Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Lessons of Life: Part Three - Life and Death

The goal of all life is death ~ Sigmund Freud

When a life ends, the reaction is often devastating. People sob and cry, and suddenly everyone becomes so religious. This is merely my observation. When I was younger, I recall thinking how pretentious people were with death - only mourning, grieving and turning to God when death comes, and then to move on without much thought of the lessons learnt through it. After decades, my views have somewhat altered, though in reality, I do ponder how easily one can forget about the reminder sent by Him.

Thinking about death is actually in line with the teachings of Islam as it prepares each individual for the day after. After all, a lifetime on earth can never compare to life in the hereafter which is eternal! The Quran teaches us to believe that the present life is a trial in preparation for the next realm of existence.
"O my People! This life of the present is nothing but (temporary) convenience. It is the Hereafter that is the Home that will last. " Surah Al Mu'min -The Believer: (40 39)

Death, therefore, should always be in everyone's minds to the extent that each think more of their deathbeds and work on the preparations. It should serve as enough reminder for each individual to strive to be a better person each day. Hence, since our own death has not yet arrived (we are still breathing and well), life should be lived to the fullest.

I recall reading a story (or hadeeth) regarding a man who withdrew himself from the world after the death of his wife. He had felt that his world was closing on him upon the demise of his soul mate. This concerned many, including one woman who later asked to meet this miserable man in person. She insisted that he met her so that she could ask him of his opinion on a problem she had. When he finally agreed to see her, she told him her story.

She had borrowed a piece of jewellery from her neighbour, and had been keeping and using it for a long time. After a while, the neighbour came to ask it back but she wasn't sure whether she should return it. Hearing this, the man advised the woman to return the jewellery to them (the owners), since it had been lent out to her for such a long time.

The woman was obviously sad to part with the jewellery. Nonetheless, she then thanked the man and said, 'May Allah have mercy on you. Do you then grieve over what Allah has lent you and then taken from you, when He has a greater right to it than you?' The man soon realised the situation he was in, and believed that Allah was helping him out through the woman. That is probably why (as mentioned in passing before) the Almighty has given clear guidelines regarding the period of grieve for each person.

Thus, my aim in life is to use change to improve. The deaths in my family, including my dearest late husband, has taught me to:
  • live and love like today is your last - do more good deeds and avoid the wrong for we never know whether we'd have time to repent later, and cherish the moments with those who mean the world to you...
    As quoted by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross:
    It is only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up that we will begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it were the only one we had.
  • always look ahead; the past should be reflected upon to make you better
    Quoting Charles Darwin: It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.

So which do you think more of - life or death? Pause and reflect please...

10 comments:

anggerik merah said...

D,

yes indeed...what you sum up is the way forward in life.

Thanks for writing it here as this has been lingering in my brain most of the time during the time to keep strong to face whatever is coming in life...as part of pause & reflect.

I had been through it sometimes ago of detaching myself and to pause & reflect that all that we have in this world is a loan to us...it helps to accept, let go and walk through the journey of life with HIS guidance through the right path.

Again, thanks for recapping this in words.

U take care dear!

Rd said...

D,

Just sharing that my entry today also about the death of a VERY young man with a good soul..
A hit and run accident..:(

Neny said...

Kak D, thanks for the reminder. It really makes me pause and reflect.

kakpee said...

Kak Dij,
Dah lama I tak buka your blog. Today's blog really makes me think about life, thanks and take care.

iNa said...

salam kak dij,

i came across a hadith saying "org yg bijak adalah org yg sentiasa bersiap sedia untuk alam akhirat"

Umi Kalthum Ngah said...

Assalamualaikum warahmatullah,

Dearest D,

Yes...change is something we must do..adapt and change for the better..(if not then, as I mentioned in my blog entry, we will end up being like the dinosaurs...extinct).

And live our lifes in this world as though we are planting and sowing seeds... Seeds of goodness...with utmost sincerity for Allah and Allah only..

And may Allah allow us the opportunity to reap the harvest in the hereafter, Insya Allah...Amin..

Anonymous said...

Dear Khadijah,
Sabda Nabi Muhammad, tidaklah manusia itu menundukkan kepalanya jika tdk krn 3 perkara; miskin, sakit dan mati. So I'm sure that our Prophet too, has given us a very clear guide how to face this...but don't forget to balance it with this quotes by sahabat- alangkah sempitnya hidup jika bukan krn luasnya cita-cita...So, be sure to live your life to the fullest.

Raden Galoh said...

Salam Dearest D,
I couldn't agree with you more. And you have summed it in the easiest way for us to understand it.

We share the same quote from Elizabeth Kubbler-Ross. Since fighting BC, I learn to appreciate life, every single bit of it and try to do more good deeds.

I'm guilty as charged as I was amongst the forgetful one before BC struck me! Yet, I'm grateful, very, very grateful, Allah gives me BC as a reminder. With it, I reach to my turning point....

Take care.

sYaNa said...

Thank you for the reminder, D. I only speak of myself & I am guilty of choosing life, hence this entry has me paused & reflecting on my doings, right & wrong.

Take care.

Nadia said...

definitely...death : the destroyer of pleasure.
Jazakillah khair for the beautiful reminder, for reminders benefit the believers.