Heroes…Our Legacy

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By: Aashie Hassan


Walking down the lane, kicking a can with depleted enthusiasm, I struggled with the frenzy of my thoughts. The ever so astoundingly beautiful flowers, rich green meadows, red and yellow swings didn’t seem to hold any appeal for me today. The chilly breeze whispered within the leaves, played with my clothes and danced among the bushes making my hair stand. I stopped at the end of the street and turned around. Looking around, feeling the peace in the air I sighed. The stars were really bright tonight and the sky was clear—void of any and all traces of clouds. A small smile crept on my lips and vanished so soon that it left me wondering if it were even real. I took a step up the pavement, walked a short distance of bricked lane and entered the garden closest to me. As cool grass made contact with my feet chills ran down my spine. I shivered but did not falter. Reaching out I grabbed the chains holding the swing in the air and sat down. Soon, I was swinging down memory lane.
‘After the truce with the Crusaders, Salahuddin went back to Damascus. A narration mentions that one day Salahuddin went to visit the hajis. When he came back it was cold. It was wet. And thus he became ill and everyday his state got worse. Al Emad bin Jamod, when Salahuddin was ill, said that every time Salahuddin became more ill his trust in the Rahmah of Allah increased. He said: ‘The weaker Salahuddin’s body got the stronger his trust in Allah became and in that state he couldn’t go to masjid yet he insisted on praying Salah with Jama’ah. They would help him with that. On the ninth day he became unconscious. Sheikh Jaffer mentions that I was reciting the Quran by his bed and Salahuddin had been unconscious for a while. When I reached the verses ‘ wallahu la ilaha illa hu, aalimul ghaibi washahadah’, (He is Allah no lord beside him, the knower of the unseen) I heard a faint voice say, ’Saheeh. You have spoken the truth,’ and for three days I recited the Quran by the bed and he said on the final day when Salahuddin passed out I reached the verse; ‘la ilaha illa hu, alaihi tawakkaltu’, there is no god but Allah and upon him I trust’, I saw Salahuddin’s face become radiant and he recited the Shahadah and left this Dunya. Ibn Shaddad mentions that this was the greatest calamity to befall the Muslims since the demise of the khulafah ur rashidun.’
Ibn e Shaddad mentions that many times I had heard the saying ‘that I wish I could die in his place’ and I always thought that this was an exaggeration but I realized the reality of that statement when Salahuddin passed away. I wished I could have died in the place of Salahuddin. And Abdul Latif, the famous physician, says that he was mourned like a prophet because everybody loved him. The good loved him. The bad loved him. The Muslims loved him. The Non-Muslims loved him. Everybody loved Salahuddin. And what did this king leave behind him? King of Egypt, king of Syria, Lebanon, Yemen. What did he leave behind him? He left one dinar and 47 dirhams, some armour and a horse.  This is all he left behind him. They had to borrow money for his Janazah. But I will tell you what he left behind him.
 He left a legacy behind him!!!
 He passed away at the time of Fajr and after Dhuhr they brought his body out and the narrations mention that people screamed and cried as though the whole Dunya had just become one place and many people, when they saw his dead body, couldn’t believe it. They became unconscious. They didn’t attend his Janazah because they couldn’t believe that Salahuddin had passed away—the liberator of the Holy lands. And how was Salahuddin buried? They had to borrow money for his Janazah. They wrote on his tomb that this was the man who liberated… this was the man who flung open the gates of fortresses and castles of the Christians one after the other and on his tomb they wrote: O Allah as his final victory open for him the gates of Jannah. (Aameen)
Salahuddin is one of the greatest heroes of Islam and this is why we have gathered here to remember this but the problem with many Muslims…with all Muslims today is that we live off our legacies. You know a poet says, ‘The Muslims come to the grave of Salahuddin and they come again and again and what do they do? They stand by the grave of Salahuddin and say, “Qum ya Salahuddin! Qum!’ (O Salahuddin stand! Stand up O Salahuddin) we need you! Can’t you see what’s happening in Iraq? Can’t you see what’s happening in Afghanistan? Can’t you see the supine, spineless leaders that we have? O Salahuddin we need you to liberate the holy lands.” The poet says they come to his grave and they say Qum Salahuddin Qum…stand! Stand! Until his grave began to complain about the stench around it. And the poet says how many times in the year are you going to wake Salahuddin up? How many times are you going to whip Salahuddin for your own cowardice? And then he says sarcastically: has it come to this state that the living have started asking the dead for help? Has it really come to this state that the living have started to ask the DEAD for help???
Nobody aspires to be a Salahuddin. Nobody tries to be an Umar ibn al Khattab or Abu Dhār or Abu Bakr or a Khadijah or a Fatimah. Nobody aspires to be like them. we live off our legacy. You know, we remember these people but none of us aspire to be like them. We can’t be cowards because we believe in the hereafter. You can’t celebrate the life of Salahuddin and Umar ibn ul khattab and be cowards yourself.’
(A speech from a known speaker)


Writer’s Note:
I wrote this piece way back and since then have been stuck on how to conclude it. The other day, my mind was wandering about in the great realm of imagination when I realized as to what I could say. Nothing. That's right. Absolutely nothing. I believe that there really are no words to create an ending befitting this piece of writing except deep reflection. I want you to delve deep within yourself and see if you too are asking the dead for help. I want you to sit and ponder over the kind of legacy we should be and what we really are. I want you to see in your heart and find out who you really aspire to be, Rihanna or Fatima رضی اللہ عنہا, John Cena or Umar رضی اللہ عنہ.
Honestly, it is your choice entirely, how you wish to shape your future. This is just a reminder of who we really are, where we are heading and where we belong. We were made from dust and soon we will be dust again. Before that happens…before you lose your chance to find your correct path I urge you to wake up. Stop calling upon the dead. Stop living on your legacies. Create your own. Become the heroes others would aspire to be. Become the Ummatis that would make their beloved Prophet Muhammad صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم proud on the Day of Judgment.
To be a hero you don’t need to start off with trying to bring a change on a big scale. Nor create more violence than there already is in the world. Violence is not the way. Rioting, creating fitnah upon your own land, robbing your own sisters from the protection you owe them, none of this will aid in making the world a better place. What you need to do is start with yourself. Work on your inner self. Clean your spiritual heart from diseases. Purify yourself. Connect with your Creator. Find that bond and work on it. Then, pray to Him to shower even more mercy than He already does. Pray to Him to accept you as a vessel for the spreading of His religion. Beg Him to protect you, us, from the enemies that threaten to hurt us. Seek His happiness. Our Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم brought peace and tranquility in our lives. I beg of you, learn how to be a human. Learn to be a Muslim. Learn how to be a true Momin. Learn how to be a hero…