Yasmina Reality

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To Understand Life – Reflect on Your Death

To Understand Life – Reflect on Your Death

By on September 10, 2014 in guest blogger

In the Month of August, I was absent from my blog. To my loyal readership, I thank you for your patience. I spent a lot of time on Twitter this summer, re-tweeting and posting stories and links about the Gaza Massacre. I also attended a few rallies in downtown Chicago protesting against the illegal Occupation and even spoke on Chicago News Station – WBBM. This was my miniscule contribution for the people of Palestine. From the comforts of my air conditioned home, I re-tweeted stories that didn’t make the evening news or that were brushed over- their true meaning and impact lost to western viewers. Gaza, Syria, Iraq, Tunisia, Burma, Pakistan – there is crisis all around us.


Downtown Chicago at Gaza Rally. Me & the Anonymous Dude. Priceless. 🙂

Doing something does make a difference from sending donations to spreading the word to praying. Sometimes I wonder what drives me to continue speaking out about against injustice or speaking out for those in need. And I realize after this summer that it’s my humanity that drives me. As it is my humanity that also caused me to retreat momentarily from the blogosphere and simply feel. Feel the emotions I experienced from seeing the images of death and blood and destruction – knowing these are mothers, fathers, children. These are families – sometimes ENTIRE families- being wiped off the planet for no reason other than their ethnic classification being the “wrong one” as decided by their tormentor. Men, women, elders and children were injured- upwards of 10,000 of them – some left with lifelong disabilities. Most everyone left with psychological scars that will likely never heal. So sometimes my inspiration to write or blog is lost in a stranglehold of my emotions- my emotional humanity. And that’s where I was in part of July and all of August. I was experiencing a forced upon “moment of silence” where I prayed and just let myself feel.

This seems a proper segway for this blog post which I’ve titled, “To Understand Life – Reflect on Your Death.”  I am thrilled and honored to introduce an amazing person who I met on my journey as a representative of the MyJihad Campaign.  Her name is Sumaiya. I met her at Northeastern University in Chicago where she was a student and I was a guest on a panel about Muslims and bigotry. (I interrupt this paragraph to once again thank the Islamophobes. For it is your bigotry that brings Muslims closer together and that has increased my Muslim contacts immensely. There is a blessing in every struggle.)  I’m blessed to have met Sumaiya and to have served together for the cause of Islam and Muslims. Sumaiya wears the niqab (hijab and face covering) and I wear neither. And I am inspired by her devotion to faith and her modesty. Here is someone probably half my age that is inspiring me to be a better Muslim. And she shared the following with me – almost an otherworldly act as I needed this right now!

Sumaiya wrote the following inspirational piece for a sister in her Halaqa (Muslim gathering of learning and spiritual discovery.) I’m so glad she shared it with me. I told her it is like a “really excellent khutba!” (Khutba is a sermon – typically delivered by an Imam at Friday prayer.) I’m honored she allowed me to re-print it here on YasminaReality.com.

Prepare to be inspired, whatever your faith. There is one thing we all have in common. We all will meet the fate of death on a date unknown. Thank you so much, my dear Sister.  ~Yasmina


I present you my Guest Blogger, Sumaiya:


     This life is a constant struggle, but you’ve got to strive to reach the summit. In the journey of life, you’ll come upon many obstacles. But just like a person climbing a mountain endures difficulty before he/she can reach the summit, you too will have to go through a lot before you reach Jannah (Summit).

        You’ll have many moments in your life where you’ll feel like you can’t proceed. The obstacles of this world will seem overwhelming, and you may feel discouraged. But remember, Allah s.w.t only gives you what you can handle. If you were thrust in a situation where you had nothing to hold except a rope, you’d hold the rope for dear life. In the same way, think of the rope of Allah s.w.t as a lifeline. It is the “crutch” you’ll need to stabilize yourself when you fall into the depth of this world.

        Many times, this world seems very inviting, and in our eagerness to fit in, we forget our purpose of existence. We forget that we’ve been created solely to worship Allah. So I want you to keep the purpose in the forefront of your mind. Once the purpose is clear, you’ll be able to focus better in this world. If you were driving aimlessly and you had no destination in mind, chances are you would get really lost and it may be really hard for you find your way. Similarly, when you “drive” aimlessly in this world without a purpose in mind, you too will become lost in this dunya.

        The best way to focus on the purpose of life would be to reflect upon death. As humans, the thought of death is very disturbing and daunting, but this is the one thing which will help you focus on your purpose in life. Every time you stray away from your purpose, remember death can come to you at any moment. People die unexpectedly every day from accidents, diseases, war, and other unfortunate events. What if you died in a state which was displeasing to Allah?

        Once you decide to live your life in accordance to Allah s.w.t’s commandments and the Prophet (s)’s Sunnah, then Allah s.w.t will become your guide. With each step you take in life, you’ll feel strong and courageous knowing Allah s.w.t will be there to pick you when you fall. Sometimes, the future or your path may seem bleak, and you may worry about what will happen. But remember, nothing is hard for the one who created you and me. If you make Allah s.w.t your guide, he’ll steer you to places which will only be of benefit to you.

