This is a time of reflection, also to remind ourselves that we should reflect every day, without being reminded by losing someone we loved. Do we have to have such pain to be reminded that there is a destiny which effects us each moment of our lives from the moment we are born till our last breath?
Our destiny precedes us. We are born with a clear purpose, not in vain! We are born to fulfill a function and are equipped with all the faculties necessary to fulfill this function. We can not know our destiny, but we can find out our potential, our talent, and through this knowledge, perhaps we can find out what is the purpose of our lives and try to do it. Our teachers told us so often, "Know, seek, find and be!" Knowing is active, ignorance is passive. Activity is a sign of being alive. Passivity, immobility is death. Allah says, "Amongst His servants, only those who possess knowledge serve (obey and work for) Allah." What is this knowledge which is an obligation for each man and woman in Islam? It is to know the truth of oneself and to know the right and wrong which one learns from Allah's words, His prophet's life and listening to one's conscience; and then to live and act in reverence of one's Lord for His pleasure, for His sake, in His Name.
How does one work towards knowing the truth about oneself which is essential to know the purpose of this life, and to be as one's Lord meant one to be? Allah says, "Man can not have anything except that which he has worked for." He also says, "Allah will repay each soul what he has earned."
When we think of ourselves and say "I", we only think of our physical bodies. In reality, there are five parts to this "I." The ones who know say that man is made up of five divine elements called Hazarati Hamsa. These are ism, the name, sifat, the attributes, ruh, the soul, beden, the body, and ‘ilm, the knowledge.
Name is identity. A nameless thing does not exist. When Allah created our father Adam (as), He asked him his name. Adam said that he had none. As a reward for his selflessness, He named him Adam. In Arabic, Adam is written with alif, dal and mim indicating in the shapes of the letters the three positions in salat, ritual prayer: standing, bowing and prostration.
Indeed, Adam was created for worship. Then Allah taught Adam His beautiful Names, His attributes which became the sifat, attributes of Adam. Then He blew into him the Ruh from His own Soul. Allah had made the body of Adam from the four material elements; earth, water, air and fire; the same elements with which He made all and everything in the 18,000 universes. So although temporal, Adam was the physical microcosm of the macrocosm and the connection of the universes with Allah Most High. That is why Allah made him the Khalifa, His governor, His representative to the worlds and said to him, "I have created all and everything for you, and you for Myself."
The four divine elements, their names, their attributes, their souls and their bodies are put by Allah in all men as a birth right. The last divine element ‘ilm, knowledge, is created separately. But men is given a mind and a free will, to will to learn and acquire this knowledge or not. This is the test. This knowledge is called irfan, the knowledge of Truth; first to know the truth of oneself, then as in RasulAllah's (saws) promise "He who knows himself, knows his Lord," to know one's Lord. To know oneself means to know one's "name," one's real identity, one's "attributes", one's character, one's "body" and its temporality, and one's "soul." Then the five elements unite. One is whole. Then one sees that neither the name, the attributes, the body, the soul nor the knowledge with which one knows these are one's own. There is none but Allah, La ilaha illaAllah. This nonexistence is the state of "dying before dying" as our Master tells us to do. Then there is no death, but a rebirth when you physically disappear from the eyes of the world. As Allah says, "On that day, Earth will be changed into a different Earth and the Heavens will be changed into different Heavens, and you will come to Allah, the only One, ya Qahhar, the Enforcer."
Allah knows best.