-25-

"Wherever you may be, death will eventually catch up with you, even if you live in formidable castles."

4:78

When the appointed time for a human's death arrives, not all one's wealth, health or possesions could delay his/her death. People have been known to die out of sickness or accidents, yet others die with no apparent medical reason while enjoying perfect health and often at quite a young age. What this indicates is that death is not necessarily a direct result of ageing nor of the disintegration of bodily tissues or organs. The process of ageing is given a philosophical explanation in the Quran, it is not an essential pre-requisite to death. The following Quranic words give us valuable philosophical insight into the process of ageing:

"O people, if you have any doubt about resurrection, (remember that) we created you from dust, and subsequently from a tiny drop, which turns into a hanging (embryo), then it becomes a fetus that is given life or deemed lifeless. We thus clarify things for you. We settle in the wombs whatever we will for a predetermined period. We then bring you out as infants, then you reach maturity. While some of you die young, others live to the most abject age, where after once with knowledge he then knows naught." 22:5

With these words God gives us insight into how the human life cycle is structured with a deliberate intention of teaching us how we were once nothing and also how some reach a similar state at the end of their life cycle. Those who live to old age shed all the mental sharpness and memory which they once had in their maturity. Consequently, after being with much knowledge in their maturity they are rendered with little knowledge and memory at senility. Undoubtedly in this divine plan lies great lessons for those who contemplate.