5 before 5.


Just this morning i got a call from a friend regarding a very nice young man he had introduced me to just about a month back. They were both students at the Islamic centre i work for.

The young man, Ali is a Tanzanian and what i admired about him was his zeal to get as much Islamic knowledge as possible in spite of his demanding work schedule. He once told me that he is very proud of being a Muslim and his ambition was to learn the Deen of Allah whenever he was free.

He travelled for about 2 weeks, he is a truck turn boy, and when he got back he was all apologetic for going away without giving me a call. In the course of his travels he lost some books i had issued him, i had to give him my favourite notebook so he could take notes for class that day.

He always arrived very early for class and just sat there, waiting for the tutor and his fellow students.
A very humble, jovial young man.

Today i get a call that he is no more; he had an accident on Sunday evening a few kilometres after the Lunga Lunga border. They got his body out hours later coz it was stuck ……ok, let’s not get into the details. May Allah have mercy on his soul and my sincere prayer is that just as we met in this Dunya, we will get a chance to meet again in Akhera.

Inspite of everything he had aspired for in this world just like all of us, my prayer is that he remembered His creator in his final moments.

It got me thinking a great deal about life and death; the destroyer of all pleasures. About the people i see and interact with everyday and i realised that i pay very little attention to how much we appreciate each other.

I thought of the numerous moments i should have immortalised with a smile.

The moments i should have offered a hug, a shoulder to lean on, an encouraging word that all would be well in spite of the dark skies.

Why is it that we only seem to appreciate someone more after they pass on? When we know all too well that we will never see them again?

Death is hard. I watched mum in her last minutes and it wasn’t a pleasant sight. It is painful, the soul being removed from a world it has grown very attached to is painful and torturous!

In a Hadith of the prophet Muhammad (pbuh), he adviced us to make use of 5 before 5:
1. Youth before old age.
2. Health before illness
3. Wealth before poverty.
4. Free time before getting occupied.
5. Life before death.

The aspects above are everyday scenarios. Just yesterday as we were about to pray Asr, an old man dropped a copy of Quran he had been reading as he tried to place it back on a top shelve. Out of courtesy, i picked it up and put it on the shelve. I noticed he was still searching for something very keenly on the mosque carpet, i thought maybe he had dropped a needle, or some coins.

Afwan,” i offered gently, “have you dropped something? I will help you look.”

“Yes I have,” he answered, voice quite feeble, “i have dropped the Quran i was reading and i cannot see it!”

Subhanallah! His eyesight was not that strong. I bet years back when he was my age he could see a needle on the mosque carpet from metres away!

I told him i had picked it up and placed it on the shelve. He nodded and said jazakallah khyr. I was moved even further once we started salah and i noticed that his left hand was limp and just hanging on his side!

Health before illness; life before death; youth before old age; free time before getting busy; wealth before poverty.

Take care of five before five.

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