“Islam places in the hands of all of us a most personal and intimate miracle: How to defy death every time it strikes.
Here is how.
“Everything shall perish,” the Qur’an declares, “except him!”
Reference is to God.
Islam defines human mortality in a way that is truly death defying.
“Everyone must taste death,” says the Qur’an.
“Death shall lay its hands on you even if you were inside fortified towers,” the Qur’an says elsewhere.
This is nothing new or special to Islam, this teaching about the inevitability of death to all. It is common human observation.
It is the reality of life on earth.
But the way Islam frames the whole human life, and then contextualizes its end on earth, is most simple, elegant, heartwarming and, yes, death defying.
This is the lesson the Qur’an drills into every heart and mind: “We all belong to God.”
For those who truly believe in this message, there is nothing more comforting or life-affirming.
We are all God’s People; we are all divine possessions; that is what that message says.
Innaa lillah, are the words of the Qur’an defining the basic relationship of human beings to God: “We belong to God; we are his.”
And most certainly, he shall not forsake or abandon us – that is the loud and clear implication.
So, what happens when life on earth ends?
From the point of view of the Qur’an, nothing could be more self-evident: “We all return to him.”
We all go back home.
In the words of the Qur’an, Wa innaa ilaihi raaji’oon: “And to him shall we all be returning.”
What an elegant and economical equation – the very soul of parsimony and simplicity, as scientists would call it, even though some scientists may have all kinds of fits when we mention God.
But that is what the Qur’an teaches: “We all belong to God and it is to him that we shall all be returning.”
Hear the inimitable Qur’an put it all together in its own divine, immortal words: Innaa lillahi wa innaa ilaihi raaji’oon!
You reach this point and you are face to face with a miracle – a two part miracle.
Part one is the realization that you belong to God; and that it is he that is your true owner and master.
Part two is the understanding that one day – any day – God can and shall call you back to him.
If you believe and internalize the two parts of this divine-human equation, you are almost immune from Fear and Grief – at least as immune as it is possible for a human being in this world to be.
To me, this is nothing short of a miracle, a death-defying miracle.
What is more: Anyone, anywhere, can see this miracle with their own bare eyes, and hear it with their own mortal ears, every time a Muslim’s death is announced within the hearing of another Muslim.
Immediately, upon hearing of another Muslim’s death, a Muslim will cry out, Innaa lillahi wa innaa ilaihi raaji’oon: We all belong to God and we shall all be returning to him.
That means every time someone dies, Islam teaches Muslims the miracle of being able to pull a message of life from that news of death.
This is an ongoing miracle that anyone can see with their own eyes wherever there are Muslims.
And that alone should be enough to show them – to show anyone anywhere in the world – that Islam is not a man-made system.
And that Islam could only have come from God.
And this has gone on for over 1400 years: the miracle of Muslims reacting with this most life-affirming message of Innaa lillahi wa innaa ilaihi raaji’oon – to themselves and to everyone else – every time they hear the news of someone’s death.
Nothing has changed from the time since the Qur’an and the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, placed the power of that miracle in the hands of the people who would choose to believe in them.
This death-defying miracle alone should be enough to wake up the world to smell the perfume of Islam and come forward to embrace it.” (Dr. Pasha)