Not long ago, three friends came to the New York city. They decided to stay in a hotel during the visit. It so happened that their room ended up being on the 60th floor. The policy of the hotel was that every night after 12:00 a.m. the elevators are shut down for security reasons. So on the next day, the three friends rented a car and went out to explore the city. They enjoyed movies, concerts, and other things throughout the whole day. At one point, they remembered that they have to get back to the hotel before 12 a.m. When they arrived, it was beyond 12 a.m. at night. The elevators were shut down. There was no other way to get back to their room but to take the stairs all the way to the 60th floor. All of a sudden, one friend got an idea. He said “For the first 20 floors, I will tell jokes to keep us going. Then another one of us could say wisdom stories for the next 20 floors. Finally, we will cover the other 20 floors with sad stories.” So, one of the friends started with the jokes. With laughs and joy, they reached the 20th floor. Now, another friend started saying stories that are full of wisdom. So, they learned a lot while reaching the 40th floor. Now, it was time for the sad stories. So, the third friend started thus, “My first sad story is that I left the key for the room in the car.”
Now, what is the point of this story? This story resembles our life cycle. For the first 20 years of our life, we spend time in joking and enjoying whatever is out there. Then, after we reach 20, we go into the work force, get married, have kids and this is the time when we use our wisdom. Then, if we reach 40, we finally see the white hairs and begin to think that my life is coming to an end and the sadness begins.
It’s better that we start our life in the very beginning by remembering death rather than preparing for it at the end our life when very few of us have the energy to obey Allah completely.