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Bomb Threat At My School – A Striking Similarity

Accounting 350 this week was the same as usual, slow and unexciting. There I was stuck in a three hour night class, slightly bored and fiddling with my phone. All of that changed 48 minutes into the class when I received the following text message from a Muslim brother in another building on campus also in a night class.

         From: Mofees
         Bomb threat, my class
         was just evacuated. Tell
         ur teacher
         6:48pm 4/21/08

At around 6:40pm, DePaul University began to evacuate its two downtown Chicago Loop campus buildings after receiving a phone call of a bomb threat. The building I was in was not amongst those officially evacuated, but people like myself began receiving text messages from friends with classes in the evacuated buildings about the bomb threat. All the while, my class was in the middle of presentations and there I was unsure of what to do.

Although our building wasn’t officially evacuating, I still thought that we should do so, just in case of any potential danger. I showed the text to the student next to me so as to ask him what to do. The student, scared out of his mind, began panicking before we even devised a solution. I suggested to him we should go check outside the room to see if anything was going on in the school, and if there really was an evacuation so we can inform our professor. Within seconds, he collected his belongings and headed for the door, before I even had a chance to follow him.

Although I was busy thinking about the situation at hand, I couldn’t help but notice the reaction of the student at hearing this news. He was scared out of his mind, seemingly 110% convinced with full certainty that there was in fact a bomb in the building, and that he was just seconds from meeting his doom.

“This is crazy, man,” he said ready to escape the building as soon as our lift reached the lobby. As I went to talk to the security guard, the classmate was already headed towards the exit and on his way home. I was now on my own.

I found a security guard and confirmed the evacuation order, and headed back to the elevators to go back to my room and warn my professor.

As I walked back through the lobby, dozens of students were leaving the building, dazed and confused, checking their text messages, and all in dispute over what exactly was going on. People seemed to have heard about the bomb threat, but confusion clouded certainty as students slowly poured out of the building. Was this bomb threat for real, or just some dumb prank?

Upon walking into the elevator, it hit me that this scene was one which we are all too familiar with. Allah subhana wa ta’ala says in His Book.

About what are they asking one another? About the great news. That over which they are in disagreement. No! They are going to know. Then, no! They are going to know. [78:1-5]

The news of this bomb threat was the greatest news of the day, and probably even for the entire academic year for DePaul University. Within minutes of the evacuation, the building was surrounded with hundreds of evacuated students, police cars, security teams, and major media news outlets.

From 6:48pm until around 6:55pm, so many people were unsure if there really was a bomb threat on the building, let alone a order for evacuation. But as soon as all professors received word and move their students out of the building, not a single person had a ounce of doubt about the situation.

What struck me on that day was that this scenario is exactly what is going to happen on the Day of Judgment. The threat of its upcoming presence has clearly been made for humanity by Allah ‘azza wa jal. We’ve been told the procedure of evacuation from sin and disobedience, as well as the way out to safety from the explosive punishment it will bring. It is indeed a reality that everyone will come to know.

Yet in our day-to-day lives, it’s as if we ourselves are unsure if that Day is really coming. Day in and day out we disobey and ignore Allah, knowing we can do better. We tell ourselves we’re going to change and start a needed good habit or drop a bad deed, but we delay that change until tomorrow. All the while, we’re living in a way as if we are disputing over whether the Day of Judgment really is going to happen, or if it’s just some made up fairytale from a Book.

The Day of Judgment is real, and as Allah subhana wa ta’ala said, we will come to fully know its reality. The question is will we realize it now and move towards change immediately until then, or will we continue to do nothing until it’s too late?

It’s time to get a move on with Islam in our lives, drop our sins, start doing those good deeds that we put off until tomorrow, and begin acting like we really believe the Day of Judgment is, in fact, forreal.

May Allah subhana wa ta’ala give us unbreakable yaqīn in the coming of the Day of Judgment, of our death and life in the grave, help us give up our sins and begin to obey Him immediately, and protect us from our heedlessness before its too late.

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