Today the world lost a profound actor on the stage and in films. Brian Dennehy was 81 years old when he passed away today in New Haven, Connecticut. The award-winning actor’s death was indeed a tragedy and a significant loss to the acting world. Many people were inspired by his work and no doubt some were inspired his work.
However, Dennehy’s death should come as no surprise. After all, death is inevitable for everyone. As Almighty God told us in the Qur’an, every soul is going to taste death. But the major question nobody seems to be asking is this: what will he truly leave behind forever in terms of a legacy?
Sure, he may leave an appearance in some movies that may still be seen on our TVs for a few generations. And he may have given to charity here and there. However, this will all probably be gone in a few generations. If you are doubtful of this, then just think back a few decades: how many celebrities from the 1950s, the ’60s, or even the ’70s do you remember the good actions of, let alone any celebrities from the centuries before then? Probably not many if any at all. But there were hundreds or even more back then. Yet they almost all have faded into the pages of history.
And Brian Dennehy will be no different. As the clown on the popular cartoon known as “The Simpsons” once said, “One day you’re the most important guy whoever lived; the next day you’re some schmo working in a box factory.”
However, don’t get too upset just yet, especially if you’re someone who wants to be famous. There are exceptions to this reality. And there is a way to have your name remembered in a way that actually does last forever. And this is it. We need to stop trying to please the people and start trying to please Almighty God. When God loves you and admires you, that’s what ultimately matters. But even then, there is a good chance for fame in this life as well as the next life.
The Prophet Muhammad, peace and God’s blessings be upon him, once said in a narration attributed to him that when God loves a person, He instructs the angels nearest to Him to love this person too. So much so that this love will be manifested on the Earth as well. The reason is because when God loves you, it will become apparent in your character and how you live your life and then from there, the people will love you too.
Some examples of this include a group of merchants from the historical Islamic Caliphate who traveled to Indonesia centuries ago. Well, at the time Indonesia was a non-Muslim majority country. These merchants lived, worked, and traded there by Islamic ethics and by Islamic Law, and the people in Indonesia were amazed by their upright moral character and righteous conduct. Within a few generations, the entire land of Indonesia embraced Islam completely on its own. It was one of the few lands that the Muslims never touched by conquest. Yet today more Muslims are in Indonesia than any other country in earth.
Other examples are the many companions of the Prophet Muhammad who are remembered today after over 1400 years and counting. And of course, there’s the Prophet Muhammad, peace and God’s blessings be upon him, who was the mercy to mankind and is the most famous man on Earth even today.
So in closing, if you want to be famous and leave a lasting legacy behind that benefits others in both this life as well as the next life, then you need to obey Almighty God, you need to love Almighty God, and you need Almighty God to love you too. So be famous with Almighty God. After all, nothing else matters but Him.