Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The guest called death


17th day or Ramadhan

The smart human being is fully aware of the coming of death. Why wouldn’t we? After all it’s the only thing that is absolutely certain in life. All of the other things that we will experience are full of uncertainty. The job we will get, how many children we will have, how much money we will make, etc., are all in the list of uncertainties in life.

On the other hand, death is “the real thing”, and as beautifully articulated by Heraclitus, an ancient Greek philosopher, “Life has the name of life, but in reality it is death”. Death is a guest that will come to everyone no matter what. Whether they lock themselves in a high tower, run like hell from it, or whatever effort they do, death will not be deceived. It’s time is fixed, and it can’t be changed. Those who are meant to die will die. And those who are meant to live will live on.

A great hero in the Muslim tradition, Khalid ibn Al Walid, fought in numerous battles during his life. He was one of the bravest warriors who fought side by side the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). It is said that he always longed for death in the battlefield, as God gave glad tidings for those who fight and die for His cause. However, ironically the bravest warrior died on his death bed, despite all his near death encounters in the battlefield.

Thus, we shouldn’t be afraid of death. Rather, we should be more concerned about how we walk towards it, the things that we do while we’re alive. Are we being good human beings that benefit other people, or are we wasting our time with things that are of no benefit for us and others? Surely we should think deeply upon our lives so that we don’t regret it when the guest called “death” comes to us.

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