A pilot of our air force once narrated
to me a personal experience of a lifetime: one that shook his imagination to the
core and transformed his subsequent behaviour in life completely. He recounted:
On a routine flight, the engine of my
aircraft developed some complications which I was unable to locate and correct.
Frantic messages to the control tower were not proving too good. Very soon the
plane was accelerating towards the ground. I got nervously convinced that my
very few moments of survival were fast ticking away. As death was staring at me
with horribly lustful eyes, I could see the ‘performance’ of my life flashing
across my mind in those very last few seconds of my survival. I was a terrified
and an ashamed witness to my own misdeeds. I could see no one around to soothe
and comfort me -- none of those assuring and reassuring heroes, friends, and
relatives who used to help avoid the discomforting question of death and its
consequences. The ordeal was terrible; the chances of survival nil!
… It was a new life for me when I was
miraculously saved: It was incredible indeed. I forced my way out of the cockpit
with some minor injuries and the most important message I could possibly learn:
Life is too precious to be wasted in the meaningless pursuits of
self-gratification. Thereafter, my attitude has undergone a complete
transformation. Now I try to make sure that I learn about the religion of Allah
as much as I can and practise it sincerely. I hope my Gracious Creator forgives
my shameful past when my unavoidable day of meeting Him would suddenly arrive.
All of us may not experience a
near-death before the real one. We do, however, receive enough reminders of
death in the news of the departure of others. We have only two options: either
to sincerely prepare for the ultimate by bowing down before the Message of God
or to avoid contemplating the idea of death until it actually arrives. The
consequence of the first choice will be lasting happiness in the future; the
second option may result in an uncertain pleasure in this world, but will result
in a definite disaster in the next one. The choice is ours!