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Musings On Death and Hijrah

In a few weeks from today, I (along with my family of 4) will in shaa Allah be making Hijrah to a new country. And for some reason, the thought that popped in my head today was that emigrating to a new country kinda feels like preparing for death. Or at least what preparing for death should feel like. Weird, I know.

I had been contemplating how I was going to share this news with my readers. I have a couple of posts in draft format that I had written but never published because they just didn’t feel right. I even contemplated not mentioning it all and carrying on like nothing has changed in my life. In the end, I decided that I was going to share it here but to just wait till it felt right to do so. I guess today is that day.

Back to the dying example…

Taking provision for the journey

The moment we finalised the date of our travel, I started to make preparations and gathering provisions for our journey. I was buying “essentials” like my favourite shampoo, bodywash, face creams and toothpaste like they were going out of stock. It sound a bit irrational to you but my reasoning was “in case they don’t have it over there” {lol}. But then I thought about how I should have this same mindset of gathering provisions for my death. That extra Raka’ah might come in handy in the grave so I had better pile that in my basket, or “that extra Pound given in charity might just be the one that tips the scales in my favour on the day of judgement so I’d better let go of it. Those extra 2 minutes spent in reciting the Qur’an might mean I get the beautiful companion that comes to visit me in my grave for a bit longer. Basically, every single act of worship should be seen as a bit of provision put aside for a big journey- the journey into the afterlife.

Spending quality time with loved-ones

Once I started to tell my friends that we were leaving for good, suddenly we started making actual plans for lunches, playdates and get-togethers. In the past, we would always promise to meet-up or have lunch but we hardly ever did because we were busy and life was fast. But there is something about the certainty that you might never see a loved-one or a friend again. It instills a sense of urgency in you to spend time with them, let them know that they are important to you and that they are loved.

But what is more certain than death? Why do I get deceived by the illusion of time and not prioritise making my loved-ones feel special? I don’t know when my time will come so I must honour the sacred relationships in my lives; right now.

Reflecting on the past and Decluttering

Take it from a self-confessed non-hoarder; condensing twelve years of life, memories and possessions is no mean feat. It is time-consuming, overwhelming and revelatory. First-off, I realise that I am indeed a hoarder who is incredibly attached to things. It also forces you to look back at glimpses of your life and state-of mind throughout all the different phases you’ve lived through. You are confronted with painful memeories, regrets and happy times. It also shows you just how much stuff you have accumulated and how they have now become a burden that will weigh you down for the journey ahead. So you begin shedding stuff and paring it down to the basic necessities. This is the same way that I must force myself to reflect on all the countless mistakes I have accumulated in the past and shed them with Tawbah before I go on my journey to the afterlife.

Living intentionally

Anyone who decides to uproot himself from a place of familiarity and comfort to that of uncertainty and discomfort, does so for a reason. No one takes these kinds of decisions lightly. Hijrah is made with certain hopes and expectations. For me, I chose to migrate to a Muslim country for the sake of my Deen (religion) and that of my children so I look forward to reaping benefits that come with it. No doubt there will be discomfort and challenges, but I hope that having a clear intention for migrating will provide succour and clarity on the challenging and uncomfortable days.

As Muslims, living intentionally means taking action and refraining from action solely for the pleasure of Allah. We live intentionally with the hope for reward from Allah after we die.

The great thing about my journey out of the UK is that there is a scheduled date, time and place for it. The same thing is true for my death. The only difference between the two is that the details of latter is completely hidden from me. Which begs the question: “Which of the two should I really be preparing for earnestly?”

P.S: Judging by this post, I know it might not sound like it, but I am really excited about the upcoming move! 🙂 Kindly take the melancholic tone of this post as part of the human experience we all go through. Not everyday unicorns and rainbows. Come back for that in the next post:-)

PPS: Are you subscribed to my blog? You should, if you want to keep up with latest posts and updates on life in our new home!

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PPPS (LOL): Can you guess where we are moving to? (No votes for friends and family who already know the details)

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