By Tijjani Muhammad Musa
|A Cool Ride & A Fine House|
It is He Who has created you from dust then from a sperm-drop then from a leech-like clot; then does He get you out into the light as a child: then lets you (grow and) reach your age of full strength; then lets you become old; though of you there are some who die before; and lets you reach a Term appointed: in order that ye learn wisdom. Q40:67
The beginning of man is indeed interesting and humble. He comes into this world a poor, helpless baby who cannot even see clearly, utter a single word, feed himself, cover himself or do anything for that matter, except of course to sleep, cry and suckle which are all instincts that comes to him naturally.
Within a week in most cases, a name is given him free of charge by his parent, if he is lucky to have them both or else by his mother who is usually the channel through which he accesses the world. And if he is unfortunate to be an unwanted child, he might still be lucky to get abandoned somewhere without further harm befalling him or else he might end up having his life chocked out of him before being duped in a gutter.
Eventually he starts to see and recognize faces, things, places etc. He learns to sit, crawl, talk, walk and run within first 3 years of his mostly meaningless life. At this point in his tender age, he gets enrolled in pre-nursery, kindergarten, and then proceeds on to the primary, junior and senior high school levels. He might have his talents exposed to be exploited by his parent at home or by his teachers at these various school stages. Possibly winning 1 or 2 prizes, trophies and awards in the process.
Soon he graduates with a diploma and then get admitted in the university to read a course of his or his parent’s choice. If he happens to be brilliant or have a sporting talent, he might even get a scholarship award or if there is a willing and purposeful relative leaving outside the country, it is possible he could end up studying abroad.
In the university, he could be given a cell phone, a laptop, a car etc, to ease his struggle through his course. He might sail through the various level without a single re-sit or carry-over and graduate with flying colours. It is also possible that a job could be on offer even before he finishes his degree, only for him to start working upon passing out.
In this new working environment, his post, salary, benefits, incentives etc could elevate his elevate his status beyond his wildest imagination. It is likely that he could have anything materially or otherwise he so desire. He could also have the most beautiful of girls wanting to make him a good husband and a proud father, which he eventually agrees to be. He eventually gets married to the love of his life, a beautiful, young woman from a historic and desirable background and together they live happily in a posh house with their 4 children.
The society he lives in could come to recognize his worth so much so that they can approach him to represent them at the community, ward, state or federal level of government, either as a nominee, delegate, representative, senator or any leadership position for that matter. This of course could come with all its attendance fame and fortune.
Soon his country could reach out to him to serve the motherland at an international capacity, executing his responsibility so well as to make every citizen proud to be sharing the same nationality with him. Furthermore, an international organization like the United Nation or World Health Organization and their likes, in recognition of his brilliance and dedication might offer him a job to represent it on a global stage.
Now with such a resume, his reputation would normally transcend him. He might end up achieving an iconic status and almost everyone would want a share of him. At this stage of his matured life governments, traditional councils, companies, institutions, organization etc could be seen falling all over themselves, each offering him one post or another. He ends up on the board of trustees or becoming the chairman of many companies and organizations, a holder of multiple chieftaincy title, a recipient of several awards both, at national and international level.
Ultimately he could be invited to join a popular political party, which can use his credentials as well as his credibility to attract more membership and eventually be nominated to run as a presidential flag bearer, beating all other contenders to emerge as his party’s presidential candidate, thereby winning a national election in a land side victory.
Finally, he becomes the president of his country. He establishes the rule of law, quality leadership, transparency, fairness and justice. His tenure ends up being referred to as one of the most progressive era in the nation’s history. After his re-election; he serves his people to the best of his ability and to their grateful delight. He leaves promptly to a standing ovation, an honored and deserved statesmanship and a lasting legacy for generations to come.
He soon retires to his home and gradually, he withdraws from circulation and his influence diminishes, becoming old, sick and feeble and in constant need of medical attention, both at home and abroad until one day he is declared dead. At his funeral the mighty and lowly all attends and gently he is lowered back into his origin, mother earth.
