‘Want A Good End? Live A Good Life!’
Blessed is He in Whose Hand is the dominion, and He is Able to do all things. Who has created death and life, that He may test you which of you is best in deed. And He is the All-Mighty, the Oft-Forgiving; (Al-Mulk 67:1-2)
Allah (SWT) alone decides when a person passes away. He it is Who gives life and causes death. And when He decides upon a thing He says to it only: “Be!” and it is. (Ghafir 40:66)
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 (a deceiving thing). (Aali Imran 3:185)
It was narrated that Abu Hurairah said: “The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: ‘Frequently remember the destroyer of pleasures,’ meaning death.” [Sunan ibn Majah Vol. 1, Book 37, Hadith 4258]
And by remembering you prepare for it, i.e. prepare for a Good end!
When a person thinks of Death he feels it can come any time, that should make the person hasten to set things straight by repenting to Allah, making up for any wrongs done to people and asking them for forgiveness, hastening to do righteous deeds, being serious and focused in turning to Allah and obeying Him, and seeking pardon and forgiveness from Him by His grace, in addition to thinking positively of Allah, may He be glorified, and trusting in His abundant grace and mercy, and believing that He will never let down a slave who thinks positively of Him.
Muslim (2877) narrated that Jaabir said: I heard the Prophet ﷺ say, three days before he died: “No one of you should die except thinking positively of Allah.”
Then the person also does a great deal of those deeds that expiate and erase sins, such as praying for forgiveness, maintaining wudoo’, praying, Hajj and ‘Umrah, and so on.
A good end means when a person was guided before his death to keep away from that which angers the Lord and to repent from sin, and to focus on doing acts of worship and good deeds, and then he died in this good state. One of the indications of this is the saheeh hadeeth narrated from Anas ibn Maalik (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said: The Messenger of Allaah ﷺ said: “When Allaah wills good for His slave, He uses him.” They said, “How does He use him?” He said, “He guides him to do good deeds before he dies.” (Narrated by Imam Ahmad, 11625; al-Tirmidhi, 2142)
The Messenger of Allaah ﷺ said: “When Allaah wills good for His slave, He sweetens him.” He was asked, “What is this sweetening?” He said, “Allaah guides him to do righteous deeds before he dies, then He takes (his soul) whilst he is in that state.” (Narrated by Ahmad, 17330)
Want a Good end – Live a Good Life
O mankind, have Taqwa of Allah the Exalted and prepare for the meeting with your Lord, with the preparation of the righteous. Verily the state of man is as his Lord the Exalted said:
(يَا أَيُّهَا الْأِنْسَانُ إِنَّكَ كَادِحٌ إِلَى رَبِّكَ كَدْحاً فَمُلاقِيهِ) (الانشقاق:6)
O man! Verily, you are returning towards your Lord with your deeds and actions (good or bad), a sure returning, so you will meet Him. (Soorah Al Inshiqaq 84:6)
O Muslims, verily the person does not know where he will die. And he does not know when he will die. As Allah the Exalted said:
(وَمَا تَدْرِي نَفْسٌ مَاذَا تَكْسِبُ غَداً وَمَا تَدْرِي نَفْسٌ بِأَيِّ أَرْضٍ تَمُوتُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ خَبِيرٌ)(لقمان: من الآية34)
No person knows what he will earn tomorrow, and no person knows in what land he will die. Verily, Allah is All-Knower, All-Aware (of things). (Soorah Luqman 31: 34)
If we don’t know what we will earn tomorrow while this is from our actions, then surely we do not know when we will die as this is from the actions of Allah the Exalted. Since we do not know in what land we will die, despite the fact that the person travels to the land by choice, and since we do not know when we will die, therefore the place of death is unknown and the time of death is unknown. We ask Allah to grant us and you and good ending.
It is not important when the person will die or where the person will die. It is not important that he dies in Mecca or in Medina or another place from the lands of Allah. It is not important that he dies on Friday, or Monday or any other day of the week. The most important thing which is in what condition the person will die. This is what is important. In what condition will the person die? Will you die upon Imaan (faith), sincerity, and Tawheed? We ask Allah to grant this to all of us. Or will you die upon doubt, shirk, kufr and obstinacy and ingratitude? This is what is important; this is what is important, O Muslims. But whoever wants to die upon good then let him do good. For surely Allah the Exalted is too Generous and too Kind to abandon His slave during the time of difficulty if he used to know and acknowledge Allah in times of ease.
