Mystery of Death

By Jamal Rahman

“Every soul will taste death.” (Qur’an 3:185)

“I learned that every mortal will taste death. But only some will taste life.”  (Rumi)

Death is not only inevitable but can happen to us at any moment. We lose sight of this reality as we get absorbed and preoccupied in our daily struggles of life.

Remembrance of this simple truth of the mystery of death helps us to live a life of fullness and fulfillment. It dawns on us that time is precious. This awareness helps us to arrange our priorities and make sound decisions in life. We avoid getting enmeshed in trivialities, the endless dramas and melodramas of our life that end up in tears and dissatisfaction.

The tendency to procrastinate is diminished. What is it that we want to say or do? Maybe we need to tell someone, “I love you,” or “Please forgive me.” The time is now and the place is here. What do we want to do that will give us meaning in life? The words of Tagore resonate in us: “I spend my days stringing and unstringing my instrument but the song I came here to sing remains unsung.”  Take risks now; do not make excuses to delay. We can learn from mistakes and grow from experiences. We come closer to fulfilling our aspirations.

Sages point out that we expend time and energy taking care of our material needs in this lifetime but what preparations are we making for our afterlife? Engage in acts of service: this will satisfy the needs of our soul and fulfill the purpose of our existence on earth. On the day of our death, we will have to leave behind our riches and titles at our palace. Beloved family members and friends can accompany us only up to the gravesite. What will take us deeper and farther into those mysterious realm is the record of our good deeds.

The Prophet Muhammad said that when you arrived here everyone was laughing and smiling but you were crying. Live such a life that when you depart, everyone is weeping but you are laughing and smiling.

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