It is Allah Who creates you and takes your souls at death; and of you there are some who are sent back to a feeble age so that they know nothing after having known (much): for Allah is all knowing All-Knowing, All-powerful. Q16:70
Thus is the end of another story of a man that at first was not, then was and again was no more. Beautiful it is, such a smooth sailing all encompassing successful life. But such stories are rare, for they happen to one person only in a generation. Also observe carefully that only the successes of the man’s adventurous life is hereby highlighted. Running along each of these human achievement from day one to day last are uncountable difficulties, trials, tests, crisis, pains and agonies, anxieties, tribulations etc. Many can bear witness to the truth of this fact from their own personal experiences.
Thus is how a soul is transformed by Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala (SWT) from a mere eye contact, a gambling “Hello”, an invitation to friendship, a formal engagement, a marital union, a legitimate sexual act, a pleasurable climax, an emission of something lowly, an unconscious fertilization, a burden carried, a traumatic labour experience, a helpless cry, a humble beginning, on to another outstanding personality or the very opposite. Allaah’s Will be done.
Now, how many people would not wish for the successful story of the man above happening to them or to their descendants? Well, is it possible for it to be much more, some might wonder? What other implications or lessons could such an exemplary life contain? Having it like that is simply good enough or is it not?
For such a man going through such a flawless life, how many would think that each achievement he adds to his collections is nothing but a fulfillment of his Lord’s Decree, of Allah SWT’s Promise upon him in this worldly journey. So that every time “another feather is added to his cap” as the adage goes, it indicates one less item to be given him as he makes the journey of life from cradle to grave.
Each person you meet, places you go, things you do, food you eat, cloth you wear, qualification you earn, awards you receive, business you transact, wife you marry, child you born, houses you build, cars you own, positions you occupy and so on the so forth, are each a promise fulfilled to you by the One and Only God. Who never fails in His Promise to any of his creature.
Set forth to them similitude of the life of the world: It is like the rain which we sent down from the skies; the earth’s vegetation absorbs it but soon it becomes dry stubble which the winds do scatter: it is (only) Allah who prevails over all things. Q18:45.
As Allah SWT commands, we present a similitude that might further convey to all what is meant here in this similitude, observe carefully: If somebody should seek an appointment with the ruler in our midst, let us stay the governor. After many trials and endless protocols, he is eventually granted audience on a specific day and at a scheduled time. Having had it rough getting the appointment, he would most likely plan his case very well and even rehearse his presentation so as to sound articulate, if he is from the serious side of the divide. If not, he would simply plunge head-on into the executive’s office on the schedule day, with a “whatever” attitude.
The D-Day finally comes and at the appointed time he gets ushered in before the governor, who seems so on edge as if he would leave the room giving the slightest excuses. Under such a circumstance the person would not want to waste time in presenting his purpose, right? And this he does so beautifully that his Excellency ends up so sympathetic with him as to grant his every request as God wills.
He now takes his time seeing the Governor has relaxed and nodding his head in encouragement at his every pause, eagerly clinging to his every word which seems to be flowing like water from an endless source. The man reads out 20 requests from a list he had earlier prepared and brought with him to this all important meeting.
To Item No. 1, the Commissioner of Lands is summoned and instructed to facilitate the land required with the Certificate of Occupancy within 24 hours for his Excellency’s signature. Item No 2 sees the Finance Commissioner shivering to obey immediately the Governor’s order. Item 3 makes the ruler smile and say the man should wait to receive that before leaving his presence. And Item 4 is resolved after a brief exchange between His Excellency and one of his Special Advisers. And so goes the whole presentation until all the 20 items are read out by the man and each is fulfilled and the man is treated by his host with much honor and dignity. Now at the end of his presentation, the man is overjoyed and all smiles after being granted all he has come looking for from the governor.
