We are alive today because our body still function as its supposed to be: the heart is pumping the blood, the brain is working and functioning as its supposed to be, and so on. Once the heart stop, and the brain is dead (i.e. stop to function), due to whatever physical reasons that happened to the body – then we are dead and cease to be alive.
Our life started when the soul (or Ruh) being brought into our body when we are about three months old in the womb of our mother. At that point of time, we are neither aware and conscious of what happened , and gradually as we grew, our sense of realization of our surroundings became clearer and clearer. However, if look back very carefully, the whole episode of our life till present just passing by like a “dream”. We are helpless to “touch” the Past, and neither we know what exactly is in the Future. We are just like “floating” in this life, and strive to do what we think we can. Neither we can set our fate, nor we can alter anything that has been given to us, definitively. We can try and exert our efforts; but these efforts will never guarantee the results that we might wish. We will keep on doing these, until the time comes, when our “time is up” – and death meet us, when our bodily faculties stop from functioning – and the physical part of us will be returned back to the earth, where it supposedly originated from.
It seems to me that our life, from the point of the entry of our soul into our body, and the time of its parting, is just like a temporary abode for our soul. It enters this world, through temporal control over our body, till the time when it can no longer stay, because the body has stopped from being a place that it can stay (i.e. dead). This match the hadiths that says “KUN FID DUNYA KA ANAKA GHARIIBUN AW ‘AABIRU SABEEL” (You are in this world as if a stranger of a person on a journey). Similarly when our soul is asked: How long we you in the dunya (or life). It answer: it seems to be like a day or two. (YAWM AW YAUMAIN).
Such is our journey into this world. Our soul must have come from a domain that where the current Space and Time might not be the same (or applied). But for it to be presence in this space and time, it must enter into a body, where such body is subjected to the space and time, as we know now. We do not have a choice which body to enter, and neither to which ancestors that we will born under, and nor we have a choice of when our end will be. These has been fixed and planned for our soul. The ONLY choice that left to us, is how to live and conduct our affairs in our life, within this allowable span of space and time. And not only that these choice are given to us, we will also be accountable for it, in this life as well as after our death ( as explained in the Quran).
Let us go back to the subject of our consciousness of our SELF, as we grew up. As our mental faculty developed (from motor functions when we are babies, knowledge and experience as we mature), we begin to understand this life bit by bit. However, this development are limited to just the surroundings and events that we can sense (see, hear, etc), but very little of our awareness is about our own soul and the Creator. This knowledge, comes only through revelations (Wahyu) via the Prophets to whom which God has sent down His messengers and knowledge to tell us what we do not know (‘ALLAMAL INSAAN M LAM YA’ LAM – to teach human beings what they do not know).
However, our body and soul, in this mix has its own ways of being attracted to what is “near” and “sensed” – and easily rejects anything that are “superfluous” and “hazy” in nature. Hence, almost all human beings focused their life on what is in front of them – that is to seek pleasure in this world, and could not care less about what is supposed to be more important for the soul. Eventually, the body (and its desire), will take full control over the soul, and it will become fully intoxicated with the life, and forget anything else, until the day when the angel of death descended upon him, then only the soul realizes that it has been residing in a place (body) that are temporal in nature, and its journey must then be continued. By that time, it is already too late to do anything to change what have been done.
My view on the above subject and discussions are for sure non-definitive and still requires a lot of deep thinking and contemplations. There are still many gaps of understanding, and too many questions which requires answers – that I do not have. Many of these are hidden in the messages of the verses of AL Quran, and the meaning of it may be obtain as we can better understand all the messages that God has revealed to us.