This past Sunday, I attended a janaza prayer [AKA salat-ul-janaza] for the father of one of our family doctor’s. Janaza prayers are the Islamic funeral prayers.

Now I’ve attended quite a few funeral prayers. My first memory of attending one, unfortunately, [for a close family member] is back in 2001 for my 15 month old baby girl cousin Aliya. And before today, that was the most packed one I remember attending. The day of Aliya’s was also  jummah-tul-wida so the crowd was a combination of family/friends and mere Muslim strangers that happened to be at the mosque for the holiday.

This past Sunday, at the very same mosque, subhanAllah, there was the same large crowd, if not an even larger crowd. All the side rooms, the offices, and the library were packed with people besides the main congregational prayer area, yet there was still not enough room to accommodate everyone– there were still people outside the mosque.

It hasn’t left my mind since.

I had never met the person who passed away. It speaks volumes to me, however, to see the community turnout for this man’s funeral prayers. Including several imams from local mosques. It says so much about this man’s character and how he must have lived.

We so often let the daily mundanes get the better of us and worry about the frivolous tangible possessions. We focus so much on the now– the this very moment in our lives. We worry about the past. Janazas are just the very real throw-in-your-face reminder that we all need more often that everyone must die one day. It should make you refocus and think about what is important in your life, and let go of the trivial nonsense. It should make you want to better yourself and your iman [faith].

It’s inevitable that we must all die one day. But what do you want to be remembered for? Are you maximizing your good deeds while working on improving yourself in the areas you aren’t too happy with? Are you leaving a lasting impression? Is it a good one? Are you making a difference with your life? 

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