In my dad’s twilight years until his death on June 30, 2000, a Friday afternoon, he had the practice of reading the Qur’an and attachment to the masjid. That was satisfying to me.
I knew where to find him whenever i come visiting. The neighborhood masjid. So, i timed myself and go straight to the Adesope mosque in Oke foko where we took residence for most part of our sojourn in ibadan, same thing when he finally relocated to Abeokuta.
In the masjid, they had a nickname for him in the masjid, Haji Ajisebiaraameka. Initially, I did not understand or comprehend what it is to be an ajisebiaraameka, that is one whose lifestyle is reflective of a Makkah dweller because I have not done hajj or visited Saudi Arabia to appreciate the Saudi lifestyle.
As years worn by especially from my study in Brunei Daarussalam a country that is so peaceful and muslim oriented in public life, I began to gain an insight to the life of a makkah dweller, more so with tales from hajj returnees.
The life of a muslim retiree should be cool, communal, clean, careful, courteous, cooperative, contented and close to Allah.
To achieve these, it must close or connected to the masjid for that is the House of Allah, the chambers of prayers and the fountain of knowledge. It is the arena of reflection and the place of connection to or of remembrance. And in the remembrance of Allah, hearts gain contentment.
But You do not start to live this life just upon your retirement. It is a tradition you must have cultivated over time in your busy days.
It is something you must condition yourself to while you are still in active service.
Imagine in a neighbor with five to seven muslim retirees and all of them are connected to the masjid. It becomes a center for elderly socialization.
There are things they would have wished to learn in prime which they can now have advantage. They share experience among themselves.
Whenever their children are around, they first come checking on them in the Masjid. They can become counsellors and advisers of some sort to the younger generation. They add value to themselves and the community as they are spending their last chance.
So if a muslim wants his life to be rich, peaceful and wholesome as recommended in the piece to which this rejoinder is written, he must factor in living the total islamic way of life as a muslim in the twilight years.
So, while we are youthful, healthy, agile, resourceful, unburdened or free in our age of vibrance, we must try to spend these privileges around the muslim circle which masjid is the focal point.
We must not be strangers in the house of Allah so that we won’t be strange in it or its users strange to us when we need it most in life.
That is why I pity the elderly who go to newsstand to spend the mornings, or the afternoons at poolhouses, their evenings sipping beer in frontage of their houses to kill boredom.
In a nutshell, what many are doing is merely melting to death in the material world because their bones are no longer strong to cope with the stress of the age.
Indeed, when the Muslim retiree who is connected to the masjid spends life in retirement in the precincts of the house of Allah having opportunity to socialise with fellow Muslims five times a day, he is is actually rejuvenating his body and soul in connecting with Allah and the fellowship of believers in his twilight years.
Our life in retirement should not be depressing. Rather or better, It should be one of contentment and closeness to Allah, not so much of care for this world again but essentially of concern for the hereafter when we will meet our creator.
Our life in retirement should be of full consciousness of the fact that when the final call of Allah comes, we must not be cornered in carelessness or contempt for living halal. Our life must not still be in corruption of conscience, character or conduct
Instead, it must be in full submission, contentment and gratitude to Allah as a Muslim because in Islam it is ever cool and calm.
After in retirement, death certainly knocks and the reality has come. What more in life, except living to please Allah so that He can be pleased with us.
In retirement, try to achieve nafs mutmaiinah, the contented soul.
By Ustaadh Abdulwaarith