Back-Up Plan

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

Waseem: What we plan...

When it comes down to it all, officially, there are some things you just can’t help but talk about. There are some things we just don’t want to hear… And some things we say because we can’t be silent any more. Some things, however, are more than what words you can  say. Some things you say because there is no other choice. Some things you keep to yourself, but every now and again, there are some things that just happen… And those things simply speak for themselves.

Death.

It’s inevitability is always present,but when you see it with your very eyes, and witness it’s finality… You understand what it means when they say that there is no going back. That moment when your heart is literally cracked apart because of the unbearable pain, and you feel like it will never heal… Well, for me, that’s what makes death so hard on the living.

But while we focus on our own pain, we fail to understand that it’s not about us. Today it was another person’s name on the list, but somewhere down there, your name is featuring too. And at the end of it, you’ve either won or lost, and the winning and losing is not to do with death itself- It’s the entire journey that actually gets you there.

Abu Huraira reported: Nabi (SAW) said, “Remember often the destroyer of pleasures,” by which he meant death.

And of course, no-one likes to think about it, or even talk about it, but it was an inevitable part of life. There is no escaping that fact that we are going to leave this world, whether we like it or not. There’s no getting away from the fact that we are all going to have to succumb to that final journey to our Creator.

But how we do it, is what matters. How we prepare ourselves, and live our lives, is what makes a difference. And that’s what we should always focus on… That should be our only priority. It’s when everything else takes second place when those final moments are on the verge of happening, and our entire lives are at a stand-still when the dreaded company of death is near.

And of course, even for me, everything in my life seemed subordinate the moment that Ziyaad phoned me to say he needed my help. Zaynah’s going home to her uncle that same day, despite my arguments with the family, was completely trivialised when I picked up the phone. Raees’s bantering and underlying threats were the last thing on my mind the moment I laid eyes on the bloody accident scene before my eyes. I walked forward to where I could see Ziyaad, encountering some of the police officers warnings as I pushed myself forward, regardless of their resistance.

“One, two, three,” a paramedic was calling out, virtually on top of the body that lay on the cold tar below us. It took me a few seconds to realise who it was, and my heart sunk even lower as they repeated the count, and the tried to pump the chest once again. I turned my face away, not wanting to see any more.

The disappointment hung in the air, and my heart contracted as reality sunk in.

“There’s Waseem… Go home,” a voice said after a few unbearable moments, and I turned around to see a dishevelled Ziyaad with his friend Juniad behind us.

The crowd was already disappearing. People were so fickle. Action was over. Everything was getting cleared out. There really was no need for any spectators. I walked away too, guiding my brother firmly as he took this all in.

“Zee,” I said sympathetically, shaking my head, and not knowing what else to say.

I mean, what else do you say, except the reality of it all?

“Inna Lillahi wa Inna Ilaihi Raji’oon.”

Indeed, we are not placed in this world to stay here. We get so involved in the pursuit of this Duniyaa and all it’s perks that we forget that it’s not our real home.

I wanted to offer him some comfort, but my own heart was gripped with grief as I saw him immediately break down when I reached out. He gripped me with all the force of the anxiety that he was trying to contain. He clung on like that little boy I had seen grow up in the past few months, riddled by everything that had happened. I could tell the questions on his mind, and I really didn’t have many answers for him.

The whole thing was like an out of body experience. We were there, at that moment, but the moment just felt unreal.

And if course, because she played on my mind more than anything, at that moment, I vaguely remembered how Zaynah had once told me something that I found quite amusing at the time.

She had just moved into my parent’s home, and I knew she sometimes got a bit shocked at the luxuries that I had grown up with. I think she sometimes found it unbelievable that I had never made a bed in my life. She looked up at me one day as she folded my clothes I was packing for a business trip, with a strange look on her face.

“Sometimes I get this feeling that we are just like dolls in a playhouse,” she had said, and I looked at her with a smirk, trying not to laugh.

“What do you mean?” I asked her, looking slightly confused.

“Like,” she said, eyeing me out cynically as I lounged on the daybed with my phone. “Can you imagine the Malaaikah just watching us in amusement, as we get carried away with everything in this temporary world? And they’re probably laughing at us too, thinking at how silly we are as we lose focus! Thinking that we have no idea that all this is nothing… Compared to what is coming.”

I grinned at her, and I knew she was teasing me about my relaxed state of mind. I had been a little lazy at the time, happy about my married life and everything that was happening, but I was working on getting myself back on track. She smiled her amazing smile to show she was only teasing, but I got the message. Before it was too late…. I knew that there was no better time than right then to start working on myself.

Too late.

I sighed. That was what we forgot. That one day, it will be too late, and now, of course, for Zee’s wife, it was already too late. It was so sudden, but our entire lives had changed so drastically now, with the turns of events. It was all in the test, and as I glanced at Ziyaad, I could see it eating him up. I just didn’t want him to fail, as he let it all out.

That was the thing with emotions. They eat you up in a way that people can’t really understand. They get under your skin and you can’t shake it. And even you do start to feel better, you still don’t have it in you to feel it, because just the memory still ties you down.

