying for O-levels, studying for A-levels, studying for Chartered Accountancy and side by side completing my training period with an audit firm…a 8 am to 9 pm job with hardly any weekends free…rushed Namaz but being steadfast in fasting! Wedding arrangements, getting married, adjusting to a new life country and job, pregnancy and now motherhood! I guess that’s far from wasted, wouldn’t you agree?
But if I were to look closely…is that all there is to life? Running after one goal to another? Embarking on one journey after another? I think not! Embarrassed as I am to admit but the truth is, ever since I moved from Pakistan I have moved away from religion too. Owing to a year-long maternity leave, it should’ve been the other way round but being ever engrossed in house chores and caring for a newborn…sigh…that really never happened. True I have made some time for reading the Holy Quran every day (you can read more on how I incorporated that in my busy routine here) but is that really enough? Does that relieve me of all my duties?
I remember back home I used to think more about helping those in need perhaps because I witnessed the hardships of my maids, peons and those around me. In fact, I remember putting aside some of my pocket money and also helping the needy on ad hoc basis. I remember those days of Ramadan when I would peacefully offer my prayers and some extra Tasbeehs for more rewards. I remember how during exam days I would find myself closer and ever more relying on God. How every time the phone rang I would answer with Aslamoalikum. Perhaps these aren’t really noble deeds…perhaps these are pretty much ordinary days that you may be doing every day. However, unfortunately, moving to a non-Muslim country…I don’t have these little opportunities anymore. And somewhere in my heart, I feel as if I keep drifting away from religion and Allah more and more each passing day. In fact, the weight of this thought has started to burden my heart now.
This feeling got more prominent when my friend’s father passed away. He wasn’t just my friend’s father, he was also a close relative of mine. Though I didn’t meet him often but I always heard my mother and Aunts praise him in the highest of words. He was a man who would be anyone’s ideal. He was a charming, successful businessman but most importantly he was a down to earth, charitable man. 10 minutes of interaction with him would’ve been enough to win you over. And he was so active, always on the go…different business projects, being there for people when they needed him, attending all social gatherings. He wasn’t too old (his eldest daughter the same age as mine) so his death came as a shock to all of us. I remember him fondly for the time when he had introduced me to all his friends and family as a “very intelligent and bright student” and how he had been there to help out with my grandmother’s care and her funeral. His death was so sudden so unexpected. No illness, no accident…a heart stroke and he passed away.
It was an eye opener for me in some ways. It’s been 5 months since he passed away now (May Allah give him the highest rank in Paradise). And ever since his death, I’ve been assessing life more critically. I am ashamed to say that I haven’t made any drastic improvements yet but at least it makes me think more about my death and about the time is ticking away. Who know my number may be next. And what have I done to prepare for the never ending life in the Hereafter?
The thought keeps haunting me now and then and I find myself just praying to Allah for help and reciting a few Tasbeeh as and when possible. I think the purpose for writing this all down was perhaps to make a promise to myself here and now that I will do more to prepare for the Hereafter. And Inshallah I will stick to this promise now.
If you have been experiencing any such thoughts, or if my article made you think twice…then please do add in a few tips, in the comment section below, on how we can prepare better for the Hereafter and make some more time for Allah. May Allah help us all!