Chapter 19: The Waning Dusk (series)

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Myth: Best friends forever

Many of you will be able to relate to this: you pulled an all-nighter preparing for an exam. When you see the question paper, you realize that 80% of it has been reproduced from last year’s past paper that you had all along but you didn’t bother to go through it. Imagine the regret. It’s a chain of progressive reaction– that begins as a sinking feeling in the gut, courses through the veins and ends in a clenched fist as you stab the desk with your pen and the questions stare back at you insolently. A thousand silent curses hurled at the friend you studied with, since it was his unfortunate idea that previous year’s paper will be useless. And a thousand more hurled at yourself for going against your better judgment.

What if Allah tells you, you’re going to see this day too…

And (Be mindful of) the Day the wrongdoer will bite his hands saying, “Would that I had taken a path along with the messenger! Woe to me! Would that I had not taken so-and-so for my friend! Indeed he led me astray from the advice after it had come to me.” And Satan is man’s betrayer. And the messenger will say, “O my Lord, my people had taken this Qur’an as deserted.” (25:27-30)

A scenario that’s very real. An expression of intense regret that will cause you to bite your hands. That you would wish you had taken a path alongside the Messenger. An interesting thing to note here is that the verse doesn’t say “I wish I had believed in the messenger…”– instead it says the person would wish he had walked that path. Walk the talk, as the saying goes. Believing, following, accepting the Prophet’s teachings and adopting his lifestyle is what that entails “walking along with the messenger”.

And curse your friend, you will, on that day too. You would wish you had never befriended him. The same person you used to hang out with and cracked jokes at religious people and sermons you had listened to once in a while. You told each other how little it all mattered. You were inseparable. Your friendships can be your greatest regret on the day when there’s no turning back. And Satan, who is our mutual enemy, would obviously be the first one to officially ditch us. The Arabic word used here is “khazul”— meaning a fair-weather friend who slips out right at the moment when he is needed.

Betrayed, you will look up at the Messenger to plead your case and news flash, he will testify that this particular group from his Ummah had deserted the Quran.

Whether we are prepared for it or not, this day is coming. Whether you got your act together or not, this day is coming. And it’s going to play out verbatim. Heed the reminder as that last year’s paper that showed up.

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