When Life Truly Begins

This is the third day.

Third day since the fateful earthquake.

I don’t know for how long it lasted. I don’t know how many casualties it caused. I don’t care about how much it was on the rector scale or what caused it.

I only know that it shook me to the core.

I only know that I was in dunya when it came and now I’m nowhere.

Everyone who is a medical student would agree with me that this is that time of the year where life stops for you and you breathe, eat and sleep prof because its prof time.

To someone who was doing just that, an earthquake came.

And with it came the heart wrecking realization that if I die what will happen to me

My biggest fear when the earthquake came was not the survival instinct but the excruciating realization that if I can’t recite the kalma I will be on way to jahnam.

This is the second time in my life when I have gone through a life threatening situation and maybe this was why I was a little prepared over what I should do.

A few months back I went swimming for the first time in my life and a few mins in the water I found myself drowning. My friends thought I was joking and they came to my aid after a long while during which I had panicked so much that I couldn’t even remember the kalma. My life flashed before me; a dunya full life and I kept telling myself not to waste my energy fighting against the water (since the mechanism of drowning was also going through my head. The more you fight, the more you swallow water) and instead recite the kalma. I kept telling myself nothing matters if I die as long as I can recite the kalma but the ironic part was I kept saying ‘pehla kalma tayab, tayab manay pak..’ and that was all I could remember.

I learned this Urdu statement when I was a kid but I discarded it and used to recite the arabic part later on. The fact that I could only remember the Urdu part and not the arabic part which could save me panicked me even more.

And I remained shaken for a few days after. But of course I forgot as time went on.

Later on it also made me realize that what you do since your childhood is something that stays with you till the end. So whoever has kids, please make them habitual of the five prayers and even zikr because these things last with you later on in life.

So when the earthquake came and everyone evacuated the house, I stayed upstairs trying to remember the arabic part of the kalma. It didn’t help that my maid who was right next to me was reciting ina lilahi wa ina alayhey rajioon.

Finally I did remember the arabic part and I felt all the panic inside me drain as I kept reciting the kalma. All was well as long as I was reciting the kalma.

But after the earthquake subsided, I felt myself trembling from head to toe because this was the first time in my life witnessing such a severe one, where I thought I was a goner and where I thought I’d be sitting in jahanam a few mins later.

Just a few minutes before, the most important thing to me was the prof but now it all seemed meaningless. Because if I die, prof would amount to nothing. They won’t save me. No excuse would.

I remembered the first ayah of Surah Anbiyah that we did in Quran class and it all hit me so hard. All the ayahs of warnings came to my mind and this time with an urgency. I understood why Nabi SAW used to cry. I understood why he said that if you saw what I’ve seen you would cry a lot and smile very little. I understood why he said that an intelligent person is he who prepares for the hereafter and a stupid one who wastes times.

And I also remembered the conversation I had with my friend about prof a day back. She asked me why I was so scared when I had done so well throughout the year and studied too and I had said that even if you are wellprepared, you are scared because its all luck. You can fail with preparation too.

You can fail with preparation too.

These words came to haunt me because I have no preparation. I have no talab, no ikhlas, no mujahida, nothing to show Allah SWT, to tell Him I’ve tried my best. Because everything I have is what He did for me. He pushed me into ilm. He pushed me into this jamat. There is nothing that I’ve ever longed for or begged for or even cried for when it comes to deen.

After the earthquake subsided, I developed this fear. I cannot recite kalma 24/7 because I have no idea when I’ll die. I will die suddenly. Unlike the earthquake, I won’t know my death is coming. I won’t be able to recite kalma and then my amals are such that I will surely end up in hell.

It’s the third day today. All of my duaas for the world seem meaningless. The most important duaa that we need is that we die as Muslims reciting the kalma. Nothing else matters. Who said whatever to us. Who did that to us. It’s all futile.

And reciting the kalma is not easy. I might be reciting it now but as soon as death comes I can forget it because only those who have lived according to the kalma are able to recite the kalma. Those who feel the kalma.

This isn’t a post to scare anyone. I am the sort of a person who gets scared easily. I tell my mother not to talk about Dajjal or ayahs of punishment and such stuff because they make me depressed.

But this time I felt helpless. This feeling of being depressed by such things is in itself a form of conciet. To think that we are some beings that would or should get depressed. Even if we do get depressed, it won’t save us. If depression would save us, our teachers would be telling us to get depressed as opposed to doing zikr.

This earthquake also showed me what happens to a zikr -less person. How that person panics because deep down he knows that he has done nothing to warrant Allah’s Mercy to save him. Because that’s exactly how I felt.

May Allah SWT make us die on kalma and may we get a zikrful death.

Jo dam ghafil woh dam kafir.

Our teacher makes this duaa which I never thought was this important. It is ‘Aey Allah, isey pehlay k hamare zaahir ki ankhain bund ho jaien hamari baatin ki ankhain kholnay ki taufeeq ata farma.’

Life changes when you realize. Else being connected, studying ilm, little or no zikr is all just a superficial facade. May Allah SWT make us realize this before our death and may He keep this realization alive in us till our last breath.

M. Javed.

Student of the online Alimah program

from Pakistan

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  1. Binte Aqeel says:

    I can relate to this.
    A day or two back, I experienced something strange.I felt some heavy force sitting on my body while I was sleeping.I thought maybe angel of death has come.I thought I should recite kalima as maybe its my last moment.But I couldn’t.I made dua in my heart that Allah give me ability to read kalima if its my last moment, alhamdiullah then I was able to recite the kalima.Allah knows best what that force was.

    But what happened with me shook me and serve to be a reminder for me that I should always make dua for katma bin khair.If our end happens without kalima, then we just wasted our whole life.

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