The other day, I came across the most tragic story, the story of Adam Walsh:
To sum it up if you don’t want to watch the video:
– 6 year old boy goes to Sears with his mom. He’s goes to the video game aisle, with his mom close by shopping
– A group of boys start fighting over a video game, causing them to get kicked out of the store, the 6 year old, Adam, included, even though he wasn’t with them.
– The mom goes into frantic, looking for her kid, they can’t find him. This is in the 80s mind you, so neither the store, nor the police really cared about this missing child.
– The boy’s head was found in a canal a couple of weeks later. He was kidnapped within those few moments.
The father, who was disgusted by the lack of resources, dedicated his life to fixing the system and saving thousands of missing kids. It’s bittersweet, as he mentions in the video. I’m sure a lot of parents are grateful for what he has done.
The scary reality…there is no barrier
What did the child do to deserve this? Thinking of his last moments, he probably couldn’t even grasp what was happening. This is the letter the murder sent from jail. Horrific.
It just hit me, while watching the video, every time there’s something like this on the news… that’s somebody’s world crashing down. The parents were never the same after this day. And it’s not just them but all tragedies- sudden car accidents, cancer diagnosis, hurricanes, plane crashes, air strikes. There is a chilling realization that there is no barrier between me and a tragedy like these from occurring, at any given moment. Today we are reading about Adam but tomorrow, you could be reading about me (God forbid)
Making sense of Chaos
I remember watching a video of Jordan Peterson where he said, you need to know who you are in chaos, because you will visit this place many times in your life.
This anchors me to remember the importance of the deen. It is my way of survival through the chaos. I understand why the Prophet (saaw) said this dunya is not even worth a wing of a mosquito to Allah. The hard truth is there is no true justice on this earth, no real peace. We race to build a home, a family, a career, but sit with elders and they will tell you… life is not within our control. We cannot guarantee tomorrow. Everything we are building could disappear in one moment.
It’s good to be reminded the reality of the world that we live in. (Emphasis on reality. Not a cynical or depressive outlook- just the truth). Having a skewed perspective of life can lead to tantrums & illogical shock when we are hit with our own tests in life. Since the beginning of time, bad things have been happening to people. From when we were born to this very moment, we have heard bad things happening to those around us. When we taste pain it shouldn’t cause us to go into deep despair. It is not because of you, it is because of life.
Be like a Stranger in this world
The prophet(saaw) said,
‘Be in the world as if you were a stranger or a traveller along the path.”
And ibn Umar would say, “If you survive till late afternoon, do not expect [to be alive in] the morning. If you survive till morning, do not expect [to be alive in] the late afternoon. Take from your health before your sickness and your life before you deathSahih Bukhari
This is how I am going to take this life. I am only here for a short period of time, I’m going to enjoy what I can, build what I can, but I will not expect anything. Personally, I’d like to see how high I can climb but I am free from expecting anything from this world. Our real home is in the Akhirah.
I hope I can remember what this world did to Adam Walsh, and so many children all across the planet. I do not want to ever love this world, even if it decides to love me.
And no matter what happens, I find comfort in know Allah is a witness to the injustice that is happening. I find comfort in remembering this world is only a few days, very soon I will reach my grave & there I will find only the things I did with my own two hands, nothing else. May the things we find bring us happiness.
And may we all make it to Jannah. May we one day get to sit under the shade, and share the stories behind the scars this dunya has left us.
All in all,
Chaos is a place I will visit but it is not where I will stay. And once I leave, I will be stronger & maybe even grateful for the storm or the outcome. The parents of Adam Welsh went on to have another son, and more children. They have done so much for the world and I hope they know they have done more for their son than they ever could have by saving all of those other children. Sometimes we are thrown into situations we do not predict, but ultimately, we take back control of our lives through our choices from that point. My life is what I make of it. And With hardship comes ease, that is a promise from Allah.
An Ayah to reflect upon:
Whoever does righteousness, whether male or female, while he is a believer – We will surely cause him to live a good life, and We will surely give them their reward [in the Hereafter] according to the best of what they used to do.Quran 16:97
Let’s keep working hard so we can get the best of both worlds inshallah