Last Ramadan was the first time I understood the beauty of being a good Muslim and its affects after death. There are people who work to leave a legacy but I think being a good Muslim alone can create that legacy.
A good Muslim will always continue to be remembered and will inspire others with their good character; by their loved ones but even possibly complete strangers. I’ve learnt enough about my grandparents and other deceased members of my family to know the former is true. The latter is what I learnt last Ramadan.
I had gone to the cemetery to do dua for a few different people, by one of the graves a woman stood doing dua and planting flowers despite the grave being quite full of them. The grave belonged to her teenage daughter. She told us how her daughter had been ill, something to do with her blood cells and had passed away the previous Ramadan.
The mother was also full of praise for her daughter which is of course natural but it felt very true too, not just compliments coloured by the love of a mother. She mentioned how her daughter (somewhere between 14-16, I’ve forgotten exactly) was a practicing Muslim and loved being so. She had been looking forward to fasting but died within the first few days of the blessed month.
I listened to this mother who believed her daughter had gone to the place she belonged to and left that which she was not made for, who believed her character was angelic and I thought how my mother wouldn’t honestly be able to say the same about me. This girl, younger than me, had died in such a blessed month and seemed to be so much better than me. I still remember Tayba, her name was Tayba, in my duas and hope to meet her in the highest station in Paradise.
I feel Tayba was a good Muslim and I believe that me making dua and not forgetting that encounter reinforces that. Not because I’m special but because she has a stranger who has never seen or heard her making dua for her by name. Would a bad person be blessed enough to be in not only their loved ones but also strangers duas?
This is how I gained a deeper understanding of how to gain a legacy as a Muslim. I don’t think it’s necessarily always being in the limelight with your work and (sincere) good deeds, but generally going about your daily life trying to be the best Muslim you can be will automatically result in your own legacy. I mean perhaps not that kind of legacy that leaves a mark on hundreds and thousands of people and over a long period of time but let’s face the inevitable fact that that only happens for the very special.
Deah, Yusur and Razan may just be that kind of special people. The more I learn about the 23, 21 and 19 year olds tragically murdered in the US earlier this week the greater the admiration I feel. They sound so ordinary yet so extraordinary.
Their faith was very important to them which shows in the accounts we are given of them. They loved their family, friends, sport, education and they were by all accounts happy, lovely people. They cared about their local community as well as the international community. Their loving, youthful nature and humanitarian acts have added to the utter sense of loss in what should be unimaginable circumstances.
They and their strong families have touched the lives of so many around the world. What a blessing to have beyond your death. Like Tayba they inspire me to be a better person, because like Tayba they have reminded me that death is not age dependent and remind me of the hadith which tells us to not waste our youth or health. All three are of a similar age to me and have been blessed enough to be role models even after their death. As others have said Allah chose them and their families to show the world what real good Muslims are like.
MashaAllah, subhanAllah their good deeds are being circulated and are encouraging others to do them same. I definitely want to do more work to leave a lasting impact on the world partly because of them; whether the rest of the world knows about it or not. They were fortunate to leave this world at a young age yet have already done so much good just by being normal and following their faith.
Through their example, I’ve renewed my intention to not waste my time and to make sure I use my life to make a positive impact. I don’t mind whether my legacy is like that of Tayba* or that of “Our Three Winners”* (of course latter would be better! :p) as long as I succeed in being a good Muslim.
*May Allah make their time in the grave easy for grant them all jannah ul firdaws. Ameen
If you didn’t know, Deah was fundraising for Syrian children’s dental care. Please donate towards it or share with someone who can so it can act as sadaqa jariya for yourself and Deah. http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/syrian-dental-relief/206249#...
Information on what the donations will go towards: http://www.newsobserver.com/2015/02/13/4554223_in-death-three-students-k...