D E A T H – A Gift for a Mu’min!
By M. B. Ahmed
Death is a reality no one can deny!
Death is a certainty no one can escape!
There is nothing more certain in life than death!
There is nothing more uncertain in life than the time of death!
Every soul shall drink from the cup of death!
Given below are two instances which illustrate the certainty about the arrival of death and the uncertainty about the time of its arrival.
The Story of a Kenyan Veterinarian Doctor
Dr Zahoor-ud-deen Kashmiri was a very well-known Veterinarian Doctor from Mombasa (Kenya). Zahoor or ‘Zoro’ as he was often called was a special breed of man. He had an immense love for the wildlife.
He gave up 20 years of private veterinary practice, during which his patients were almost exclusively domestic dogs and cats, to concentrate on treating wild animals with human-induced injuries and diseases. He would often be involved in various rescue efforts of animals in the Game Parks and Sanctuaries.
Besides touring various parts of his mother country Kenya, he would often travel to Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia and various other African countries to rescue and treat wild animals.
He was called many times to the bush, to remove a snare from a lioness, to rescue a giraffe from a trap, a baby zebra from an airstrip, to relieve a buffalo from his pus-filled leg, an elephant from a spear or to dart animals for GPS collar fittings and translocation.
In 2008 Dr. Kashmiri traveled to a remote part of Ethiopia 500 kilometers from Addis Ababa at a place called Hare to collar an elephant. After darting the elephant (making him drowsy by using drugs shot by a tranquiliser gun) to put on a collar he injected him with a revival drug. While attempting to film his revival, the animal got up and within seconds he attacked and killed him.
How ironic it was that he died at the feet and trunk of an elephant, although he had spent a lot of his life saving elephants and other wild animals throughout East Africa!
How unpredictable was the arrival of his death?
The Story of ‘Little Boy’ and ‘Fat Man’
The United States detonated two nuclear weapons over the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, 1945, respectively. The two bombings killed between 129,000 and 226,000 people, most of whom were civilians, and remain the only use of nuclear weapons in armed conflict.
Most amazingly, a Japanese Marine Engineer called Tsutomu Yamaguchi survived both these twin atomic bombing!
As the only recognised person to have survived both bombings, his story is a great lesson for us to learn about the most unpredictable planning of Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala.
Yamaguchi was in Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, on an official visit on behalf of his employer Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. The day was supposed to be his last day in the city as he and his co-workers had finished the oil tanker project they were working on.
Early morning, on that day, as the sun climbed up, an American B-29 bomber also soared over the city dropping a small object. This was a uranium gun-type bomb codenamed ‘Little Boy’ which caused a blaze of light similar to “the lighting of a huge magnesium flare” as soon as it touched the ground.
What followed the light was a destruction unforeseen. The haze and smoke from the impact blinded the sun and the explosion almost wiped humanity from Hiroshima.
Merely three kilometres from the drop point, Yamaguchi received direct exposure to the radiations and sustained burns on his body.
He didn’t know what had happened. He thought he had fainted for a while. When he opened his eyes, everything was dark, and he couldn’t see much.
As fate would have it, Yamaguchi, after resting for the night in an air raid shelter, started his journey towards Nagasaki, his hometown where his wife and an infant son were waiting. He had no idea that he was to face another atomic bomb that would also be waiting for him in Nagasaki.
As he was explaining his ordeal at Mitsubishi’s Nagasaki office to his boss, on August 9, 1945, a more powerful plutonium implosion-type bomb named ‘Fat Man’ brought devastation to the city. (‘Fat Man’ was the codename for the second nuclear bomb that was detonated over Nagasaki!).
“I thought the mushroom cloud had followed me from Hiroshima,” he later told the newspaper The Independent.
As per Allah’s planning Tsutomu Yamaguchi survived the twin atomic bombing. His wife and their infant son also survived the second atomic bombing.
He passed away in 2010 at the age of 94.
Preparing Ourselves for Death
As we are not certain about the time of the arrival of death, would it not be a wise decision to always be prepared in life for its arrival?
Preparing ourselves for death means taking the following two steps:
- Bringing into our life piety and closeness to Allah and constantly remembering Him. How lucky is the person who dies when he is in the state of piety?
- Always keeping away from committing sins. Chances are our death can arrive at the moment when we are involved in a sin like watching a movie on TV or Smartphone, listening to music, attending a mixed gathering, telling lies, backbiting, consuming haraam, giving/taking interest etc.
Always remember: For a Mu’min (a believer, the one who has complete submission to the Will of Allah and has Imaan firmly established in his heart), the arrival of death would be like A Great Gift, a transition from the temporary life of trials and hardships to the eternal life of peace and bliss!
Also remember: All people go to Allah after their death. A wise person is the one who goes to Allah even before his death!
May Allah grant us death when we are in the State of Piety…Ameen.