When life ceases, what then?

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan | The Sunday Guardian | December 18, 2016, p. 12

When a murderer is sentenced to death, from the moment the sentence is pronounced, he is as good as dead. Whether his execution is to take place the very next day or weeks later is of no consequence: life simply loses all meaning for him.

All smiles are wiped from his face and it is with difficulty that he brings himself to speak. His hands, once raised so savagely to rain blows upon the weak and innocent, now hang limp and lifeless by his sides.

He becomes a forlorn creature, a mere shadow of his former self.

The judgment in court has made plain the reality – a man’s sudden fall from power to powerlessness, from light to darkness, from material triumph to nothingness. Even before death, he finds himself in a world where his will is no longer his own. What, then, will be his fate after death? After death, he will enter another world where he will be forced to bow to the will of the creator.

Were man to remember this reality, his life would undergo the most sublime of transformations. It would then be brought home to him with tremendous force how inane it was to oppress the poor, unfortunate individuals who crossed his path and fell into his clutches. He would realize how senseless it was to ill-treat others, if he himself were to be subjected to divine retribution in the after-life. He would finally understand how mindless it was to entertain ideas of his own greatness, for greatness which cannot endure is of no intrinsic value. In the end, having realized all this, he would hang his head in shame.

Everyone alive today is under the sentence of death. But people are preoccupied with today and give no thought to tomorrow.