A Grave Reminder


“Do you want to go visit your nani’s (grandma) grave with us?”  The question was suddenly asked by her mother interrupting her thoughts.  Visiting her grandmother’s grave was  a yearly tradition by her family on Eid (festival or celebration).  This time she did not say no, this time something inside her wanted a change and said “yes.”

The thirty minute car ride to the graveyard was filled with discussion of the family problems.  When the talk died down, she was left alone in her thoughts.  She thought of how this Eid was not going as well as she had hoped.   How she wished people would just forgive each other and how she wished she had worn something different this Eid. Perhaps then she would not be feeling so down.

They arrived at the cemetery by late afternoon.  The cemetery was isolated from the rest of the town, there was not a house or any “worldly” establishment nearby.  As she walked in she noticed there were graves of babies who had died after a few months or a few years of their life.  She was surprised, somewhere in the back of her head she only expected to see graves of people who had lived a full life.

After they made du’a (supplication) for her grandma, as they were making their way back, she noticed something.  She noticed the freeway up above, live and full of cars and then she looked at the cemetery …”which one reflects reality?” her mind asked.  And it was clear, the live freeway with the cars carrying carefree people was just a temporary stop, a resting area on the way to the real life: the afterlife.  The cemetery was where everyone will end up no matter how many cars or how many houses they owned.  THIS was the reality, the only thing she could take on her journey was her deeds.

This realization lifted her eman (faith) in a way that she had craved for so long.  Suddenly the family problems her mom and aunt had discussed did not matter, the clothes she was wearing didn’t matter.  No longer sad, she was now motivated to become a more optimistic and better slave, one that only relied on her Master.  The visit had energized her to live a life filled with seeking the pleasure of the Creator, and it made all the “worldly” problems of this life minuscule.  It was much easier to forgive and think best of people when she knew that her life was temporary and in the life that was permanent, good deeds such as forgiveness was all that mattered.  Once again a craving to see the Rasulصلى الله عليه و سلم  who had said to visit the graves for “truly they remind you of the hereafter,”  took center place in her heart.

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