Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Reminder from Langkawi

It was a long journey back to Melaka from Langkawi. We reached our hostel around 4.30 a.m. I had a class at 8 a.m. and guess what? I overslept. I remembered hearing the alarm but I was too tired to wake up and the next thing I knew was it was already 7.53 a.m.! To cut the long story short, the lecturer had pharyngitis and so the class was canceled. We were just given tasks to be completed by the evening. After a long weekend I thought I deserve some rest, so even though I have a lot to do I decided to take a long nap. I woke up a few hours later refreshed yet still feeling lazy to do the things that I should be doing.
After I had my breakfast (or should I say brunch as it was already noon), I checked my phone and to my surprise there was the following message in my inbox, ‘ Askm. Alfatihah utk mohd firdaus b yusof yg tlh kmbali ke rahmatlh ptg semalam. kmpln 1 d bgkel kemhrn hdup. Tolong mklmkn rakan2. drp:sek keb k.teriang’.
KUMPULAN 1? BENGKEL KEMAHIRAN HIDUP? My cerebrum was trying to process those words. Only then I realized that the deceased was among the participants in a talk that our team organized as a part of our program in Langkawi (BISMI 2010). From the sources that I have, he drowned while playing with his friends at the beach the same day we had the program
The news somehow affected me. Death per se is nothing new but how often do we have the chance to be with a person on the day he took his last breath? Receiving the news when I was loafing around is like getting a direct reminder from Him to value life and prepare for death.

It is well known that we can die anytime and anywhere and we should prepare for it but most of the time that knowledge remains just that - knowledge - without any practical impact. When I reflect on myself, I remember the times I make mistakes deliberately thinking I’ll correct them in the future. We always hear people say ‘mude2 ni enjoyla dah tua nanti taubat’. But what if we die while doing those sins? What if we die young? It’s not like death will wait for us to be ready.

For me, knowing death alone is not enough. That knowledge only becomes significant when it touches our hearts and is reflected through the way we live our lives. That’s why I really need this kind of reminder as it touches my heart and motivates me to live life right. However the enlightenment can fade. I’m sure everybody has experienced this. One day we are enlightened to do something right and the next day we repeat the same mistakes. Alhamdulillah, The Aware Al Halim, The Forbearing keeps on reminding us again and again by various signs in every possible way. May our hearts be clean enough to see these signs.

I personally think that death is the third best reminder or even motivator after Al-Quran, the words of our Lord and the story of our beloved Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. However, in spite of having those powerful reminders we can still be absurdly forgetful. We’ve been enlightened countless times on life and death yet it takes us only a while to forget and again act as if we will surely live tomorrow. We allow ourselves to be carried away by worldly pleasures and succumb to laziness and procrastination. I believe it is so because we humans are not holding on to our promise to bear witness that Allah is our Lord (Al-A’raf, 7:172) while the satan is strongly holding on to the promise to mislead us (Al-A’raf, 7:16-17).

Nowadays it is very sad to see many people are caught up in matters which have no value at all in the Eyes of Allah. It is often said that we only live once and therefore we should enjoy life to the fullest. Is it true that we only live once? The truth is we die once but live twice. We have one life here in this world and another in the hereafter. Since we have only one chance in this world to prepare for our death and next life, we ought to make full use of our time here. There is so much to do in so little time. If we are still not clear of our purpose here, we are likely to be led astray and die unprepared.

We are here for two main reasons; to worship Allah (Adz-Dzaariyaat, 51:56) and to be a caliph (Al-Baqarah, 2:30). Playing our roles as a servant and caliph can be extremely tiring and hectic but if we do it right our death can be a satisfying rest. So brothers and sisters, let’s not waste time on anything that has no contribution to these two.

And call not those who are slain in the way of Allah "dead". Nay, they

are alive, only you perceive not. (Al-Baqarah,2:154)

al-Fatihah for the late Mohd Firdaus b Yusof who passed away on 4th April 2010

            al-Fatihah for the late Mohd Firdaus b Yusof who passed away on 4th April 2010

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