Esa Mesiah died in the Adiala Jail Hospital on 14th May 2015. Where was he born, who and where was his family, what was his story, no one knows. He died alone, left to be butchered by enthusiastic medical students who saw not a man but a body. His heart taken out of the body as a sample.
Three days later he is still in the mortuary, literally, heartless. Nobody has yet claimed him. Nobody to put him in the grave. Nobody to shed a tear for him. He died alone. His birth, like every in the world, must have been celebrated with much joy and happiness. He must have grown up with dreams of his own. Aiming to reach somewhere in his life. To have a purpose to his existence. Just like us. Did he achieve it? Nobody knows. Will we achieve ours? Nobody knows. He will not take his heart to the grave. Do all the other things matter? But what actually matters then?
As medical students and doctors, we understand the unpredictable and indiscriminate nature of death quite well. It can affect anyone, anytime, anywhere, anyway. Your age or gender or social status does not give you advantage over anybody else. Death will not escape us. Death escapes no one. Why have we then become oblivious to it? Why does it not act as an incentive for us to take responsible actions? Why does it not shake our hearts and humble our souls? Why do we try to silence the consciousness of our mortality that awakens in us from time to time?
Imam Ghazali told the story of a man walking in a jungle. A roaring lion ran towards him and the man ran as fast as he could to escape from it. He noticed a well in front of him and jumped inside hoping to escape from the lion. As he was falling in the well, he grabbed onto the rope and saved himself. The man was immensely relieved only to look down and see a big snake at the bottom of the well. It had its jaws wide open ready to swallow him up. The man then looked up and saw two mice nibbling at the rope. A black mouse and a white were both chewing into the rope. The scary lion still prowling outside the well. The man's heart was pounding as he wondered how he could escape this. Then he noticed a honeycomb in front of him, delicious honey dripping from it. He stuck his finger into the honey and put it inside his mouth. It was delicious and for a moment he forgot about the lion, the snake and the two mice chewing at the rope.
Imam Ghazali explained that the lion is like the angel of death which is always looming above us. The snake was like a grave which all humans will face. The black mouse and white mouse were like the day and night which are always nibbling at our life (the rope). The honey was like this dunya which with its momentary sweetness makes us forget the death and the eternal life.
Another example of how much importance is placed on beauty is the Bengal Monitor Lizard. Its almost impossible to look at it without cringing. Yet when you look into its benefits, one is baffled. A treatment for heart diseases and liver diseases, a balm for wounds. The same skin that makes us cringe is drooled over when on bags and shoes.
Why do we remain bound to the shackles of shallowness?
to be continued...