A letter and a wish

A Kuwaiti woman, who had a terminal illness, wrote a farewell letter before her expected death and posted it on social media. Everyone who read the sad letter that is filled with pain was inspired. The letter says, “I will not be worried when I die, and I will not care about my decaying body, as Muslims will do the necessary. They will remove my clothes, wash me, put me in a shroud, take me out of my home and take me to my new residence, the grave. Many will come to my funeral and many will cancel their commitments, to bury me.

“My belongings will be disposed of; my keys, books, bag, shoes and clothes. If my family does the right thing, they will donate them so I benefit from that. They will make sure that no one is sad for me. The economy will continue, and my job will be taken over by someone else, and my money will go to the heirs, while it will be me who will be held accountable for what I did with it. The first thing that will be dropped from me when I die is my name, so when I die they will ask: ‘Where is the corpse?’ And will not call me by my name. Then when they start to bury me, they will say bring the deceased closer, and will not mention my name. Here, you will not be proud of someone’s tribe, position or affiliation, so how trivial is this life, and how great is what we are going for?

“Sadness towards you will be of three types, people who know you superficially, those friends who will be sad for hours or days then they will return to their normal talks and laughs, but the most affected and sad people will be at home, my family members who will mourn for weeks, months or even a year, making me a memory. And this is how my story ends and the true story begins.”

What drew me to this letter is the amount of sadness and reality in it. I was drawn to what was mentioned at the end of it in the form of questions all about the hereafter, such as the question about what have we prepared for our grave and the hereafter? Were we keen on performing the compulsory (fardhs) and voluntary (sunnah) worships, charity and good deeds? These and other sayings that are repeated by others which satisfy ones conscience and relaxes the heart, yet what about life on earth? Why doesn’t anyone care about it? Is it enough for us to pray, fast, give charity, zakat (alms), or help the poor to have performed our role in this life?

Why are others different from us about their strong interest of earth such as the interest of some of them in the hereafter, from their own point of view? Why don’t we attempt to instill in the future generation’s minds that it is important to leave an impression of our life that benefits humanity? Such as benefits in health, medicine, science, development, fighting illness, developing vaccinations, helping eradicate illiteracy, making drinking water available for every human being, eradicating poverty and ignorance and helping 66 million refugees suffering around the world.

Why do our culture, talks, and school curricula lack material that urges the individual to care about life on earth, such as the case about the hereafter? Is it not strange for the Ottoman Empire to last for 600 years and fail to give humanity a world that attracts the attention of all, while its European neighbors had given it thousands of scientists and innovators? A question that has the end of our backwardness in its answer. – Translated by Kuwait Times from Al-Qabas

By Ahmad Al-Sarraf


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