Saturday, September 20, 2014

In its heyday

While driving the other day a particular building caught my gaze once again, as it always does when I drive that route. It’s an old building, dilapidated and empty, but you can see right away that it must have been beautiful in its heyday. My instinct was to stop the car and explore this intriguing structure, but that would've been madness since I was alone, in quite a “dodgy” area of Johannesburg.

couldn't stop thinking about this building though as I continued driving. I could easily conjure up an image of something regal, a prestigious place; a place where the rich and fancy may have come together for socializing. Or it could have been a luxurious apartment building, the top floor windows looked as if it once boasted the finest penthouses. That was a time when the city would've been in its prime, now this building is a mere echo of what it probably once was, a skeleton, empty and ignored in the busy city street.

Although this building may seem completely useless though, which in all practicality it really is. For me it serves as a reminder; a vivid depiction of what our lives are destined to become. We are now in our prime, full of life and energy, but soon this will end, and we will be forgotten and ignored by many as our once beautiful bodies become dust in the grave.

I may be sounding rather morbid here, but this is reality. Just like a part of the city disintegrates and the buildings lose its value while better and more modern buildings in another part of the city gain prestige, so is it with us. The cycle of life continuous and none of us have a choice. We live, we die, other people are born, they live and they die, and that is just life.

I don’t know about you, but I would like to make the best of this very short life that I have. I do not want to be a loser one day, when I am old and unable to do anything good I don’t want to lament the fact that I could’ve and should’ve done more. The small things are precious. We cannot waste our time working for this world and forgetting that we need to be working towards the hereafter. Our deeds in this world can mean something, if we focus it on the Hereafter. If we do everything with Allah in mind and if our aim is to gain Allah’s pleasure in all that we do, then our lives will not be in vain and one day perhaps we will leave behind a legacy of our own, no matter how small or unpopular that may be.

I guess what strikes me the most is that you can be beautiful, fancy, attractive, glamorous and all those things, but one day all that will be lost and no one will remember it, it will be a mere echo, just like the old building. But you can be very unlike the old building if your character shines, because then, you would have touched lives, and the glamour and beauty of someone’s character will continue to shine and will always be useful as well as remembered.

May Almighty Allah guide us all and help us to always see the truth and reality of this passing life!

Image from here


  1. Jean Markale has left a new comment on your post "In its heyday":

    As-salaamu 'aleykum Sister,

    Mashallah, your posts are well-written and insightful, and are clearly created from a very spiritual standpoint.
    I also appreciate that your entries are free of obvious sectarian bias (afaik). It can be disheartening to read an author enthusiastically--especially one as critical of materialism as I am--only to get to the last paragraph and see something like, "of course the Rafidi scum and kafir sufis are going to roast in hell no matter what they do blah blah.." whereupon I find my enthusiasm mysteriously decreased.

    Anyway--I really liked your observations about the building. It surprised me, I thought maybe there would be an abandoned mosque or khanqah inside the building and that's where you were going with it.
    I reckon I've read my share about the futility of mankind's works, but until I read this I've never really thought about the decay of urban buildings as an illustration of that idea. And it makes so much sense.

    Jazakullah khair.


    JazakAllah Khayr for your comment, I like how you've understood it!

    1. I also forgot to reply to your greeting Jean, please forgive that, wa alaykum salaam to you

  2. Assalamualaikum dear sister Sarina,
    Nice post. It is true like what you've written. Now I am getting old and the energy which I used to have is not the same as I was younger. Even though I wish to do many deeds which are good, it isn't the same - at slow phase and sometime limited.
    In my blog, I am always trying to advice my younger friends on doing and giving out their best when still are young. Hope this will give them motivation and awareness that time flies very fast and without realizing it, is already dead in the grave.
    Wassalam and take care :)

  3. Wa alaykum salaam sister nur, good to hear from you again. Alhmdulillah, its so nice to know that people can relate to what I've posted here, may Allah Almighty make it easy for us to make the best of our time, youth and wealth, in sha Allah.