Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem.
If we can understand how life is in reality, we will appreciate that everything in our lives is on borrowed time. Even those who we feel should be in our lives forever, aren’t there to stay. When the Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam passed away, some of his followers, including Umar Al Khattab (RA), initially denied reports of his death, until they were reminded that like the rest of us, even Prophets die, and that the only permanent presence in our lives is the Almighty Creator. The One who will be waiting for us on the other side; the One who will never die.
Instead of shielding ourselves from the certainty of death, we should accept it as a part of life. We cherish, celebrate and appreciate those who are in our lives when they are still alive, and we accept Allah’s decree when their time is up. Resisting and denying death will not prolong their lives. By accepting the reality, we rid ourselves of the notion that life is everlasting, and instead acknowledge that like all who came before them, their time will run out.
Death is also an acute reminder of our goal in life. It brings us back to the basic purpose of our existence, which is to worship our Creator. Everything else that is placed in our lives are simply embellishments, to either support us or detract us from our journey to Paradise. Therefore, all relationships, love and attachments that we form should be relative to that goal.
We are placed here on trust for each other. This is beautifully illustrated by Umm Sulaim (RA), in a long hadith reported in Muslim. While her husband was away, their son died. She forbade her family members from breaking the news to her husband until she had relayed it herself. When he came home, she presented him with his meal, decorated herself and relaxed him with physical intimacy. She then asked him “Abu Talha, if some people borrow something from another family and then (the members of the family) ask for its return, would they resist its return?” He said: “No.” She said: “I inform you about the death of your son.” The story continues, her husband, being annoyed with her for conveying him the news in such a fashion, consulted with the Prophet sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam, who endorsed her actions. As time passed, she was blessed with nine other sons, all of whom were pious. AlhamdulilLah. May Allah grant us the wisdom of His creation and aid us to understand life in reality. Aameen.