When I ride in an airplane, I enjoy looking at how small the world seems from a distance. Yet when you zoom in, what seemed so small and insignificant turns out to be very important and major for most of us. The size of the house, the kind of car, the amount of money, and the lifestyle we want. It is easy to get caught up in the routine of day to day life thinking that it will never end. Each day we wake up, go to work, wait for Friday, and enjoy the weekend. Rinse and repeat. It takes a lot of emotional and spiritual energy to stop, pause, and reflect on what is happening and where we are going. We often escape from the thought of our end. Death is a reality every single living creature will experience. No one’s health, wealth, status, or riches every saved them from dying and being buried with nothing.
Humans tend to be very shortsighted when planning for their future. We plan for school, college, a career, family, children, retirement. However, it tends to stop at that. Why don’t we plan for what we are certain will happen without a doubt? The answer is because we are scared of the unknown and are comfortable with what we know. We escape to the next movie, binge watch a series, buy the newest gadget, or distract ourselves with health or wealth. But, reality is that there is no escape. It is only a matter of time before we die. The Qurʾān asks So where are you going? (Qurʾān 81:26).
Occasionally I encounter a post or story of someone who is dying. Their reflections are usually still about this world. The general message is about cherishing the few moments we have left. But what about what is to come? What about a hereafter? Is there something beyond this world? Reflecting on death is a healthy exercise provided it does not debilitate us from living life. It is meant to make us a better person with our temporary companions in this world and with God our Creator. Keeping death in mind helps one overlook the insignificant things and focus on the bigger picture of life.
Death is naturally scary, but we can find comfort in the fact that God is loving and has cared for us since birth. Death is a natural process we must go through in order to enter the world of the hereafter. For the one who prepares for death the hereafter is a better and longer lasting abode. When a child is born, it leaves its mother’s womb crying, afraid of entering the new world. Yet this world is so much bigger, vaster, and more beautiful than the world of the womb which they were attached to. No one leaves the womb and wishes to go back. Similarly, death is a form of birth into the hereafter. It is a transition to a place where there is no sickness, worries, stress, work, or difficulties. This is the home of work and planting the seed and the hereafter is where we will reap the fruits. So, do not let death lead you to despair and hopelessness, rather let it be a means of inspiration for you to seek your purpose in life, connect with God, leave an imprint on this world and plant the seeds for your hereafter.