Have you ever been stuck in the snow, unable to move?
It’s not an easy situation, but at the same time it’s an experience which offers a very good wake-up call.
It’s a reminder that we are not really in control…
We think we are, but in fact we aren’t.
God is in control, and He reminds us of that fact from time to time…
With the massive snow storm currently affecting Northern Europe, said to be the worst in the UK since 2013, one thousand schools closed their doors here yesterday.
Many commuters were unable to reach work, and many others chose to stay home.
An Opportunity to Reflect?
With the Christmas season a few months away, this unexpected snow storm may offer a good opportunity for many of us to contemplate on life during a time of year when most of us are not too busy.
When was the last time you took “time out” from your busy work or study schedule to reflect on life?
What is life really all about?
Have you thought of that lately?
Are we here to make money, get married, have a family and live for 70 or 90 years then depart from this world?
Is that all what there is to it?
Is it our final destination?
Or is this life a transition, a bridge to the next life?
This is how Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) responded:
… Verily, the example of this world and myself is that of a rider who seeks shade under a tree, then he moves on and leaves it behind. (Musnad Ahmad)
We all must one day move on and leave this world behind.
So we are really like passengers in transit.
Going from airport A to airport C, a transit traveler stops in airport B for a few hours.
And this is what life is all about.
And that explains why the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
Be in this world as though you were a stranger or a wayfarer. (Al-Bukhari)
A New Perspective on Life
With this prophetic advice, should we really be sad if our conditions this year are not as good as they were last year?
Or should we really rejoice that our income grew by 5%?
Will we take wealth with us when the final call is announced for us to leave?
Or will other people benefit from our wealth and belongings as we move on?
What is important is to focus on what really matters, which is our final destination.
So don’t make the routine matters of life take over your heart; money, status, power, … etc. won’t last.
This reminds me of the story of a renowned Muslim scholar who was one day teaching his students in the mosque, and a man came to him and said that a fire had broken out and that his shop and all his trade were destroyed.
He stopped for a minute, then said Al-Hamdulel- Allah.
A while later, another person came and said that in fact his shop was saved from the fire, and that his trade was intact.
Again, he stopped his talk for a minute, said Al-Hamdulel- Allah, then continued.
In both cases, he stopped and checked his heart to make sure that he was not sad nor happy.
His heart was not attached with this worldly world.
Whatever wealth he had he controlled in his hand, and the love of dunya never entered his heart.
This is how a believer should look at life, and that way he or she will never be sad or worried.
So next time you are stuck in the snow, or have time to ponder and reflect, don’t forget that this worldly life is not the end of the story, … it’s only a transition.
Are you ready for your final destination?
(This article is from Reading Islam’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.)