The following is The Epilogue of the book that I have written this year. The book I shall get published before the year is out.
إن شاء الله,
It is now, Friday the 24th of July, 2015. It is 11:31 pm, if you must know.
Just got back home to Haji Ali, an hour or so ago. Back from the funeral of my Dadee. My Grandmother, my Abu’s mother. She was between 92 to 93 years of age. 93 years, with years described as 365 days. That is around 33,900 days. Not accounting for leap years.
My Dadee, Rehamat Bi Shaikh, was born in 1923*. My sister Rahma Shaikh is named after her. She, i.e my Dadee was born around 24 years before the Independence of India. I, by the way, if you don’t already know, at the time of this writing am 24 years old.
Albert Einstein was alive and well in 1923, he was visiting Barcelona and thinking new things. It is the same year that Vladmir Lenin, suffered his third stroke, which would consequently lead to two things taking place.
One it would render him incapable of holding his position as Chairman of the Soviet Union, because the stroke had him bedridden and unable to speak. Two it would play a consequential part in having Lenin die on 21st of January 1924**.
Warner Bros was incorporated in 1923. The first Le Mans, 24 hours race is held that year. Mount Etna erupted in Italy, displacing 60,000 people. A president of the USA dies of heart attack. Pancho Villa was executed. The British Mandate For Palestine of 1922 comes into effect, officially creating the protectorates of Palestine as a homeland for the Jewish people under British administration. This would eventually lead to the formation of Israel in 1949. The formation of which would eventually lead to the complete obliteration of Palestine as a country. Today Palestine is no longer recognized as a country, but as The Sovereign State of Palestine.
On July 24th, 1923 the Treaty of Lausanne was signed. Settling the boundaries of the newly formed Republic of Turkey. It was signed in Switzerland (of-course) by Greece, Bulgaria and other countries that fought in the First World War, bringing an end to the Ottoman Empire after 624 years. Please recall the date of Today, today as the time of my writing goes.
On July 10th in 1923, Large Hailstones fell from the sky in Rostov, Soviet Union and killed 23 people.
On April 23rd in 2015 my Abu, died. He had a Stroke in his brain which caused him to slip into a comma and then die and leave.
On July 10th in 2015 my Nani died. She had several different health factors that had led to her death, but the most common term used by everyone around me that day, when I went to Thane for her funeral, was Old Age. My Nani was seventy four years old when she died on a Friday in July.
On July 26th, 2015 Baksheesh Ahmed Khan, the seventy plus years old Pav Wallah in my colony who has bought Pav (A type of Indian bread roll, somewhat resembling burger bread) Eggs and bakery items to my Dadee when she lived here in this house three generations ago. When my Dadaa, Muhammed Yusuf Shaikh had purchased this house. Shifting his family from Null Bazaar in Old Muslim South Bombay. His family included my Abu, who was the youngest among five siblings. Baksheesh Ahmed Khan bought Pav to the generations that followed her, i.e my Dadee. Upon hearing of her death he says,
” Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un إِنَّا للهِ وَإِنَّـا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعونَ (Surely we belong to Allah and to Him shall we return) She was a great woman, really nice, your Dadee. I bought them Pav since they moved here some forty to forty five years ago, I think. She loved to hear about my family and made sure all was well. Well, such is this world after all. None of us belong here. We come and we have to leave. May Allah give her peace, As Salaam Walaikum.”
“People are asleep and when they die they will wake up.***”
* The cause for this “*” symbol beside the 1923 written up there is because, no one really knows the exact year my Dadee was born. Well not yet at least. There is no real proof you see, the Birth Certificate was created decades after she was born, and only because it was required. Remember that when she was born India was not even a country. So the year placed on this original birth certificate was a guess-timate at best. But it has also been deemed through numerous conversations among the hundreds of my far and wide extended family, (i.e. The family with my Grandmother’s sibling’s offspring’s) that as compared to when this one was born as opposed to how old She was then, 1923 seems to be appropriate. Some of you might be quick on the draw, and will by now have already understood why it was necessary for this particular detail to only be inserted in the footnote.
*** People are asleep and when they die, they awaken” (Al-Nas niyam fa-idha matu intabahu) This tradition, which is referred to as the Hadith of awakening, suggests an affinity between this worldly life (Hayat al-dunya) and the state of sleeping. Since death in the eyes of Muslims is indeed a type of awakening from the sleep of heedlessness which characterizes human existence, the Hadith of awakening could not but capture the imagination of Islam’s foremost thinkers since it succinctly summarizes the essence of Islamic eschatological teachings.
…And also one of the good signs of Death is someone dying on the day of Friday. As the Prophet Muhammad (عليه السلام) said, “Any Muslim who dies on the evening of Friday or the day of Friday, Allah* will prevent him from the punishment of the Grave.“
He is the one that is Alive and never dies… it is in the nature of the Creation of The One, that they have one thing in common. They live and Allah is Alive. The difference being, they die and Allah never dies.
Kullu nafsin tha-iqatu almawti
Every Soul Will Taste Death.
* Allah ( الله Allāh ) is the Arabic word for God, derived from the words, “Al” meaning The and “Ilāh” meaning God, literally “The God”. It is used mainly by Muslims to refer to God in Islam, but it has also been used by Arab Christians since pre-Islamic times. It is also often, albeit not exclusively, used by Bábists, Bahá’ís, Indonesian and Maltese Christians, and Mizrahi Jews. Christians and Sikhs in West Malaysia also use and have used the word to refer to God.
It gives me some kicks though, to know that, a part of me was a part of an animal once, a flame, a star. A part will become mineral, flow in a plant, sprout in a fruit, get pecked by a bird. Every atom of my body will be recycled by the universe. You think you are a person but you are a colony. A microcosm which has ten times more bacteria in its body… than it has human cells.
This microscopic little spore, enters an ant and changes the way it perceives smell. Then this little spore makes the ant climb up a plant and bite on a leaf with an abnormal force. So a small fungus drives an ant around as an vehicle uses is as food and shelter and then as the ultimate monument to itself. When the fungus is ready to reproduce its fruiting body grows from the ant’s head and rupture releasing the spores.
There, our entire idea of freewill down the bin, one single small fungus spore does that to an ant. You have trillions of bacteria in your body. How do you know where you end and your environment begins?
-Ship Of Theseus
We can now destroy, or we can cherish. The choice … is ours.