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The ten realities of life

By Afis A Oladosu
07 October 2022   |   2:31 am
Of this world, we know very little; we can only know very little. The reason is simple: we are entities formed out of ignorance. We came to the world in utter desire for guidance and direction

Quran

Of this world, we know very little; we can only know very little. The reason is simple: we are entities formed out of ignorance. We came to the world in utter desire for guidance and direction as to where we were, where we are and where we shall ultimately be.

Ilya Abi Madi, the Lebanese-American poet once captured this ‘reality’ when he wrote: “I came, from where, I did not know/I saw a path ahead of me then I trekked; I shall continue to trek whether I like it or not/ How did I come and how did I make a choice of my path, I did not know”.

But the existentialist musings of Abi Madi do not enjoy any patronage in Islamic weltanschauung. His querulous and philosophical pondering of beginning and ending, his agnostic diffidence and dubitacio has been rendered nugatory by the Quran. There in the Quran lies answers to questions life constantly asks; there in the last testament you would read about questions only the last testament could answer.

Whereas Abi Madi was concerned only with one reality of life, of human existence, the Quran engages realities of existence; whereas Abi Madi did not know how and why he came to the world, the Quran offers ample explanations and justifications for why he came, from where he came and to where he is headed.

Quran chapter 76 verses 1-3 reminds us of our beginning; chapter 10 verse 24 quoted above impinges, in the typical Quranic style, our existence in the here and now in a metaphorical field. As to where shall be our ultimate destiny, reason and revelation leave no room for any confusion or bemusement. Your end and mine shall be like our beginning- entities fashioned from the union of sperms and eggs – of dreg, of dirt, of grime, of filth, of gunk and slime. Your end and mine shall be, like our beginning, a journey into the timeless zone of eternity; of appointment in paradise hopefully not hell; of stations in bliss and rapture; prayerfully not of and for Abaddon nor in the bottomless pit of Jahannam.

Of the above realities, much information is available in the Quran. Again in line with the Quranic style, all discussions of the realities of life may travel at least 10 different pathways. These may include the following: one, that in your constant struggle to mean, in your daily desire not only to exist but indeed to live, you should bear this in mind: that you are not alone.

If you are happy today, billions of other creatures of the Almighty are happy in different ways; if you are sad and saddened by realities beyond your control, keep this in mind- many other creatures of the Most High are in different condition and states of melancholy like your good self. The “reality” of and in this reality is this: nobody in this world can be permanently happy; none can be permanently sad.

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