“………for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.”
-Mathhew Arnold (Dover Beach)
With the recent phenomena of bomb blasts, massacres, destruction, taking place every day, Pakistan has become a war zone of sorts and Pakistanis have been transformed into a nation of desensitized individuals. During my childhood, I unconsciously learnt how to distinguish between the sound of a gunshot and that of a firecracker, when idle men in the locality fired away. If gunshots reached my ears, I would, and still, run to a family member, my heart beating faster by the second.
But during the recent months, things have been happening such in Karachi that I have now come to distinguish the sound of a bursting tyre from that of a bomb blast. Just writing this down gives me goosebumps. Last year, when I heard a dull throbbing sound far away, for the first time, I ignored it but later got to know that it had actually been a bomb blast.
And then, a few days ago.
Right in the heart of bustling activity, a nearly 150-kg, explosive laden bomb blew up at Abul Ispahani Road, robbing people of their homes, their belongings, their loved ones. And a few kilometres away, I had just finished my Maghrib prayers. I heard the exploding sound, so hard and dense, that the curtains fluttered slightly and the windows shook. While outside, the birds began twittering louder. This is how things happen here. This is how we get to know something has gone wrong, that someone inhumane, someone driven with madness has done something or the other.
And after we have watched the countless flashing red news bulletins, heard all the stories, shared all the depression and skimmed through endless statuses and tweets, I sit back and some thought crosses my mind. Nowadays, a strong realisation keeps sinking in – that all the worldly things that we run after, that all the wealth that we fight over, that all the clothes that we gloat over, are finite, as mortal as we are. We don’t know when we might lose all these things that we guard and boast of, as much as we can’t guess when we’ll die.
We work so hard at getting all the things that will make us popular and satisfied. But have we really thought about working to become better Muslims in the eyes of Allah? A momentary lapse in our cardiac routine, and there we go. All things gone and only our deeds remain with us. The sad and depressing events taking place around me continuously remind me how with a jolt of the earth’s crust, the spark of a huge fire, we can lose all our belongings that we guard and collect so wishfully.
These disturbing events remind me that I need to spend time striving in the way of Allah, that I have to become a better Muslim. When I am ready to work hard at my grades, why not at my deeds? These events strike me with the reminder that on the Day of Resurrection, all our belongings will be absent, and only our deeds will be present. And here we are, spending far more time on accumulating wealth than we spend on gaining Allah’s rewards. Even though we know that Allah helps out those close to Him, makes them loved and appreciated in the eyes of others, we still wonder why we face problems, we still wonder why we aren’t famous.
May Allah keep us all safe. And may He guide us all towards the right path. (Ameen)