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“It is Allâh who created you in a state of weakness, and then, after weakness, ordains strength (for you) and then after strength, ordains old age (weakness) and grey hair …” (30:54)

We come into this world in the state of absolute helplessness and weakness. As we journey through life we go through four distinct stages: childhood, youth, manhood, and old age. The first period of childhood is followed by about seven years of teenage hood. The third period of adult life lasts for about twenty to thirty years, followed by the onset of old age which on the average lasts for another fifteen or twenty years. Everything that begins will surely end. In between birth and death we go through many periods where our bodies change slowly but imperceptibly.

The most crucial period in the cycle of life is the period of youth. If the life of this world is an ‘illusion’, the period of greatest illusion occurs during youth. It is a period of high energy and great enthusiasm, coupled with an air of invincibility and perpetuity. It is also the period of life during which our ability to comprehend, perceive, understand and absorb ideas and knowledge is at its best. The time of youth is considered to be the time during which a person’s physical, mental, intellectual and moral faculties and potential attain their optimum level of development and application. It is the time when the mind shows its inventive and imaginative capabilities. The habits picked up during our youth are habits that will live with us through old age. In adulthood we continue to draw from our achievements, knowledge and experience of our youth; we only develop and improve on our youth-acquired skills during old age

“It is Allâh who created you in a state of weakness, and then, after weakness, ordains strength (for you) and then after strength, ordains old age (weakness) and grey hair …” (30:54)

This is probably the most concise reference to the phases of life; childhood, during which one is weak, dependent and helpless; youth, during which one is fully developed, free to act with abounding strength and energy; and ultimately old age, when a person reverts to being helpless and dependent on others- a second childhood! The helpless babe becomes a lusty man in the pride of his manhood and then sinks to feeble old age!

We live in a world full of life and motion, and feel in ourselves all the vigour and spirit to keep pace with it, and do not foresee how we shall be left behind in the race, decline into old age, and drop into the grave. We are so dazzled by the attractiveness and splendour of the bright waking dream about us, that we are unable to detect the dim shadow lingering for us in the distance. Nabî Sallallâhu ‘alayhi wasallam has said: “There are two blessings by which many people are deceived: (They are) health and free time.” (Bukhârî)

Truly, the life of this world is nothing but a [quick passing] enjoyment, and verily, the Hereafter that is the home that will remain forever.” (40:39)

Nabî Sallallâhu ‘alayhi wasallam would often say:  “O Allâh, there is no life but the life of the Hereafter.” (Bukhârî and Muslim)

‘Umar Ibn ‘Abdil ‘Azîz Rahmatullâhi ‘alaihi said: “The life of this world is not your permanent dwelling because Allâh has decreed that it should perish and that all its dwellers should leave it. How many a populated area that will soon come to ruins, and how many a happy resident who will soon leave his residence. You should therefore leave this world in the best way you can, and the best of provisions is piety. Since the life of this world is neither a home nor an abode for the believer, he should be in it, either a stranger whose objective is to take the required provisions and return home, or a traveller who is residing nowhere and who is proceeding day and night to reach a country of residence.”

“First I was dying to finish my high school and start college

And then I was dying to finish college and start working

Then I was dying to marry and have children

And then I was dying for my children to grow old enough

Then I was dying to retire

And now I am dying…

And suddenly I realised that I forgot to live”

May Allah Ta’âlâ grant us the ability to value our time and health. Âmîn

Source: Jamiatul Ulama SA