Until You Visit The Graveyards…

Peace, one and all…

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In the Quran, we read the following words:

‘Competition in [worldly] increase diverts you, until you visit the graveyards…’
(102:1-2)

These two verses open Surah al-Takathur, which begins with a powerful denunciation of materialism and concludes with a vision of Judgement Day, when every veil will fall from before our eyes. Ultimately, our drive to acquire material wealth, to gather and possess more things, ends only with our death, when we leave this world behind. And yet there is another way, as the Prophet (as) tells us: ‘Die before you die!’ By understanding that all things are transient, that everything is perishing except the Divine Reality, we can leave behind our unhelpful attachments to material wealth.

As I read these words this evening, I am also struck by another image. Graveyards are supposed to be a place of calm reflection, of stillness and truth, where we realise that our true destination lies beyond this physical realm. In other words, by visiting our own inner graveyard, our own mortality, we can lay aside that fierce and distracting urge to acquire. We can carry that sad and anxious part of our souls to love’s quiet graveyard, and bid it farewell; and once that part of ourselves has been laid to rest we can travel freely onwards, into new places and new times.

Ya Ghani! Ya Fattah!

And my last prayer is in praise of God, Lord of all the Worlds.

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