Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Matters of the Heart

She sat next to me on my right. As the speaker continued his talk explaining about the reality of death, I noticed that she kept a serene look, a very peaceful one. Whereas I found myself to be holding back tears most of the time.

During a break, I finally had a chance to have a conversation with her.

" That was really touching, don't you think so?" I asked her, referring to the talk.
"Yes, death is very real indeed.." She said with a look that went far beyond the cold hall that we were sitting in.

" We must always be reminded about death, so that we will not lose our way here, right?"
" Yes, it's true..death will always keep your feet firm on the ground.. I deal with life and death everyday..."
No wonder she had that look and I couldn't help asking.

" If you don't mind me asking..what line of work are you in?"
" I am the head of nurse at the Intensive Care Unit of ** General Hospital"
That's the ICU of one of the busiest general hospitals in the country.

" MasyaAllah...you are being reminded everyday then.."
" Yes.....but I can't say that I got used to it because even though I see death many times, mine will happen only once.."

I agreed totally with her.
As we continued our conversation, I realized that she was a very humble person who took her job very seriously and I sensed her sincerity in performing her duty. It was a noble job, taking care of patients, and more so when they are seriously and critically-ill ones.
May Allah reward her for all her effort.

But the talk on that day was not about being in a noble profession. It was about remembering death, it's relation with sincerity and how do we practice it everyday in our profession, whatever it may be. Being in a so called noble profession does not guarantee any reward from Allah. It is not about what you do, but how you do it.

A person might be holding a highly respectable post with huge responsibility and decision making power but in the eyes of Allah all his effort is not even as significant as a speck of dust because he is arrogant. Another person working as a cleaner, humbly doing his job everyday as best as he could, but an enormous reward awaits him in the hereafter because Allah knows his sincerity.

It's all about our hearts again. Remembering death can keep our hearts alive, but it is not the physical hearts that we are referring to. There are many people out there whose physical heart is so healthy, efficiently pumping blood through out the body. But what we can't see is the spiritual hearts, the one that keeps our spiritual 'body' alive and healthy. It could be dying.

Death will always remind us of how temporary everything is, it will remind us that one day we would certainly, definitely return to Him. Remembering death will keep us in constant remembrance of Him.
The heart that remembers Allah will lead us to performing good deeds with sincerity.

One superb example of that is Abu Bakr. Among the companions of the Prophet SAW, he was highly exceptional in terms of doing rightous deeds and his love for Allah and the Prophet SAW is beyond question.

It was reported that Aishah, the daughter of Abu Bakr and the wife of the Prophet SAW said, "While Allah's Messenger was resting on a moonlit night, I asked, "O Messenger of Allah, has anyone done as many good deeds as there are stars in the sky?" he replied, "Yes, Umar has" I asked how about Abu Bakr's good deeds compared with his(Umar's) and he replied, "All of Umar's good deeds are like one of Abu Bakr's good deeds."
On another occasion, the Prophet SAW was reported to have said,
" Abu Bakr was not deemed your superior on account of much praying and sadaqah, but on account of something that was fixed in his heart"


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