Note that after all his problems are tabled, solved or a commitment pacts i.e. a promise is made to the man by the governor to solve them all. Some immediately, others in the next few days and some later in the coming weeks, months or years. After this very exciting encounter, would there be any need for the visitor to remain in the office of His Excellency any longer? There is definitely no need for him to stay in the presence of the ruler any more. The most appropriate thing for him to do would be to vacate his seat and give others the chance to also be attended to.
The meeting finally comes to an end with a lot of thanks from the man, a warm handshake with the leader who seems ready to entertain other appointments. Observe carefully what the man does next. He starts to pack his presentation papers, writing materials and whatever he has come to the meeting with, stuffs them into his brief case, double check to ensure he has not forgotten anything or litter the place. Once again he happily thanks the governor for his kindness and then leaves the room.
Knowing the governor to be a sincere person who fulfill his promises and fully assured that some of his request would be fulfilled in phases, the man has no other option than to go back to his daily pursuit and gladly celebrates, each time he discovers one of the promises made to him has fully been fulfilled.
Allah disdains not to use the similitude of things lowest as well as highest. Those who believe knowing that it is truth from their Lord; but those who reject faith, they say: “What means Allah by this similitude?” By it He causes many to stray, and many He guides thereby. And He cause to stray only those who are Al-Fasiqun (forsake the path). Q2:26
Now a similar case happens between each soul and Allah SWT at the beginning of the soul’s earthly journey. God Almighty Decrees that the soul should venture forth from Him into this world. Before commencing the trip, provisions are apportioned for the soul – (We shall provide sustenance for them as well as you: Q17:31) to be given when it is most needed and beneficial to the soul through the years the person would stay alive and this i.e. for how long, only Allah knows. Only in this case and time, unlike the meeting with the governor in the example cited above, these is no meeting between Allah and the soul, for Subhanallah (Glory be to him!), far above a meeting with anyone in such matter is Allah, Ar-Rahman (The Gracious), Ar-Rahim (The Merciful)
It is strictly Allah’s Prerogative to decide what to give, of which quality, to which quantity, when, where, why and how etc. No man has a choice in that decision, nor can any alter it. So no matter how early one would want to make something happen or how late one would want to delay it, he or she can not until its scheduled tie is due.
And so a person comes into this life, at first having only a caring mother and a proud and dotting father, legitimacy if lucky to come from a marriage, a good name, good health, ability to feel, see, hear, smell and taste, talk, walk, laugh, cry and so on. But soon he starts to get other worldly things like education, a job, a house, a wife, children, wealth and many mentioned above at different stages and different times of his life. Some as at when desired by the soul and others delayed till a later time. In situation where certain things are completely denied a person, then it is only the wishes of that soul. Such a thing wass not among the items promised the soul by Allah Al-Adl (The Just), Who never ever fails to fulfill His Promise. (It is) the Promise of Allah. Never does Allah depart from His Promise: but most men understand not. Q30:6.
Sometimes people can be so worried if they are refused some things that they assume is of utmost importance in their life. If anyone wants to know why they are denied something he or she wants so badly, it may be that having it would ruin the soul’s chance of pleasing Allah Azza wa Jallah (AWJ) and so become one of the losers in this worldly life and the Hereafter. Again it might simply be for the good of that soul not to have thing at all, so in its place Allaah replaces such a wish with some unexpected bonus Grace from Him. And Allaah Knows best.
For example, if someone has never handle more than a few thousand dollars in his entire life, giving such a person $100 million all of a sudden, could make him become mad from the excitement of acquiring such a huge amounts of money. Some person have been known to have died instantly just from hearing the glad tidings for something unexpected happening to him.
A person might also want to have a big house with many wives, but is in fact impotent and so getting that wish fulfilled will only expose his secret to the rest of the world. So Allah might deny him such a wish. Again someone might be in a hurry to go somewhere only for their car to develop a problem along the road, forcing them to stop and attend to it. Such a delay might be their saving grace as a fatal accident could have been averted by Allah Ar-Rahman as a result of that technical fault.
