So I have this up on the side of my fridge:
Now that I look at it, I believe I should remove the “woe” part and let the rest of the quote just be. And I truly reflected on what it could mean with all the happenings going on around the world.
To me it means, that yes, death can damn man; many people view death as an ultimate end, an ultimate finale to a long fulfilling life. But as a Muslim, it is the transitional moment (longer than a moment, actually) where we wait nervously for the next road, to a better or worse existence and residency (heaven or hell).
Yes death can damn man if one sees it that way. If we want to see death as a negative, dark, damp, and musty experience that we have to endure.
Death truly can damn man if he has a massive amount of sins that he has not repented for, then yes, it is terrifying to know that we all die at some point and meet our Lord with nothing but sins we have accumulated over the years without asking for any forgiveness.
This damnation also resides in the fact that the culture, media, and propaganda have drawn this image of death as something cold and mean. In some cases it is true but there are times when death transforms into a calm and peaceful passing.
I think what gets most people is the idea that we do not know when and how we are going to die, and that is harrowing in itself. We love control and knowing everything. The notion that this aspect in our life is beyond our hands and powers, well, death seems so keen on making us suffer, not knowing when our souls will be taken away from us.
Death can damn man because it is a question unanswered for each one of us who are living.
But the reality is that death is a blessing if we have worked on that part. In some way, we do have control of our demise; it may not be exact, but we do shape our end. The way we take care of our health, the good deeds we have attained, the repentance for our humanly mistakes, and sitting down and truly pondering about death and making it something that we accept because there is no way of running from it.
Death has no bounds and everything that has a soul will eventually wilt and succumb to dust.
“Every soul shall have taste of death; In the end to us shall ye be brought back.”
(Surah Al-‘Ankabut (The Spider 29:57))
What do you think: does death damn man?