July 14, 2015 By Ahmed Sahid Nasralla (De Monk)
Some are dead, some are dying. We have mourned, and we are mourning. We are sorry.
Many are living; some healthily, some unhealthily. We are praising and thanking God Almighty. We are grateful for we are able to survive the many menaces to our society.
Perhaps we are making a mistake. The dead are gone and they are innocent or ignorant of what is happening behind them. They fear no more threat of another war; another Cholera or Ebola outbreak; another bomb attack. The daily worries of the world do not concern them anymore.
The most convincing explanations we have about the dead are probably the Biblical and Quranic theories of heaven and hell. That when we die, we either go to hell or heaven. That heaven is the good place and hell the bad place. And it is believed that man (in the generic sense) should have been certain whether he would go to heaven or hell when he dies. The good men will inherit heaven; the bad men will inherit hell.
Other religions, like Krishna for example, believe in the reincarnation of man. Few say when man dies in this planet (earth), he is going to be re-born in another part either as an animal, reptile, insect or plant depending on his works in the previous life.
Non-religious people believe firmly that man came from dust and to dust man shall return. Finish. But, whatever the case, no man has come back from the dead to tell us the mysterious story of what happens after death.
The point is that the dead man does not know anymore whether he died from gun shots or bomb blasts; whether he was chopped to death or roasted like meat; whether by motor accident or from a certain illness called Ebola.
The dead man does not know whether he was in fact dumped together with other dead men in a big hole. The dead man does not know whether he was even buried or left on top of the earth to rot and some of his delicate and cherished parts being eaten by vultures. Because when you take in your last and final breath from this world, you partake of it no more.
Perhaps we the living should mourn for ourselves instead; for we are still in this world of greed, hate, troubles and insecurity. We live in constant fear of another violent upheaval or natural disaster or disease outbreak. We are consumed by the ever multiplying problems of livelihood.
We need money in the first place (we live in poverty). We need food (we are starving). We need health (we are plagued by a swarm of diseases- such as malaria, cholera, HIV/AIDS and Ebola). We need shelter (we are homeless). We need clothes (we are half-naked with rags). We need security (we are the innocent victims).
We turn to the churches and the mosques for hope (but they are snatching the little we have). You are on a hospital bed in unbearable pain, taking all types of medication (i.e. if you have the money) and praying to get well soon and face the problems of this crazy world again (only to be reinstated to that bed). You need peace, quiet and normalcy to allow you carry on (but peace so near, so far).
You have struggled and managed to go through today, tomorrow you are not sure. The future is a gamble.
With plenty of money, living may be colourful and worthwhile. You can afford almost everything (but not to live as long as you desire- that is the irony). Your responsibilities and desires increase as you acquire more wealth. You begin to aspire for higher things. You have countless property and friends. But then you may not be happy. And the vultures will come from nowhere, in different forms and colours, to snatch something from you. You become a target. What a life!
Maybe we should regard death as a friend indeed; because it puts us to rest- worry no more, fear no more, and think deeply no more. Whatever you’ll meet beyond there (that, we’ll never know) face it, as long as you do not come back to this world, especially this part of the world of pain, sorrow, hunger, frustration and agony.
Death! That inevitable and most unwelcome end to living.
Death! That which is feared and considered the greatest enemy.
Death! That which takes us unawares.
Perhaps death is just being misunderstood.