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Sunday, 10 June 2012

Our Death Is No Novelty: How Prepared Are We?

I picked up my pen with an unusual reality pain in my heart which flows through my thought to remind myself first and then you of the inevitable journey that lies ahead of us. There isn't such a soul regardless of color, creed, background and nationality but it's travelling to that one ultimate destination; the hereafter, and the connecting flight is undoubtedly death with an inevitable stop over at the grave.

Allaah (swt) in His inimitable style issues a general and an all encompassing statement in an unequivocal terms in the third chapter of the Glorious Qur'an (Surah Al-Imran verse 185) that; "Every soul 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)." I can conveniently say that the above verse echoes deep into the recesses of our hearts due to its familiarity but sadly has its reality provoke any change in us?

The world we live in today has turned into a glorified graveyard for one and all. We have opened up our eyes to that era in which the Prophet (Pbuh) said; "Time will pass rapidly, good deeds will decrease, miserliness will be thrown (in the hearts of the people), afflictions will appear and there will be much Al-Harj. 'They said; 'O Allah's Apostle! What is "Al-Harj?" He said, "Killing! Killing!" (Sahihul Bukhari; volume 9, Book 88, Number 183).

We are a living  reality of this prophesy of the last Messenger of Allah (Azza wajal), a reason good enough for others to embrace Islam because the accuracy of this prophesy fits us just like hands in a glove. Where lies the solution? Where lies it not?

Death is a living reality, a silent adviser and a hero that cuts off pleasures. In Tirmidhi shareef, on the strength of Abu-Hurayrah (RA), the Messenger of Allah (Pbuh) said; "Remember frequently the thing that cuts off pleasure, 'I.e. death'". Brothers and sisters in Islam, to think that we are going to live to see the sun rising tomorrow is the highest level of delusional comfort. Death is hovering above us and it takes a fool to consciously choose to remain oblivious of this fact.

Everyday I flip through the pages of our dailies, listen to discussions in the gatherings of both the young and the old, the poor and the rich, the leaders and the led and to my greatest amazement, nay a spiritual shock, majority of people seem to be focusing  their intellect, wealth, health and free time wholeheartedly on trivial worldly things; who's winning, who's loosing, what's the latest technology available, how and when to become this and these has left a clear vacuum of talks on self encouragement towards attaining the highest pleasure of Allaah. We are not calling for the extreme view of abandoning worldly life, Allaah asks us not to forget our share of the wealth of this world but not at the detriment of our hereafter.

Does it really matter if one achieves his material objectives; wealth, affluence, academic excellence, power, authority, fame and fortune but is totally oblivious of Allaah and how to discharge his duties to Him? Does death gives a preferential treatment to people base on their worldly achievements or their spiritual achievements? Qur'an and hadith have shown us that pious people are treated specially when the angels extract their souls not people steeped in materialism.

Allaah says; "O you who believe! Fear Allaah and keep your duty to Him. And let every soul look to what he has sent forth for the morrow (hereafter) and fear Allaah. Verily, Allaah is well-acquainted with what you do." Surah 59. A-Hashr; verse 18.

Have we really ever sat ourselves down to do justice to our thought pattern by guiding it through the path of death? Ever thought of that certain Day when the angel of death will appear to us in whatever condition he finds us in, either in luxury or pain and within splits of a second a recap of our years will flash through our minds? The good, the bad and the ugly moments? The moments of obedience and the moments of disobedience; the salat we abandoned and the salat we performed with a lazy attitude, the Qur'an we abandoned; the illegitimate wealth we amassed, the zina we committed; the usury we indulged in; the nudity we displayed; the alcohol we consumed; the time we wasted and the Islam we never took serious beyond words.

That time is coming when you and I will be no more. The Prophet (Pbuh) used to say; "In the evening, do not anticipate the morning, and in the morning do not anticipate the evening. Take from your health for your illness and from your life for your death." This was reported by Ibn Umar (RA) and authenticated by Imam Al-Bukhari.

There couldn't have been a more striking reality than the above hadith. Many that died had many plans they wanted to execute, had people waiting for their calls, but as it is with death; it comes ALL OF A SUDDEN.

And Allaah says; "When their specified time arrives, they cannot delay it for a single hour nor can they bring it forth." Surah 16. An-Nahl verse 61. 
Our life expectancy now averages 12hours due to the high level of insecurity and uncertainties in our societies; hence we should now be more inclined to those things that please Allaah more than ever. It's high time we re-wired our goals and objectives in life. We are here to worship Allaah, so it's only wise for us to think, say, act and advocate for good in the light of Qur'an and Sunnah (as was authenticated by our pious predecessors) with the sole aim of Allaah's pleasure.

Let it not be that death finds us in clubs, pubs, brothels, casinos, when signing that haram deal, nay in any act of disobedience but rather let's live a life of total submission to the Will of Allaah so that we die hopefully in the state of Eeman. Strive not to be among the people who's image Allaah painted thus;

"Until death comes to one of them, he says, 'My Lord, send me back again. So that perhaps, I may act rightly regarding the things I failed to do!." Surah 23. Al-Mu'minun verses 99-100

The time to act rightly is now, nobody dies while he anticipated it. Death has an amazing feature of being 'Just Sudden'. So prepare for the sudden occurrence by engaging in righteous deeds which comes second to true Tauheed in the Oneness of Allaah.

May my Kind Allaah grant us an enviable death, make grave our resting place and privilege us with a favorable decision in Akhir which makes us inheritors of Jannatul Firdaus.

Written by Abdullah Musa Abdul:  penabdul@yahoo.com  twitter: @amraabdul