How many times have you come across these situations:
A dad leading the janazah prayer (funeral prayer) of his own dearest son; or
An elderly Imam washing the body of a young man who has passed away; or
A disease-stricken patient with merely months to live as predicted by his doctor, but ending up paying his last respect by the side of the grave of that doctor who gave him the news about his disease.
Each of these situations teaches me one simple, yet important message. Death does not recognize age, and it doesn't have to warn you before it strikes you.
That the call of death doesn't necessarily have to abide by the age-factor. Being young doesn't make you more likely to die later than someone twice your age.
That the call of death doesn't necessarily have to abide by the 'but he doesn't suffer from any disease' justification. A person recently diagnosed with a terminal cancer might end up living longer than a perfectly fit, healthy young man.
That if Allah says "Be it,", then death will come without any of us being able to delay it by even a split second.
About 3 weeks ago, when I made the decision to return to Malaysia as a result of the latest circumstance in my condition, close friends and colleagues came from all over the UK to bid their farewell. To say their goodbye, for none of us are sure when will we meet again.
And one of my good friend really did say his last goodbye.
Infaz Fassi, a colleague of mine back in our time in the medical school in Sheffield University between 2004-2009, has recently passed away having been involved in a car accident in his hometown in Sri Lanka a few days ago.
The news certainly came as a surprise to me, especially having just met him the day before I left for Malaysia recently. The late Infaz came to my house during my last night in Sheffield with a few other friends, and we had a good chat, reminding ourselves about our memories of being medical students. He was, during then, a junior doctor working in Sheffield hospital.
I will certainly pray that Allah brings peace to his soul, and reward him with Jannah. His death, serves as a true reminder firstly to myself, and to all of us. Death really is 'blind' in its action. His death, reminded me of the saying of a friend of mine,
"Mas, walaupun awak mungkin sakit, tapi ajal tu kita tak tahu. Siapa tahu akak ni walaupun sihat, tapi mungkin ajal akak datang dulu sebelum awak..." [Mas, you might be ill, but we can never tell when will death comes to us. Who knows, I might be fit and well compared to you, but my time might come before yours...]
It's true what they say; visiting the ill or paying a visit to a burial ceremony is not just about fulfilling the rights of others on you. Rather it has a more crucial message embedded in it. It reminds us about death. It reminds us about what have we prepared in this world to give us a chance of Jannah in the Hereafter? It reminds us that death can come to any of us without a warning. Maybe now, maybe tomorrow, or the next week. Who knows.
So never delay to fulfill our obligatory prayers when we're able to.
Or spending our wealth for the work of His Deen.
Or repenting for the sins we've committed.
Because we should fear about our state in the hereafter should Allah takes away our soul without us accomplishing what we should have done as His servant. Because when the time comes, not even the most dramatic of pleading or begging can buy us time to perform that very last prayer, or that very last repentance.
9. O you who believe! Let not your properties or your children divert you from the remembrance of Allah. And whosoever does that, then they are the losers.
10. And spend of that with which We have provided you before death comes to one of you, and he says: "My Lord! If only You would give me respite for a little while, then I should give Sadaqah from my wealth, and be among the righteous.
11. And Allah grants respite to none when his appointed time comes. And Allah is All-Aware of what you do.
And Allah grants respite to none when his appointed time comes...
A clear warning from Allah. No respite, no delaying when the time has come. May Allah make us from those who listens and give heed to his sayings in the holy Qur'an. Amiin.