As many people battle with hunger and live in constant fear for their lives in war-stricken parts of the world, there are also people who live very comfortable and extravagant lives. After spending astronomic amounts in luxurious shopping malls, they lounge in their expensive yachts, sipping cold drinks before heading off to expensive nightclubs in their sports cars, wearing costly designer clothes.
And the number of such people, who have no reservations in such indulgences, is not a few.
However, a lot of people in the world live quite modest lives. There are hundreds of millions of people who spend their lives literally commuting between home and work. Trying to fit in to their monotonous lives some social outings, they consider going to theatres or having a coffee with a friend as something fun and different.
However, one thing that they envy the most is the lifestyle of the rich and famous. They try to imitate them as much as possible using their limited resources, and live with the dream of one day getting to live like them. They save money to go to their holiday spots, buy knock-off versions of their clothes or wristwatches or accessories, and strive to be like them as much as they can.
However, there is one thing that these two groups forget: Time is passing very quickly. Everyone is going towards that one point that awaits them. Needless to say, that point is death and it is one of the most important moments in one’s life.
Designer shoes and bags, beautiful clothes and lunches in fancy restaurants, likes and comments on a post on Instagram or Facebook: None of them will matter once that final moment arrives. Farewell to summer parties, the success of one’s favourite sports teams or the latest episode on your favourite TV series. It goes without saying that with death, such matters will no longer be important.
Most of the time, following the death of a person, his house and personal belongings will be shared. His clothes will be given away to the poor while his favourite items and old pictures are retained as keepsakes by loved ones and friends. That is only until the members of his bereaved family also pass away.
Life, once thought as endless, comes to an abrupt end. Favourite foods, drinks, money, wealth, fun activities, entertainment and all memories come to an end.
With death, they are all buried in eternity. The time of that person comes to an end. His experience in this world is now over, only to be replaced by a completely different experience. Just like waking up from a dream, a curtain is lifted and another life begins. What happens after death? With death, one loses touch with his body. What he called “I” all his life, what he cherished and loved, now turns into a mere piece of flesh. Strangers come and take it to a morgue. The next day, it will be transported to be washed, and placed inside a coffin.
People will carry it and put it in front of a tombstone, on which his name will be written. His body, now wrapped in a piece of cloth, will be removed from the coffin and put underground. People will start throwing dirt on the body with shovels and as the dirt slowly begin to cover the entire body, the burial will be completed and everyone will go back to their homes. What is the soul of that person going through at that point?
If the person that lost his life is someone who thought he’d live forever, who made long-term plans and accumulated wealth all his life without ever considering the afterlife, he will realise in horror that he is now all alone. He will understand that he threw away his opportunity, and that he had been foolishly turning away from the truth in his pursuit of temporary pleasures of the world.
He will feel incredible regret for not thinking even once why he had been born or the purpose of his existence. But he will also see that there is no going back and that the time for giving an answer for the life he spent, has now arrived. He will also understand that there is no running from death or from being held accountable.
Everyone knows about death. Yet, despite this knowledge, many avoid thinking about it, pretend not to see it and act like it is never going to happen. They wish to continue to pursue their desires, they want the current situation to go on forever. Although they know inside their hearts that it is a futile pursuit, instead of facing the truth, they choose to live fake lives. These sentences may offer one more opportunity for those who know that they will encounter death one day, but try to ignore it.
It is not known when death will come but one day it will definitely come and, most probably, it will be a day when one never thought it would be. So, every sensible person should understand that they cannot run from this truth, and that it would be very wrong to be blindly attached to this world.
Instead, they should prepare for the real and eternal life that will start after this life. Once they accept this fact, a new page of eternity will be opened and they will enjoy living their lives without fooling themselves. They will also understand that death is not the end or something to be afraid of, but rather the beginning of the real, eternal life in the Hereafter.
Adnan Oktar's piece on New Straits Times & The Gulf Today: