The other day I came across an interesting piece of news that caught my attention. It said that it has been found that plants grow faster and thrive if you talk to them. I said to myself, whoa! This sounds humanistic. :D
I’m not sure of the credibility of this research but I do remember my childhood experiences and observations when my mother used to tend to her plants and say, “they grow so much better if they just feel cared for”. And it is indeed true. Anyone of you who has any familiarity with shrubs and flowers would vouch for this.
But this is not just about plants, the same holds true not only for animals but also for human beings. Ever seen a baby cry at the top of his voice resulting in the whole house freaking out, rushing to his side and picking him up, only to find that he needed nothing but attention? As soon as you pick him up, he smiles innocently, oblivious of the trouble he put you through.
Adults are no different, only they’re more subtle and complicated in their actions. Kids are, after all, the windows of human psyche. Adults crave attention. We often behave very weirdly just so people notice us. Many times, it is seen that relationships are at an end because “he/she ignores me”. And just like plants, we thrive and flourish when we feel cared for. In short, this is our shortcoming and we are scared of our weaknesses lest they overcome us and we feel defeated at a time when we need our strength the most.
Someone ignores you for a few hours, you start going mad. Imagine being ignored for years and years. Imagine no one else being with you at that time to whom you can turn to. Imagine being in pain and suffering as well in addition to that loneliness. Even our imagination has its limits!
We find in Sahih Bukhari, 3266:
That he heard the Prophet (ﷺ) on the pulpit reciting:– “They will cry: “O Malik!’ (43.77) (Malik is the gate-keeper (angel) of the (Hell) Fire.)
What is this being talked about?
We find in Az-Zukhraf 77:
And they will call, “O Malik, let your Lord put an end to us!” He will say, “Indeed, you will remain.”
This has been explained in more detail in Sahih At-Targheeb Wat-Tarheeb 3691:
عن عبد الله بن عمرو رضي الله عنهما قال إن أهل النار يدعون مالكا فلا يجيبهم أربعين عاما ثم يقول إنكم ماكثون ثم يدعون ربهم فيقولون ربنا أخرجنا منها فإن عدنا فإنا ظالمون فلا يجيبهم مثل الدنيا ثم يقول اخسؤوا فيها ولا تكلمون ثم ييأس القوم
Narrated Abdullah ibn ‘Umar RA, he said: the people of the fire will call upon Malik (the gatekeeper angel of hell-fire) but he will not respond to them for forty years, then he will say that indeed you will remain. Then they will call upon their Lord, and they will say, O our Lord! Take us out of this, if we turn back to what we did then indeed we are the wrongful. He will not respond to them like in this world, then He will say, remain despised therein and do not speak to Me. Then the people will lose hope.
Imagine being ignored for 40 whole years! Being in torment, begging for mercy and getting no answer. Imagine being shunned even when responded to after 40 years. Imagine being in the dark and torturous fire forever, imagine being hopeless! Oh, the agony!
Hopeless! What a sad and depressing word. What do we live for in this life if not for our dreams and hopes? Hopelessness in this world leads us to depression which has led many to commit suicide. The worst form of punishment for criminals is solitary confinement. Take away someone’s hope and ignore them absolutely, and you have a dead person already! But there they won’t be able to die even! They have to live in that torment forever and ever!
But why? One asks why would this happen to them? Because they were given chances in this world again and again to reform themselves, to turn over a new leaf but they did not. They disobeyed Allah, their Creator and landed themselves in this mess. Remember, He is not unjust to anyone. We have been given time in this world. This is our chance! Let’s avail that and save ourselves from being ignored forever, not to mention other forms of torture in the hell-fire. We just can’t bear to be neglected, really!