They once used to watch the television, just as you are now ...
They too would get up in the morning, wash their faces, have breakfast and go to work or school ...
They once had people they loved, celebrities they admired, and cars, houses and bills to pay ...
They too had their special moments, celebrating New Year or their birthdays, perhaps ...
Never for a moment imagining that in the same way that they had birthdays, they would one day have to die ...
Every self will taste death. Then you will be returned to Us. (Qur'an, 29: 57)
THE TRUTH OF THE LIFE OF THIS WORLD
The human mind finds it difficult to conceive of the size of the universe we live in and the order in it.
It is estimated that the universe contains some 300 billion galaxies. Our Milky Way is just one of these.
There are some 250 billion stars in the Milky Way.
Our Sun is just one of those.
In other words, there are more stars in the universe than there are grains of sand in all the beaches of the world, and our Sun is just one of those grains of sand ...
The world we live in is not even as large as one of those grains of sand.
As for man, a tiny creature living on this earth, he is as nothing in the magnificence of this giant universe.
Yet most of the time man forgets all this, and imagines that he is really very large. He lives in pride and arrogance.
He forgets that he is a helpless creature created by God, that he will one day die and have to account for his deeds in the sight of God. Furthermore, he becomes passionately attached to this world, which is smaller than a grain of sand in the grand scale of the universe.
And yet every person will soon die and be buried in a tiny corner of this world.
God will certainly show him how powerless he really is before he proceeds to the life of the hereafter.
Unless a person dies young, the worst example of helplessness in the life of this world is old age.
Most people spend their lives wrapped up in rushing to and fro.
As time flows quickly by.
Days, months and years rush by in the blink of an eye.
Yet for some reason people try to ignore this fact. It is as if they think they will never grow old. Yet the days of youth, that they so fondly imagine will never end, are really very short.
Almost everyone realizes that he will grow old one day. Yet young people always feel that those days are very far off.
They refuse to accept that they will one day be old, weak and helpless.
The two young people in this picture are good looking, with clean and perfect skins and shining teeth. But there is another important detail:
These pictures were taken in 1955.
When this picture was taken, these two were most probably not giving any thought to the fact that they would one day grow old.
Yet some 50 years or more have now gone by, and nothing remains of the youth and beauty in the picture.
Time destroys everything. That is a law of the world.
For example, a sweet, delicious and perfumed orange will eventually decay.
An apple will rot in a very short time.
Human beauty also fades easily.
The skin, the most important component of human beauty, loses elasticity as time goes by, grows thin and starts to sag. The shining, smooth skin of youth grows wrinkled with age.
It loses all life, like dry mud.
A young person's skin is taut. Squeezed between the fingers and then released, it resumes its original state.
But an old person's skin stays wrinkled.
The hair turns white and falls out with old age.
Every organ in the body receives its full share of the damage wreaked by old age ...
The nose and ears begin to sag, for instance ...
It is not only peoples' appearance that grows old, but their senses too. Since the nerve cells are not renewed, people suffer sensory loss as they grow older. They began to have poorer vision, and poorer hearing ...
The damage and decay visible in the human body is a striking example of the transitory nature of the life of this world.
Celebrities, artists, film stars and politicians whose beauty has amazed the world in their youth are very different in old age. They lose all that strength and beauty.
For instance, sportsmen famed for their strength and stamina become weak and feeble in old age.
The famous people you are now watching in youth and old age are a symbol of the transitory nature of this world.
Your own skin will one day be exactly like that.
And when you look in the mirror, this is exactly what you are going to see.
THE HELPLESSNESS OF MAN
Even at a very early age, while he is still filled with plans for the future, a person can fall ill and die.
Millions of people in our time die while still young from cancer or similar incurable diseases.
There are many viruses for which no cure has yet been found. And a tiny virus is enough to end a person's life.
Nobody can ever be certain that he will not one day fall prey to such a disease.