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Coping with the Undeniable Guest

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  • Coping with the Undeniable Guest

    Coping with the Undeniable Guest

    By: Melissa J. Fleming

    Death visited me shortly after my journey to Islam, and I recall it vividly. It was not the angel of death that came knocking on my door, but the door of a friend. Its touch was indelible, and has continued to visit me every day since.

    I remember the calmness in the voice of my dearest friend as she told me that her husband, the same man who had introduced me to Islam, and served as Wali throughout my marriage process, had been shot and had died. She sounded as if she was telling me that he had gone out of town on a business trip. Only from this trip he would not return to us, but to his Lord. "No!" I screamed at the sound of the news, and instead of saying, "From Allah we come and unto Allah we shall return", my eyes filled with tears and I wailed.

    Graceful as ever, she performed salah at his Janazah and shook hands with friends, while I dissolved into a ball of flesh and tears.

    Through the downpour, I watched her for weeks, calm, smiling and saying Alhamdulillah at her loss. I often wondered how she managed. I knew that she loved her husband deeply and that they had shared so much: a new marriage, two young children - I wondered, how could she go on?

    Being a new Muslim at the time I had not had any experience with death, and my knowledge of the deen was still very basic. As most of us find in our lives, knowledge is nothing without being adorned with actions. However, it often takes a life experience, along with faith to actually out all of the proper actions.

    And that was how she did it; that was how she managed! She had enough life experience and faith to understand that trusting in Allah (SWT) and being pleased with his Qadar (fate) was more than just saying Alhamdulillah, but breathing it and living it.

    After the death of this young man who was full of life looking toward the future and hoping, I believe that now, I have a better understanding of: 'from Allah we come and unto Allah we shall return'. I often turn myself inside out and look for causes of my procrastination to be a better Muslim, my fears causing me not to reach my full potential in this life, and now ask myself - what are you waiting for?

    As time went on, I became a teacher in an Islamic School. I enjoyed it immensely, but as much as my students would make me smile and laugh with joy, they could also make me cry a river because of the way this culture has infused them with a mass-media ideology.

    Our time together was full of mini battles, in which, whether we knew it or not, we fought with Satan in order to hold on to our Muslim identity. Many times I believe Satan was winning this worldly battle.

    I would remind them of my friend's late husband: so young, outside of his front door and shot to death. I would remind them of the guest that none of us can deny entry to and at the same time reminded myself. I would tell them this is the time to be a good Muslim, here and now, because we do not know if Allah (SWT) will bring us to tomorrow.

    Often it seemed as if the whisperings of Satan were louder than my lecturing, pleading and sometimes crying and screaming. I lacked the finesse of the music videos, radio songs, TV shows and Internet links that my students often visited. In a world in which the wrong is often called right - I was labeled an extremist and even worse in the eyes of a teenager: an adult!

    Then came another knock on the door; the undeniable guest welcomed himself in and when he left he took three of our beloved sisters with him, one being one of my former star-students. She was a young lady who glistened with life, gave her best effort, and was beacon of hope for me. I often looked at her and made du'a that my girls would grow to be like her and better. She was well spoken, well mannered, and most of all knowledgeable of her deen for one so young.

    This time when I was touched by inevitable death I said, "From Allah we come and unto Allah we shall return." Instead of wailing uncontrollably, I made du'a for her and her family. Yes, I cried. My heart was sad, but I wanted to be pleased with Allah's decision, and I smiled through the tears.

    Allah (SWT) had allowed me to see this sister just the day before. I was busy at the moment, but I stopped to give her salam, a hug and a smile and I recall noticing how beautiful this young teen looked in her lavender hijab and jilbab. She was dressed for the pleasure of Allah, MashaAllah, and that made me smile.

    I continued to smile at the Janazah as sisters tried to make more room to allow others to enter the packed salah area, and finally had to deny entry to some. I smiled as they performed Janazah salah for this sister who had offered so many salah in that very room. This was the place where, as an eighth grader, she offered a presentation on one of the Prophet's life and used an overhead projector for visuals. An eighth grader! the same place we played trust games and she would run and jump into the air trusting that her sisters would catch her fall.

    Now, those same sisters made du'a for her soul and I wondered if death was visiting them in the same way it had once visited and was now re-visiting me. Would its touch as indelible be to them as it is for me?

    In the days that passed there were shining examples of the acceptance of Allah's destiny and also sad, but realistic, examples of resistance and acceptance of this culture's views of death. Once again, the media showed its influence on our youth as they raised questions such as, 'Why them?' and 'How could this happen?' even after being reminded of Allah's right over all us.

    Many of our youth did not know how to behave in regard to death in a manner that would be pleasing to Allah (SWT) and in accordance to the Sunnah. We witnessed their lack of experience and the way the community pulled together to try to help them understand how to adorn their knowledge with action through their difficult time.

    We were reminded by a brother that the death to fell most sorrowful over is the Prophet's (SWAS) and our own, if we do not adequately prepare for it. From his words, by Allah's will, I saw the inevitability of death visiting them once again, as experience was added to their knowledge. Though it causes us pain, I make du'a to Allah (SWT) that we all continue to keep the remembrance of death close to our hearts and in the forefront of our minds, and in doing so we live our lives in accordance to Allah's will.

    So that in the end, at our time of death, those around us will remember to say, "From Allah we come and unto Allah we shall return", and will make du'a for us and pack our Janazah. So that in the end, we will all ask ourselves - what are you waiting for?

    [From: Al-Jumuah - Vol. 14 - Issue: 8]

    (Via ClearGuidance forums)
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  • #2

    To him who desires only this fleeting life We grant him only here and only as much as We please, [giving] onl to whomever We will [to give]; but in the end We consign him to Hell.
    But as for those who desire the life to come, and strive for it as it ought to be striven for, and are true believers
    -they are the ones whose strivings all find acceptance and reward.

    [al- Isra' 17: 18-19]
    What does 'freedom' mean?

    Does the eagle want to swim in the sea,
    Restricted by the sky?

    Does the fish want to dance on the wind,
    Not enough river to explore?

    Yet the sky is freedom for the bird
    but death for the fish,

    The sea is wide for the fish
    but will engulf the bird.

    We ask for freedom but freedom to do what?
    We can only express our nature as it was created.

    The prayer mat of the earth is freedom,
    freedom from slavery to other than the One,
    Who offers an shoreless ocean of love to swim in
    and a horizon that extends to the next life,
    Yet we chose the prison and call it freedom.


    • #3
      Please Re-update your Signature


      • #4
        Please Re-update your Signature


        • #5
          Accept the changes in your life and they will accept you too


          • #6
            any1 need any tissues?
            You are not aware of the consequences that would result (if you were granted what you desire) because what you seek might be to your detriment. (O soul) be conscious that your Master is more aware about your well-being than you are.

            ~Ibn Al-Jawzee



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