In certain cases, a person does not need the item he or she wishes for, due to the inappropriateness of the demand. An example is a PhD Certificate to a child, a radio to the deaf, a rap talent to the dumb or driving lesson to the blind etc. So things are given to souls at certain ages, in stages and in due measures, according to their ability to handle it or in order to develop certain faculties to the human, as well as to safeguard the maid, body and soul.
Some lucky souls are given more of everything than others, not because God favors them more, but it may be as a form of test upon such souls. Others, not so fortunate are similarly denied one thing or the others also as a form of trial. And We test you by evil and by good by way of trial: to Us must ye return. Q21:35. Each one is observed, to see how they will react in the circumstances they find themselves. Will they be proud, arrogant, haughty, gentle, grateful humble etc and therefore get rewarded accordingly, depending on whether they pass the examination or not?
If one gets into one form of trouble or another, gets frustrated in the pursuit on one thing or another, gets sabotaged in an effort to get something, will he take it along his stride and comfort his soul with the fact that it was not meant to be saying “Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi raji’un” i.e. Indeed, from Allah we come and to Him we shall return, and adopt patience as his lot or would he abandoned his faith and switch allegiance to a thagut (idol)?
Every person gets apportioned his or her provisions by their Lord and Maker and is given this sustenance as at when promised. So each time he or she succeeds in acquiring a new status or getting some new blessing, the person should simply tick it off their list as “Done” or “Fulfilled”, then praise Allaah SWT with Alhamdulillaah! for getting his apportioned due. And await further the fulfillment of other promises subject to his hope, dreams and aspirations.
If you get a degree, a car, a house, get married, have a male or a female child, then a twin girls, travel to Makkah for Hajj, set-up a business, have a long life etc, they are all blessing delivered. So you should not be proud or haughty, think it is your smartness or educational level, linage, age etc that has gotten that for you, but simply tick them all off and tell yourself “So Allah Has also promised me this as well. Generous indeed is my Lord over me and grateful I am for His numerous bounties upon my soul” And say: ‘Glory to our Lord! Truly has the promise of our Lord been fulfilled! Q17:108
And so by the time one has almost everything that as soul could possibly asked for in this life, he or she should wisely start preparing to leave this world, just like the man who attended the meeting with the governor. It simply means all your promises have been fulfilled and there is nothing more for you to expect (Our Lord! Grant us what Thou didst Promise unto us through thine Apostles and save us from shame on the Day of judgment: for Thou never break Thy Promise” Q3:194), so you should start mending damaged relationship, paying outstanding debts, fulfilling backlog of promises, writing or updating your will/s (It is prescribed when death approached any of you if he leaves any goods that he make a bequest to parent and next of kin according to reasonable usage; this is due from the Allah-fearing. Q2:180), seeking for your Lord’s Forgiveness etc as you prepare to go back to where you come from, back to your GOD (Allah, Azza wa Jallah) in fulfillment of yet another Promise from Allah i.e. Every soul shall have the taste of death: in the end of us shall ye be brought back. Q29:56.
But instead of doing just that, most people venture into new falsehoods and start thinking of spreading themselves further with the foolish hope of living life anew, in the comfort of their newly found wealth and affluence. Inside their minds, they start to plan way into another 100 years, another life time that is not theirs, denying the obvious fact that their sojourn will soon come to an end. They start thinking that only the “other” person will die, never them. Alas! Of a sudden, the inevitable happens and death swoops in and catch them off guard, when they least expect it. (In falsehood will they be) until when death comes to one of them he says: “O my Lord! Send me back (to life)” Q23:99. Thus leaving behind so much undone and a lot of fundamental loose ends.
“There is only one life to live, live it well” – Tijjani Muhammad Musa
All Rights Reserved ©® Tijjani M. M.
A SoundWord & Sight Communications Document 2008