Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Morning Burial

It has become a habit of mine since moving to this place, to observe the Kampung Sungai Pencala Muslim Cemetery down below for a minute or two as I slide open the balcony doors each morning.

Somehow, it makes a good start to the day in that it keeps death within view, thus helping me put my life in its proper perspective. Peaceful and serene, the place does have a calming effect on me.

This morning, however, there was a hive of activity at the northern end of the cemetery. Upon closer inspection, I saw a group of men digging a grave.

Innalillahi wa inna ilaihi raji'un (we are God's own and to Him we return). Someone had just passed away.

I went about doing my housework but returned to observe the goings-on every now and then. They had put up a huge umbrella and unrolled some mats by then.

As I sat there by the window, I thought of my mother, who died of renal failure just two months ago, and of my beloved grandma whose death in 1980 due to cancer had left such a big void in my young life.

I thought of the two people I would have loved to care for and cherish - Pak Abu's parents and the in-laws I regretfully would never know.

Lost in thought, I didn't realise the procession bearing the jenazah (body) slowly making its way to the gravesite. It was then just past ten. There were some 50 people accompanying the body.

I couldn't see the body being lowered into the grave because of the wall of people surrounding it, neither could i hear the talqin (prayers for the dead) being read because it was quite a distance away.

Nonetheless, I put my hands together until the prayer ended. The burial ceremony was completed by 10.45 am and the last few people, presumably the dead's family members, left at about 11 am.

Semoga Allah mencucuri rahmat keatasnya dan meletakkan rohnya dikalangan orang-orang yang beriman (May God bless him/her and place his/her soul in the company of the faithful). Al-Fatihah.

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