Death

I had to share this: May your soul find peace. 

Imam Al Ghazzali woke up one early morning and as usual offered his prayers. He then enquired what day it was and his younger brother, Ahmad Ghazzali replied,”Monday.”

He asked him to bring his white shroud, kissed it, stretched himself full length and saying “Lord, I obey willingly,” breathed his last.

Underneath his head rest they found the following verses; composed by him, probably, during the night:

“Say to my friends, when they look upon me, dead,
Weeping for me and mourning me in sorrow,
‘Do not believe that this corpse you see is myself,
In the name of God, I tell you, it is not I,
I am a spirit, and this is naught but flesh,
It was my abode and my garment for a time.
I am a treasure, by a talisman kept hid,
Fashioned of dust, which served me as a shrine,
I am a pearl, which has left it’s shell deserted,
I am a bird, and this body was my cage,
Whence I have now flown forth and it is left as a token,
Praise to God, who hath now set me free,
And prepared for me my place in the highest of the Heavens,
Until today I was dead, though alive in your midst.
Now I live in truth, with the grave – clothes discarded.
Today I hold converse with the Saints above,
With no veil between, I see God face to face.
I look upon “Loh-i-Mahfuz” and there in I read,
Whatever was and is, and all that is to be.
Let my house fall in ruins, lay my cage in the ground,
Cast away the talisman, it is a token no more,
Lay aside my cloak, it was but my outer garment.
Place them all in the grave, let them be forgotten,
I have passed on my way and you are left behind,
Your place of abode was no dwelling place for me.
Think not that death is death, nay, it is life,
A life that surpasses all we could dream of here,
While in this world, here we are granted sleep,
Death is but sleep, sleep that shall be prolonged
Be not frightened when death draweth nigh,
It is but the departure for this blessed home,
Think of the mercy and love of your Lord,
Give thanks for His Grace and come without fear.
What I am now, even so shall you be,
For I know that you are even as I am,
The souls of all men come forth from God,
The bodies of all are compounded alike,
Good and evil, alike it was ours.
I give you now a message of good cheer
May God’s peace and joy forever more be yours.”

Everything

OK, today is one of those days where my mind is scrambling to organize itself – cos it has been a happening August and it’s expressing its resentment with a persistent migraine throb on the left side (any brain specialists here to explain what that means what would have given rise to the throbbing of the left side and not right?)

Came back this morning at close to 2am from Taipei after a short but tiring biz trip, rushed home, caught 5 hours of sleep and then emceed for an event in Jurong East. I’ll be honest – I like my days packed, I think we’re given time to maximize them for good use – and to align them to one’s vision.

But because my mind is still in a disarray – partly because of this headache, I feel like clearing it by typing in summary about what I’ve been thinking about expressing.  I’m going to type out a list of some of the things that struck me lately, new insights gained, issues that affected me – in point form, and see where it takes me:

1) Knowledge is not information – knowledge can only come from the heart, whilst info remains in the mind. This statement is so deep – and I almost dismissed it as cliche when I first heard it- until I realized its depth. It’s that aha moment when that info you’re processing (in your mind) resonates with something deeper – how it suddenly makes sense and becomes meaningful, and the ‘coming from the heart part’ was my favourite – cos it deals with purpose, passion and commitment. When info is aligned with purpose (from the heart) – it becomes so powerful. It got me thinking deeply about how because each individual is unique and talented in his/ her own way, how powerful they can become if their purpose is clear – cos then all these skills, talents and knowledge are applied for good means- what a change the world will see.

It is linked to this Hadith: 

People are like minerals. The best of them in Jahiliyyah will be the best of them in Islam.

 

Didn’t note down the source of this one – but I will search for it:

Knowledge is the arrival of the meaning of a thing or an object of knowledge in the soul of the subject and simultaneously.. knowledge is the soul’s arrival of knowledge”

Another gem of a saying:

Info can have processes applied to it such that meaning is derived and yet whether and how it arrives in your soul will determine whether or not it is knowledge.

Source: From Religious class: Intro to Fiqh by Ustaz Zhulkeflee

Another one that brought me to tears – that I heard in an Entrepreneurship seminar run by Muslim Business Owners (Fast and Fuuyooh 2).

Bishr Ibn Musa narrated that ‘Umar Ibn al-khattab was sitting with a group of companions and he asked, “Let each one make a wish!’ Someone said, “I wish if this house was filled with gold and I would happily spend it in Allah’s path.” ‘Umar asked the people again, “Make a wish!” Someone else said, ” I wish that if this house was filled with pearls, chrysolites, and with every kind of precious gems that I would happily spend in charity on Allah’s path.”

‘Umar asked again, “Make a wish!” They replied, “O Amirul Muminin, we truly do not know what to wish for.”

‘Umar (رضي الله عنه) then said, “I wish that this house was filled with men like Abu ‘Ubaidah Ibn Al-Jarrah (رضي الله عنه).”

Explanation of the above: Abu Ubaidah was known as a man who was committed to seeking the pleasure of God, and was detached and not affected by the distractions of worldly life (wealth, status, etc). Which brings me to my second insight:

2) The most valuable thing are human resources who are talented and dedicated to a cause greater than themselves. 🙂 This should be the case for corporations, governments, families, etc – hiring the best talented people with the right values and aligned with the purpose/ mission of your organization.

3) Knowledge can be harmful too if one fails to acknowledge and prioritize based on its rightful order.

Recognition and acknowledgements, progressively instilled into man of the proper places of things in the order of creation such that it leads to the recognition and acknowledgement of the proper place of God in the order of being and existence.

 

I’ll sign off for now – but one last pearl of wisdom, that means everything to me.

Purpose of learning – what’s yours?

Adornment of inner self with virtues seeking nearness to Allah and attainment of piety.