Living to Die or Dying to Live
Death is a harsh and fearful reality faced by everyone who lives. No one has the power to avoid it, nor does anyone around a dying person have the ability to prevent it. It is something that happens every moment and is something encountered by the young and the old, the rich and the poor, the strong and the weak. They are all the same in that they have no plan, nor any means of escaping it, no means of intercession, no way to prevent it, nor to delay it.
Allâh – the Most High – says:“Say: Indeed, the death from which you flee will surely meet you, then you will be sent back to Allâh, the All-Knower of the unseen and the seen. And He will then tell you what you used to do.” [Sûrah al-Jumu’ah 62:8]
“Every soul shall taste death. And We shall make a trial of you with evil and with good, and to Us will you be returned.” [Sûrah al-Anbiyâ 21:34-35].
Indeed it is death which causes fear in the souls, and with it one’s actions are sealed, and what comes after is even more fearful and fear-inducing. For is there a place one can flee to in order to escape from the constrictions suffered in the grave? What will our reply be when we are questioned in the grave? Indeed, not a single one of us knows where we will end up. Will it be Paradise whose width is like the heavens and the earth, or shall it be the Fire whose fuel is of men and stones?
Ibrâhîm ibn Adham said, when he was asked about the verse: “Call upon Me and I will respond to you.” [Sûrah Ghâfir 40:60] They said: We call upon Allâh, but He does nor respond to us. So he said:
“You know Allâh; yet you do not obey Him.
You recite the Qur’ân; yet you do not act according to it.
You know Shaytân; yet you continue agreeing with him.
You claim to love Allâh’s Messenger(Sallallaahu Alaihi Wasallam); yet you abandon his Sunnah (guidance and way).
You claim to love Paradise, yet you do not work for it.
You claim to fear the Fire; yet you do not stop sinning.
You say, Indeed death is true; yet you have not prepared for it.
You busy yourselves with the faults of others; yet you do not look at your own faults.
You eat the sustenance that Allâh provides for you; yet you are not grateful to Him and
You bury your dead; yet you have not heeded its lesson.” [Khushû’ fis-Salâh, Ibn Rajab]
So this – O noble reader – is the reality which must be firmly established in one’s heart; the reality that life in this world is limited and has an appointed end, and that this end will surely come …
The righteous will die; And the wicked will die. The warriors who fight jihâd will die; And those who sit at home will die. Those who busy themselves with correct beliefs will die; And those who treat people as their slaves will die. The brave who reject injustice will die; And the cowards who seek to cling to this vile life will die. The people of lofty-goals and ambitions will die; And the wretched who live for cheap enjoyment will die.
“Every soul shall taste death.” [Âl-‘Imrân 3:185].
So keep in mind the point of death, and of one’s passing on to the next life, and the number of sins that one has committed and the small amount of good that one has done. Think of the good that you would earnestly like to do at that time – then bring that forward and do it today. And think of all those things which you would desire to clear yourself of- then clear yourself from them now.
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