Last week, as I was sitting on my comfy couch enjoying the easter holidays, I started reading “The Fault In Our Stars” by John Green.
Now don’t worry…I am not doing any sort of review as I myself acknowledge the lateness of my notice on the New York Times bestseller, but I would like to share with you what I found intriguing about something the author has so remarkably written about along my own beliefs and reflections. The story is about a girl diagnosed with lung cancer, who meets a boy, also having a type of cancer, previously thought as cured. Unlike Hazel (the girl), Augustus is in a constant regret for his life and chronic illness as he transforms from the charming and witty guy, every girl dreams about, to a cancer patient unable to do anything on his own. Through their diverse aspects on life, both of them go on a journey knowing the estimated limit of their life and the constant fear of an enemy, within themselves, waiting for them with open arms: death.
Horcruxes, medicines, Deathly Hollows, what else will we make up to “escape” the death? To assure ourselves that we are not going to leave this world once and for all, even though we all know the reality. Yet so many of us are afraid to leave their life along with their family, friends, wealth, desires and dreams. In fact, many of us go into depression after losing a loved one. So many scientists and philosophers gathering in meetings in order to achieve something called life extension.
But we as Muslims, acknowledge the fact that death in not THE END, but the beginning of a never-ending life, as Allah says:
“Every soul will taste death and you will only be given your compensation on the Day of Resurrection. So, he who is drawn away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise has attained. And what is the life of this world except the enjoyment of delusion.”
This world is by definition temporary, we are here just to assess our exam, in order to accomplish our destination, to graduate and ultimately, experience the true meaning of living happily ever after. I am not saying by any means that we should be wanting to die, but let’s be real: every single day of our life leads us near to death. Unfortunately, as human beings, we tend to forget that and start living our life as if the clock will never stop for us. That is why Allah has sent a reminder, for all of us, so that we may take heed. He mentions:
“By time, Indeed, mankind is in loss, except for those who have believed and done righteous deeds and advised each other to truth and advised each other to patience.”
Time is essential, it is the most powerful thing a healthy person has, as our beloved Prophet has said:
“Take advantage of five matters before five other matters: your youth, before you become old; and your health, before you fall sick; and your richness, before you become poor; and your free time before you become busy; and your life, before your death.”
What concerned me the most is that people like Hazel and Augustus,
them being fictional characters, in real life the people living out there diagnosed with cancer or any sort of terminal disease, are in fact more conscious of their time because they know that time is the only thing they don’t have enough. SubhanAllah…Allah has put them and us in a test where time is what we should be most aware of. Their difficulties, hardships, fears and everything that they encounter reminds them constantly of their limited time.
But what about us? Don’t we need to remind ourselves of our limited time in this world and the approaching death?
“Losing time is harder than death, as losing time keeps you away from Allah and the Hereafter, while death keeps you away from the worldly life and people.”
Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah