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COPING WITH FEAR AND GRIEF: An Islamic Approach [Part One]

DR.PASHA | December 19, 2010 | Section: Articles | 1845 reads

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God: The True and Only Master

The fact is Allah is the master and human beings are Allah’s slaves.

That means at all times, and in every conceivable way, we are entirely and completely under God’s command and control.

That means we are literally – and utterly and totally – at his mercy.

That means he treats us how he would and he disposes of us as he pleases.

And he has every right to do so.

For, it is he who made us.

He made every single cell, hair, bone and muscle that we call our body.

And he made the world in which we live.

He made every grain of sand and every particle of dust on this earth that we so blithely tread, abuse and pollute.

Just as he also made every drop of water that we drink.

And just as he also made every molecule of air that we so casually breathe.

Thus, not only did he make us, he also made the earth on which we walk and everything else – air, water, food – that we need to sustain life on earth.

The body we call our own is thus actually his.

He is the one who made that body. He then lent that body to us to keep and use – but only for a certain period of time.

Is it then wrong that he should expect this body – the body that he made and lent us without us paying a cent – to be used according to his wishes, and not contrary to them?

And a very short period of time indeed it is that we have control of this body. For, the sand of time is running through the hourglass for everyone of us.


Sand in an Hourglass

And how fast it is running! This sand in the hourglass of our life!

And who in the world – what army of doctors or scientists or priests or pundits – can stop or reverse that process?

Can’t we then see that we are thus nothing but sand grains falling and nanoseconds racing away?

What are we if not a succession of breaths and air puffs not one of which can be reclaimed?

What are we if not compulsive creatures on a treadmill which we can neither slow down nor stop?

Nor is there ever a way for us to get off that treadmill!

That is, not till the treadmill has run its preprogrammed course and come to a stop all by itself. Then we tumble off it, only to be hauled off by others to be disposed off as others see fit.

Note the expression disposed off.

That means, when that happens, others pick up our remains and dispose of them.

And that is exactly what they call them: our remains.

And that is exactly what they do with them: dispose of them.

Some people are burned and their ashes scattered on land and water.

Some other people, Muslims among them, are buried in the ground.

Dust thou art and unto dust shalt thou return, it is said.

And the Qur’an says:

Minha Khalaqnaakum, wa Feehaa Nu’eedukum,

wa Minhaa Nukhrijukum Taaratan Ukhraa (Soorah Taahaa).

Which in paraphrase means:

From earth did we create you; and in it shall

we return you; and from it shall we raise you

up a second time (20:55).

But regardless of the specific method used, the fact is that after death we are all disposed off as others see fit.


Who Is Really in Control?

So, the question is: Who is really in control of our lives and our world?

How much more clear could it be that we humans are utterly and totally dependent on God Almighty for literally every breath in our life.

And after our death.

It is he – and he alone – that is in charge: of our lives and of our world.

Understanding this, and believing this firmly and fully and with all of one’s heart, is liberation. It is saying goodbye to fear of the future and grief over the past.

For, whatever happened in the past was from him. So why break our hearts over it, beyond what is normal for humans?

The same way, whatever will happen in the future will also be from him. Isn’t it enough to know that he is in charge?

And to know that he is kind, merciful, compassionate, ever-forgiving and just?

So, why ruin every waking moment worrying, agonizing and fretting over what might happen in the future?

Other than, that is, taking the normal and the best steps that we as human beings are required by God himself to take in the interests of living a logical, scientific and responsible life on earth?

Therefore, all we need to do at our end is two things:

(A) Always try to be on the right side of God; try to be in his good books; try to do what pleases him; and try to stay away from what displeases him.

That means, to the extent we can, act with all sincerity and commitment, knowing all the time that our every act and intention is open book to him.

(B) Always try to do the best we can with regard to everything – and leave the outcomes to Allah.


No Replacement Parts for Humans

For, there is not a place, agency, factory, plant or power on earth that can manufacture a few inches of earth for us to walk on.

Nor is there one that can make enough air for us to fill our lungs with.

Nor is there one that can mix the gasses to manufacture a glassful of water that we can drink.

Nor can anyone, except for crude mechanical devices, replace our eyes, ears, heart, lungs, liver, stomach, brain or anything else with genuine factory parts – no matter how much we may be willing to pay.

Certainly with nowhere near the same perfection of design or make or manufacture.

Nor anywhere close to the same durability, reliability, functional efficiency and warranty.

Everyone knows what the market has to offer. The best we can get in the market are false teeth.

Or fake nails.

Or false eyelashes.

Or false hair.

And sundry other plastic and synthetic parts.

And that is precisely what they are called: fake and false, which means the opposite of real.

And the best our best-trained professionals can do for us are metal plates surgically inserted into our bodies to support or replace broken bones.

So, no matter how we look at it, God Almighty is the sole and unquestioned master of all of us – and of all else that exists in this world.

An iota of sense in our head would make us see it all as clearly as daylight.




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