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Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim. The Beauty Behind Loss
Losing something is something that we all experience. We have all felt that pain in our chests from knowing something we love is gone. Its in loss that we truly appreciate what we lose. Its then that we think of all things we should have done.
That’s the beauty of loss, it forces us to be grateful for what we lose, because when it is right there with us, we don’t see it for it for what it is. We don’t love it the way we are supposed to loved. Loss forces gratitude.
So what about your life when you lose it to death. When you lose your life you don’t just lose that car, the job, your family, your friends, your health, your youth. I want you to imagine losing just one of those things, losing one thing you love. When you die you lose all of that at once.
How valuable is your life?
Allah subhanata alaa shows us how attached our hearts are to things in this life all the time, thats where most pain comes from. Pain is usually losing that attachment, its your letting know that thing or that person can’t be there, the same way anymore. And death is losing everything at once.
SubhanAllah in the Quran Allah subhana wata alaa talks about this, about people who die and ask Allah if they could go back and do good in Surah Al Mu’minum:
“[For such is the state of the disbelievers], until, when death comes to one of them, he says, “My Lord, send me back. That I might do righteousness in that which I left behind.” No! It is only a word he is saying; and behind them is a barrier until the Day they are resurrected. “(23:99-100)
There is this concept taught by earlier teachers called to die before you die. Meaning you let go of this world before it lets go of you. Die before you die, if you were in your grave tomorrow, what would you have regretted? Not giving more charity, telling your mom you love her more, thanking your teachers, getting up that night and praying. Die before you die so you know exactly what to live for, so that you remember what you really value.
There is this man in Saudi Arabia who after a car accident is paralyzed from the neck down. In a way his body died before he died. How beautiful is the plan of Allah that he caused a man to lose his body, but may be the very reminder that saves you and me?
He was asked what 3 things he would wish for now that he is the way he is. The first one he said was he wish he could make sujood one time and never get up from it. How many of us can make sujood anytime we want, to be in the position in which Allah subhana wata alaa is closest to his servant. How many sujoods do we do a day, and how many of them do we want to do? We have come so far from the sahaba whose leg needed to be amputated, where he suggested that they cut off his leg during his sujood, when they could tell he was really in it. He was about to face a traumatic event to his body and his first thought was that he wanted to be with Allah when it happened, to be in the place he found most sweet.
Die Before You Die is what fasting actually teaches us. When you are fasting, we aren’t eating or drinking. We lose something that we usually have. We appreciate it more. After a long day of fasting food never tastes so delicious, but the food is the same as yesterday’s food. The difference is you. Die Before You Die is a concept about changing your state of mind.
Remember that the purpose of fasting is to have taqwa, to have God conscience-ness, awareness of Allah subhana wata alaa. When you break your fast, remember that when you reach for the glass of water, in reality you are reaching for Allah subhanawata alaa, you are in need of him to quench that thirst, and that the water does not quench your thirst, but it is Allah that wills it. The same way that Allah made the fire cool and peaceful for Prophet Ibrahim (alayhi salam), water can only quench thirst because Allah wills it to be so.
So when its sunset and you are dying of thirst and hunger, remember that
“There are two pleasures for the fasting person, one at the time of breaking his fast, and the other at the time when he will meet his Lord; then he will be pleased because of his fasting.” (Hadith Narrated by Abu Hurayra in Sahih Bukhari)
Remember that on the day of Judgement when there is no shade but His shade of the throne and people are thirsty, perhaps your thirst will be quenched because of your fast in this life.
Don’t just get hunger and thirst from your fast, don’t just reach for food and water, reach for the only One who can quench that hunger and thirst within your soul, Allah subhana wata alaa.
Be more hungry and be more thirsty, look into your soul and ask it how thirsty it is for Allah subhana wata alaa and feed it. If you don’t it’ll die.
How many sujoods have you made with your soul fasting, but it didn’t get its thirst quenched with the nearness of its Lord. Subhana rabikka alaa.
Make sujood, go to Allah. Make sujood like if this was the last action you could ever take, it’d be your best action and your most loved action. Like its your last sujood. Before the prayer the Imam usually says, pray as if this is your last prayer, maybe its time we tried it.
The paralyzed man had two other wishes. The second wish he said that he wish for was that he could just once turn the page of the mushaf (Quran), that to him it is like trying to lift a mountain.
Everyday we can pick up that mushaf and recite the Quran, recite the words that Allah subhana wata alaa revealed to mankind, that He revealed to you. Don’t think of just as revelation revealed 1400 years ago to arabs in the desert, but think of it as something that was revealed specifically for you. When Allah says Oh Mankind, He’s talking to you, when it says Oh You Who Believe, it means you. Everytime. When Allah is consoling the Prophet salallahu alayhi wasalam in the Quran, he is also consoling you. Having a human Prophet is essential to our guidance because we need someone who hurts like we do, loves like we do and struggles like we do.
How much is it an honor that Allah subhana wata alaa allowed you to hear the Quran? Last year at MSA West, I met a sister who hasn’t heard anything her whole life and she spoke to me about her struggles in her life and with Islam. She’s never heard the Quran before.
Never hearing the majesty of Subi hismirabbi kal alaa. No engaging sound of iqra. No soothing melody of Ar Rahman. Everyday we can see, we can hear and can recite Allah’s words to us. Even your phone recites the Quran now. This is a blessing that no people have ever seen before and that no people have probably ever neglected this much before.
His third wish, was that he wished just once he could hug his mom. He tells a story from an Arabic poem about a man who was tricked and told that he would receive wealth if he cuts out the heart of his mother. On the way to delivering the heart, he tripped and a voice comes from the heart. Asking the son, are you okay son? He realizes what he’s done. So he takes the knife and wants to stab himself. The heart cries out to him, will you kill me twice in one day?
This is the love of our mothers, except the hearts of our mothers are in their bodies beating and living full of love for you. Its not too much to say I love just a little more, to hug a little longer. And for those who have lost a believing mother who has returned to Allah, smile at the prospect that you can be a son or daughter that prays for her mercy and forgiveness and you may never be able to hug her again in this life, but you can ask Allah to surround her in mercy.
The message is simple, die before you die. He got 3 wishes, and everyday you have 3 opportunities to make those 3 wishes come true. He can’t do any of his wishes, but you can, everyday. Death shouldn’t paralyze you, but should enliven their hearts into action so that when you do meet the Angel of death, you will go as a complete person whose soul is matured, heart is pure, mind is developed all united by their love for Allah. The oneness of God causes the oneness in you and the universe. It makes you whole and reminds you of your purpose.
This is what it means to die before you die. We are all returning to Allah, so return in the most beautiful and pleasing way.
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