FRIDAY, JAN. 27: This week, sadly the lives of two Bermudian fishermen were lost.

We must honour the fishermen of Bermuda, for each time a fisherman ventures out into the vastness of the sea, therein lies a risk.

Fishermen have been lost at sea in the calmest of waters but fishermen are a special breed. They are born with a call — a love of the sea.

Such was the case of the brothers lost this week who were particularly dear to me.

On hearing of the tragedy, I uttered Inna lillahi Wa inna ilaihi Rajioon (Indeed to Him we belong and surely unto God is our return).

These are the words uttered when a Muslim hears of a death. Indeed all of our journeys will ultimately lead and end up in front of our Creator.

The whole matter of death is so unsolved, yet it is something that occurs absolutely. We cannot be sure of anything at all except for death. 

It is written that every soul shall taste death. The question then becomes, When?.

This we are told as the following hadith depicts, not known by any mortal — it is with God alone.

Imam Malik Ibn Anas saw the Death Angel in his sleep, and the Imam asked him: “How much left for me to live?”.

The Angel pointed to his five fingers. Then the Imam asked him: “Does that mean five years, or five months, or five days?”. Before the Imam had a chance to get an answer back, he woke up.

The Imam went to someone who would interpret dreams.

That man told him: “Imam Malik, when the Angel pointed to his five fingers he didn’t mean five years or months or days, but the Angel meant that your question ‘how much left for me to live’ is among five matters that only Allah (SWT) knows about, and he recited the following verse from the Quran, 31:34:

Verily, with ALLAH alone is the knowledge of the Hour. And HE sends down the rain, and HE knows what is in the wombs. And no soul knows what it will earn tomorrow, and no soul knows in what land it will die. Surely, ALLAH is All-Knowing, All-Aware.

Along with not knowing when one will die, one does not know how one will die. 

We all have heard the saying, ‘We know how we came — but we do not know how we will go’. This too, is so true.

Therefore we are advised by our Creator to be prepared always for our death and the ultimate hereafter, where there will be no more death. Supan’Allah!

Islam views death to be a natural threshold to the next stage of existence.

We certainly believe in a Hereafter. I akin the Hereafter of that of our existence in our mother’s womb.

Certainly every human being was in the womb of their mother.

Do you remember that time? I don’t think so, although I do know my special nephew Mushin remembers vividly jumping and diving and having a jolly good time before his birth.

But most of us ‘mediocre’ people don’t remember our existence in the womb… But we know for a surety that we existed in the wombs of our mothers.

Hence with a surety, we will exist after our earthly life is done. In other words our death will ultimately lead to our next level of life.

The life that really matters — some call it the ‘everlasting life’. All the Abrahamic religions teach of the afterlife — yet many of us don’t take heed. 

We know that to be successful in the afterlife, we must live following God’s commands here on Earth.

Yet, though we have no control over when we will die or how we will die, most of us continue to live heedless, sinful, godless lives.  How unintelligent are we?

The following excerpt from Sura 78:40 of the Holy Quran says:

We have sufficiently warned you about an imminent retribution. That is the day when everyone will examine what his hands have sent forth, and the disbeliever will say, ‘Oh, I wish I were dust’.  

The Prophet said: “The Believer’s Soul turns into a Bird in Paradise.”

The Hadith means that upon the Believer’s death, his Soul becomes a Bird in Paradise until the Resurrection day, when Allah (SWT) returns all souls to their original bodies.

Paradise is for those who worshipped God alone, believed and followed their prophet, and lived moral lives according to the teachings of scripture.

To the wife, children, siblings, family and friends of my dearly beloved brother Abdul-Hadee and his brother Michael, may Allah, the Comforter give you solace and may their souls soar in Paradise. Ameen.