Zainath was lying on the bed, half awake, clutching her pillow tight against her chest and covering her whole body with a thick blanket except for the face, as it was very cold outside. She always loved spending quiet time just lying on her bed before she starts the day. She would have enjoyed the lie thoroughly if it was not for the distant sound of the birds chirping, which made her feel annoyed.
She always hated anything which interrupted her comfy sleep. To increase her annoyance, she heard the Adhan calling. “It must be near to five,” thought Zainath with a rage. And remembering something, she closed her eyes tight, pulled the blanket up to her nose, which now revealed only her tightly shut eyes, and pretended to be asleep. For she knows that in a few minutes of time, her dad would come waking her for the prayer.
Although she loved her dad a lot, it made her angry whenever someone woke her up while having a nice long nap, and her dad was not an exception. Not more than a minute passed after this thought occurred to her, she heard a gentle knock on her room door. “It must be dad,” she thought under her breath and it was.
“Assalamu Alaikum, Zainath dear! It's time you got up and prayed Subah or you’ll miss it.”
“Oh, I can pray it later. Why, even the Prophet himself has said that it is all right if we were sleepy and prayed the missed ones later,” she convinced herself, though she did not dare open her mouth to her dad.
Thinking that Zainath was not awake yet, her dad came in opening the door. “Come on, child! Wake up and get ready to pray! It's already getting late and you never know when the death will embrace us! You can't always sleep like this on weekends. You'll be punished by Allah!'”
“Phew! Allah is the most Merciful, they say! So why on earth would He want to punish an innocent soul like me? He is the one who has given me this sleepy head after all. I’m not responsible for it. And, me, die in a few hours of time? Whom did he think he was kidding?” she thought not knowing that Shaitan has started to play a very clever game with her.
“Zainath, I know that you’re awake, don’t pretend my dear child. Now get up and pray like a good girl, InshaAllah, we can both be together in Jannah. I got to go now, or I'll miss the Jama’ath,” saying thus, her dad left her lying there on her bed and went to the mosque.
Zainath felt extremely happy, “At least now I can sleep without any disturbance until dad returns,” thought her immature mind. A minute more sleep in the morning could make her feel happy like nothing in the world could.
“But wait, where am I? Why are all these people surrounding me? And why are they crying? How come I’m here?” suddenly these questions started to overpower Zainath, and she was curious to get hold of the answers. Hence, she attempted to get up from the bed.
But, Alas! She could not! She felt like she was glued to the bed. “Well, let’s ask someone else,” she decided and tried to move her lips. Oh, poor Zainath! That didn’t work either!
“Now what madness is this?” she thought as she felt irritated. And then she heard someone saying something about death. Like lightning, it struck her now!
“No, no, no! Surely not. It can’t be true. How can it?”
“I can’t be dead! No way. Just now I was lying on my bed asleep!” she thought seriously. But there was no other explanation, because someone now was covering her with a white cloth, and she could not do anything to stop it, but just watch.
She was scared, and still she felt difficulty in believing this sudden change of events. “Ya Allah! Please give me one more chance; I didn’t even pray my Subah. Don’t you want me to pray to you? If you wake me up, I’ll spend my whole life in no other position but praying to you, kneeling down only to you,” she thought desperately, not realizing for once with Whom she was bargaining.
And then she heard a voice inside her head, “Allah, the Eternal Refuge.” (112:02)
He does not need anyone’s prayers to survive. It is He Who has created man in order to worship Him.
Now she started regretting all those times she had wasted idling, procrastinating and ignoring His Commands. Now she realized how much she owed her Lord for keeping herself healthy, happy and alive. How she wished she had not spent her time in useless ways, or she would not have needed to worry at all.
But, time and death never await anyone! And she was dreading being put in Hell. She could not even imagine that moment. Not soon enough, a rough voice spoke from above, “Bring her here, the disobedient soul.” She was lifted up and before she could understand what was happening, she was thrown into a very narrow, deep pit. This was, no doubt, “The Hell.” With this last thought, she kept falling down.
Zainath awoke with a jolt, wet with perspiration, and she was shivering. And the shivering was not due to the cold. It took a while before she realized that it was only a dream, and that she was still alive!
Thank God! But what a horrible dream it had been? What if it was real and she had died missing her prayers?
“Allah surely loves me a lot, that’s why He has shown me this dream. Indeed it’s gonna be an eye opener for me,” she soliloquized being very grateful. Tears were rolling down her cheeks.And from that day forward, Zainath never missed a prayer, Alhamdulillah!
Now, let us face it!
Do we all need such a dream to open our eyes?
To make us realize the purpose of our lives?
Are there not plenty of signs on earth which are sufficient to make anyone turn towards Him?
But still, here we lie under the impression that death will come to us only when we are old, diseased, or were we thinking ourselves to be immortal beings?
Nay! Indeed, death will come to anyone, at anytime, in any form, like an uninvited guest, and the most unwanted guest.
No matter how hard we dislike it; surely we will have to leave all these worldly things we hold tight to.One day, when Allah decides to get hold of us!
Now is the chance.
It is now or never.
Let us turn to Allah before we return to Allah!
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