Narrow Escape ??? – Better said – Another Chance By Y.Yilmaz
Since my childhood, I have been afraid of small, confined spaces and furiously fled such places. Later, I understood that this condition was known as claustrophobia, but I have never been able to master it.
Now, unwillingly, I had to enter a closed narrow space. I was wrapped in a shroud and lying in a long coffin. I could hear the voice of the people around me quite well. And although my eyes were closed, I could see them clearly.
“He died so young,” they said and added, “He had so many things to do.”
It was true that I had left a great deal of work half done; I had not set up
a good business for my son, completed the payment of the instalment of the
car and TV. Winter was around the corner, but I had not prepared the leaking
roof or bought the fuel. Now the dream to establish a big firm and employ my
friends had dispersed to nothing.
Suddenly, I was irritated by a noise that, as if coming through a
microphone, echoed in every remote cell of my brain:
“It is all over!”
I wished it had not been all over, I did not know why the accident happened.
I was a good driver.
As I was trying to recall the events that had taken place, I realized that
my friends surrounding the coffin were covering it by putting the lid over
me. No matter how much I wanted to shout, I could neither move nor speak. I
was in complete darkness and turned my eyes towards the light coming from
the gaps in the coffin.
I said to myself in horror, “Oh my God! What am I going to do now?”
Seized with fear, I could think of nothing. Later, I was lifted onto their
shoulders as they began to carry the coffin. Hearing the noise coming from
outside, I understood that it was raining. The noise of the raindrops
mingled with the creaking of the coffin. We must have gone to the mosque for
the funeral prayer.
I remembered that although the mosque was so close to my home, I had never
paid it a visit. I had planned to start prayers after the age of fifty and I
would quit the bad habits everyone complained about. If the accident had not
occurred, I would have been a good fellow.
The voice that I heard before repeated, “It is all over!” A little later my
funeral prayer was completed. The imam was asking people’s opinion as to
“what kind of character I was.” I knew that among them were some eight or
ten persons who did not give an opinion. I accepted that I had given them
some evil and harm, but if the accident had not occurred, I would have been
pleased to make amends and duly compensate them for the equivalent of any
harm done. After the prayer in the mosque was completed, I was lifted onto
the shoulders again.
Due to the inclination of the coffin, I understood that we were on the road
uphill to the grave. I was aware that it was pouring rain and the rain was
seeping through the cracks in the coffin onto the shroud, making it damp.
Nevertheless, I tried to listen to the conversations coming from outside.
Some of my friends were talking about the stagnation of the market, some
were commentating on a Western film they had seen the previous evening on
the TV. Another, carrying my coffin whispered, “What a bad day the deceased
chose to die, we have got wet through and through.”
I could not believe what I heard and I thought that I must have
misunderstood. Were they not the ones for whom I had sacrificed my wealth
and my health?
A little later my journey finished and my coffin was put down on the ground.
The lid was removed again. The arms holding my weak and lifeless flesh put
it into the hole where a little water had collected. Lying on the ground, I
“Oh my God, was it a grave?” I did not know why I had not thought until then
that I would be buried in a grave. No one heard my silent cries, and my best
friends seemed to be competing each other to cover my body with thick
I was in complete darkness once more. I began to pray with all my cells, “Oh
my Merciful God,” I said, “Is there another chance to be a real servant of
The same voice repeated, “It is all over, everything has finished.”
I was shaken by the noise of the earth.
With a final effort to get up, I opened my eyes. I was lying on my
comfortable bed and it had all been a nightmare. One of my neighbours, a
doctor, was standing at the bedside.
“It is all over,” he repeated. “You are all right.”
I sat up slowly from the bed. I was dripping with perspiration, feeling I
had lost twenty kilos in weight. It was raining heavily outside and the
whole house was shaken by thunder.
While I was trying to recover myself in front of the bewildered eyes of the
others, I whispered, “Oh my Lord, a thousand thanks to You. What would I do
if You had not given me another chance to be an obedient servant of Yours?
But our lives are such that we become so occupied with the things of this
life that we forget that we are going to die. As Allah said, the gathering
of wealth has deluded man from the realities of life and they only wake up
when they end up in their graves.
At-Takathur 102: “The mutual rivalry for piling up (the good things of this
world) diverts you (from the more serious things), until ye visit the
graves. But nay, ye soon shall know the reality.”
This is a fearful statement, that if we live lives unconscious of our deaths
and thereby be lost in trivialities, these are things that are really
ultimately not going to benefit us in the next life.
And what happens on the Day of Judgement, when we stand before Allah and
answer for each and every deed that we have done, when nothing escapes
Allah, when the things that we have in this life will be of no benefit to
us. The only thing that will benefit us is to stand before Allah with a
pious and healthy heart.
‘When we die, we leave behind all that we have and take with us all that we
MAY ALLAH GUIDE US ALL ON TO THE STRAIGHT PATH.