humans, rocks & destroyed bodies

It is curious that verses in the Quran mentions human and rocks/stones as fuel for hell (2:24). Rocks, solid bodies of matter: they do not understand, feel or think as far as I can tell. Things of the same kind, for the same reason, it seems, should merit hell. I therefore think about how human beings can be rock-like so that they would make good companions of rocks in hell/fire/endless suffering? Are humans, as bodies only, as material beings, like rocks and do I see any sign that they, as bodies, suffer brutal destruction? I think I do. Bodies of humans are destroyed, mangled, and obliterated in this world in the most spectacular manner, sometimes by other human beings and sometimes in what we call disasters and calamities (plane crashes, explosions, fires, falls, accidents, buried under rubble and so on). I see the tender and fragile human body suffer the most terrible destructions. Time too destroys but more gradually and so the brutality of daily bodily decline is less noticeable except by perceptive and sensitive folks.

What happens to me when i give my life to my body? That is to say, If I think that I am alive and well only so long as my body is alive and well? What is my maker telling me when he allows, or commands directly, the spectacular destructions of the human body and other bodies? I find it reasonable for me to ask and wonder.

Consider this: a child insists that he wants to cross a raging, stormy river in a boat made of paper. The father makes a small paper boat and gently floats it in a small basin of calm water. And the boat seems to float fine. The child is further emboldened in his desire to use a paper boat to cross the river. He feels more justified. The father then causes violent waves in the basin, throws objects into the basin, loads heavy things onto the tiny boat and the boat is absolutely obliterated, shred into pieces, destroyed beyond recognition showing that it is utterly unable to bear the kind of burden the child wants to put on it.

And so my maker shows me, by destroing bodies, that I should not trust my body with my life and well-being. The body is fragile and is to be destroyed in due course. It is not dependable. My life is with/in my soul and my soul is in the hands of its source/creator. I should not hand it to the weak and destructible body. Thus sometimes, in most spectacular fashion, I am made to witness the utter and total destruction of the body so that I am persuaded to not be a stone/rock/body-only, whose end is hellish destruction. I am asked to be human, a soul with a body that is sacred for being the creation of the soul’s maker. It has a lord. Despite its perishing nature, I do not blame and de-value it. I cleanse it so that I witness that it too has a lord and it is from my maker. I should not become it. I should not give the reins of my existence to it. I should not imagine I can cross the river of transience and reach the land of eternal existence without losing this perishing body. In its perishing, and sometimes spectacular perishing, it calls me (as a messenger of my maker) to my maker, Lord. It says to me that I should give my life and hopes to my maker and not entrust them to the weak, dying body, subject to utter destruction and dissolution. Should I remain rock-like, body-only, I must suffer the hellish pain of constant loss and destruction without any hope. It makes sense to me why some bodies, sometimes, are subjected to spectacular destruction by my maker. It goes without saying that such bodily destruction is a hell-worthy crime in any/all cases where one human being kills another human being. What I am thinking about are the mangled, obliterated and flattened bodies that perish in earthquakes and plane crashes etc…

Published by Faraz Sheikh

Faraz Sheikh

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