Poetry

The Taste of Death

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What if your day had arrived?
Imagine if your entire life was a lie.
Assess yourself as your sins flash by;
You’re wasting your youth and you don’t know why.
Tears flow, but there’s no time left to cry –
You’ve got one last breath, one last sigh.

The Angel of Death has come too soon;
He snatches your soul with a startling boom.
In an instant, you know that you are doomed.
“Kullu nafsin dhaa iqatul maut. Thumma ilayna tur ja’oon.”
He warned you, He warned you; did He not warn you?
Hunched over, you’re miserable in a state of gloom.
Did you really believe that you were immune?

You’re made to enter your grave alone,
Compressed beneath your worldly throne.
Munkar and Nakir arrive; you’re now in the test zone.
“Who is Your Lord? Prophet? Book?” “I don’t know,” you moan.
Eternal punishment begins; it’s too late to atone
With the pressure of your sins squeezing your bones.
For ages to come, this pit will be your home.

You lived among many but you died alone, here with no allies,
Yet you know that you haven’t reached your final demise,
And when the Day of Judgment finally arrives,
When the trumpet is blown, out of your grave you arise.
The records prove you’re condemned; why were you so unwise?
Every beat of your heart echoes screams and cries.
Your shameful book of deeds can never be revised.

Before you, hellfire is set ablaze;
Its sparks leap to and fro in a craze.
The doomed are shocked and paralyzed in a haze,
Sorely regretting all the wasted nights and days.
The message of Allah had been clearly conveyed,
But all you did was go far, far astray.


My inspiration for this piece came from my reflections on this past Ramadan. I thought of how blessed we were to be able to live through another Ramadan, a month of indescribable bliss and reassurance that there is hope and forgiveness for us despite the amount of sins we’ve committed in the past. On the other hand, something was troubling me. The thrill of praying qiyam at 3 am on a weeknight was coupled with genuine fear for those who simply refused to take advantage of this beautiful month. I knew that as much as I tried to wipe away my bad habits, there were always people who refused to give up theirs. I knew that no matter how much I tried to focus on the Hereafter, there are many who have completely lost sight of it.

I knew a girl who was born a Muslim but died an Atheist. She had her whole life planned, a bright future ahead of her. She wanted to go to Harvard and make a name for herself. She was blessed with intelligence, liveliness, and beauty, but none of her future plans included her Creator. She had no time for Him, choosing instead to pave her own life for herself. At the age of 17, she dropped dead. Just like that. A heart problem wasn’t detected until her autopsy. Her soul was seized while she was running on a treadmill, probably dreaming about her future, graduating, or even what she’d eat for dinner.

The Angel of Death does not distinguish between ages. There are no second chances. The day of our death is the biggest mystery to every one of us, yet it is the day we spend the least amount of time preparing for. Are you prepared for your taste of death?

“Every soul shall taste Death; then to Him shall we return.” (29:57)

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Once referred to as a “40-year old trapped in a teenage body” and a “Renaissance woman,” Sara Bawany can humbly testify that she has dabbled in many different fields relating to careers, organizations, and Islam. An obsessive baker (and eater), a varsity tennis player, and a Lincoln-Douglas debate veteran, Sara enjoys immersing herself in different activities aside from studying diligently to achieve her goal of becoming a surgeon. Having attended 11 schools in her life from Ohio and Texas to California and Florida, she is a prospective student at a 4-year university next year InshaAllah. Aside from school, she is the Vice President of Muslim Student Association and an active member of her local youth group. Sara rejoices at every opportunity to extend a hand out to the Muslim youth along with anyone in need of a little guidance, moral support, or friend. She is a busy girl what with trying to finish up her senior year dually with her Associate’s degree, but in her spare time, she volunteers excessively, independently studies the Qur’an, and when time permits, has random panic attacks about the future. Sara joined MYM because she strives to be a part of the growing movement in Islamic literature, as well as work with her passion for writing and for Islam. She believes that high emotions and extreme tension are best relieved through writing and she hopes to be able to channel her own feelings into amazing pieces for youth across the world to muse over.