In spite of how death has in recent times and more ever than before become so unpredictable, the excessive and brazen manner in which many of us go after wealth, power and other worldly assets of this life makes one to wonder if we remember that there is end to this life. Man and woman, the young and the old, the very rich and the very poor, the leader and the led, all seem to be thoughtlessly chasing the luxuries of this life; by all means and at all cost. Fair in the eyes of nearly everyone today is the love of things they covet including hoards of heaped-up property such as jewelries, dresses, electronics, house, cars and all the materials that provide momentary comforts and pleasure to man.
Many of us today appear blind-folded from realizing that death is real and resurrection is true. Most of our actions nowadays do not portray us as a people who are conscious of the reality that the Day of Judgment is a reality. Instead of demobilizing the devil who, as man’s foremost enemy, promised to distract believers away from the sincere worship of Allah (SWT), most people today have allowed themselves to be imprisoned by the malevolence of the sneaking whisperer and have consequently become captives in the kingdom of the devil. The things that contemporary men and women covet are as though dear to them as if they were objects of worship. It is in the light of this oblivion into which man has plumed himself that we seek to remind ourselves on this page that death is sure and accountability is certain. The consequences that await those who fail or refuse to cage the sneaking whisperer are also grave.
This life is but short. In Qur’an 2: 259, Allah (SWT) gives a similitude of one who passed by a hamlet, all in ruins to it proofs and thus doubted life after death. But Allah (SWT) caused him to die for a hundred years, and then raised him up (again). Scholars differ on the exact personality referred to in this incident. Majority of scholars however opine that the character refers to Uzair (or Ezra in the biblical tradition). He was the scribe, priest, and reformer sent by the Persian king to Jerusalem, and about whom there are many Jewish legends. When Uzair who was caused to taste of death was raised up by Allah`s will, he thought he had been dead or “tarried” for only a day or less; seeing that the food and drink which he left behind remained intact, and fresh as it was when he left. But to clear probable doubts on the mind of Uzair, the angel commanded him to look at his donkey which was not only dead but nothing except bones where left of it. And before Uzair`s eyes, the bones were once again reunited, clothed with flesh and blood, and restored to life. Uzair became fully convinced that death is real, and like life, is in the absolute control and power of Allah (SWT). Like Uzair, this, hopefully, should convince us all of the fact that every person shall not only test death but will also account for his or her deeds.
It is not how ostentatious or miserable the life we live in his world that certainly matters. What really matters is how righteously we strive to allow our speech and actions to be guided by the teachings of the Qur`an and Sunnah of the Prophet (SAW). What matters to many people today is indeed not the quality of their faith but the quantity of the wealth they can amass. People tend to have forgotten that no matter how crudely they apply the modern business theories; they cannot be richer than or as rich as Qarun. No matter how powerful too one thinks he should become today, he cannot be as powerful as Prophet Sulaiman (AS). No matter how beautiful you strive to look as a woman; you cannot be more beautiful than Hauwau (Eve). No matter how arrogant you think you could be, you cannot be more arrogant than Pharaoh who claimed he was god in his own right! With the wealth, power, influence, and arrogance possessed by these people, where are they today? No matter the greatness or achievement you attempt to attain, you cannot be greater than the greatest of mankind, Muhammad (SAW). What then makes us think that the ephemeral comforts of this life are worth pursuing at the expense of the eternal bliss in the hereafter? Allah (SWT) states in the Qur`an 87: 16-17 “Nay (behold), ye prefer the life of this world but the hereafter is better and more enduring”.
Let us strive to curb the excesses of our instincts. We must struggle to demobilize the sneaking whisperer (from among the jinn and men too) by suppressing the reckless desires of our heats. Let the purification of our hearts be an iron cage into which the devil will be confined and contentment as the padlock to the cage. May Allah (SWT) protect us from becoming slaves to our sixth sense and to the fraudulent intrigues of the devil, amin.