“Verily, those who say: Our Lord is Allah (Alone), and then they Istaqamu, on them the angels will descend (at the time of their death) (saying): Fear not, nor grieve! But receive the glad tidings of Paradise which you have been promised! We have been your friends in the life of this world and are (so) in the hereafter. Therein you shall have (all) that your inner-selves desire, and therein you shall have (all) for which you ask for. An entertainment from (Allah), the Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Fussilat 41:30-32)
To believe in Allah (swt) is not enough. What is more important is to remain upon that belief until the last day, until you breathe your last. Istiqamah!
Allah (swt) is motivating us in this Ayah by telling us about what will happen at the moment of death to “those who say: Our Lord is Allah (Alone)” and then remain steadfast. Death is the most critical, scariest moment of anyone’s life, as even the Prophet (sa) described it saying: “Inna lil-Mauti La-Sakaraat” (“Indeed, death has got some agony”). Death is not easy; it’s a Museebah – a trial.
At this very critical moment, Allah (swt) will send his angels upon you telling you: “Are you scared of death?” The angels will tell you: don’t be scared and don’t be sad, because you are going to meet Allah (swt)! How could you be sad? Isn’t this what you want, to be in Jannah? Receive the good news of Jannah, which you were promised by Allah (swt) in this Duniya! How many pages have we read in the Quran describing Jannah for those who are Muttaqi, for those who are righteous, for those who fear Allah (swt), for those who know, who are aware that whether we are in public or in secret, Allah (swt) is watching us and giving commands to the angels to write down every single thing that we do. How could you sin? How could you do something Haram when you know that Allah (swt) and his angels are watching you?
So these are the criteria: belief and Istiqamah. The angels will comfort you at the moment of death: don’t be scared, don’t be sad, and receive the good news of Jannah, which you were promised. Not only that – these angels will tell you: “We are your supporters in this world and in the next.” When you get to Jannah, Insha’Allah, you will have whatever you wish for and whatever you ask for. Allahu Akbar! Istiqamah is what we need. I believe that there will be no revival for this Ummah without the manner of Istiqamah. That is why in every Rakah, when we read Surah Al-Fatihah, we say: “Ihdinas Siratal-Mustaqeem” – guide us, show us, take us to the straight path, and keep us upon the straight path.
Transcribed for Hiba by Sarah Saqib Teli.