Subhan-Allah! According to the Population Reference Bureau's "2010 World Population Data Sheet" (28-July-2010), 4.45 people are born every second worldwide, on the average, and 1.8 people die every second. Another way to look at it is: 267 are born and 108 die on an average, every minute.
We were all born on a certain day, in a certain place at a certain time, to a certain household assigned through the decree of Allah, our Creator & Sustainer of the worlds. (Rabb-il-Aalamin). As I sit down and think of this great blessing bestowed on me, I sadly also delve and reflect on the shameful fact that I have done nothing significant on my part, to show my gratitude and thankfulness for this wonderful favor that was showered upon me. Human beings consider themselves physically, mentally, socially intellect & adept in every faculty and superior to all tangible creations of Allah SubhanavaTaala.
Quran Surah Rehman Ayah 3 & 4 (Q 55: 3-4) states :
He created man. (3) He taught him eloquent speech. (4).
Yes, Allah not only created us from among the best of His creations but also provided us with language skills, a quality and blessing bestowed only on the human race. He taught us to speak articulately with reasoning, proper syntax, structure, grammar, with rationale and with humbleness like the Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) used to.
Allah Taala could have created us as a tree in any of the wild dense tropical forests that cover the earth or as a bird flying somewhere in the vast expanse of Allah's horizon or as a stone being stepped and trodden on as it lay unnoticeable on a side walk. We could have been created as an animal, an insect or as any of the innumerable objects that exist around us. But Allah with His encompassing mercy not only created us as humans, but also chose us to be from the ummah of our beloved Prophet Mohammed (S. A. W.). That by itself manifests as the greatest of all blessings endowed upon us.
But we are so caught up in this world that we do not even ponder on this enormous blessing, leave alone thank Allah and show our gratitude. We all are running in a looser race trying to catch up with the glamour, the dazzle, false desires of this world, its artificial brightness blinding our sole purpose & goal in life. We have to remind ourselves that we are here not to enjoy this temporary short term worldly life that enthralls us, but to successfully plan and carefully work every moment towards the long term permanent abode, Aakhira. We are all travelers' in this journey called life. We should lay out our travel plans cautiously, so we can accumulate and add to our album/book of good deeds. We should seek to deliberately max out and work day in and day out, every minute towards our final destination, paradise.
Allah repeatedly reminds us through several verses in the Quran about the hereafter.
Surah Al-Mumenoon ayah 15 & 6 (Q 23:15-16):
Then We made the Nutfah into a clot (a piece of thick coagulated blood), then We made the clot into a little lump of flesh, then We made out of that little lump of flesh bones, then We clothed the bones with flesh, and then We brought it forth as another creation. So Blessed is Allah, the Best of creators. (14) After that, surely, you will die. (15) Then (again), surely, you will be resurrected on the Day of Resurrection. (16)
Surah Al-Hajj Ayah 5 (Q 22:5):
O mankind! If you are in doubt about the Resurrection, then verily! We have created you (i.e. Adam) from dust, then from a Nutfah (mixed drops of male and female sexual discharge i.e. offspring of Adam), then from a clot (a piece of thick coagulated blood) then from a little lump of flesh,- some formed and some unformed (as in the case of miscarriage), that We may make (it) clear to you (i.e. to show you Our Power and Ability to do what We will). And We cause whom We will to remain in the wombs for an appointed term, then We bring you out as infants, then (give you growth) that you may reach your age of full strength. And among you there is he who dies (young), and among you there is he who is brought back to the miserable old age, so that he knows nothing after having known. And you see the earth barren, but when We send down water (rain) on it, it is stirred (to life), it swells and puts forth every lovely kind (of growth). (5)
Surah At-Tariq Ayah 5-8 (Q 86:5-8) :
So let man see from what he is created! (5) He is created from a water gushing forth, (6) Proceeding from between the back-bone and the ribs, (7) Verily, (Allah) is Able to bring him back (to life)! (8)
In all the above ayahs where Allah SubhanavaTaala talks about birth & creation of man from "Nutfah", he immediately follows with reminding us of death & Resurrection.
As a Muslim we all believe in the "Day of Resurrection" (Yawm al-Qiyamah) but only a few are religiously and conscientiously working toward it.
Time is a precious asset we are all blessed us. We should utilize it to buy the permanent reward of Jannah on the Day of Judgement. Remember our journey as travelers in this fleeting life will end soon. We all know when we were born but we do not know when our journey ends. In other words we do not know our timeline as a traveler. Remember Allah is all merciful, all compassionate and all forgiving. It is never too late to ask Allah for forgiveness and to shift our focus in life and start working hastily, sincerely & consistently towards Aakhirah.
Insha-Allah as long as we clutch on tightly and not let go of the Holy Quran as our travel guide in this journey of life and follow the Sunnah as our road map by emulating our prophet (S.A.W), we will hopefully, when the journey ends partake in Allah's encompassing mercy.
Sarah K. is a wife, a mother and an engineer. She loves to read Islamic literature and listen to Quran in her free time.