I've been reeling today from the news of the plane crash near Islamabad (which is the city where my parents live, and where I have lived around 16 years).
It was flying in from Turkey, and I was worried that perhaps some friends may have perished. A call to the Turkish embassy in Islamabad dispelled that fear.
However, over the next 12 hours, I have heard of seven individuals that are friends-of-friends, neighbours-of-friends, or relatives-of-friends. Stories of people who miraculously escaped because they could not make it on time to the flight, and of their friends who made in on time and perished. The story of an uncle of a friend who was a stand-by passenger, and took one of the empty seats (when the original person who was supposed to fly did not show up), and died on the eve of permanently moving to Australia, where the rest of his family was waiting for him.
May Almighty Allah accept the departed as shaheed
for having suffered an untimely death, and make it easy for those left behind to deal with the grief and loss.http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-10784971
This is the worst aviation accident that has ever happened in Pakistan, a county with an surprisingly enviable air-safety record.
I'll conclude with a hadith that this incident reminded me of. We assume (somehow) that we will live forever, but the reality is that we are here for a pre-determined time.
Nothing can survive, or be sustained without the will of Allah decreeing it to be so.
Narrated 'Abdullah: The Prophet drew a square and then drew a line in the middle of it and let it extend outside the square and then drew several small lines attached to that central line, and said, "This is the human being, and this, (the square) in his lease of life, encircles him from all sides (or has encircled him), and this (line), which is outside (the square), is his hope, and these small lines are the calamities and troubles (which may befall him), and if one misses him, an-other will snap (i.e. overtake) him, and if the other misses him, a third will snap (i.e. overtake) him."