I really started thinking about this topic earlier this month, when my youngest sibling gave me a smart-witted response, "It's my body and I can do whatever I want". Now if she was not 4-years-old I would probably assume that she learned that from an ad or TV. Given that she has little exposure to both I was kinda shocked. Was this something that was innate in every human being?
As I look at my fingers, typing at my keyboard, I try and look through the thin layer of skin that holds together the delicate cells that make up my tissues which in turn weave together to create my muscles. I try to see the thin veins coursing blood through my fingers along the length of my bones in an amount of time faster than a millisecond. Subhanallah (Glory be to God).Did I get to choose how this body was formed? Did I get to choose the way my nose was shaped or the arches of my brows? How about the tones of my skin and the texture of my hair?
Then is this body really "mine"? Would I define myself by the face and empty figure that the mirror shows me or the soul that has been designed for me? It's really kinda weird when you think about it because for a minute you feel a bit disconnected from your body. You kinda realize the vessel like nature of your physical body, which is filled up with your soul.
So really this body, these eyes that are reading through these words, this brain trying to internalize this text, these fingers that tap away at the keyboard are not "mine". I have no right to harm it, use it to go against my creator (the one who literally made every cell and atom in my body) or even show it off to the whole world to admire and comment on. This body while it is in my care, for the short while that I am on this world, is something that I am responsible for.
(It is He) Who made good everything that He has created, and He began the creation of man from dust. Then He made his progeny of an extract of water held in light estimation. Then He made him complete and breathed into him of His spirit, and made for you the ears and the eyes and the hearts; little is it that you give thanks. (32:7-9)
We find here that God mentions how he made our bodies and then filled us up with the soul that breathed us to life by the will of God. So really this body is like a temporary gift from God that we have to eventually return. Hadith then explains how it will be taken out of us depending on the way we live life.
"The Angel of Death.[says], 'O you foul soul, come out to the anger and wrath of your Lord.' The soul inside the disbeliever's body is overcome by terrible fear [and does not want to deliver itself up], whereupon the Angel of Death violently pulls it out like multi-pronged skewers being yanked out of wet wool – tearing with them the arteries and nerves." [sahih]
"The Angel of Death comes to the [dying] believer, sits at his head and says, 'O you good soul, come out and receive your Lord's forgiveness and pleasure.' Then the soul flows out effortlessly just as water flows from the mouth of a waterskin." [sahih]
To many peoples surprise this extraction happens more often then you think. During your sleep.
"Allah takes souls at the time of their death, and those that do not die [He takes] during their sleep. Then He keeps those for which He has decreed death and releases the others for a specified term. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought." (39:42)
So even though it's scary to think that every time you shut your eyes there is a chance you ain't coming back, there is a lesson to learn. Don't treat your life like a vacation. Treat it like you do those few days before a big test. Focus on the thing that you can't see in the mirror. That soul that was designed especially for you.
Instead of checking if your eyebrows are on fleek check up on your soul. Is it in need of some moisturizing and nourishment? The last time you prayed to your creator, do you think your soul was in it or just the movement of your body? Do you find yourself listening to the rules that Allah has set out for you?
So what are you going to do with this body that was gifted to you? Will you use it to harm your spirit and your soul that is residing within? Will you obey the limits in which God has ordained for you in terms of your body and your life?
Try to be the person who's soul flows easily out of your body (May God make us all like that). May we use the bodies that we were given to fulfill the obligations and rules of Allah (swt) and not society.