At Your Janāzah

Bismillahir Rahmānir Raheem.

Time spent idealising; putting things on strange super-Dunya pedestals. Weddings, marriage, university, professions. These things are ‘real life continued’, really, aren’t they? And:

You might think a little, here and there, about whom, say, you would like to invite to your wedding. Who, perhaps, would be invited to sit at the ‘main tables’? ‘Bridesmaids’? And all the rest. You might think about getting some property in that area you find that you are particularly fond of.

And, yet: only one life happening is certain, from here onwards, and that is the End of it. Who will be at your Janāzah? Will people make an effort to come? What will they say to Allah, about you, while they remember you?

Time is running out. In a gentle way, I hope, I say this with urgency. We cannot mark these things into our calendars; there are no ‘Save The Dates’, since we do not know the dates. Will your Janāzah be in forty years? Or in two? Next Tuesday, or next January?

As I have learned, things like marriages and uni come, and they may bring with them some comparatively beautiful moments and days. And, still, people are people; places within Dunya are places within Dunya, and real life continues, as it does.

On the day of my death, whenever this will be, I will be washed, and enshrouded in white, I hope. I hope I will have lived a good life, and right now, I have time. And some things matter, and other things do not. Am I worthy of the farewells I wish for, and what will be remembered of me, and where will I end up, in the End?

How remarkably strange: that people will come, and some will want to keep items of your clothing, and people will remember how you said ____________ that one time, when ___________________. And remember when you __________________, and the way you ______________________ when ____________________. Things that, perhaps, had long faded from your memory. At your Janāzah, the ways in which you touched others’ lives and hearts, even briefly, even ‘lightly’: you will be remembered.

There are births, and weddings, and there are graduations, and moves, and doings, happenings, surprises and good news. Life goes on, as it does. And then, finally: at a Janāzah, materially what is left is a body, too cold to hold anymore. Life stands still; ends in the blink — the closing — of eyes. And life makes sense again, then and there: that is where you are headed, though you know not when.

Are you ready?

“Hasten towards Success.”


With Salaam, Sadia, 2021.

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