Thursday, April 14, 2016

'Your turn to get off at the next station'...

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful; blessings and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.


The Declining Day (Al-'Asr)
1. By the declining day,
2. Lo! Man is in a state of loss,
3. Save those who believe and do good works, and exhort 
one another to truth and exhort one another to endurance.

FLIPPING through the pages of my youngest daughter's (at this moment-lah) school magazine of 2015, I came across a beautiful article written by one of the school staff entitled 'Born to Travel'.

At the beginning of the article the teacher wrote: "One thing that I always reiterate to my students is to go out, travel and see the world. It is a rare opportunity and there will be many lessons in life for you to learn."

What caught my attention about this article is a very good reminder by the writer who wrote: "All of us are travelers in our own way...We are travelers or wanderers living in this 'dunya' (world). 

"Since this world is temporary, as a traveler we should do a lot of good deeds towards human and our Creator, Allah SWT to bring along in our next journey (Hereafter)."

'Subhanallah' (Glory to God), what a timely reminder to our young generation (young people including students); the majority of them who were 'mabuk' with the latest telecommunication gadgets; many children were seen absorbed in their own world; some hardly lift their faces when you were speaking to them. Their eyes were fixed on their electronic devices; you seemed not to exist to them.

Its good that the teacher had warned her students that life in this world is temporary and we are just like a traveler. In his 'hadith'; Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. said: "My similitude and that of the life of this world is that of a traveler who took a rest at mid-day under a shade of a tree and then left it." (Ahmad, at-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah and al-Hakim)

During 'my round' at several 'masjids' near my house, at a 'masjid' I remembered an 'ustaz' likened that we were like crews of a ship during a voyage that anchored at a port. The captain gave the workers a day break; they should 'pick up' important things for their stock for the next journey, perhaps for another one month before they embarked at another port.

The workers attitude differed from one another. Some took the day break seriously; the playful ones wasted their time while the forgetful ones fell in love with the surroundings of the town including local girls.

When the time was up; the ship sailed off; only the disciplined crews were on board; the rest were left on their own. Life in this world is like the stopover of the ship; we should work hard to 'grab' important things that could benefit us in the next journey. 

But what things to 'grab'? If we brought a refrigerator or a set of Jati furniture up to our ship...what benefits would we get? We were only inviting trouble, thus in the world 'grab' or do things that would be beneficial for us in the Hereafter.

The Prophet (peace be upon him, s.a.w.) said: "After the death of a person, his actions stop, except three things that he leaves behind: First, continuous charity; second, a knowledge from which some benefit may be obtained and; third, a virtuous son who make 'dua' (pray, supplicate) on his behalf." (Muslim).

In the Qur'an, Allah SWT says: Truly, the life of this world is nothing but a (quick passing) enjoyment, and verily, the Hereafter that is the home that will remain forever." (Qur'an 40:39)

In this article I tried to liken our journey in the world as passengers of a train; perhaps a LRT ride would do. Say the LRT journey began at Stesen (Station) Seri Petaling and ended at Sentul Timur. It was like the life span of the world - from the beginning to the end. If the life span (train journey) was an about an hour (60 minutes), scientists noted this world was already 4.5 billion of years and life is still going.

The LRT (world) started at Seri Petaling. You did not get on it at that time (as for the world, you were not existed then). Say, you began your journey at Bandar Tasik Selatan (the time you were born in this world) and your destination is Titiwangsa. The train then raced to various destinations northwards. At Bandar Tun Razak, you saw tens of the passengers disembark (as for the world, they had passed away).

Titiwangsa was still far away; you smiled at yourself and you went to sleep. Suddenly you were awaken from a loud noise. Subhanallah, some of the passengers who were about to get off at Stesen Masjid Jamek were the 'kepoh' (noisy) type. How rude for them to make you awake!

At Masjid Jamek you saw hundreds of passengers get off the train (their life on the LRT (world) had came to the end. The train rolled fast. You heard the announcement - Next station, station Sultan Ismail, next station PWTC and while you were still in a daze...the 'final call' for you was on station Titiwangsa. Well, as you got off the LRT your existence or life on the train were over (as for the world, the time had came for you to leave it)!

The train (world) moved on leaving you behind (you were no longer on it) until the last station of Sentul Timur (when you die, the world and what were on it kept on moving until it came to a halt; that was the end or the world or 'qiyamah'). 

Subhanallah, while writing this article on the morning of Wednesday, 30th March; at about 12.00 noon my father called me to inform that a young son of a cousin of mine who was in Form Five (17 years old) had just passed away at about 8.00 that morning. 

I had to stop writing this article to attend to his funeral; his grandparent's house where his body was taken to, was about six kilometers away from my 'kampung'.

When I arrived, I saw his body laid on a mattress in the guest's section of the house. I recited simple verses from the Qur'an including Surah Yassin and make a 'dua'. About 30 minutes later his body was taken to a nearby 'surau' (small masjid) for 'solat jenazah' - the majority of the congregators were his friends at school.

His body was then taken to the 'kampung' graveyard about half a kilometer from the 'surau'. His grave was ready...his body was lowered slowly inside the 'liang lahad' and then earth was moved to fill the hole. The 'imam' of the 'kampung' then read the 'talqin', recite 'dua' and soon it was 'all over'.

The young man 'had witnessed his own death', our turn would 'surely came'. Nobody could escape death! The question is are were ready for it?

I only returned home at about 5.00 in the evening and continued writing this article at 6.00. Well dear readers, that boy life span was fated to be short - only 17 years. If we were to compared it with the LRT journey, perhaps he had got on the train at Bandar Tasik Selatan only to get off at next station of Bandar Tun Razak. It was only a five minute journey!

His journey was only a short one; that's life - only Allah SWT knows how long we would spend on earth; but he had warned us: "And put forward to them the example of the life of this world: It is like the water (rain) which We send down from the sky, and the vegetation of the earth mingles with it, and becomes fresh and green. But (later) it becomes dry and broken pieces, which the winds scatter. And Allah is Able to do everything." (Qur'an 18:45)

Please dear readers, remember that the purpose we were sent to earth is as what Allah SWT says in the Qur'an: "And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me. I do not want from them any provision, nor do I want them to feed Me." (Surah Adh-Dhariyat 51: 56-57) 

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