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The Final Ride

People slowly make way, in the driveway, and turn their attention to the infamous green vehicle as it pulls up, having preference above all others. The flashing blue lights reflecting off walls and other surfaces. Some people wincing slightly and involuntarily shutting their eyes as the brightness of the lights, hits the corneas of their eyes. It’s time for the final ride. The air filled with the scent of strong camphor, the sound of sniffles all around, muffled voices. I didn’t expect the time to come this quickly, I try to raise my hands but they do not move. These hands that once moved so easily, without a thought, to bring food to the mouth, to reach out and wave, to pick up the phone and text, those very same hands are now lifeless. Cold. This mouth that words flowed from so easily- now sealed, shut. Blue. These eyes that opened every morning now closed and will never open again. People that didn’t even like me are now saying good things about me because somehow, everyone becomes a good person after they leave. People I have long been out of touch with, gathered around me for a final good bye, people I love dearly, crying- unable to bear the pain of my demise. They cry now, they may cry for a year from now, but ultimately I will become nothing but a fading memory. I will be remembered for a moment or two on happy or sad occasion until finally I will be remembered no more. No matter how famous I was, this is my reality of it all. How will these tears ever help me? Do something…..who can help me….I need just a while longer on this Earth? Nobody hears me. I am alone. I am desperate. I am terrified.

I used to adore how the opposite sex would be bowled over by me, but now it doesn’t serve as any deterrent for the angel of death. These looks, this body that got me so far is nothing now. I am mere flesh that will soon serve as nourishment for the critters beneath the Earth. People used to idolize me, I had the most stunning car- it always turned heads, where is my car now? Can’t it help fight my case somehow? My degree….what about that degree I worked day and night for….There were very few that were as qualified as I was, can I not put forward this skill in my favour? I travelled so much, I had so much of money, my money could change any game on Earth, can’t I put forward everything I have now, perhaps to buy some time? No….my time is up. Not one minute more, not one minute less.

Those people I tried to avenge and get back at, the people I mocked, quarrelled with and refused to apologise to, because it was demeaning…. what purpose does it serve now? Why can’t my then satisfied ego, satisfy or help me now? Why didn’t I forgive and admit my fault, why didn’t I approach them or go forward to them? I shouldn’t have said those actions were “just sunnah”, they could help me now. I was lazy to read salah, it seemed so burdensome, to get up for fajr so early? Why didn’t I apologise to those I ignored, those I hurt, those I was rude to or ill-treated? Why did I not just apologise? What purpose does it now serve? What did I gain out of speaking ill of people? Except that now all my good deeds have left me. At the time, gossiping seemed fun. I should have kept my fasts, I promised to change when I was older. I never made it to “older”. All those evil and forbidden acts I partook in….they seemed satisfying and fun at the time….we had time to repent I thought, we were young I felt….but now I am here and now there is no way of going back.

The chanting of prayers between cries get more and more louder. My final moments above the Earth- soon to be over. No matter what I had, soon, my body will be lifted by those, those I felt were worthy of respect and those I felt were below me. No matter what I owned, I will soon be placed beneath the soil, covered with the same dust that covers the young and the old. The same dust that engulfs the rich and the poor, the revered and the exiled, the man and the woman.….Whether I scream, no matter what I say, no matter what I regret nor how much I wish, whether I cry tears of blood and agony, the clock has struck. Its time to go…..as I am left alone and the footsteps above me become more and more distant what is my fate to be?

Right now, as you read this, each one of us has a timer counting down. From the time you began reading this, upto this point, you have less time on this Earth. Right now is the most time you’ll ever have. Which one of us here is next? Its already been written. The order and the time is there. Is your name first or mine? It exists at this moment. Its just a matter of fate playing its script out. And so very often do we experience the death of those around us, we encounter religious or traumatic experiences. Countless times we vow to change, but we’re back at square one. We change for a few days and once the effect and the fear wears off, we forget. We forget so easily. So very easily.

Apologise to people you have had a falling out with. Whether they are wrong or you were wrong, just fix things. Your ego is never going to help you in ANY way. Arrogance, self pride and ego is from shaytaan, it was this trait of his that got him expelled from jannah. Start praying, not out of fear, but out of pure gratefulness that ALLAH gives us no matter how much we disobey Him and how much we forget Him. Forget how others have wronged you, we are nothing but mere mortals. We are mere human beings and came here not be revered but to serve an all-powerful being. Look after your parents. Have patience. Help the needy and underprivileged. Stop hoarding your wealth, be just. Stop letting hours get washed away on watching series, concerts etc and partaking in useless activity, once lost, that time cannot be recovered. Avoid zina, ogling at the other sex, give up drinking, drugs, gambling, visiting places that are reprehensible, do not look down on people, do not take revenge, do not attempt to hurt others, stop competing, stop being jealous, stop trying to outdo the other, stop lying, stop gossiping, stop stealing, stop breaking hearts. Be a good person. I am not better than you, you are not better than me. The only thing we should be competing in is the level of imaan we have. Then too, we should help each other improve. Everything else we work for is just to facilitate the short pitstop we have made here. When you stop on your route during a holiday, you do not put up permanent structures, form attachments, attempt to hurt and outdo people around the area. It isn’t worth it. In the same way- Keep it in mind at all times, that will this ever benefit me? Is this a temporary pleasure or everlasting? If my soul had to be taken right now, would I like it to be taken in this state? During this action of zina or half hearted- rushed salah I was praying? We need to think more.

May ALLAH grant us all hidayat. May ALLAH takes our souls only at a time when He is pleased with us. May we die an honourable death in His path. May we die without qadhas and debt to our name and without having hurt other souls. May we die a death of honour and may we be saved from the ahzaab of this world, the grave and the Hereafter. May ALLAH grant us with jannatul firdos. Ameen.

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