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Life Has No Second Innings

Moulana Imran Khamissa

In a world enveloped in entertainment, games and social media, people have become paralyzed and transfixed to their television screens and handheld gadgets, closely following the progress of players and teams as if their very existence depended on the result. The present craze “ The Cricket World Cup”.

Has it ever occurred to you that the game of cricket can be compared to our lives in this temporary abode?

In Cricket, the batsman does his utmost to protect his stumps from the bowler’s delivery. Whether the ball that he has to face is an in-swinger, an out-swinger, a bouncer, a full toss or a creeper, the batsman has to adjust his strokes and maneuvers accordingly. Armed with his bat he has to strike the ball in such a manner so as to accumulate runs without being caught by any of the fielders.

In a similar manner, in real life, it is imperative for us to do whatever we can to safeguard our Imaan, from the attack of bowler Shaitaan, who has promised that he will muster his forces and concentrate his efforts in bowling down our Imaan. The Quran bears testimony to this, “Then I will approach from before them, from behind them, from their right and from their left.” (Surah 7 Verse 17)

In Cricket the bowler varies his pace, length and delivery in order to outsmart the batsman. Bowler Shaitaan does the same. Let’s take a look at a typical over:

  1. Ball number one may come in the form of making you neglect your Salaah
  2. Ball number two may be instigation towards becoming vulgar and abusive
  3. Ball number three may be a suggestion to cheat and be fraudulent
  4. Ball number four may be an impulse to disobey ones parents
  5. Ball number five may be a temptation towards immorality
  6. Ball number six may be a real googly or doosra – just when you feel you are treading the right path, Shaitaan catches you  inspiring you with pride and contempt for those you perceive as being less pious.

The true Muslim needs to deflect and strike Shaitaan with the bat of Islam. Like a true professional you need to be alert and quick on your feet. Don’t get caught on the back foot.

Just like the World Cup, man is playing a match of limited overs. You just don’t know how many overs you are going to last. Will you see the innings through or will you be run out, resulting in a departure earlier than expected. In a similar manner some of us are destined to leave this world through ill-health, some through accidents and others through fatal shootings, resulting in a departure earlier than we expect.

The only runs that count are those that you make during the game. When the batsman returns to the pavilion after being given out he reflects and contemplates on how he should have played. After death, when man sees the reality of the Aakhirah his plight is the same. He reflects on how he should have lived his life. He will beg Allah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aalaa) for a second chance, pleading, “O my Lord! Send me back that I may do a (single) good deed.” (Surah 23 Verse 98-99)

During the game the batsmen is safe only when he is positioned within his crease. So too is a Muslim when he is positioned within the Shari’ah, within the boundaries demarcated by Allah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aalaa) and His Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam). Stump microphones picking up the faintest of sounds and digital technology tracking the slightest of touches is a sure reminder that every word we utter and every move we make is captured.
How often have we left the safety of the crease, the protection of the Shari’ah, and indulged in sin. What would our position be if Malak ul Mout (Angel of Death) were to remove our soul at a place we would rather not be  with company we would rather not be seen with?

Just as a single catch could cost a match and a single strike could mean the difference between victory and defeat, a single act of kindness and a single urge to succumb to the will of Shaitaan may determine eternal success or eternal doom.

Remember the game of life has no second innings !!!!

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