The Birthday of Eternity


As Salaamu 'alaykum and peace to all,

The Birthday of Eternity

“As Salaamu alaykum warahmatullaah” I whispered to myself as I turned my head to the right looking over my shoulder as my heart says its meaning “Peace and Mercy be on you”

“As Salaamu alaykum warahmatullaah” I turned my head to the left as my final salutation to mark the end of my prayers.

Ring….ring. The phone rang right after I gave my taslim for my fajr prayers. I reached for the phone and looked at the number.

“Hello, As Salaamu ‘alaykum, Dad” I answered the phone.

“ ‘Alaikum salaam, dear. Have you woken up for fajr?” questioned my father.

“Yes, actually, I have just finished my prayers, alhamdulillaah. How are you, Dad?”

“I am fine, dear, Alhamdulillaah. I have something to inform you, ” he replied, with a cautious tone in his voice.

“What is it?” my heart pounded as I sensed something was wrong with his change of tone.

“It’s your cousin, Noni. Her husband passed away a few minutes ago”

“You mean, Aca? Inna lillaahi wa inna ilaihi raaji’un. Really? What happened, Dad?” I asked in disbelief.

“He suddenly collapsed while waiting for his turn to use the bathroom. He was just about to perform his ablution for the fajr prayers”.

I could not believe my ears. Aca was my cousin’s husband, and he was only 33 years old, and he died of what is famously known as the number one killer in this modern world - the heart attack.

These past few weeks, my family and friends have been struck with multiple events of death. The first death was my cousin’s 32 year old husband. The second was my neighbour’s son, aged 4 and the third death was my distant relative, aged 80. All of these deaths happened within a span of a month.

No matter how many times Allaah has reminded us with His reminders of our deaths that might just be lurking around the corner, we still, as humans, cannot overcome the grief and shock when facing with this reality of life.

Allaah has stated numerous times in His Holy Book, the Quran Al-Kareem, reminding us all about deaths.

Every soul shall have a taste of death: in the end to Us shall ye be brought back. [Surah 29 (The Spider) : Verse 57]

The death of her husband has left my cousin, Noni, who is still so young and is 8-months-pregnant, in a state of shock. Why wouldn’t she? Her husband suddenly collapsed and died in the wee hours of the morning on her lap. He was a very healthy young man, active and full of life. My neighbour was devastated when she received a phone call from home relaying the news that her son, Aniq, age 4, died suddenly after chasing his younger brother happily around the coffee table. Aniq had developed sudden difficulty in breathing and was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead upon arrival. And my distant relative, a grandmother to ten beautiful grandchildren, died from old age and the incurable disease called cancer.

I knew all of these people personally. They are of different ages, in different stages of lives, died due to different reasons, and all died at different times. But, their endings were all the same. They went to face their Lord, their Creator at the appointed time as agreed with their Lord. Not a day delayed neither a second postponed from the appointed time.

I remembered Allaah’s reminder to us…

He is the Irresistibly Supreme over His servants, and He sets guardians over you. At length, when death approaches one of you, Our angels take his soul, and they never fail in their duty. [Surah 6 (The Cattle) : Verse 61]

They never fail in their duty…These very words kept on humming in my mind as I thought about death and my own life.

I looked around me and realized how short lives are for all of us. We live our moments everyday, thinking that we are able to see the next day’s sunrise, or thinking that we are able to ride the train we take daily to school or work, or we are going to make it to the next meeting scheduled by our office, or maybe perhaps winning that critical qualifying game in our soccer tournament next week.

Rarely that we realize that maybe, just maybe, this day is our last day on earth. This day is the last day we are going to make that train ride. This is the last sun rise that we are going to see. This is the last sip of drink that we are ever going to have. Or this is the last phone call we will ever make to a loved one.

Ibn 'Umar used to say, "In the evening, do not anticipate the morning, and in the morning do not anticipate the evening. Take from your health for your illness and from your life for your death." [al-Bukhari] Taken from Riyad as-Salihin

Though I know, in my subconscious mind, life is short, but the occurrences that are happening in front of my eyes coupled with the many news of death in the newspaper nowadays, made me realize more than ever that the reality in life is obvious - life is swift and is not worth for us to love it unconditionally.

As I was thinking about my cousin’s husband, whom I last met just a few months back during a family gathering and reflecting on his death, I couldn’t help but felt deeply saddened. He was full of zest in life. He was his usual self – a sweet, kind and enthusiast man. And to top it all up, he mentioned his excitement over the baby his wife was about to deliver. Nobody thought that he would leave us all so suddenly.

Some people might say that his death was premature or an untimely death. Is that really the case? Is there any such thing as pre-matured death?

"Wherever ye are, death will find you out, even if ye are in towers built up strong and high!" If some good befalls them, they say, "This is from Allah".; but if evil, they say, "This is from thee" (O Prophet). Say: "All things are from Allah." But what hath come to these people, that they fail to understand a single fact? [Surah 4 (Women) : Verse 78]

Death will find us. No matter where we are. Even if we build a strong and high tower that surrounds us, it will not help us. This is the reality. And maybe someone should tell Mr. James Bond how very wrong he was in one of his blockbuster movies - “Die Another Day” because once our time is up, there is no negotiation, no any other day. Period.

So, in the end, it all boils down to this fact. Our life here in this world is temporary in nature. If this is temporary, it means we would not be here for long.

I remembered the quote by Seneca who said,

The day which we fear as our last is but the birthday of eternity.