“I’ll sort all the formalities out,” I said, trying to divert his attention and thinking about everything that needed to be arranged from here. I knew that Ziyaad’s wife’s family will probably be on top of it, but I knew Ziyaad’s mind will be eased if I tell him that I had spoken to a guy who would make sure that nothing unislamic was done. That there will be no post-mortem. That everything should be done quickly. There was no way that Ziyaad could worry about the formalities when his life had just been shaken up.

Besides that, I knew that I needed to get him home before the Janazah, and be there for him if he needed any support. I watched him trudge up the entrance steps ahead of me as we reached home, meeting my mother halfway through the door. She reached for him and clung on, and I could hear her slightly muffled words through the sobs in between.

She was speaking about Farah and their marriage, and crying in between, and I wondered if she was trying to make him feel better or worse. Ziyaad just looked numb, as he nodded, and moved forward as if he was some kind of robot.

“Your father wants to see you.”

He nodded, and I knew exactly how he felt. Like he was floating. Like it was all part of  a bad dream… And we were just spectators looking onto the tragedy that had just occurred.

I waited outside while trudged out the room in a kind of trance, knowing that it was time for the arrangements to be made. We hopped into the car in silence,  and I could hear Ziyaad sigh audibly as we neared the house, seeing cars already streaming in, and hoards of people in religious attire making their way through the secure complex of houses. We both kept our head down as we stepped off the car, not wanting to meet anyone’s eye. With the strain on Ziyaad’s marriage, I wasn’t sure about the reception we would get.

Everything happened so fast that day, that looking back, I could barely even recall the emotions that coupled it all. I got lost in my thoughts as we entered the graveyard, remembering the last time that I had been here, and reliving that pain for a few moments one again. The feelings of loss and despair was still very real for Ziyaad, but I could hear him steadying his breath as people made way for him to approach the prepared grave, and he looked down into it’s depths.

It still shocked me that people could talk about worldly things while we stood there, and I heard  a few guys actually chuckling about something that had happened earlier that day. If the graveyard didn’t immediately divert your attention to the reality if life, then I wasn’t sure what would.

Whenever Hazrat Uthman (Radiyallahu Anhu) used to stand at the grave side he used to cry so excessively that his blessed beard would become wet with his eye drop. Someone asked: “Why do
you not cry so much when mention is made of Jannah and Jahannam as you would cry when mention is made of the grave?”He replied, I heard Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) saying: “The grave 1s the first stage from the stages of the Aakhiraah, Whoever has passed it easily all the other oncoming stages will be easy for him and whoever is afflicted with punishment in it for him, the oncoming-stages will be even tougher. ”

I prayed for my own safety as I turned back to give them a silencing look, hoping they would get the message.

Some things, unfortunately, have to be learnt through tragedy. Through loss. Through the reality that lays right before our eyes.

It was the final home that someone was called backed to today. And though it was her today, who knew whose turn it would be tomorrow, a week, or even a month from here? As we go about our day to day lives, who knew when we would  be called back for that final meeting with the Creator of Heavens and Earth, and stand before him as our lives are dissected and questioned through every meagre action we might have done.

The strange thing is, for everything in life, most people have a back-up plan. A plan B. A second option.

You run out of cash, you swipe your card. You lose your keys, you take out the spare. Your main man lets you down… Call the next best.

Whatever you do, know that eventually, it will all get sorted out. It doesn’t even take much effort at times, but it just means that you can rely on something else. It just means that you don’t have to panic.

But although we tie our loose ends for most things in life, the scariest part is that we haven’t really thought about the end of it. That moment when it all comes to a halt. When there is no turning back. When the doors of repentance are closed. When the hope for any future is completely crushed.

Death.

When that final moment of truth comes, and we are face to face with the infamous Malakal Mauth, what plan can we pull out then? Do we have enough on our records to pull us through for that? Which contact are we going to dial then? What’s our back-up plan for then?

What’s your back-up plan?

“And perhaps you wear your watch, and the one who inherits will take it off from you. And perhaps you close the door of your car, and the ambulance man will open it for you. And perhaps you do up the buttons of your shirt, and the one who washes the body will undo them for you. And perhaps you close both your eyes whilst looking at the ceiling of your room and you will not open them except in front of the Compeller of the heavens and the Earth.

See what takes up our time and what we will fill it and what will be our end.

O Allah, awaken us from this heedlessness!”

Shayk ibn Uthaymeen


JazakAllah to all for the patience! Don’t forget our Super Sunnahs!

Beautiful Sunnah: 5 Sunnah in one action. SubhaanAllah!

The Sunnah way of drinking water:

  1. Drink with the right hand. 
  2. Drink whilst sitting
  3. Say Bismillah before and Alhumdulillah after
  4. Look into the glass when sipping
  5. After 3 sips of drinking water, say Alhumdulillah Wasshukru Lillah.

There are many bodily benefits to these Sunnah as well. Let’s try and practise regularly!

We will be doing more eating and drinking Sunnahs Insha Allah.

#RevivetheSunnahofEating

#RevivetheSunnahofDrinking

#Revive theSunnahofSpeakingGood

#RevivetheSunnahofSmiling

#RevivetheSunnahofMiswaak

#RevivetheSunnahofDu’aas

Tweet: @ajourneyjournal

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