Life slips away second by second. Are you aware that every day brings you closer to death or that death is as close to you as it is to other people? As we are told in the verse
All praise is due to Allah, who reminds his slaves that their lives have an appointed time and that the successful ones are those who are saved from the fire and entered into paradise, when He says:
“Everyone shall taste death. And only on the Day of Resurrection shall you be paid your wages in full. And whoever is removed away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise, he indeed is successful. The life of this world is only the enjoyment of deception.” (3:185)
Brothers and sisters (may Allaah preserve us upon the Sunnah and grant us a good end…Aameen). Indeed death is a reality faced by everyone who lives. No one has the power to avoid it, nor does anyone around the dying person have the ability to prevent it. It is something which happens every moment and is encountered by the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the strong and the weak. They are all the same in that they have no plan or means of escaping it, no power, no means of intercession, no way to prevent it, nor to delay it, which shows that indeed it comes from One having tremendous power-so that the human is helpless in this regard and can only submit to it. He S.W.T. reminds us that death will reach us no matter where we are when He says:
“Wheresoever you may be, death will overtake you even if you are in fortresses built up strong and high!” (4:78)
People die every day, but when someone close to us dies the shortness of this worldly life becomes a more manifest reality and less attention is given to the worldly aspirations. This is the way it should be whether someone dies or not, in order that we may make more effort in preparing for the meeting with our Lord. Let our gatherings be that of remembrance of Allaah and the aakhirah, ilm and advice towards that which increases the slaves in taqwah. The Messenger ﷺ said: ‘’Make much remembrance of the destroyer of pleasures, it is death.” And let us not be deceived by this worldly life and its glitter.
Brothers and sisters! There is no cure for death. A cure for cancer exists, a cure for AIDS exists and a cure for every other disease exists, except death. The Messenger of Allaah ﷺ said: ‘Allaah has not created a disease except that He has created a cure for it, except for a single disease… old age’
Narrated by Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) saying that the Prophet ﷺ said: “The life span of my followers are between sixty and seventy. Very few of them do exceeds this age. ” Reported by: Tirmidhi
While you are reading this in the different places of the world, with different reasons many people have died. If you ask these people most probably they did not know that they will die. Whereas you who’s reading this or me who’s giving this, maybe we won’t live to see tomorrow. Maybe these are our last minutes on the earth to repent and to be closer to Allah.
If not today, one day we will all certainly die at some point. We, people we know and people we love will die also. After 100 years from now no one we know today will be on earth.
This reality must be established firmly in one’s heart, the reality that life in this world is limited and has an appointed end – and this end will definitely come…
Having Good thoughts about Allah before Death
Jābir ( رضي الله عنه) said: Three days before he died, I heard the prophet ﷺ say “None of you should die except while he is having good thoughts about Allah”(Muslim). Also In a Hadith Qudsi it is recorded that Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) said “I am as my servant thinks of Me.”
Some scholars have also said that during times of wellbeing and health, an individual should have both hope and fear in Allah and these two feelings should be equally balanced. Others say that one’s fear should be more, but when the signs of death approach, a person’s hope in Allah’s mercy should become stronger. This is because the very purpose of having fear of Allah is to prevent oneself from committing sins and ugly deeds and to increase in obedience and good deeds. And those things are most often not possible during that situation (i.e., during the last moments of one’s death).
Instead, in that situation, assuming good thoughts about Allah is preferable which would cause one to have feelings of destitution and submission and to feel oneself in total need of Allah (تعالى).
In another ḥadīth recorded mentioned in Sahih Muslim also supports this understanding: “Every servant will be resurrected according to what he died upon.”
Having good thoughts about Allah will produce good actions; and this comes from having knowledge of Allah – one is the result of the other.
Hasan al-Basree (rahimahullah) said, “Verily, when the believer perfects his thoughts about his Rabb, he would have perfected his actions and the faajir is the one who has corrupted his thoughts of his Lord, so his actions will also be corrupted.”
Deeply reflect upon this consistent, strong connection between having good thoughts of Allah and good actions. It is based upon having good knowledge of Allah, specifically about his Lofty Names and Perfect Attributes.
If you know the Name of Allah, Al-Ghaffaar, then you have to perfect your thoughts about Him when you make istighfaar.
If you deeply ponder upon His Beautiful Name, At-Tawwaab and that Allah will accept the repentance of His servants and pardon them for their offences, then it is upon you to perfect your assumptions of Him, that He will accept your repentance regardless of what your offense is
May Allah make us amongst those who has good thoughts about Allah, who are between Hope and Fear.
