Today I woke up with an urge to write ..
On September 12th – Eid ul Adha this year – my husband and I were rushing to the Jawatte mosque for Eid prayers. We parked at one of the by-lanes and I got out and was walking ahead while my husband locked up and I see another familiar face, ever smiling, rushing towards the mosque.
“AA, How are you? I hear congratulations are in order,” I told him.
“W/S, I should be congratulating you,” he replied. “How are things?”
And in the rush to get to the mosque we wrapped up that fleeting conversation and ran off.
A few weeks ago, I was scrolling through Facebook and came across a picture he had posted about cricket try-outs at Lords and I told my mother who was in front of me about him. Someone I had known for around 5-6 years now and never mentioned to her before. I told her what a nice guy he was and how he had just won the Chevening Scholarship to the London School of Economics and Political Science and how he was someone destined for greatness.
On October 12th – exactly a month later – I was reading in the evening, when my phone rang and before I could answer it the call disconnected. And my friend called again.
“Your friend Adhil died,” she said.
“What?!” I replied.
إِنَّا لِلّهِ وَإِنَّـا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعون
“Surely we belong to Allah and to Him shall we return”
When a Muslim hears about death, it’s what we say. We immediately put our trust in our Lord and accept His decree.
Our Lord had a better plan for Adhil – Adhil who had just moved to London, Adhil who going to start his masters, Adhil who everyone who knew him would be the kind of leader we dreamed for Sri Lanka: fair, just and kind, Adhil who was kind and generous, Adhil who was always smiling.
Yesterday my Facebook timeline was full of tributes for this wonderful person – people he hadn’t met, people he had made an impression with the few moments they spent with him, people who could proudly call him their best friend.
This was a guy in his 26 years of life who had impacted countless people in such a positive way.
We don’t know when our time on earth will come. My end could be today and yours tomorrow. For me, all this made me step back and assess how I am living my life. Do we treat people with kindness? Do we live our lives in a way that we are making an impact in our community? Do we smile as often as we should? Do we spend enough time with the ones we love? Do we spend time in reflection? Do we spend enough time in prayer?
We live in a day and age where our personal lives are open books. We get to paint a picture of what we want our lives to be. I have been in gatherings where people mock someone else’s post or picture, laugh behind their backs. I have seen people who aren’t happy but paint the rosiest picture of family life on their social media pages. As human beings, we whine and complain and are quick to surround ourselves with negativity. We snap at others, get angry easily, hold grudges, lie, cheat, get jealous, indulge in our vices – little realizing our end might just be around the corner.
One of my friends had posted this on Facebook .. “Love the people God gave you because He will need them back one day.” We are all chasing our dreams – the biggest house, the flashiest cars parked in the garage, the prettiest shoes, baubles that glitter at our necks, the latest gadgets. As we invest our time and energies in this pursuit, sometimes we leave behind the ones we love, we dont spend enough time with our aging parents, we dont have time for a kind word or two for our kids, we dont take time to appreciate our significant others, we call our friends less.
Adhil lived his life in a way that anyone who had the privilege of knowing him would say they were blessed. Let’s use his life as a reminder to smile more, to spend more time with the people we love, to help our communities in whatever way we can, to take time out to do the things we love – whether its cricket try-outs or spending the day at the beach – to put our trust in our Lord’s plans and to accept His decree.
One of my favourite ayahs of the Qur’an is .. “We plan and Allah plans and He is the best of planners” It’s easy to lose focus and get disillusioned when things dont go our way and its easy to compare our lives with the lives of others but trust in His plans and in sha Allah they will turn out to be better than we expected.
If you are reading this, join me in saying a prayer for Adhil ..
May Allah accept from him all his good deeds, forgive all his sins and grant him the highest of the heavens. Ameen.
and May Allah also give his family and friends the strength and patience through this difficult time. Ameen.