Two weeks ago, during one weekday, about sixty men meet after midday to fulfill a mission they felt it was obligatory on them. Sixty men meet at the same time and same place for the sake of one man. Some of these men skipped their lunch others missed their classes to be in the town’s only masjid (mosque). When everyone was ready they rode their cars and headed thirty miles south of the town to another nearby city.
When we reached our destination more men were waiting for us. Our destination was a plain land. It was very muddy because of last night’s heavy rain. We walked in silence. I could hear some men whispering others were murmuring.
The recently dug out grave at the other end of the small land was deep. The three men who jumped into the grave to pull the body down were covered up to their chests. Couple of men gave directions on how to properly place the body according to the Islamic tradition and what to say while the body is pulled down and laid properly. Others stepped up to help, each carrying a shovel ready to cover the grave. I moved back to give space for those who want to help not just to stand still and watch. I am not at my best in such situations.
The man whom we lost was no angle or prophet. He was a normal man. Yet, when he passed away I heard nothing but good things about him. How he comes to the masjid everyday. How he is always smiling. How much he likes kids. How much he helps with the masjid’s maintenance. I knew him for eight hears and yes he is all that. But the problem is why we only remember the good things about people only when we lose them? He was born in Pakistan among his Pakistani blood family and buried in the Midwest among a new bigger multiracial and multinational family.
After we laid down our deceased in the five feet grave and then fully covered him with the muddy soil we prayed for him a better life in a better place. When we were done the sixty men headed back to their usual businesses except one whom we left there for good.
Death, unparalleled to any other fact, is the only reality that constantly reminds us that we are helpless in front of God’s will. It is a sign that while living this short life we need to be at our best behavior. Life is so short to be wasted …