It wasn’t until I got older that I realized we’re living in stoppage time. I finally started to understand that that’s what our life is. A few precious moments to give it all we can even though we don’t know how much time we have on this earth. We only know that our time is short. At any moment, our time will be up and our whistle will be blown. If we’re tired, then we go without rest. If we’re thirsty or have other desires distracting us from our mission, then we do without them, for just a little bit longer. It’s not a time for rest, but a time to give it everything we got no matter how exhausted we are. Anything we do, no matter how big or small could be our final play, our final moment. We give it our all because in this short time we have to prove ourselves so that, by the grace of Allah, we can live forever as champions.
We see people around us dying every day. Some die after long, drawn out illnesses, and others suddenly and seemingly out of nowhere. How would we live our lives if we knew our time was short? I had a friend who was diagnosed with a terminal illness. Just days after I heard the news, he invited me to play an online game against him; a game I was already playing with other friends. I thought to myself what is he doing? Doesn’t he realize that his days are numbered? Does he not know that he’s dying? What is he doing with the life he has left? But then I thought to myself are my days not numbered? Am I not going to die? He’s just more aware of it than I am. How am I making a difference in the world with the time that I do have? How am I preparing myself to stand before the Lord of the Worlds?
When it’s our time to go, what will our legacy be? Will it be that we had a 9 to 5 job and were miserable doing it? Or will it be that we did something that mattered? Will it be that we impacted the lives of our family, friends, and those around us? Will it be that we took advantage of every day of our lives and made a difference in the world? Who will miss us when we’re gone? Will we have any regrets, or did we live our lives to the fullest?
Anything we do, no matter how big or small could be our final play, our final moment. We give it our all because in this short time we must prove ourselves so that, by the grace of Allah, we can live forever as champions.
As I walked out of my office building one day, a coworker who I had never met before shared an elevator ride with me. We engaged in some small talk and started walking down the street, when I noticed that we were approaching a homeless man. So naturally, I avoided eye contact, and tried to look more engaged in my conversation with my coworker. Then suddenly, my coworker told me it was nice talking to me and that maybe he would see me around some time. Then he turned to the homeless man with a dollar in his hand and with a huge smile on his face cried out, “Dave!” The homeless man, an elderly man in a wheelchair, replied, “Chris, how have you been?” I kept walking and thought to myself, now that’s a man who will be missed one day. That should have been me.
Although we don’t like to think of it too much, no one has ever escaped death. But we live our lives as if we may be the first. Allah (swt) says: “Every soul will taste death…” ( Al-‘Anbya’ 21:35)
I came across lyrics to a song once that read: “We are young, wandering the face of the earth, wondering what our dreams might be worth, learning that we’re only immortal for a limited time.”
Allah (swt) says: “Until when the angel of death comes to one of them, he says, [For such is the state of the disbelievers], until, when death comes to one of them, he says, ‘My Lord, send me back That I might do righteousness in that which I left behind’… ” (Al- Mu’minun 23:99-100).