What's to the left? All things negative. Amidst life's daily drama, we often forget to consider the end of it all. Say we, but am talking 'bout me. What's the verdict after all of this worldly episode, regardless if we lament or not about His decree.
Restless and uncertain mind boggles at the final outcome. Which of three do we belong to finally, as encapsulated in Surah al-Waqiah?
1. The foremost?
2. People of the Left?
3. People of the Right?
The foremost is what it is, the foremost. Was sabiqun nas sabiqun. "And the foremost are the foremost." As stated in the surah, it comprises of people of nearness. Many of whom are from the first generations and only a few from the later ones. Oh we are so far behind time. We are no way near them, let alone near Allah. I can't speak for you, but I am far.
These foremost people, as we learned from the verse, would be reclining on golden thrones. Waiting on them are young boys, wildan, serving permissible wine, fruits and poultry of their liking. And of course wide eyed gorgeous houris. They talk no nonsense. Only greetings of peace. Oh how esteemed the foremost.
On the other extreme, people of the left would be drinking boiling water and eating from the tree of zaqqum. Don't know what that is, but the verse says hazaa nuzuluhum yau maddin - nasty entertainment awaits on the Day of Requital. Black smoke choking them. A stark contrast to the luxurious life they used to live while doubting the realities of resurrection.
People of the right - the passport to earn, if I should be so lucky. The verse describes their conditions in the cozy shade of some lush fragrant trees; drinks and fruits throughout the year, no need to wait for its season. And comfy mattresses alongside lovely virgins, amorous towards their man, not too old or too young a man but one that matches in age. How lucky are the people of the right - Wa ashabul yamin. Ma ashabul yamin. Quite a bunch from the first generations AND the later ones.
Dare we dream to be counted as the lucky "later ones" among the people of the right?
It is an individual battle. As said the venerable Shaykh Yusuf to me, "I don't judge others. I judge myself." Yes, I too judge myself and weigh the plus and minus points collected in both public and private. What others do in public is up to them. What others do in private is none of my business because I have got just too many things to worry about. I don't know about you.
I heard he, Shaykh Yusuf Bakhour Hassani is in town. Ahlan wa sahlan Sayyidi. Clearly he is people of the foremost who calls and inspires people to do right. May Allah grant him a long life and make us benefit from his words.
To people/things who/which are negative, we pray Allah gives us the strength to say: to the left, to the left. And pray Allah gives us the strength to keep right.