        So my dear sister, remember time is running out. At any moment, your time in this world can be over. Imagine taking a test and regretting later why you didn’t spend your time wisely. Is there any point now? The test is already over, and there is not much you can do now. Likewise, in a Hadith to this effect, a person in the hereafter will only regret the time he/she spent without doing the Zikr of Allah. That’s why it’s important for you to use each moment wisely. Try to do zikr consistently and engage in other acts of worship, in sha Allah. Once your time in this world is over, there is no turning back.

          So while you’re breathing, ask Allah s.w.t to align your life in accordance to His commandments. The glitter and glamour of this world is only temporary. Likewise, think about an object or an art work adorned with glitter. It’s pretty from afar, but once you touch it, the glitter begins to fall out. In the same way, when you “touch” this dunya, you’ll begin to realize that the “glitter” is nothing but an illusion.

          Sometimes while running after this illusion, we may fail to realize that we’re displeasing Allah s.w.t. Imagine a person running a marathon; this person just whizzes past everything without thinking much about his/her surroundings or actions. In the same way, when we run after this dunya, we won’t be able to reflect on our actions, because we’re too busy trying to reach the finish line. But in this journey of life, the only finish line is death. That’s why it’s important to slow down, and constantly ask Allah s.w.t for forgiveness. Just like an old cloth loses its shine after it’s been worn a lot, your heart also loses its purity after it’s worn out. Remember, once the Angels take away your soul, you won’t be able to ask Allah for forgiveness. The doors of repentance will become closed forever then.

          Try to make it a habit after every prayer to ask Allah s.w.t for forgiveness, because it’s important to renew your imaan. Prayer is not only a time to gain the pleasure of Allah s.w.t, but it is also a time to talk to our creator. Allah s.w.t gives you an opportunity to ask Him what you want five times a day and you should try your best to take advantage of these precious moments with Allah. There will be times where you’ll feel overwhelmed by the pressures of life or you may be undergoing a test, keep in mind the best solution is to pray. Once you put your head down in sujood, all your problems will vanish. Pour your heart out to Allah s.w.t, because there is nothing He can’t do.

          Along with prayer, we have to please Allah s.w.t by being modest. Allah has given us such a beautiful position as Muslim women. We are like queens in Islam, and we should make sure we dress in a manner which is dignified and respectful. Our society tells us the less we wear, the more liberated we are. But Islam teaches us the importance of wearing a hijab and preserving our beauty for a selected few. My sister, please make sure to dress in a manner which does not reveal the shape of your body. In a Hadith to this effect, the Prophet (s) foretold of a time in which women will be dressed but naked. Meaning, women will be wearing clothes but they’ll be so tight that it’ll be like wearing nothing. Don’t let society dictate how you dress, but follow the command of Allah s.w.t in regards to your dressing. You are the flag bearer of Islam, and it’s not only an honorable position but it requires a sense of responsibility and commitment. Please don’t trade your queenly position for a lowly one.

          If you preserve your queenly position, you’ll be able to protect yourself from Allah’s displeasure when you depart from this world, in sha Allah. Imagine that your time in this world is over. While you lay there helpless, your family in mourning over you. Your loved ones are crying loudly, but you can’t do anything to comfort them. You lay there motionless, hearing the painful sounds around you. After some time, your family and friends walk over to your grave. And as they place you in that dark hole, your suddenly become aware of the reality. You begin to realize death is a reality. You begin to realize the foreboding loneliness. You begin to realize the shortness of your time on earth. Above all, you begin to realize that all the people you tried to please will not be able to help you now. It’s just you and your deeds. Now you’re really wide awake, and the blindfold is removed. The angels start questioning you. There is no turning back. Your examination is over, and now it’s time to wait for your results. Are you ready for your fate?

           If you were to die this very second, are you prepared? Have you spent time preparing for your end? Did you strive to follow the Sunnah? Did you try to spread Islam? Before you go to sleep, reflect on these questions and ask Allah to guide you towards becoming a better Muslim.           Just as we want to advance in this world, we should also strive to become better Muslims. Try to create a chart and mark the things you need to change about yourself. As each day passes, strive to achieve your goal. Also, surround yourself with people who remind you of Allah. This way, you’ll be encouraged to better yourself. Keep in mind, it’s important to move up the spiritual ladder before you can get your diploma to Jannah.            If you want Jannah, you’ll have to work diligently to please Allah. Each new day is chance for you to change your life. My dear sister, please don’t think you have a lifetime to change. This life can be over in an instant. Look at the news. How many people have died close to your age? Look around you. How many people have you known who died at a young age? We all know our birth date, but we have no idea when our death date will be. So please change yourself now, because tomorrow may never come….

Disclaimer: This advice is for me first. May we all benefit. Ameen!



About the Author

About the Author: I'm a Writer and Muslim Activist. I'm also a Board Member of the #MyJihad Public Education Campaign. Follow my blog at yasminareality.com or follow me on Twitter: @yasmina_reality. I'm also now on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/YasminaReality Peace! .

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