This is the Tale of Average Man,
Who acts contrary to Allah's Plan,
If you are reflected herein,
Then repent, and commit no sin.
'Twas early in the morning at four,
When death knocked upon a bedroom door
"Who is there"? the sleeping one cried,
"I'm Izrael, let me inside."
At once, the man began to shiver,
As one sweating in deadly fever,
He shouted to his sleeping wife,
"Don't let him take away my life."
"Please go away, O Angel of Death!
Leave me alone, I'm not ready yet,
My family on me depend,
Give me a chance, O please perpend!"
The Angel knocked again and again,
"Friend! I'll take your life without pain,
'Tis Your soul that Allah require,
I come not with my own desire."
Bewildered, the man began to cry,
"O Angel! I'm so afraid to die'
I'll give you gold, and be your slave,
Don't send me to the unlit grave."
"Let me in, O Friend!" the Angel said,
"Open the door, get up from your bed,
If you do not allow me in,
I will walk through it, like a Jinn".
The man held a gun in his right hand,
Ready to defy the Angel's stand,
"I'll point my gun, towards your head,
You dare come in, I'll shoot you dead".
By now, the Angel was in the room,
Saying, "O Friend! Prepare for your doom.
Foolish man, Angles never die,
Put down your gun and do not sigh".
"Why are you afraid! Tell me O man,
To die according to Allah's plan?
Come, smile at me, do not be grim
Be happy to return to Him".
"O Angel! I bow my head in shame,
I had no time to take Allah's name,
From morn till dusk, I made my wealth,
Not even caring for my health".
"Allah's commands, I never obeyed,
Nor five times a day, I ever prayed.
A Ramadhan came, and Ramadhan went,
But no time had I to repent".
"The Haj was already Farz on me,
But I would not part with my money.
All charities, I did ignore,
Taking usury, more and more".
"Some times I sipped my favourite wine,
With flirting women I sat to dine.
O Angel! I appeal to you,
Spare my life for a year or two".
"The Laws of Qur'an, I will obey,
I'll begin Salaat, this very day,
My Fast and Hajj, I will complete,
And keep away from self-conceit".
"I will refrain from usury,
And give all my wealth to charity.
Wine and wenches I will detest,
Allah's Oneness I will attest".
"We Angels do what Allah demands,
We cannot go against his commands.
Death is ordained for everyone,
Father, mother, daughter or son".
"I'm afraid, this moment is your last,
Now be reminded, more of your past.
I do understand your fears,
But it is now too late for tears".
"You lived in this world, two score or more,
Never did you, your people adore.
Your parents, you did not obey,
Hungry beggars, you turned away."
"Your two ill-gotten female offspring,
In night-clubs, for livelihood they sing.
Instead of making more Muslims,
You made your children non Muslims".
"You ignored the Muezzin's Azaan,
Nor did you read the Holy Qur'an,
Breaking promises all Your life,
Backbiting friends and causing strife."
"From hoarded goods, great profits you made,
And your poor workers, you underpaid.
Horses and cards were your leisure,
Money-making was your pleasure".
"You ate vitamins and grew more fat,
With the very sick you never sat.
A pint of blood, you never gave,
Which could a little baby save".
"O human you have done enough wrong,
You bought good properties for a song.
When the farmers appealed to you,
You did not have mercy, 'tis true."
"Paradise for you? I cannot tell,
Undoubtedly you will dwell in hell.
There's no time for you to repent,
I'll take your soul, for which I'm sent."
The ending, however, is very sad,
Eventually, the man became mad.
With a cry, he jumped out of bed,
And suddenly, he fell down dead.
O Reader, take a moral from here,
Never know, your end may be near.
Change your living and make amends,
For heaven, on your deeds, depends.
By: G. H. E. Vanker
Adapted from: Death and Death Ceremonies, 1972