Hurry up! Al 'Ajjal! Chalo Kuroo! 'Ajla Kaneed! Whichever language you speak, be it English, Arabic, Urdu, or Farsi, the message is one and the same. A serious weather advisory is in effect! The location of the event is the Earth, from its North to South Pole! The time is unannounced, but it will happen the minute we least expect it! What is coming down our way? It has been forecasted with full precision and accuracy that "Hurricane Hereafter" will affect every nick and corner of the globe. Each and every person alive will experience this great phenomenon! The forecaster is none other than the Almighty Creator. And the details of the forecast are available in the Holy Qur'an. The sign for this hurricane is death, which is inevitable for every living soul, whether you are rich or poor, educated or not.
Today when we hear about natural disasters such as hurricanes or earthquakes, we are usually given ample notice in order to prepare beforehand. Email messages are sent around with safety checklists and instructions on how to deal with such life-threatening situations. People are encouraged to stock up on food, water, and power supply, and stores are packed with worried customers. Precautions are taken to prevent severe flooding, and emergency supplies such as first aid kits, batteries, and flashlights are kept handy. Everyone is glued to the TV to follow the updated weather forecast hour by hour. People plan ahead and charge their electronic equipment in preparation for a power outage. This is what the logic and intellect dictates – to take all the necessary precautions to survive a fatal event with the least possible impact.
When we speak of the 'Hurricane' of the Hereafter, we are referring to a much greater event which is not simply one incident passing by in our lives, but is the event which marks the transition from one life to another. Should we not also prepare ourselves for this great Hurricane which minds cannot comprehend and thoughts cannot encompass? Doesn't this event deserve our undivided attention, focus, and worry?
Death is only the step which transitions you to the next world, but it is the afterlife which deserves all of our concentration. This life is a life of deeds, but the next life is the time for accounting. There are many verses in the Holy Qur'an which speaks about the Day of Judgment and the natural events which will take place in the universe to mark that transition. Sura Al-Waqi'a (The Inevitable) describes this day in these most profound words, "When the great event comes to pass, then will no (soul) entertain falsehood concerning its coming. Abasing (some), exalting (others); when the earth shall be shaken to its depths, and the mountains shall be crumbled to atoms, becoming dust scattered abroad." (56:1-6)
Other verses describe the magnitude and variety of punishment that await the nonbelievers, the transgressors, and the corrupt people. "And (as to) the companions of the left hand; how wretched are the companions of the left hand!"(56:9) And there are verses which give glad tidings to the righteous believers and pious devotees. "Then (as to) the companions of the right hand; how happy are the companions of the right hand!"(56:8) We are indeed at a crossroad! Which path are we headed to, and which permanent abode is ours?
NOW is the time to answer this question and choose our paths! NOW is the time to pull out that safety checklist in preparation for the Hereafter. NOW is the time to charge ourselves spiritually and morally to the fullest. NOW is the time to stock up on food and water – rather, good deeds and righteous actions to please our Lord. NOW is the time to run frantically to Walmart and Costco – rather, the Holy Qur'an and School of Ahlul Bayt (peace be upon them), who will together provide us all the ammunition and resources we need to assure a safe exit from Hurricane Hereafter! NOW is the time to keep our eyes glued steadfastly to the TV channels – rather, the purified biographies of our Infallible Imams!
In fact, we have already been given the formula for salvation from this great hurricane by our Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny), who has compared his Ahlul Bayt to Noah's ark. Whoever loves and follows them will attain salvation, and whoever violates their sanctity will drown. While holding the door of the Holy Ka'ba, Abu Dharr narrates that he heard the Prophet say, "My family among you is like the Ark of Noah. He who sails in it will be safe, but he who holds back from it will perish." In the midst of severe storm and flooding, no one can be saved from this fatal hurricane, not even the son of Prophet Noah (peace be upon him), except the righteous believers whose hearts are glued to those who are the embodiment of truth, justice, and perfection.
Now is the time to purchase those tickets as passengers of that Holy Ark of Salvation – the Ark of the Pure Household of the Seal of Messengers. They have the supplies for our eternal joy, and they are the Blue Cross & Blue Shield for us to turn to. In this Ark, we will be safe from every danger, and we will never need to evacuate or look for another safe haven!