Where am I heading – to Heaven or Hell?”
There is a story shared by renowned scholar and great teacher, Imaam Gazzali. A wayfarer happened to be in front of a wild animal and while running to save himself he fell into a well. Upon falling he managed to get hold on a vine and hanged on it. When he looked to well, the scene was frightening. Numerous snakes were crawling at the bottom. That wild animal was still gazing from top.
When looking above, he saw another terrible scene. A black and a white rats are eating the vine in which he was hanging on. In that dreadful moment, a few drops of honey fell on his lips from somewhere and enticed by its sweetness he completely forgot the awful situation he was in. Ignoring the fearful realities of his life, he was lost in the momentarily pleasure given by a few drops of honey!!! Imaam Gazzali stopped the story saying: “Most of the humans are like him.”
Man in all the times, was lured by the sluggishness of momentary happiness. His precious life which is meant to be treated very vigilantly, has been lived with an awful laziness. Even when the seconds, minutes, days and years fade away from the pages of his book, he still tactfully hides the wrinkles on his face and the gray streaks on his hair and trots behinds the momentary snugness of this mundane life.
By forgetting the rewards and pleasures promised by the Lord, the foolish human enjoys all the pleasures in this world itself, till his end. His greedy mind, which won’t be satisfied even if he is given wealth equivalent to mountains, and never be contented with the things he was given– how many times Quran has warned us that it will only lead us into destruction in the next world. Aren’t our minds slipping into the momentarily pleasures of this life, despite we were very seriously told about the dreadfulness of our next destination? If so, Ramadan is the school to rescue us from that.
Look, our days and nights are just flying by, but we are indulged in unnecessary matters and constrained from the most necessary deeds. Each night, if we evaluate the day, we find that nothing worth was done and still we simply slip into slumber. As we wake up into a new dawn, nothing changes, and we again run behind the same matters. As we pass through life, without leaving worthy notes in the book of deeds, suddenly in a day everything ends. There is an Arabic saying which goes like this: “He whose 2 days are equal is a sure loser!” A new day with nothing new! Without new habits, new decision or new virtues, each day, month, year and Ramadan is passing by!
The famous scholar Amir Bin Abdulla used to weep a lot when he was bed ridden due to illness. When he was asked about the reason, the inspiring reply of that great believer was like this: “I am not crying due to my love towards this mundane life nor due to my fear towards death. My tears are teeming from the realization that, for my journey after the death, the resources I mustered are very less. By ascending and descending, my life is going to end. Where am I heading – to Heaven or Hell?”
Firshad Muhammed Ali