I still remember that beautiful evening when Shawwal crescent was sighted and people from all walks of life were overjoyed at the announcement.
In UAE, holidays mean huge relief, and refuge from the hectic work schedules. It's also time for celebrations with the loved one's. People were dead tired but were out there in the bustling markets to purchase the groceries and the new dresses for the grand festival. I was stuck in a traffic jam as most of the people were driving towards the city center, Dubai, for grabbing the exciting promo offers. In the meantime I called few friends and invited them for the Eid lunch. At ZARA outlet; I met a Kashmiri boy named Asif who introduced himself with the studious politeness. He could promptly strike a chord with me as we had few common friends. He had earlier worked in Bahrain for 8 years and came to Dubai for a Job hunt. He succeeded to receive a job offer before the expiry of one month visit visa. I found him very ambitious and concerned about the well being of his family. He seemed a carefree man contented with the little joys of life. He was supposed to travel to Srinagar for an exit. He was excited and wished to celebrate Eid with his family after so many years but he promised me to join us for the brunch.
Next day, we woke up a little late and dressed ourselves in a hurry for the occasion. After Eid prayers, my roommates set the table for relishing our first breakfast. We received numerous greeting calls from friends and family but one call sent shivers right down our spine. The voice was dead and cold to inform us about the sudden death of Asif due to heart attack. It left us blank and wondering. We felt the numbness and were shocked to hear about Asif's death. We couldn't gather courage to inform his family about the death. After so many investigations and formalities, we managed to send his dead body to the Srinagar for the funeral. The skies fell upon his family to see him dead.They all stood frozen there.
It was not the only sad demise of a young boy but many such shocking deaths are happening every now and then.These tragedies have made me restless to find the true purpose of life. The bitter truth is, death is always hovering upon us. There is a loud and clear message that sooner the better for us is to choose the path of Allah.
Abid was well known to me. He was a thorough gentleman. He toiled very hard to establish his business. Luck was also by his side that his endeavors became a huge success. He raked in a fortune. He had everything that one can wish for. He was a self made person who was doing very well in his business. He was a fitness freak who was very enthusiastic about life. Being a workaholic, he thought of his frequent headaches as a routine thing but there came a day when it became unbearable. He visited few doctors who advised him to do certain medical tests/screenings and it came forth that he was suffering from the brain tumor. He was under the treatment of India's best doctors but he had lived his time. Abid put up a brave fight till his last breathe.
Sometimes our best plans fail miserably and precautionary measures go haywire. We become helpless and clueless before the circumstances. Ashiq belonged to a well known business family. He was in his early 30s.He was proactive and extremely health conscious person. Every quarter he would do a series of medical tests and undergo check ups to know about his health status. Everything seemed just fine until the day came when he was with his friends and all of a sudden complained of a mild chest pain. His cousins rushed him to the SKIMS, where he was declared brought dead. All those medical check ups couldn't signal any danger that was in the offing.
Some people never stop learning to reach the pinnacle of success. Their quest for knowledge never fails to influence and inspire others. One such inspiring personality was Dr. M. Yatoo who was an engineer by profession and always strived for excellence in his field. Never settle for mediocrity was his creed. He never wasted a minute in useless pursuits but always motivated the youngsters to pursue new courses and encouraged them to add value by their work to the society. He was the most learned person who stood firm at the fore front to bring forth and try innovative scientific methods at the work place. He did everything with passion and perfection. When he was at the peak of his career life took such an ugly turn when it was discovered that he was suffering from liver cancer. Till his last breath he was seriously involved in his professional commitments and fought a hard battle.
The early demise of ambitious youngster, prominent business men and aspiring scientist is a soul awakening call. You might have also come across similar heart wrenching tragedies like that of young journalists Mudasir Ali and Javaid, catching your attention; or seen the obituaries of the young people but thoughts only flicker for a while. We don't ponder upon to realize this fact that our journey can also be short and uncertain. It could happen with us as well but we avoid this thought surging through our minds.
At the end, everyone has to traverse the path and meet his end. Everything on the surface of earth has to perish someday, but will remain forever the name of thy Lord, the Glorious and the Gracious (Surah al-Rahman:25-26). We all are aware of this bitter truth but still we seem least bothered.
We are deeply engrossed and engaged in the material competition. We act according to our inordinate desires and forget the hereafter life. Materialistic pursuits have trapped us, and taken us over in such a way that we are in a constant state of anxiety and agitation. We have reached a stage where property disputes have ruined relations within families. We are morally so weak that we can be easily lured to surrender our will before the tyrants as truth and justice now look very trivial and irrelevant.
Greed and betrayal have become our forte. Once I tried to persuade one of the top businessmen of the valley to perform HAJ. His reply surprised me; when without any hesitation he admitted that all through his life he has relied upon lies to become the successful entrepreneur. Here I remember the golden words of Leo Tolstoy who once said "How often we sin, how much we deceive, and all for what? All will end in death, All!
We believe and behave as if we will never die. Are we becoming more arrogant. We have forgotten the fact that we also have to return to Him very soon. The precious capital of our life is the present moment. Nothing exists outside the NOW. When we think of a past, it springs as a memory trace and we do it now. When we think of a future which is an imagination of mind, we also do it now. Today is the day of action and there is no reckoning, while tomorrow can be the day of reckoning but there would be no opportunity. Our every deed will have the reward as per the set guidelines of Allah. We have to gather the provisions useful for the hereafter, now.