“If He wills, He can do away with you, O people, and bring others [in your place]. And ever is Allah competent to do that.” [4: 133]
We are not indispensable. People better than us have walked this earth and people more righteous than us will soon come. At times we make the mistake of ascribing piety and goodness to others or even ourselves, thinking that we are safe from the sins, societal ills, or tests and obstacles that have plagued others. But in a split moment, things can turn and our soft arrogance is wiped out by a God-sent reality.
The Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) used to repeatedly make the du’a, ‘O Allah, I ask You for goodness and wellbeing’, and he encouraged us to also say it because we are vulnerable beings, protected only by Allah from things we see and things we don’t see.
Reciting this verse ought to induce a massive degree of humility in us, because we are not indispensable and we can be easily replaced – no matter how righteous we may be, how famous we are, how active or beneficial we seem in society, how knowledgeable we are, or how loved by others we are. All can be gone and all can be taken. May Allah preserve us all and keep us in His care, ameen.