By Khairil Faizul - April 30, 2009

Ini puisi tulisan SH al-Attas atau lebih dikenali sebagai Pak Habib. Saya masih ingat ketika di surau asrama sekolah menengah dahulu seorang guru bahasa Inggeris pernah memperdengarkan puisi ini dengan penuh penghayatan walau tatkala itu saya hampir sahaja terlelap lena kerana dimanjakan dengan sandaran di dinding surau yang terasa seperti bantal empuk bagi para pelajar.

Hmmm.. begitulah orang muda.

O reader, take a moral from here,
Never know your end will be near,
Change your living and make amendments,
For heaven, on your deeds depend,

This the tale of an Average Man
Who acts contrary to Allah’s plan,
If you are reflected herein,
Then repent! And commit no sin.

It was early in the morning at four,
When death knocked upon a bedroom door,
“Who is there?” the sleeping one cried,
“I am Izrael, let me inside”.

At once the man began to shiver,
As one sweating in deadly fever,
He shouted to his sleeping wife,
“Don’t let him take away my life”.

“Please go away, O Angel of Death!
Leave me alone, I’m not ready yet,
My family on me depend,
Give me a chance, O please prepend!”

The Angel knocked again and again,
“Friend, I’ll take your life without a pain,
It is your soul that Allah require,
I come not with my own desire.”

Bewildered, the man began to cry,
“O Angel, I am so afraid to die,
I’ll give you gold, and be your slave,
Don’t send me to the unlit grave.”

“Let me in, O friend!” the Angel said,
“Open the door get up from your bed,
If you do not allow me in,
I will walk through it like a Jinn.”

The man held a gun in his right hand,
Ready to defy the Angel’s stand,
“I’ll point my gun towards your head,
You dare come in, I’ll shoot you dead.”

By now the Angel was in the room,
Saying, “O friend! Prepare for your doom,
Foolish man, Angels never die,
Put down your gun and do not sigh.”

“Why are you afraid! Tell me O man,
To die according to Allah’s plan?
Come smile at me, do not grim,
Be happy to return to Him.”

“O Angel! I bow my head in shame,
I had no time to take Allah’s name,
From morning till dusk, I made my wealth,
Never even caring for my health.”

“Allah’s command, I never obeyed,
Nor five times a day, I never prayed,
A Ramadan came and a Ramadan went,
But no time I had to repent.”

“The Hajj was already Fard on me,
But I would not part with my money,
All charities, I did ignore,
Taking usury, more and more.”

“Sometimes I sipped my favourite wine,
With flirting women, I sat to dine,
O Angel! I appeal to you,
Spare my life for a year or two.”

“The laws of Quran I’ll obey,
I’ll begin to salat, this very day,
My fast and Hajj, I will complete,
And keep away from self-conceit.”

“I will refrain from usury,
And give all my wealth to charity,
Wine and wenches I will detest,
Allah’s Oneness I will attest.”

“We Angel do what Allah demands,
We cannot do against His demands,
Death is ordained for everyone,
Father, mother, daughter, or son.”

“I’m afraid, this moment is your last,
Now be reminded, more of your past,
I do understand your fears,
But it’s now too late for tears.”

“You lived in this world two score more,
Never you did your people adore,
Your parents, you did not obey,
Hungry beggars you turned away.”

“You two ill-goten female offspring,
In nightclubs, for livelihood they sing,
Instead of making more Muslims,
You made your children non-Muslims.”

“You ignored the Muezzin’s Adzan,
Nor did you read the Holy Quran,
Breaking promises all your life,
Backbiting friends, and causing strife.”

“From hoarded goods, great profits you made,
And your poor workers you underpaid,
Horses and cards were leisure,
Money-making is your pleasure.”

“You ate vitamins and grew more fats,
With the very sick you never sat,
A pint of blood, you never gave,
Which could a little baby saved.”

“O human, you have done enough wrong,
You bought good properties for a song,
When the farmers appealed to you,
You did not have mercy, it’s true.”

“Paradise for you? I cannot tell,
Undoubtedly you will dwell in hell,
There’s no time for you to repent,
I’ll take your soul, for which I’m sent.”

The ending, however, is very sad,
Eventually, the man became mad,
With a cry he jumped out of bed,
And suddenly he fell down dead.”

Wherever you are, Death will find you out,
Even if you are in towers
Built up strong and high! (Al Quran 4:78)

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