Retrospection: Death is Inevitable (Part 2)

kum-saati1It is human nature (more specific in women) that they dwell in their past, hold grudges, taunt and are sarcastic about the times that have been wronged by others; they chase luxuries, hoard wealth, and the list goes on. As much we remember all this, we must remember our death, too. Death is inevitable. We all will face it sooner or later.

“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).” (Al-Imran 3:185)

She was laid in her grave. I was more worried about what she will be facing. It is said that the grave clenches itself for the wrongdoers and spaces up itself for the righteous. It is not for us to judge, whether a person has been good or bad – Allah (swt) is the Supreme Authority, Who will decide, and His judgement would be fair. We still have time to retrospect about our own selves than to pinpoint others. Who knows whether we are going to live for the very second minute? It aches to even assume that one day it will be my own parents, my siblings, my offspring, and my spouse. Do I really love them when I claim so? Will I be able to see them burning in hellfire? Will I be able to bear the endless pain of hell?

We still have time to retrospect about our own selves than to pinpoint others. Who knows whether we are going to live for the very second minute?

“That is the recompense of the enemies of Allah: The Fire therein will be for them the eternal home, a (deserving) recompense for that they used to deny Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.).” (Fussilat 41:28)

Nouman Ali Khan explains it very nicely that we get immune to constant pains at some point in this world and then we don’t feel the intensity. But in the later world, we will not get immune. We will feel the intensity the same way we felt it for the first time. Our body will not get used to it. It will be as severe and as fresh, as it was the first time we experienced it. The torment will be eternal, hence, no escape.

Am I striving to lead a righteous life? Am I contributing or trying to protect my loved ones from going astray? Am I prepared to meet my Lord? Am I bringing up my children to be happy and content to face their Lord? Why are we afraid of death? It is not because we fear losing our loved ones. It is because of the underlying fear that we ourselves have – the fear to meet our Lord, to face His wrath, to see our bad deeds leading us to hell (Astaghfirullah), to imagine ourselves alone in our dark, gloomy graves, where we will be stung by scorpions and snakes. We are aware of all this. The Quran warns us so many times, if we go through it, but we do not have time to open it and to read it, to comprehend it or to implement it. I am among those, too. We are aware, yet we are letting ourselves fall for the petty things. We know we will be questioned about our prayers, yet we are not offering any or delaying them. We associate others with Allah (swt) by believing in amulets (Taweez), going to shrines and making vows; believing that it is the doctor or red chilies that will cure the ill ones amongst us, when Allah (swt) is the One in authority to give health and recovery; doctors are just a medium.

“Hunafa’ Lillah (i.e. to worship none but Allah), not associating partners (in worship, etc.) unto Him and whoever assigns partners to Allah, it is as if he had fallen from the sky, and the birds had snatched him, or the wind had thrown him to a far off place.” (Al-Hajj 22:31)

“After the soul becomes in the hands of the Angel of death (Azrael – Izraeel) the other present angels take the soul and prepare it in a coffin with good fragrance of musk or the worst odor(depending on one’s deeds) and take it up on a trip across the Seven Heavens towards Allah. In the case of the soul of the person with Faith in Allah the angels in each Heaven welcome it and know it is a good soul because of its beautiful smell that has come from towards earth. But in the case of a disbelieving person, the gates of each Heaven will not easily open for it and the angels will point to its bad odor. Until the soul reaches the Seventh Heaven and Allah knows what type of person he was and Allah commands his record to be written in “Illiyeen” (in the highest place) or Sijjeen (in the lowest earth). Then Allah will command to take it back to earth. So the angels gently return back the believing person’s soul to his body. As for the unbelieving person’s soul, the angels throw it from the Heaven to go back to its body.” (Tafseer ibn Katheer)

We must pray for our deceased ones and give charity on their behalf. We must also work for our eternal abode ahead. Death is not an end but a newfangled beginning. We are going back to our home where our parents (Adam and Hawwa) were – that is Jannah. It is a moment of rejoice, if we have done well for the life hereafter.

Pray Before You are Prayed Upon

last dayAnd the day draws to an end…

I think of how my life would change if I found out that this is the last month of my life. A state of perfection cannot be achieved in such a short time. Thus, I would prefer to live a life without regrets of not fulfilling my duties to my Lord, to the people and to myself. As Muslims, we know that this life will end and we will be answerable for every word we speak, every action we do and every prayer we may recite.

However, if I know the end is near, I will lose interest in going to places, stop eating frantically or stocking up whatever possible for family. Rather, I’ll try to be more content with what I have, treasure the people in my life and ask for their forgiveness, finish my incomplete prayers and finally, prepare for the ultimate journey by repenting to the Almighty.

I would leave a will for my children and mentees, taking inspiration from the ten precious advices Luqman (as) the wise, offered his son. Allah (swt) liked them so much that he honoured them to be a part of the Quran. We as Muslim parents should communicate this valuable advice to our children, family, and members of society. There cannot be a better legacy to leave for one’s mentees and children.

Moreover, if we follow and implement this advice, then Insha’Allah we all will be on the straight path leading to Paradise.

Try doing this exercise yourself!

This short and thought provoking exercise influences our entire way of living. It makes us reflect on how ready we are to present ourselves to Allah (swt)! Amazingly, the more I think, the more I tend to realize that nothing can be more important than asking for forgiveness when we know that the day is soon coming to an end. Is not repentance and humility what we were sent here for? Aren’t we astray from the right path and disillusioned/distracted by the worldly charms?

May Allah (swt) forgive us and guide us towards His path. Ameen