“O you who have believed, fear God. And let every soul look to what it has put forth for tomorrow — and fear God. Indeed, God is Acquainted with what you do. And be not like those who forgot God, so He made them forget themselves. Those are the defiantly disobedient.” — Qur’an 58:18-19
For the past week, these sentiments have been springing to mind repeatedly because, I believe, my Lord caused me to suddenly forget what I thought I knew without doubt.
On my computer I have a password safe, which I use to store a multitude of account details. I access it daily and have done for years, my fingers typing out the password without me even thinking about it. In all this time, my muscle memory has never failed me, even when returning to work after a long period away.
But all of a sudden it is gone. It turns out I have no idea what my master password is. My fingers knew for sure, but my mind clearly forgot it long ago. Last Wednesday evening when I went to retrieve a password for some computer trouble-shooting, just hours after having accessed the password manager already, I discovered that my fingers no-longer worked. They no-longer knew what the password was.
Could it be that the database had suddenly become corrupt? No, that’s not it. I have multiple backups of it, in case that should ever occur, and my fingers could not unlock those either. Alas, though I made backups of the files, I never thought to make backups of my muscle memory. I took that for granted, like my ability to touch type.
Out of the blue, like a bolt of lightning, suddenly I have forgotten, and no amount of retracing my footsteps, typing in possible combinations, seems to help. If anything it is scrambling my muscle memory even more. I have lost it and in turn lost access to all of the account details I had carefully compiled for years. Some I will be able to recover in time by other means, others I have forgotten will just be lost for good.
To be honest though, I am not seriously perturbed about the password; I didn’t shed a tear, but resigned instead to rebuilding a new database from scratch. No the only thing that has worried me is the verses at the top of this post, for I took this event as a sign: a reminder from my Lord. Do not be like those who forget their Lord, so that He causes them to forget themselves. A wake up call, if you will.
Let every soul look at what it has put forth for tomorrow, knowing that God is acquainted with absolutely everything we do, whether hidden or public. Look, truly, at your relationship with your Lord, before He snatches everything you took for granted away from you.