“Please, baby, sleep now,” I pleaded to my child, as was down with a terrible headache. A train of thoughts occupied me. Every second that passed by was adding more to my vulnerability. It all came to a halt, when my husband’s cell phone rang. It was my brother on the line. The cell phone broke the silence, but it also led to more scream and crying. I knew it the very minute. My husband sympathetically said Inna Lillahe Wa Inna Ilaihe Rajioon. It was my beloved, my role model, my grandmother, my Amma, who had expired.
The following day, I composed myself for her farewell. I was keeping all the religious steps in mind. We tried our best to avoid innovations (Biddah). I did not even weep and was in state of denial, a defense mechanism.
“I will give her bath,” I told my mother and aunts. We arranged the stuff needed for her final bath. I was having chills, as I had been among those, who would avoid such gatherings. I never used to attend any funerals. I used to sob and yell, if caught a sight or sniffed the smell of camphor (Kafoor). My teeth would chatter, and I would get goosebumps. The moment I saw her dead body, I was numb, as if chilled to the bone. I was unable to move an inch, my legs felt so weak then. She was lifeless, cold and stiff. I can still recall that touch. Her head was up and eyes were little bit open. I felt the pain on her face, as if I could myself feel her soul departure. That white shroud was so daunting to me when I was little. Wrapping her up in that white shroud was strenuous and backbreaking. We whimpered but did not weep out loud.
Amma’s presence had always been so energetic, pleasant and cheerful. Why that time the mere sight of hers drenched us all in the plethora of bereavement and dullness. The thought was disturbing me and badly quavered my nervous system, while others (outsiders) were indulged in their chain of worldly talks, which comprised of back biting (Gheebah) – people, who were more concerned about: who was attending the funeral? Why he/she was not present? Her death reason, her attire and who had accompanied her when she was on ventilator (was she wearing Saree as always)? How many kids her granddaughters had? When will Biryani be served and the specific preference of the chicken piece? Which hospital was she admitted to? Was it clean enough for kids to visit frequently? Who came first and who did not call for condolence?
A highly esteemed person or a well-known human is soon termed as a cadaver. It is our identity that is lost and we are nothing, but a carcass.
A highly esteemed person or a well-known human is soon termed as a cadaver. It is our identity that is lost and we are nothing, but a carcass. Aren’t we fearful of the fact that one day we will be in her place? Helpless. Who knows, what a corpse is going through? Is the dead person happy or sad? We don’t know what it is saying, crying for help, or eager to go to its grave soon.
It is narrated by Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri that, Allah’s Apostle (sa) said: “When the funeral is ready (for its burial) and the people lift it on their shoulders, then if deceased is a righteous person, he says, ‘Take me ahead,’ and if he is not a righteous one then he says, ‘Woe to it (me)! Where are you taking it (me)?’ And his voice is audible to everything except human beings; and if they heard it, they would fall down unconscious.” (Bukhari)
“And if you could see when the angels take away the souls of those who disbelieve (at death), they smite their faces and their backs, (saying): Taste the punishment of the blazing Fire. This is because of that which your hands had forwarded. And verily, Allah is not unjust to His slaves. Similar to the behaviour of the people of Firaun (Pharaoh), and of those before them; they rejected the Ayat (proofs, verses, etc.) of Allah, so Allah punished them for their sins. Verily, Allah is All-Strong, Severe in punishment.” (Al-Anfal 8:50-52)
“Nay, when (the soul) reaches to the collar bone (i.e. up to the throat in its exit), and it will be said: “Who can cure him and save him from death?”And he (the dying person) will conclude that it was (the time) of departing (death); and leg will be joined with another leg (shrouded).The drive will be, on that Day, to your Lord (Allah)! So he (the disbeliever) neither believed (in this Qur’an, in the Message of Muhammad (sa)) nor prayed! But on the contrary, he belied (this Quran and the Message of Muhammad (sa)) and turned away! Then he walked in full pride to his family admiring himself!” (Qiyamah 75:26-33)
To be continued…