Two people enquired about a soccer friend of mine today. The reaction that I gave, was in my opinion, unbecoming for a married 28 year old like me. I gave the nonchalant, oblivious and I don’t give a darn kinda answer as to his whereabouts. As I sat down, pondering on why I have this acute sense of disgust for his disappearance, I then realised the root of my distress. I believe I care enough to realize and sense when someone is wasting something away.
Yes, there are those within my circle of friends who hold the belief that he has every right to live his life the way he wants it to be. Some call it his passionate way of living life. Others call it as a process of growing up. I call it, a passive and ignorant way of looking at life. On what accounts do I have this right to call it so? Perhaps on the account, that a more talented, more bustling and full of prospects, friend of mine is now buried underneath seven feet of soil and earth almost a decade ago. So, I care enough to note when someone has his prism of life tilted the wrong way.
People sometimes relate to things with comments such as, “That’s the reality of Life.”,”Life sucks.” and “That’s just the way it is!”. If only they really knew, the real meaning of what life has in store for us. A discussion I had over the week with a learned individual, made me remember the frugal perpectives we hold. An Islamic cleric once gave a visual analogy of what the reality of life is (hakikat kehidupan). The reality of life is not what we are living now. He mentioned this world as a playground. We cut ourselves, we feel the pain momentarily as blood flows out. After a few weeks, the wound will dry and heal and leave a scar. And we can literally, repeat that steps again. And he mentioned just how easy it is for us to go hungry, and when we eat, we are filled only to have hunger strike us again over time. Throughout he course of this life, we have the process repeated. It is a clear indication as to how fulfillment in this life is so temporary. People go from broke, to riches to being broke again and rich again. Even Warren Buffet will have to leave his wealth when he dies. How can something so transcient be a reality right? A reality has to last.
That’s when the cleric seek to explain the reality of life actually begins upon our death. How so? Simple. We either die in or out of faith. There is no retaking of exams with regards to Life. If we are blessed with the wonders of Jannah, we’ll stay there for eternity. If we are punished with the pits of Naar, we’ll burn there for quite some time. And the reality is, there’s nothing temporary about it. You know why we consider Einstein to be the smartest man ever? My answer is probably because he understood this part of Life very well, such that he could have come up with the theory of relativity. And for that people take him to be a genius, when inside the Quran, it’s already been stated. Anyway…
The question that I have been thinking to myself with a tinge of regret, sigh and sadness for years now, is the course by which I will end up on my road of life. Let’s be frank and bold about it. We live our lives, thinking so hard as to what kind of wives/husbands we want. What kind of homes we want. What kind of children we want. Yet, we cannot put an answer to the question, “Will we see our beloved wives/husbands and children? Will we see our parents? Will we see our friends?” I got stupefied upon this, when my discussion partner just blatantly asked if I wanted to see my best friend in the Hereafter. My heart said,”Of course!” but my head said,”Probably never!”. I was sad. I thought of Kai and I thought to myself,just how sad will that be. Then I thought of my son, his twinkling eyes flashing across my thoughts and I teared, then my wife whom I love deeply, my parents and my grandmother. I only have a few loved ones in mylife, but definitely, I will wanna see them. But the pertinent question is,”What’s my roadmap?”
I’m not exactly made out to be pious in any sense, but I never fail to strive to be one. Sometimes, the things that come across my radar of attention and knowledge frightens me, worries me, gives me hope and at times just blanks my mind out. Most people that I’ve talked to, as a financial planner, has this unrealistic and idealistic view that they’ll die on their bed, in their homes, being surrounded by family and friends with someone reciting the syahadah to be repeated. The media’s depiction of such instances has been misleading. A client of mine died whilst he was in hospital, just minutes after his family left for home. So the question is, “What will be your final word?” As we all know from an authentic Hadith, that the person who dies with the last word to be “Lailahaillalah” is virtually guaranteed Paradise. But that’s the tricky part. We cannot be sure. Even my late paraplegic uncle stuttered through the kalimah, after hours of attempts. And these days, people make fun of such severe instances in life.
This paranoia seeps through my inner being, such that I try as much as possible to cut down on listening to songs in my MP3 when I’m travelling. Corny for me to say this, but if you see me with my earphones on, chances are I’m listening to Quranic recitations. I mean, being paranoid is one of those things, but the therapeutic effect is the main reason. These days, I feel so thankful when I get up in the morning. Allah allows me to live another day.
Oh well, going by the upcoming movie 2012, the frequent Earthquakes, the numerous number of false self proclaimed Prophets, the rapid melting of ice, the meltdown in economies, haze, tyrannical governments and a top Muslim cleric giving all the wrong edicts…don’t we have any course of worries?
Let’s put it this way. An authentic Hadith stated that the day the Anti-Christ / Dajjal makes his appearance, 70,000 ulamas/clerics will follow him. 70,000 top notch, learned and wise Muslim clerics!!! And here we are, lesser mortals still deciding what color to paint our bikes/cars/homes.
It brings up that simple issue, between a kid in Palestinian celebrating Eid and a Singaporean kid celebrating Eid! Who has it better? My answer is the Palestinian kid! Because, if he gets bombed by the Israelis for no rhyme or reason, he has Jannah awaiting him. Same world/Earth, different scales.
So, in a nutshell, there are realities in life. And then there are realities.