Patience in dealing with Realities of Life and the Inevitability of Death
We are grateful for life, which is an amaanah, a trust and a test of deeds
Allah has granted us death and life in order to test us through our deeds (Q 67:2) and remember that the test of life may incorporate … fear, hunger, loss of property, loss of life and loss in the fruits of labor; all of which can be borne by those who patiently persevere; acknowledging that we are from Allah and unto Him is our return.(Q 2:155)
As this is Easter weekend, there is the belief central to this period among our Christian brothers and sisters that Jesus died on the cross this day (Good Friday); that he was crucified and then resurrected. Because he died on the cross he atoned for the sins of his followers who are believed to be (like all humanbeings) born in sin.
Muslims accept Jesus as a great prophet, revere his exemplary mother Mary (peace be upon her), and believe that Jesus is the Messiah; but Muslims do not accept the major concepts that are central to the commemoration of Easter..
Dealing with the Reality of Death
For Muslims, Death is a reality. We witnessed passing of father of our Imam Dr Rashid Omar the past week. During the past year CMRM has lost four elders … Boeta Achmat Saban, Boeta Achmat Gamieldien, Aunty Aisha Van Rooyen, Aisha Wagiet, and young ones like Fawaz Ajam. The community is saddened but we acknowledge the fact that life is a kaleidoscope of inescapable situations; health and sickness, joy and sadness, gain and loss, laughter and tears, birth and death, joy and grief…
We live in a universe of cause and effect, the consequences of which are inescapable. Fire burns, diseases infect, time ages, germs destroy, water drowns … these facts have moral and social implications, and all of these are realities with which we have to contend. It is how we are able to deal with these realities that will determine how we chart the course of our lives. A sage once said; Life is not the way it’s “supposed to be”. Life is the way it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference.
Death is Inevitable
Each living thing must eventually die (Qur'an 3:185) There is no avoidance of birth or death except to utilize the interval effectively. Allah did not make this world a permanent place. This is a temporary world and everything here is finite and all things have a time limit. Neither are the good things of this world forever nor are the bad things eternal.
We note that tragedy carries a tremendous power within it. Power to cause grief, power to cause mourning, and power to cause sadness. It also carries power to cause cooperation, power to cause reflection, and power to cause change.
Faith puts Grief in Perspective
So, though faith may not in itself prevent grief,
Keys to Sabr /Patient Perseverance
Understand and acknowledge the fact that life, wealth, health, youth, friends, dear ones are all temporary; that from Allah we come and unto Allah is our return. Living in this world is a short phase in our existence and there is an eternity that follows. Our status in the existence beyond this life depends, by the mercy of Allah, on the good we do in this life. Glad tidings to those who patiently persevere; acknowledging that we are from Allah and unto Him is our return.[Q 2:155] and that Allah is with those who patiently persevere" (Quran 2:40). Little wonder that "Patience is half of Faith" and that Allah loves those who are patient [3:146]
What Really Matters
We realize more than ever that all life will come to an end someday, that our existence in this world seems like a brief crack of light between two long periods of darkness, that death is certain and … wherever you are death will reach you [Q 4:78] ; that every day we live is a day further from our birth and every breath we breathe is a breath closer to death. As certain as we are about the occurrence of death, so uncertain are we about its timing and we are therefore instructed by the Prophet (pbuh), act as if every act could be your last.