How to live a long life?
Before we dive into how to prolong our life, first, we should understand the purpose of life.
How was your view on the purpose of life?
Regardless what is your opinion, here is what is taught by Islam:
The purpose of living here (the world) is to cultivate crops for the harvest (good deeds) to live there (hereafter).
As Muslim believers, our purpose should go beyond this life and be prepared for the afterlife.
Whenever celebrating a birth anniversary, the appropriate greeting is not “happy long life” but merely “happy short life.”
This is because God has set the time of a person’s death since we are in the mother’s womb.
That is, the more days, the closer we move toward that destiny. Meaning, day by day, the shorter we live.
Yes, today, we are one step closer to the date of our death.
The Sake Of Remaining Life
However, death is not the end.
Death is the beginning of a life that will never end forever – that is, life in the hereafter. Live here (the world) cultivates crops for the harvest to live there (the afterlife).
That is the purpose of this mortal life, for the sake of the remaining life.
Dead to live? True, because death in this world is the fact of eternal life in the hereafter.
Then, what are the means by age?
Age is simply the rotation of a measure on the cycle of the moon and the sun, which is drawn by the hours, minutes, and seconds of a watch. Age is relative.
More critical is that longevity and shortness of life are not quantity but quality. Nor is it on the outward measure but the meaningful value.
Imam al-Nawawi is short-lived, but the “long” of his knowledge and services are eternal.
Imam al-Syafi’i, Imam al-Ghazali… the impact of their struggle spans decades and centuries.
Similarly, Umar Ibn Aziz ruled for about two years only, but his superiority over the Umayyads’ Caliph led longer than him, either before or after him.
Therefore, prolonging life is by extending charity, knowledge, and service.
Property, for example, can prolong life if donated or endowed. So let the property be charity. The rewards will continue as it exists.
Morality can also prolong life too, that is, by connecting the cords of friendship.
The Secret Of Long-Lived People
The secret of the success of such “long-lived” people is their awareness of the purpose of life.
They are individuals who are always aware of the purpose of everything. They know the meaning of life.
They see the purpose of death. They seek purpose in every action.
As a result, the world always provides a path for people who have a purpose. They are always creative and innovative in adding good deeds.
The companions of the Prophet long-lived (in goodness and continuous reward) because they love death so much.
Strangely, people who love death will have a long life. While people love life, their life is short.
This article articulates the meaning of “longevity” from a different perspective.
Happy longevity means happy to add knowledge, glad to add charity, delighted to strengthen friendship, delighted to add charity, and delighted to add fear of God.
Yes, that’s it.
That is the meaning of longevity that we must cherish and be grateful for. Still, being able to live is an incredible blessing.
But unfortunately, people rarely appreciate it.
They consider life to be an ordinary everyday pleasure.
As a result, many are not thankful to God for still being alive.
Rasulullah SAW taught us to recite this prayer as soon as we wake up from sleep,
الحمد لله الذي أحيانا بعد ما أماتنا، وإليه النشور
“Praise is to Allah who has given us life after taking it away, and to Him we will be returned.”
Being able to wake up from sleep and live again daily must be thanked. This is so because sleep is, is half of death.
How many human beings sleep at night but not to waking up again because their end has arrived?
However, the way to be grateful for the blessings of life is not enough just to read a prayer.
But what is more important is to use the blessings of life by God’s purpose in giving us life.
So use life to fulfill the trust as a servant of Allah and caliph on earth (as emphasized in previous chapters). So use age to perform worship — whether special, general or sunnah worship.
Uphold the law of God in every area of life, whether at the level of self, family, organization, society, and country. Cherish this age in line with the purpose God gave it!
Stop Wasting Time
Unfortunately, age is often wasted whether consciously or not.
Imagine, if the pipe in our house is broken and water is constantly flowing from its tap without being stopped, we will quickly call a plumber to fix it.
We will act immediately for fear that our water bills for the month will increase and we will have to pay more than usual.
While as caring parents, we always advise children to turn off light switches, fans, computers, or other electrical appliances when not in use anymore to avoid soaring electricity bills. We tell them not to waste!
Unfortunately, the same attitude we do not show towards wasting time.
Not only are our children left to waste time, but we often waste time with empty conversations, negligent and useless activities without feeling lost and guilty. Whereas wasting time means wasting age.
By wasting time, we lose something more valuable than possessions.
Ironically, we do not feel that way because the loss or waste is not visible in the form of money.
But the fact is that we lose something more valuable than possessions by wasting time.
What is the loss? Yes, our age!
Wasted age is irreversible compared to wasted money. Money can still be sought again, but the time passed will never return.
Hukama has made a parable that our feet cannot step on the same water on flowing river water.
Once stepped on, the water that we step on will continue to flow downstream without stepping on again for the second time.
So much so that the age has passed, will never be able to catch up even with the fastest spaceships!