“Memories warm you up from the inside. But they also tear you apart.” ― Haruki Murakami
Most of the time, I am always on the move so I don’t really have much time to sit and dwell on things. There are days when I feel that 24 hours is not enough for me to tick-off everything on my ‘to-do’ list but the last two weeks I was feeling a bit under the weather hence my movement somewhat slowed down. I suddenly find myself having flashback of old memories. Some good and some….well…not so good.
As I lay in bed, with my head hanging from the bed, praying for my head to stop spinning, I wondered why I was suddenly having the flashback. Then, suddenly a thought struck me! Gosh! Am I dying? Is this how the last 40 days of one’s life starts? Wait a minute! Is that the Angel of Death that I see in the corner of my room? Oh, it’s just my black abaya flapping about from the wind. Is God showing me my whole entire life before He takes away my soul? I started to hyperventilate. Am I ready to meet my maker? You know, I honestly felt that I wasn’t ready to die but I knew that regardless of how I felt, if my time is up, it’s up!
"When their specified time arrives, they cannot delay it for a single hour nor can they bring it forward,"
Surah An-Nahl 16:61
I then calmed myself down and tried to reason with my mind by telling it that I was getting paranoid. Maybe I was hallucinating in my state of pain. I am a believer that everything happens for a reason so I have to find the reason for the flashbacks. I feel it in my heart that God is trying to tell me something but it was difficult to concentrate when one’s head is spinning madly so I decided to sleep it off first
After a few days, when I felt a little bit more human, I started thinking and then, it dawned on me. My flashback was from the days of ignorance until the present day. I then understood that God was showing me my life’s journey and what I have become. Perhaps, I was too wrapped up with my daily task that I did not thank Allah SWT enough for all the blessings and favors that He had bestowed upon me. I can see how much my life has changed tremendously under His Guidance. Yeah….maybe I wasn’t grateful enough and I was not being a good servant of His.
How many of us actually take the trouble to stop and appreciate the blessings that has been given to us by God Almighty? We tend to get caught up with work and family that sometimes that we take God for granted. We know that He is always there and He is always available so we procrastinate meeting Him or even thanking Him. How many of us do not pray on time? How many of us put God in the back seat and will only turn to Him when we have time? I know some of us do not do it intentionally but somehow along the way, we became negligent and complacent. We forget that everything that we have can be taken away in a blink of an eye.
Looking back, I am very grateful that God had granted me mercy and guided me back to Him. Previously, I felt like an empty shell but I couldn’t put a finger on what was it was that I was missing but now, I feel complete and whole. I have found my Maker.
Being human, we tend to see the negative side of things first before the positive. That is why we are always complaining about things that we don’t have rather than what we do. We compare and we envy other’s spouse or house or car or wealth or job, rather than be thankful for whatever God Himself has chosen for us.
“and it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know.”
Surah Al Baqarah 2:216
If we take the trouble to stop and start tallying up all the blessings that God had given us, I can assure you that you will immediately fall into prostration and thank Him for His Mercy. Sometimes, we are undeserving but He still gives us His Mercy.
In fact, come to think of it, I have not even thanked God for giving me the spinning headache. Tsk! Tsk! Tsk! I am not being sarcastic so what am I rambling about? Did you know that even when we are sick, God is actually giving us His blessings?
Hadith - Bukhari 7:564
I visited Allah's Apostle SAW while he was suffering from a high fever. I touched him with my hand and said, "O Allah's Apostle! You have a high fever." Allah's Apostle SAW said, "Yes, I have as much fever as two men of you have." I said, "Is it because you will get a double reward?" Allah's Apostle SAW said, "Yes, no Muslim is afflicted with harm because of sickness or some other inconvenience, but that Allah will remove his sins for him as a tree sheds its leaves."
Hadith - Muslim & Bukhari
Abu Sa'id al-Khudri r.a. reported that the Prophet SAW said: Whenever a Muslim is afflicted with a hardship, sickness, sadness, worry, harm, or depression --even a thorn's prick, Allah expiates his sins because of it.
To tell you the truth, I rather atone and pay for my sins now, during my lifetime than wait for Judgment day. If possible, I want to be in the express lane. We must not think that we are without sin or that we have secured a place in Jannah by just being a Muslim.
A place in Jannah is not a birth right but it must be earned…..
nb: this article was originally published at Zaahara.com . Zaahara.com is an Islamic Online Mall with many wonderful items. Do check it out!