Last night I dreamt that I died of a chest infection. I didn't go anywhere, I became a ghost. Some people could see me and I could talk to them. I explained that I could only stay until my funeral and then I had to leave, but I didn't know where I was going, I just had to go.
I felt so angry and powerless. I didn't want to be dead and I didn't want to leave my parents, I didn't want them to have to bury me.
My corpse was placed in my bed (not my bed in real life, my bed in the dream). I wanted to slap it, to shake it, I was so angry! How could I die of something like a chest infection? I am strong, I enjoy good health, why did this happen?
I woke up crying and this woke my husband. I explained the dream to him. He reassured and me and reminded me that Muslims don't fear death.
I thought about this and said "I think I was younger in this dream, I don't think I was Muslim then".
Just like when I was vegan, I had dreams where I ate chocolate (of the non-vegan variety). I still have dreams where I'm not Muslim. I don't know if this is a weakness in my faith, or just my brain processing memories from my pre-Muslim life. Certainly, Alhamdulilah, I'm always mindful and grateful to be Muslim in my waking life.
Indeed, one of the best things about being Muslim, is the certainty about death and dying.
There is a hadith about not sharing bad dreams, but this dream is a reminder to me. In Islam, like in many other religions and spiritual traditions, there is an emphasis on reflecting upon death every day. This sounds gloomy but I feel that only from awareness of death can we really appreciate life.
Ya Allah, Alhamdulilah for every heartbeat, for every breath in my lungs. The efforts my body makes without me even realising. Ya Allah, I may not ever be your most pious servant, but help me to always be a grateful one. Ameen.