A Beetle Reminded me of the Last Day
“Assalaamualaykum warahmatullah, assalaamualaykum warahmatullah,” I muttered under my breath as I looked over my right and left to end my Maghrib prayer. Having had errands to run and classes to attend the past few nights, I was finally enjoying the silent comfort of my room to pray Maghrib without having to rush elsewhere after.
I tapped my fingers lightly as I made tasbih, tahmid and takbir – the customary post-prayer wirid. As I raised my hands to supplicate and ask from Allah for an endless list of requests, I suddenly felt a tiny sharp pain at the back of my neck. I flinched slightly and reflectively touched my neck. When the pain got sharper instead, I jumped off from the floor, wriggling like a man on fire.
In that few seconds that I took to get off the floor, I had also, without thinking, tore off my praying garb AND undressed myself. I was filled with unbridled terror that completely overtook my thinking abilities. As I stood near the door, finally realizing that I should lock the door before any male members (or even female) came into my room for a peep, I stared at the heap of cloth on my praying mat, eyes wide open, waiting for a horribly huge creepy crawly to make its appearance.
I tried to steady my breathing and after a few seconds of looking around, I saw a blob of black near my praying mat. Grabbing my spectacles, I inched slowly towards the suspect. I smacked my forehead when I realised it wasn’t a beetle after all, it was just a few strands of thread rolled into a tiny ball.
I put my dress back on and sat shaking my head. I must have imagined the pain and gotten paranoid. For the next few minutes, I was suddenly reminded of the Last Day.
Sayyidatina ‘A’isha had said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah SAW say, ‘People will be gathered on the Day of Rising naked, barefoot, and uncircumcised.’ I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, men and women together, looking at one another?’ He said, ‘O ‘A’isha, the business will be too terrible for them to be concerned with that.'”
Out of fear of an imagined beetle, I had undressed without thinking. At the height of that moment, the business was indeed too terrible for me to be concerned with my family members walking into my room to see me in my bare essentials.
What then will be my state of fear and terror on that Day? The Day when it will impart its news.
Sayyidina Abu Hurayra said, “The Messenger of Allah SAW recited, ‘On that Day it will impart all its news.’ (99:4) Then he said, ‘Do you know what its news is?’ They said, ‘Allah and His Messenger know best.’ He said, ‘Its news is that it will testify against every slave of Allah, man or woman, regarding what he (or she) did on its back. It will say, “You did such-and-such and such-and-such on such-and-such a day?” That is its news.'” [at-Tirmidhi]
The same day when I am tasked to justify my actions to Allah The Awesome, The Majestic.
Sayyidina ‘Adi ibn Hatim reported that the Messenger of Allah SAW, said, “There is none of you but that his Lord will speak to him without any interpreter between Himself and him. You will look to your right and only see what you sent forward and you will look to your left and only see what you sent forward. You will look in front of you and only see the Fire facing you. So shield yourselves from the Fire, even if only with half a date.” [Agreed upon]
The day when I will sweat like I never have.
Sayyidina Ibn ‘Umar reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “People will stand before the Lord of the worlds until some of them are immersed in sweat up to the middle of their ears.” [Agreed upon]
I sat at the edge of my bed, trembling for a completely different fear now, as I thought of my majestic sins and my measly deeds. I started to make istighfar, knowing no amount of istighfar I do will ever be enough to erase all the sins I have managed to accumulate throughout my years. I thought of my lovely parents and prayed that on that Day they will not be in fear but in comfort and serenity. I thought of my closest friends and wondered if we’ll even recognize each other on that frightful Day, much less send our salaam.
“The Day a man will flee from his brother and his mother and his father, and his wife and his children: that Day every man among them will have concerns enough of his own.” (80:34-37)
The Almighty says, “O mankind, show fear of your Lord! The quaking of the Hour is a terrible thing. On the day they see it, every nursing woman will be oblivious of the baby at her breast, and every pregnant woman will abort the contents of her womb, and you will think people drunk when they are not drunk; it is just that the punishment of Allah is so severe.” (22:1-2)
Allah Ya Rahim Ya Rahman Ya Ghaffar Ya Rauf Ya Lateef! Be kind to us on that Day and let not our sins on this earth cause us such fear! Have compassion O Most Compassionate of those Who Show Compassion, The Most Merciful of those Who Show Mercy!
For the next few minutes, I supplicated in tears as I was suddenly cognizant that that Day will happen. I may have gone through my days thinking of work and dunya and other things but one day, the Earth will shake, the skies will crash and I will have to answer for all my deeds.
As I dabbed my eyes, the azan for Isya’ rang out from my radio. I stood up to get ready for prayer and I picked up my praying garb from the floor. A brown beetle was clinging on to my praying garb and for the second time that night, I undressed myself faster than the speed of light.
Ameera is the Editor of Muzlimbuzz.sg, a chronic reader and a news junkie. Inspiration also catches her at the most quotidian of moments alhamdulillah.