Come spring, they start to bud. Soon, the bare branches sway and rustle with an abundance of green leaves. Oh the tree looks so full, vibrant, and lush! How beautiful, subhanAllah!
Now, imagine if you were a beautiful leaf on such a beautiful tree… if you were a leaf on the tree… if you, with your ability to contemplate death, were a leaf on the tree. As beautiful as the season of growth is, it comes to an end and the leaves on deciduous trees fall one after another to display the bare branches once again. Just like that, it ends. A tree full of leaves for a determined season. Just like that, it ends. If you were a leaf and were given knowledge about the history of leaves before you and what was to eventually become of you, you may be grateful for the chance to experience life on the tree while always mindful that it will end in a short season. While the tree may hold hundreds of leaves at any given season, you would think about the hundreds of thousands that have come and gone before you (though they are no longer visible) and realize that you are nothing but a passing leaf… while you feel important at that moment, feel so aware of your existence, so sure of yourself… would you ignore the fact that so many leaves have come and gone before you and that the number of leaves that have fallen increasingly outnumber the number on the tree at any given season?
Likewise, while we may think there is an undying, ever improving, global trend to follow – a popular way that may be deemed secure, fashionable, modern, economically sound, and civilized – we should try to remember that the only thing that is increasing is the number of those who have passed through this world of man-made trends already – death.
The world population currently sits at around 7 billion – can we even comprehend what this means if all of these people were gathered together in one place? Now, try to think about the number of human beings that have come and gone already – no need to think too far back… just consider the past 100 years alone. Look it up… can we comprehend such a number? What if we went even further back to 1000 years? Can we comprehend such a number? Can we imagine that many more people roaming the earth, competing with each other for resources, caught up in trends? Can we imagine the impact such a number of people would have on the environment? Likely not (at least not fully), though we must try to keep our existence in context with our eventual death… contemplate, as we’ve been granted the ability to do so… be ever grateful to Allah Ta’aala for the life granted to us… and make proper use of our short time – as the Creator and Sustainer of life asks us to use our time…