Birthday of eternity… How true…

The advice and reminder left by our beloved Prophet Muhammad SAW to us was this…

Ibn 'Umar said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, took me by the shoulder and said, 'Be in this world as if you were a stranger or a traveller on the road." Riyad as-Salihin

And he was right… a traveler, we all must be…

Let me leave you with a famous video clip to remind all of us of our own time of our birthday of eternity…

The line grew short and came my turn…

When is that my brothers and sisters? Where are we in the line? I asked myself, where am I in the queue? Where are you in the queue?

But then, I realize something. Does it really matter that I don’t know my position while waiting for my turn ? It doesn’t matter, right? Why?

Because it is not important where we are in the waiting line. The most important thing is that we know that our line gets short and shorter every second. We take one step forward every single tick of the clock. Just look at the watch you have close by you. As the second goes by, imagine that we are all taking one step forward towards the end of the line. Yes, one step per second. Take another now. And another step. And another. And another. And another. Worried? We should be, don’t you think so?

And you know what? This is one line i am sure there are absolutely no 'queue-jumpers' around!

Our ending line gets more and more visible as minutes past by. We can choose to pretend that we don’t see it but let me tell you something my brothers and sisters, the finishing line is still there. Pretend as much as we want that it do not exist, but, it will be there. And we are getting closer and closer to it.

Are we ready when our turn is up? Astaghfirullaah, Astaghfirullaah, Astaghfirullaah.

May Allaah has Mercy on our souls and all the souls of the Muslims. And may He forgives us all and grants us His Paradise. Ameen…

Allaahu ‘alaam

Sis Zabrina is the author of Life is an Open Secret .She is a ‘Life Storyteller’ who writes about daily happenings in life, viewed and analyzed from a unique perspective and blended with the Quranic verses and Hadeeth of the Prophet SAW for a solution to illustrate the easiness, simplicity, relevancy and completeness of Islam to today's world. She maintains an active blog at

Copyright © Sis Zabrina 2007

Sis Zabrina, Author
Life is an Open Secret - 18 Inspirational Stories from Ordinary life experiences
~Your Source for Islamic Motivational and Inspirational Stories~

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Anonymous said…
Salaam Sis Zabrina,

I guess that as long as we don't fully accept the reality that we are going to die, we will never be prepared for it, will we?
Anonymous said…
Assalamualaikum w.b.t,

Dear sis Zabrina, last sunday I went to the MPH bookstore to buy your book. Am reading it to my children every night. :)

Anonymous said…
As a sunnah of our Rasulullah saw, we are asked to read a doa for the dead as follows:

"Wahai Tuan kami, sesungguhnya ............ adalah di dalam genggamanMu, oleh itu peliharalah
dia daripada fitnah kubur dan azab api neraka, Engkaulah yang paling layak memenuhi janji dan
kebenaran, oleh itu ampunilah dia dan kasihanilah dia, sesungguhnya Engkau maha pengampun
lagi maha penyayang"

Amin Ya Rabbil Alamin
Anonymous said…
A really poignant reminder, dear Sister. Indeed our time is allotted, and none knows when or where our time is up. Here is a recent post on Darvish about just that, through my own out of body experience:

Ya Haqq!
Sis Zabrina said…

As Salaamu 'alaykum Voice,

You are right. We seldom grip the reality in our lives Voice. We should but we rarely do that. Perhaps because the road of denial is a much easier route to take...

Sis Zabrina
Sis Zabrina said…

As Salaamu 'alaykum and peace to all,

Dearest Sis Insan, JazakAllaah sis *hugs* I pray that your kids benefit from the stories, inshaAllaah :))

Sis Zabrina
Sis Zabrina said…

As Salaamu 'alaykum and peace to all,

Ameen to your prayers, Anonymous...

Sis Zabrina
Sis Zabrina said…

As Salaamu 'alaykum and peace to all,

Brother Irving, JazakAllaah brother. You are indeed truly an inspiration to writers like me. Your story is so unique, subhanAllah... I believe you are very lucky to get the chance to experience such out of the world situation... literally :))

Sis Zabrina
Anonymous said…
Salam Sister Zabrina,

Read one of your story thru an email i received. Truly inspiring. I had posted it on my wordpress, I hope you don't mind and I would like to seek your permission to post other stories from you so that the message of these wonderful stories can be shared with my other sisters-in-Islam.

Jazakillah ya ukhti :)
Anonymous said…
salamualeikum dear sis,

I just want to say 'thank you' for this story/srticle. It made me think and cry so much about the fact that I am running and stressing while forgetting the truth about our life and death.

Jazaka'Allahu khairen.. and may Allah bless you..
Sis Zabrina said…

As Salaamu 'alaykum and peace to all,

Dearest sis Adikbongsu,

JazakAllaah for reading my blog and more importantly JazakAllaah for wanting to share the stories at your own blog sis *hugs*. InshaAllaah, i pray that we all will benefit from them one way or another...

Also, could you please link back my stories posted at your blog to this blog

JazakAllaah again sis,

Love and salaam
Sis Zabrina
Sis Zabrina said…

As Salaamu 'alaykum and peace to all,

Dear Anonymous,

Wa eyyakum, inshaAllaah and Ameen to your prayers too. I am sure the tears you shed,inshaAllaah is the tears of loving Allaah and fear for Him, and that has earn you His Love, Mercy and Blessings, InshaAllaah.

We all needed some kind of reminder from time to time and i am thankful to Allaah to be able to remind myself and all my readers here about the ultimate truth in life which we mostly choose to ignore and pretend not to know. It is always at our subconscious mind and we prefer not to bring it into the conscious part of our brain.

Please do invite your family and friends to this blog and let us share this beautiful message of islam with the rest of the world, inshaAllaah...

Take care and salaam
Sis Zabrina