Posted by: adeepershadeofsoul | October 2, 2009

The Fallacy of Permanence

As I was wandering aimlessly through the back alleys of this old souq (outdoor bazaar) tonight trying to soak in as much local culture and flavor as possible, I made what I thought was a wrong turn and ended up in this art gallery.  It was one of those fortunate wrong turns that happen every so often in life.  This gallery was old looking and had all black walls which made the place feel completely dark.  As I stepped inside and looked around I was immediately impressed at how the work was displayed.   All of the pieces were encased in glass and each piece had a spotlight shining on it.

Standing next to the first piece, I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was an old manuscript of the Quran.  It was dated back to the 17th century and written in a calligraphy form that was so unique.  I turned quickly to look around the rest of the room and noticed that the entire room was actually full of old manuscripts of the Quran and other works by notable authors and poets of the past.  I felt so lucky to have “bumped” into this place.

Staring at each piece and reading a little about the history of each piece and each artist really go me thinking.  Some of the works were from Turkey, some from Damascus, some from Yemen and many other places.  I started to try and picture the artists in my mind.  I imagined seeing them as they wrote these manuscripts.  Where were they when they were writing this?  Were they in the masjid, in their houses, in the middle of the desert?  I also started to ponder over what they would think if they knew that their writings would be on display several hundred years later in a land far away from where they first penned the work?

So what does all this have to do with the title of the post….well, I’ve been thinking lately about how temporary the things of this life are.  Everything in this world is temporary (except God of course), even the things that we value the most, like our houses, cars, money and even our families.  Our children are temporary, so are our parents, and so are we.

That brings me back to our artists in the gallery.  When they were creating these beautiful works of art I’m sure they too had families and had homes and businesses etc.   They too lived busy lives, had the daily grind like us, did what they had to do to survive and thrive in life.  They felt strong emotions…they loved, they lost, they mourned, they rejoiced…just like us.  They made a life for themselves in this world……and then……

…..and then they were gone.  They’ve been gone for a long time now.

There will also come a time… when there will be a group of people sitting around hundreds of years from now wondering about us and how we lived our lives.  They’ll ask the same questions of us that I asked of the artists.  How were we like?  How was life like during our century?  They’ll be asking these same questions and hopefully be staring in a glass encasement looking and what we left for the world.  And they’ll talk about us as I talk about the artists in the gallery….as people who were around a long time ago.

Sometimes this life seems so permanent.  Our houses, our families…it feels like they’re going to be around forever.  It seems like things will always be this way…like this life is all there is.

But of course, as anyone who has lived a good many years will tell you, this life is not permanent; it is transient.  Ask any senior citizen about their lives and they’ll inevitably tell you that it went by in the blink of an eye.  Yesterday they were kids running in the park and now they’re watching their grandchildren do the same.

The reality of this life is that it is temporary.  Everything that we think we own is not really ours.  Everyone that we hold dear to our hearts will not always be there with us and for us.  We are quite simply travelers…and this is just a brief stop on our journey back to Our Lord.

Our journey started the day we were born and it will end when our final resting place is determined by The One who created us.

So let us live our lives with great purpose and with a sense of urgency, and let us not fall prey to the fallacy of permanence.

I ask Allah to give us tawfiq (guidance) and bless us to live lives that are pleasing to Him.

I ask Allah to give us everlasting peace and make for us homes in His Heaven.




  1. Ameen to your dua.

    I am looking forward to reading your blog, I miss listening to your insights on life. InshaAllah I will be able to keep up with them now.

    • Jazakallahukhair…I hope Allah accepts all of our good and forgives all of our bad.

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