“Every drop of sweat
And every breath we take in life,
if not taken for the sake of Allah,
will lead to regret and sorrow on the Day of Judgement”
A friend of mine posted this on facebook today and it is so penetratingly apt. I am going through an altered reality few days where it feels pretty much like I am in one of those snow globe thingys being shaken up by Allah the One.
It started with “Inception” – which I started watching on Sunday night. Thanks to the pathetic speed of our home internet, even when I load a movie for hours it still has to buffer regularly, so when I am watching a movie I am also Facebooking, reading the news etc. So while watching Inception I came across a terrible story of a street car race in Bahria Town (just near us) where a car lost control and flipped over onto the crowd, killing at least 5 people. It was terrible and I was deeply moved by it. The obligatory You Tube video was eerie but i just couldnt bring myself to watch the accompanying video of the bodies. Here people seem to love blood and gore, but it feels like the height of disrespect to be seeing dead people like that. I turned off Facebook and persisted with the movie for a while. I think i am the only person left who has not seen it, so you will know that it is all about the altered perception of reality and what is REAL.
For those with spiritual leanings, you will know that the whole spiritual truth is that this life is not real – we have simplified the magnificent complexity of Allah’s creation of man into a living breathing ego that WANTS everything and veils us from the TRUTH. I am blessed to have a husband who reminds me of that in every day, and although I am a grand failure when it comes to living a spiritual life, I can see what he is talking about very clearly.
So Inception was gripping from that perspective, however at about 11pm I gave up on the buffering and left the movie until the morning. I slept with the haunting thought of those dead people squashed by that car, and their new realities. I thought of the mothers who had lost their children and loved ones and the new reality that they also had to face without the people they love.
Morning came and I got the kids off to school. I was still haunted by the car crash and looked up as much information as i could – which was not much except that there was a little girl in hospital and two fathers and sons killed. Watched a bit more of Inception and blew my mind a bit more, then headed off to school to pick up the kids. My 11 year old daughter came to the gate with a tear stained face etched in shock. “Did you hear?” she asked, and I learned with horror that two of those killed were our friends – Safi’s class fellow and cousin of her best friend, and his father. Their sister was in hospital in a serious condition and their mother, a friend of mine, was left with her life so smashed up it was hard to imagine how she could get through.
The snow globe of my reality shook so hard that I could barely stand and could barely breathe. NO. NO. NO. This was not even my family, but the shock was unbearable. Yet people die tragically every day dont they? Lives are shaken like this every day, yet we go on. There is a scene in Inception when the van is falling off the bridge and in their dreams they are without gravity. This is our lives really isnt it? Worlds within worlds, floating through what we call life. The jerks we receive in the form of life-changing moments are miniscule in perspective. The only thing that matters is to hold onto Allah. This family just built a new house, the wife was doing her PhD, they had a million plans. And now they are gone. Everything they thought would happen will now never happen. It was nothing but illusion in the first place.
So Ibn-e-Qayyim is so right that it is as unbearable as the tragedy unfolding here. There is NOTHING to live for except Allah the One. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing.