“Am I ready to die?” – I asked myself
I had just arrived from school, tired as usual. It was past 7 pm and upon seeing my bed, this strong desire to lay on it and sleep suddenly overwhelmed me. I had already prayed maghrib while in school but was yet to pray Isha. So I thought, “why not sleep and wake up later to pray Isha?” That was when a thought suddenly struck me: “what if I die in my sleep?” As I thought deeply about it, I suddenly changed my mind, despite how tempting it was to sleep. “I can’t wake up in my grave to answer to why I didn’t pray even though it was time” I thought to myself.
However, another thought struck me. What if I die in my sleep even after praying Isha? Does it make me ready for death? Am I really ready? What if I have committed sins I can’t even remember and never got to ask forgiveness both from Allah and people? What if there are stuff I wouldn’t want to be found in my closet after my death? What if I even owe someone and never told anyone about it? What if, what if? So many “what ifs” kept popping up and that exactly is how I knew how unprepared I was. This then brought me to the question of whether anyone has ever reached a point where they were truly ready and had no “what ifs”.
Death is a scary thing to think about. Sometimes thoughts of it makes you feel tempted to leave all ambitions you have, hole up in a room and just prepare for it. But, that’s not how it works. Death is there as a reminder so we prepare always, though we can’t ever be fully prepared. However, better somehow prepared than not at all.
So, how do you prepare? Remember my what ifs involved wondering if I had asked Allah to forgive me? That points to constant Dhikr as a method of preparation. Never leave your tongue and heart dry of the remembrance of Allah. In the world we live in, it’s easy to forget dhikr. With social media in our palms while on a journey, earphones plugged in our ears while walking, friends to chat with all day, 8-5 work waiting for us every morning, classes to attend every evening, it can be so easy to forget dhikr and go a whole day without it. But all is not all spoilt though; with the same earphones, you can listen to Quran recitations and Islamic lectures. Even on social media, you can still follow Islamic pages (like The Today’s Muslim) and though you can’t be assured all you will see on your timeline will be good news, it is always best to have constant infusion of Islamic reminders.
The other “what if” was if I owed someone. Have you spared a second to ask that question? How many of the people you owe do your family know? How many of the people who owe you do they know about? You need to list these things down and have witnesses irrespective of your age because the first question that is asked before the janaaza prayer is about debts! Yet so many people are highly indebted without second thoughts. Some people even enjoy and prefer debts even when they are capable of paying. Don’t you want some peace in your grave? Think hard about this. Time is short and you can go at anytime.
Then your good deeds! Yes, you can tackle your bad deeds by asking for forgiveness but how many good deeds do you have on your scale? It’s time to do some maths. Do good deeds as much as you can, don’t postpone that good deed because you never know when you might not get that opportunity again.
Life is shorter than you think. The best way to be prepared is to live each day like your last and never postpone the important things. May Allah keep us on the right path always and take us only when He is pleased with us. Ameen.