Are we prepared?
People wake up every morning making short term or long term plans for their lifes. But death is not included in these plans. Whereas most of these plans might not occur, death will certainly occur.
Allah has informed us in the Qur’an that He has created us with the purpose of worshipping Him alone and that He made this life a test to see who will fulfil that purpose.
“And I did not create the Jinn and mankind except to worship Me.” (Qur’an 51:56)
Al-Hasan Al-Basrī – Allāh have mercy on him – said:
How strange it is that a people whose departure (from this world to the next) has been announced, and whose predecessors have already departed, still play around!
One does not prepare for death by pre-paying funeral services or selecting a graveyard in advance. It is about fulfilling one’s purpose in life – to worship Allah alone, to live according to His commandments, and perform good deeds. The concept of worship in Islam is all encompassing and is not merely restricted to praying. In fact, any action that is pleasing to Allah is considered an act of worship, and a person will be rewarded for it.
When Abû Bakr Al-Siddîq was on his deathbed he called ‘Umar – Allah be pleased with them – and said:
Fear Allah o ‘Umar, and know that Allah has deeds to be done for Him in the day which He will not accept if done at night, and He has deeds to be done for Him at night which He will not accept if done during the day. He will not accept extra (nâfilah) deeds unless you fulfill the obligatory deeds. The scales of those whose scales will be weighty on the Day of Resurrection will only be weighty because they followed the truth in this life and it was weighty to them. And scales in which the truth will be placed tomorrow truly deserve to be heavy. And the scales of those whose scales will be light on the Day of Resurrection will only be light because they followed falsehood in this life and it was a light matter to them. And scales in which falsehood will be placed tomorrow truly deserve to be light.
Allah the Exalted has mentioned the people of Paradise and mentioned them in the context of their best deeds, and overlooked their evil deeds, so when I remember them I say to myself: I fear that I will not be included with them. And Allah the Exalted has mentioned the people of Hell and mentioned them in the context of their worst deeds and rejected their best deeds, so when I remember them I say: I hope I won’t be amongst them. Allah’s worshippers should always be in a state of hope and fear, they shouldn’t wish flimsy wishes about Allah and neither should they despair of Allah’s mercy.
If you keep to this advice of mine, no one who is not with you now should be more beloved to you than death – and it is sure to come to you. But if you disregard this advice, no one who is not with you now should be more hated to you than death – and you cannot escape it.
‘Uthmān b. ʿAffān – Allāh be pleased with him – said in a sermon:
Son of Adam! Know that the angel of death who has been assigned to you has not ceased to pass you and move on to others, ever since you have been in this world. But it is as if he is about to pass someone else and move on to target you, so be careful and prepare for him (by correcting your deeds). And do not forget him, for he does not forget you. And know o son of Adam, if you are heedless about yourself and do not prepare, no one else will prepare for you. You must meet Allah the Mighty and Majestic, so take for yourself and do not leave it to someone else. Peace be on you.
In another sermon he – ʿUthmān b. ʿAffān – Allāh be pleased with him – said:
O people! Fear Allāh and obey Him, for piety is a valuable prize. Verily the most intelligent person is he who takes account of himself and works for what comes after death, and acquires through the light (guidance) of Allāh a light for the darkness of the grave.
The servant of Allāh should fear lest Allāh the Mighty and Sublime resurrects him blind though he used to see. A few comprehensive words can be enough for a wise man, whereas the deaf (who does not listen to guidance) is being called from afar.
And know that whoever Allāh the Mighty and Sublime is with has nothing to fear; but whoever Allāh the Mighty and Sublime is against, then in whom can he hope after Allāh?!
Death is not a disaster, but a passing from this world onto the next. It should make us reflect and ponder about the purpose of life, and what will become of us after death.
ʿAbdullāh b. Masʿūd – Allāh be pleased with him – said: There is no comfort or rest for the believer until he meets Allāh.
Masrūq – Allāh have mercy him – said: There is no house better for the believer than the niche of his grave, for then he will rest from the worries of this world, and be secured from the punishment of Allāh.
This is applicable to those who has prepared for it, those who has been playing and continue to play around then this stage is the start of the horrors. May Allah save us from it and make us amongst those who take heed of the seriousness of death.
A man once asked Ka’b, “Which illness cannot be treated?” “Death”, he replied. And said: My father said, “There is one treatment for death: gaining the pleasure of Allah ‘azza wa jall.”
Death is not the end, it is the beginning of the Eternal Life – PREPARE FOR IT!