**DISCLAIMER: IF YOU HATE PEOPLE RUINING THE END OF STORIES, DONT READ ON! **
I just finished a book- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzegerald.
It was quite dry for a chapter, but as the novel ended it really really played with my emotions.
The novel basically, i don’t want to ruin it, but there is this man who spends most of his life- Gatsby- building up a reputation, to regain the love of a girl from his teenage life, who has now moved on and married, and has a child. He spends his life, working and became this holified man in the city. Huge house, huge parties that hundreds of people would come to.
But no one ever knew who he was.
He was mysterious, had this wishy washy past, know no was to sure about, so they just gossiped and made up most of it.
The narrartor of the novel though- Nick- gets to really know Gatsby. Nick though, spends so much time with Gatsby, and becomes one of his closest friends.
Anyways, my point of this post, is not to spoil the book- but to show the worth of this great ‘Gatsby’ man in the end. Everyone talked about him, everyone wanted to be at his party, everyone knew ‘about’ this man.
In the end, he dies. Its a horrible death.
The death part shocks you yes, but its not about his death, and the nasty way he died, it is his funeral that got me thinking.
Nick, as a loyal friend, calls people, goes around town, and all over NY to see if anyone would come to the funeral. People reject. People care less. People who literally flooded his house during the parities, didn’t even dare come near his house, and no one showed up.
What was really scary though, the one man that help mold Gatsby into getting all the money he had, and getting the future he had said:
“Let us learn to show our friendship for a man when he is alive and not after he is dead, after that my own rule is to let everything alone.”
It struck me straight in the heart! Is that real friendship? To be there when your alive then — nothing?
A friend cannot be considered a friend until he is tested in 3 occasions: in time of need, behind your back, and after your death (Ali bin Abi Talib)
That was the first thing i thought of. Would i want my friend, my loyal friend who helped me through ups and downs, betray me and not come to my funeral. Of course not, that isn’t true friendship.
Even though this novel wasn’t a muslim novel or anything of that sort, you honestly felt saddness for the character, that only his father showed up to the funeral. The father, Nick, and the priest. This man was supposedly ‘good’ he held all these amazing parties, he worked hard for his fortune, but did it really affect anyone else? Did he really have an influence on others to allow them to travel miles to come to his funerals.
You read about ibn Hanbal, and great sahabah, who thousands and thousands walked and showed up at their funerals.. Where angels, even came and helped carry their tomb.
This novel brought me to tears, got me thinking, how many people do i want at my funeral? Will it be real, or will it be because by chance they were at the mosque that afternoon?
May Allah grant us husn al khatimah, and allow many people to come out and make duaa’ for us on the days of our death. Ameen.