20 June 2008

Death Can Be Round The Corner

The Final Call

I wake up every morning. Within the first 30 minutes of waking up, I’m checking my e-mail and browsing the net. It’s a routine.

Before leaving for a journey, I know that I won’t get net access for a while, so I check my e-mail thoroughly and spend some extra time checking some stuff online, since I won’t be able to do so for the next little while.

In the same way, I study throughout the semester (a routine), but when it’s exam-eve, I take the extra moment to solidify the data in my mind for the exam.

In both these instances, I’m pretty sure that I’ll either be going on a journey or will be faced with an exam the next day, thus I take the time to prepare.

Alhamdulillah, through the blessing of Allah (SW) and the efforts of my parents, I have become accustomed to offering my 5 daily salat. Yet, it also has become a routine of sorts. I’m used to praying so I pray.

Many of those prayers are spent thinking about what I have to do next, while others speed-by while lost in thought about some other matter or pursuit. Although they are not the ideal salat, Insha-Allah, it is hoped that Allah (SW) will accept my duty of daily salat as being discharged, even with these semi-conscious prayers (which aren't supposed to be that way).

However, in contrast with the two examples in the beginning, I can never be sure if a salat will be my last.

During ta`leem this afternoon, a hadith caught my attention.

The Prophet (SAW) is reported (by many narrators) to have said, “Offer each salat (with) such (devotion) as if it were the last salat of your life.”

My thoughts suddenly rushed over to Southeast Asia and the tsunami disaster. Many Muslims perished (may Allah grant them all a place in Jannah). While walking out of the masjid, how many would have thought that they had just offered their last salat and that they will soon be swept to sea?

We can try to sweep it under the rug as much as we want, but the fact remains that (as I’ve said before), our birth certificates don’t carry expiry dates. The `Asr I have just prayed or the Maghrib I’m about to offer (Insha-Allah) may very well be my final call to Allah (SW) before He calls me back.

Before leaving for a journey or prior to an exam, I know that I better take the extra minutes to prepare and do it well, for I won’t get another chance in the near future. But when offering my salat, I don’t even know if I’ll suddenly find myself in an unexpected journey - from which there is no turning back.

Isn’t it ironic that I tend to sacrifice that which will (hopefully) help me in the Hereafter - when it all really counts - in exchange for short-term concerns that won’t help one bit in the Hereafter, and may even turn out to be a disadvantage for me?

Man, I’m such a fool.

May Allah (SW) help me and all of us in streamlining our thoughts towards Allah during our salat, and help us make each of our prayers as if they’re our last. Ameen.

Source : Sikander Ziad Hashmi, sunniforum.com