The Prophet ﷺ said: تَعَرَّفْ إلَى اللَّهِ فِي الرَّخَاءِ يَعْرِفُك فِي الشِّدَّةِ Know and acknowledge Allah in times of ease and prosperity, and He will know you in times of difficulty.
What is more difficult than the person’s life coming to an end, what is more difficult than the person leaving this world?! Thus if the person knew and acknowledged his Lord during times of ease, by obedience to Him and drawing near to Him with worship of Him and constantly remembering Him, then surely Allah the Exalted will know him during his time of difficulty. May Allah grant us and you that. The only thing that matters is in what condition the person will die.
Agonies of Death
The agonies of death are the last hardship that a person encounters before meeting Allah, and they are the last thing by means of which Allah expiates the sins of His slave. We ask Allah to make these agonies easy for us and help us to bear them.
Al-Bukhaari (4449) narrated from ‘Aa’ishah that during the sickness of which he died, the Messenger of Allah ﷺ began to put his hand in water and wipe his face with it, saying: “Laa ilaaha ill-Allah (there is no god but Allah), verily death has agonies.” Then he held up his hand and started saying: “With the higher companions…” until he passed away and his hand fell.
Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar (may Allah have mercy on him) said: The dying person can only be one of two things: either it is a relief for him or others are relieved of him. In either case things may be very hard for him at the time of death or they may be alleviated for him. In the former case, he is the one who is faced with the agonies of death, and that has nothing to do with whether he was pious or an evildoer; rather if he was one of the pious it will increase him in reward, otherwise it will expiate for him accordingly, then he will be relieved of the annoyances of this world, of which this is the last. ‘Umar ibn ‘Abd al-‘Azeez said: I would not like the agonies of death to be reduced for me, for that is the last thing by means of which sin may be expiated for the believer. Yet at the same time, what the believer receives of glad tidings and the angels being happy to meet him, and their accompanying him, and his joy at meeting his Lord, make it easier for him to bear whatever he may face of the pain of death, until it becomes as if he does not feel anything of that. End quote from Fath al-Baari (11/365)
The Scholars have not agreed on any way of reducing the agonies of death, except that the individual should turn to his Lord concerning that, and call upon Him at times of hardship and of ease.
We do not know of anyone who is saved from this hardship apart from the martyr. Imam Ahmad (7953), at-Tirmidhi (1668 – and he classed it as saheeh), an-Nasaa’i (3161) and Ibn Maajah (2802) narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “The martyr does not feel anything more when he is killed than one of you feels if he is pinched.” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh at-Tirmidhi and elsewhere.
Authentic Duas about Death
There are many duas from the Sunnah that one can find related to Death and its trials. One should try and memrose them and supplicate as much as possible.
The below dua that the Prophet ﷺ used to recite in Salah after Tashahud to be saved the Punishment of Hellfire, Grave and to be saved from the trials of Life & Death and form Dajjal was covered in previous classes in the course.
اَللَّهُـمَّ إِنيِّ أَعوُذُ بِكَ مِنْ عَذاَبِ جَهَنَّمَ،وَمِنْ عَذاَبِ الْقَبْرِ وَمِنْ فِتْـنَةِ الْمَحْياَ وَالْمَماَتِ وَمِنْ فِتْـنَةِ الْمَسيِحِ الدَّجاَّلِ
Allahumma inni a’udhu bika min ‘adhabi jahannam, wa min ‘adhabil-qabr, wa min fitnatil-mahya wal-mamat, wa min sharri fitnatil-masihid-dajjal
(O Allah! I seek refuge in You from the torment of Hell, from the torment of the grave, from the trials of life and death, and from the mischief of Al-Masih Ad-Dajjal (Antichrist).”
Also stated in the Sunnah of one of the most effective ways of dealing with worries about the future which includes Death is to recite this du’a which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to recite:
“Allahumma aslih li deeni alladhi huwa ‘ismatu amri, wa aslih li dunyaya allati fiha ma’ashi, wa aslih li akhirati allati ilayha ma’adi, waj’al al-hayata ziyadatan li fi kulli khayr, wa’l-mawta rahatan li min kulli sharr
(O Allah, correct my religious commitment which is the foundation of my life, and correct my worldly affairs in which is my livelihood, and grant me good in the Hereafter to which is my return. Make my life a means of accumulating good, and make death a respite for me from all evil).” (Narrated by Muslim, 2720).
May Allah make us all remember death, give us the Hidayah to prepare for it, May we spend our lives in a way that pleases our Lord and meet Him in a state that He is pleased with us. May Allah by His Mercy make us all Inhabitants of Jannah!