Maulana Wahiduddin Khan’s article
Realise that Life is Ephemeral
The Sunday Guardian
August 16, 2015
The Fabian Society was founded in 1883-84 in London, having as its goal the establishment of a democratic Socialist state in Great Britain. The Fabians put their faith in evolutionary Socialism rather than in revolution. They were true pioneers in British social and economic reform and were concerned mainly with the eradication of poverty and ignorance through education.
The name of the society was derived from the Roman general Fabius Cunctator, whose patient and evasive tactics in avoiding pitched battles secured his ultimate victory over stronger forces. Early members of the society included George Bernard Shaw, Sidney Webb, Annie Besant, Edward Pease, and Graham Wallace. Shaw and Webb, later joined by Webb’s wife, Beatrice Webb, were the outstanding leaders of this society for many years.
Beatrice Webb’s diary, which was published after her death, became very popular. Here is an excerpt from it, written in 1943 during the Second World War: “Everything and everyone is disappearing – Churchill, Roosevelt, Stalin. What an amazing happening, and well worth recording in my diary. But that also will suddenly disappear” (1943).
What outstanding people come into this world, show their mettle and then suddenly disappear; as if their appearance and disappearance were not a matter of their own choice, but the responsibility of someone or something else, who summoned them back quite arbitrarily.
This coming and going of people, this ephemerality of life, remains explicable until we accept the existence of a life after death. By taking into account this truth, everything seems to fall quite satisfactorily into place. If life is transient we can accept it as being so. But should we reject the actuality of a life after death, everything is rendered void and meaningless.