A Simple Thought – Friday, 19th March 2021

Tomorrow, when I am no more

In silence and solitude, when commuting, or when retiring for the day, my mind inadvertently prevaricates to the time I will be no more.  Naturally, with death and demise abound in these days, the thoughts are streaming fast and a lot has to do with how I can improve myself, my relationships, my dealings and transactions, so that, like going to Hajj, not only am I leaving material things for my survivors after me, but am also able to endure the journey ahead.  I grow daily aware of the humngous task that faces me in changing my habits and ways and in accepting the inevitable.  It is, after all, the destination and not the passage that is the sesence of human life although we tend to squander many opportunities to pass the litmus test of faith.  As the Holy month of Ramadhan approaches, I am restless of how I will again have to confine my devotions and dedications in isolation, but then I have to concede how this too is part of the test and not a periphery or a distraction.

Jumping to the opposite spectrum of my life, I constantly ponder about the treatment I receive from others, throughout my journey to this day.  I think about those who held me in high esteem becasue of some want or attachment that they thought I could offer, and then their demeanour when they perceived I no longer had it.  I think about those who responded even without me calling upon them, during the hour of my intense need, and those who watched as I suffered and then came to offer their undying solidarity.  I reflect upon the actions and transgressions I have subjected others in a sensible hollowness of heart replete with apology, but I wonder if that is adequate anymore.

Yet my deepest attention goes to those who, in life, have disregard or even contempt for me, sometimes for reasons unknown to me.  To those who take liberties of slendering me and giving me names that are derogatory in the middle of sessions of humour amongst friends.  Many of them judge me as though I was inanimate and insensitive.  I shudder that it is many of these kinds who will bear the weight of my corpse, their hearts overflowing with their feelings of regret or remorse, or perhaps just wonder if all that was worth their while.  Or maybe they will be proclaiming not knowing for anything but for good, in hymn with the chorus at my end, but will be amused and triumphant at my departure.  Some may not even stop there, and inherit my ugly qualities and demerits to those after me, for no fault of theirs except due to their affinities to me.

Tomorrow, when I am no more, I will not be able to control the begrudged friend or the open enemy, and if their thought occupies me today, then I may also miss out on the bounties of my next life.  I wish I could plead with my detractors to consider thinking of me in goodness when I am still amongst them, and inspite of my deficiencies.   I wish I could say to them that my life in this world, like theirs is transient,and if they happen to precede me, I would want to cherish their memories forever, and I would also always, without fail, want to forgive them on my account.  Would they do the same to me?  So I advise myself to stay focussed and remember that Allah loves me, even if they despise me and talk behind my back, some it is said even cast spells on me as a deterant and in vengeance.  I should know none of that and that is why my merciful lord has thrown a curtain between my line of sight and their actions, if any.  And all this, so that I can dedicate my time and energy for the good of all, today, before I am unable to move and to act.

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About the author

Mohamedarif is a marketing professional and educationalist with a penchant for writing as a hobby since childhood. As he experimented writing about sporting events at first and then current affairs, he quickly developed a skill for observation of his environment and began to write on reform topics, especially in connection with the community. To further feed his pursuit of writing, he founded several newsletters and bulletins at his school and at the Husayni Madrasah in the 1980's, all the time learning from others already in the field not just about writing, but also about pre-press and production processes. He was also the editor-in-chief of the Knowledge Magazine in 1995–1996. A decade later, importing a flurry of ideas into his new home, Nairobi, he first founded a two page community newspaper then became a regular writer of the Friday Faculty before establishing the Community on Friday, a fully fledged Madrasah magazine in 1996. And while his writing at the community continued, he simultaneously started writing for a business weekly, pairing in with his newfound role as a marketing professional. During his time in Nairobi, he wrote several speeches for sitting chairmen and presidents while also giving some himself, developing his concurrent role as a public speaker and trainer.

With changing times and a decrease in advertising sponsorship, as well as a fall in overall readership, Mohamedarif transformed this publication into an electronic blog. Thus was born the Community on Friday in its present format.

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