Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|08/02/01 at 08:37:43|
|Assalamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh|
Existence: A blessing
Contemporary existentialist philosophers and literary figures have discussed the causes of human anxiety, but looked at the subject in total isolation from Divine guidance. They concluded that anxiety and psychological suffering are part and parcel of human existence. As long as human beings exist on the face of the Earth, they experience anxiety.
However, with faith and Divine guidance, mere existence becomes a blessing of the highest order. A believer is a person whose path to embracing Divine guidance has been facilitated. God helps him to maintain piety. The Prophet (peace be upon him) gives him the happy news that in the life to come he will be in heaven, where life is everlasting, free of anxiety, full of pure pleasures that are far better than anything human beings ever experience in this life. Such a believer would not be pleased for being deprived of this existence, despite all that he experiences in this present life of hardship and adversity. He realizes that this life represents a test in which failure could lead to punishment in hell. Yet a believer prays God to grant him guidance and enable him to follow it properly. He expects that in the end God will admit him to heaven, because God will never deal unjustly with anyone.
Such a believer looks at life as a great blessing which outweighs any form of deprivation that causes other people much misery. To him, being deprived of anything in this life is a merely transitory misfortune. He knows that in the end he stands to win the great prize. It is a great opportunity that God has given him to enter this test, and provided guidance for him, promising him further guidance as long as he tries his best to maintain the right path. Thus his final destination and lasting abode is heaven.
Life, which is felt by those philosophers to be associated with anxiety, is something that a human being wants to preserve at all costs. Indeed the most common cause of human anxiety is the fear of death. Without faith in God and belief in the Day of Judgment, death becomes a return to a great void which fills man with awe. Hence, without faith man lives in a constant fear of death. His concept of death as the end of his existence may lead him to seek all types of physical and sensuous pleasures, even though such indulgence may be forbidden. Thus he may not hesitate to drink, take drugs and indulge in forbidden sex, commit crimes, such as theft, in order to ensure that he has the money to procure and indulge in such pleasures. His aim in all this is to fill his life with easy pleasures, because he feels that life is short, ending with death.
A believer on the other hand, enjoys this life. He knows that he has been created for a lasting life. God has guaranteed him everlasting existence. To him, death is not a return to a great void. Indeed death is a state of existence that is greatly similar to sleep.
His companions asked the Prophet (peace be upon him): “Do the dwellers of heaven sleep?” He said: “No. Sleep is similar to death, and the dwellers of heaven neither die nor sleep." (Related by Al-Bazzar, At-Tabarani and Al-Baihaqi, classifying it as authentic). When the Prophet woke up, he used to say: "Praise be to God who has given us life after having caused us to die. To Him we all return." (Related byAl-Bukhari).
Death and sleep have a highly important similarity. In both a human being has no sense of time. When a sleeper awakes, he is unable to know how long he has been asleep without looking at his watch, or looking around him to see if the sun has risen or not. He needs some indication in order to have an idea of the time.
The same is the case with death. No matter how long the time between one's death and resurrection on the Day of Judgment is, one only feels the passage of time like a sleeping person at the moment of waking up. God says in the Qur'an: "On the day when the trumpet is blown, We will assemble all such as has been lost in sin, their eyes dimmed (by terror), whispering one to the other, 'You have spent but ten (days on Earth).' But We know best what they will be saying when the most perceptive of them shall say, 'You have spent (there) but one day'!" (20: 102-104)
He also says: "When the Last Hour dawns, those who had been lost in sin will swear that they had not tarried (on Earth) longer than an hour. Thus they were wont to delude themselves (all their lives)! But those who were endowed with knowledge and faith will say, "Indeed, you have been tardy in (accepting as true) what God has revealed, (and you have waited) until the Day of Resurrection. This, then, is the Day of Resurrection, but you were determined not to know it." (30: 55-56)
On that day God shows death in the shape of a male sheep which is slaughtered in front of all. Thus, when death dies, the only thing that remains is a life that is guaranteed by God to go on for ever.
So, a believer knows that his death will only be like a night through which he goes into deep slumber, after which he wakes up to enjoy a life of full alertness that is never interrupted by sleep. This relieves a believer of all fear of death, as he never thinks of it as sinking into a horrific void. He is reassured of his continued existence. Thus, he enjoys a state of inner peace, generated by a knowledge of a future, everlasting life brought about by the will of God. He enjoys life, praises God for its blessing, and works hard so that he may attain a high position in heaven.
[i]By Dr Muhammad Kamal Al-Shareef - Arab News - 01 May 2000[/i]
Wassalamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh
Haniff (with 2 f's)
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