Think about Life for a second. All the ups and downs. The big moments and the small things.
Think about it as a trajectory. A timeline with multiple blips throughout.
And then the end. Le fin.
Most of us, if we’re completely honest with ourselves, don’t really think about the fragility of life. We have goals, dreams and aspirations for what things will look like in 10, 25, and even 40 years. And that’s fine, there’s nothing wrong with that.
But there’s still an end.
There’s a story I heard at an Islamic conference this past year, and it’s really stuck with me. The Shaykh pointed to two young boys in the audience and asked for their names and ages. They were both around 8 years old. He then said,
“One day, not so far away into the future, Abdur-Rahman and Ali will be enjoying each other’s company in Jannah, insha’Allah. They’ll be eating all the wonderful foods of Jannah, and they’ll be talking to each other in the way good friends do. Then, Ali will turn to Abdur-Rahman and say, ‘Hey, do you remember dunya?’ At this point, both brothers will sit quietly for a moment as they try to remember what dunya was like. What did we do? How did the time pass by? What was it like?
And as much as they try remembering this, dunya is but a distant, foggy memory.
‘I lived for 65 years in dunya. But compared to this life, dunya feels like a fleeting five minutes,’ Abdur-Rahman slowly responds.
Ali looks over at his friend and nods his head in agreement.”
And even though Allah knew that once we got to Jannah (insha’Allah) our lives in the dunya would seem like a fleeting five minutes, and that our trials and challenges would seem like minor scratches, He still prepared us for it. Because He knew that while we were here, Life wouldn’t seem like a fleeting five minutes – especially not when we’re struggling. He knew that for us, our challenges would appear like soaring mountains and that this life would seem like it would go on forever.
And so when people say that the greatest blessing is Imaan, it’s no small thing.
Islam teaches us to be optimistic. Islam teaches us to persevere. And it reminds us that there will be an end. The end.
And that throughout it all, your Lord is al-Wali- The Protecting Friend and the Holder of Authority. Who better than Him to look out for your best interests?
And it may be that that dislike something while it is good for you and that you like something while it is bad for you. And Allah knows and you do not know. (Quraan, 2:16)
And in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest. (Quraan, 13:28)