There is not a doubt that we are all on our return journey to God – each and every one of us.
The Qur’an makes that categorically clear.
Wa Inaa Ilaihi Raaji’oon!
“We are all marching back to God!”
The first step in this return journey was our arrival in this world as a newborn baby, I should think.
Or was it our conception in our mothers’ wombs?
Or was it the encryption that was written when we were still in our fathers’ loins?
Or was it some earlier time when our return journey to God was really ticketed and commenced?
Regardless, it seems to me, the train is on the move, for each one of us, regardless of our gender, age or station in life.
And this train of life is unstoppable – for all of us. That is one thing human beings have not been able to figure out how to do: stop the train of life from moving.
For, in this world, to be alive is to be marching to one’s death. Because life in this world is the precursor to death.
Death that leads to life. Death that separates one life from another.
So, for us humans, our beginning is our end. And our end a new beginning.
But what is striking is how we approach our end – the end of time as it were. For, the Hadith Sharif says, when an individual dies, that is the end of time for that individual.
It is Qiyaamat (Day of Resurrection) so far as that person is concerned.
That is how the Hadith Sharif characterizes that situation.
But I am intrigued by how people seem to approach their destination. Some people, it seems to me, just sit and wait for the train to slip into the station.
But some others, even as they know the platform is approaching, keep themselves busy doing whatever it is that they have been doing.
These are two very different approaches to one’s end of time.
One is to wait for the icy fingers of death to reach out and grab you – and be mindful of it all the time.
Even though constantly reminding oneself of one’s own mortality and impending death – for, death is impending for all, old as well as young, for, as I said earlier, to be living is to be dying – is an Islamic requirement.
And the other, to put it out of your mind and just keep on working – especially, if you happen to be one of those who think or say they are Working for Allah.
They are people who, if they are holding a plant in their hand intending to plant it, they want to finish planting it, if they can, before they are whisked off.
And that, by the way, is also a Hadith Sharif.
They are people who want to keep doing their work till the very last picosecond (one-trillionth part of a second) of their life on earth, while the angels are busy doing their own job preparing to parcel them off from the mortal coils of Duniya (as Shakespeare calls it) into the immortal life of Aakhirah – the life that is forever.
Khaalideena Feehaa Abadaa!