Bismillahi Wal Hamdullillah Was Salātu Was Salaamu ‘Alaa rasoolillahi
Ammā Ba’d: (In the name of Allah سبحانه وتعالى and blessings upon the messenger ﷺ )
Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Jibreel came to me and said: O Muhammad! Live as you want for you must certainly die; love whom you will since you must certainly leave him; act as you want since you shall certainly be given due reward for it; know that the believers eminence is his standing in prayer during the night, and his honour is having sufficiency without dependency upon the people” (Classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 73, narrated by Al-Haakim)
Most of us shy away from the topic of death but truth be told, it is a reality that believers should be constantly reminded of. While focusing on the adornments of this world which is not bad, some tend to ignore what is most important which is the meeting of our Lord. What good is focusing solely on one’s career, building mansions, buying fancy cars when there will come a day when you will leave all that behind? We all need to survive but what is the point of being a slave for the dunya and forgetting the akhirah? No one will be buried with their possessions, no amount of money in the bank can save one from dying, No matter how much our dear ones love us, they will not be able to prevent death from occurring or extending one’s life on earth. Sometimes we feel helpless that there wasn’t anything that we could do to save our dear ones from dying for indeed death has been stipulated for each and every one of us and when the most mighty (Al Azeez) decrees, it is not for us to bargain for an extension of time.
“Whatsoever is on it (the earth) will perish.
And the Face of your Lord full of Majesty and Honour will remain forever”
There is no age limit when it comes to death. It will reach all of us. Be it the rich, the poor, the strongest amongst us, the weakest, the healthiest, the old or the young. Each and every single one of us has lost a dear one and there will come a day also when we will no longer be here on earth. The life of a believer is short. It is a harsh reality which we all will face.
The Messenger of Allah said:
“Remember much, that which cuts off pleasure: Death, since no-one remembers it in times of difficulty, except that things are made easy for him, nor mentions it at times of ease, except that the affairs become constricted for him.” Saheehul-Jaami’us Sagheer, no 1222
The death which we flee from shall certainly meet us and we shall be returned to the One Who knows the unseen Who shall inform us of that which we used to do. There is no means of escaping it or preventing it.
Every soul will taste death, and you will only be given your [full] compensation on the Day of Resurrection. So he who is drawn away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise has attained [his desire]. And what is the life of this world except the enjoyment of delusion. Surah Al-Imran 3:185
This reality is something everyone will meet. Even death itself shall meet death.⚡️
It was narrated that Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Death will be brought forth in the form of a black and white speckled ram, and a caller will cry out, ‘O people of Paradise!’ They will crane their necks and look, and he will say, ‘Do you recognize this?’ They will say, ‘Yes, it is death,’ and all of them will have seen it. Then he will cry out, ‘O people of Hell!’ They will crane their necks and look, and he will say, ‘Do you recognize this?’ They will say, ‘Yes, it is death,’ and all of them will have seen it. Then the ram will be slaughtered, and he (the caller) will say, ‘O people of Paradise, it is eternal and there will be no death; O people of Hell, it is eternal and there will be no death.’” Then he recited (interpretation of the meaning): “And warn them (O Muhammad) of the Day of grief and regrets, when the case has been decided, while (now) they are in a state of carelessness, and they believe not” [Maryam 19:39] Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 4453; Muslim, 2849
Dealing with death of a dear one is hard. It is normal to grieve when we lose a dear one. People deal with things differently and with death, you can never prepare yourself on how to cope mainly because no one knows when they will die and most often, news of the passing of a relative, friend or even just anyone you used to see walking past your office or masjid everyday, comes as a shock especially when the death is sudden.
The prophet ﷺ grieved when he lost his uncle Abu Talib and his wife Khadijah. In fact, the year he lost both of them is known as the year of sorrow. It is permitted to cry and mourn over the dead but wailing in Islam, is considered to be part of the practice of the people from the days of ignorance.
It has been established in saheeh Muslim that the Messenger of Allah said:
“There are four things from the affair of the days of ignorance that my nation will not abandon; boasting about one’s status, criticizing people’s lineage, seeking rain from the stars, and wailing over the dead. And if the wailing woman does not repent before she dies, she will be made to stand on the Day of Judgment wearing a garment of tar and a mangy coat of armor.”
It has also been authentically established in the Saheehayn that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:
“Indeed the deceased will be tortured for those who wail over him.”
This narration is understood to apply to the one for whom this wailing has become customary and indeed he is tortured because of it. Alternatively, if he did not teach his family because indeed Allah says:
“O you who believe! Protect yourselves and your families a Fire whose fuel is people and stones.” [Soorah at-Tahreem 66:6]
If not then Allah the Mighty and Majestic says:
“And none shall be made to bear the burden of another.” [Soorah al-An’aam 6: 164]
In an explanation given by Shaykh al Albaani, he stated:” this hadith only applies to a deceased person who knew during the course of his life that his family would commit oppositions to the Religion after his death and did not advise them. Nor he did direct them to not cry over him since this crying would serve as a means for his being punished in the grave.”
Wailing over the dead is from the major sins, however, if the crying occurs with a voice which is soft and subtle, then there is no harm in this. For indeed, the Prophet (peace be upon him) wept when his son Ibraaheem passed away and he said:
“Indeed the eyes shed and the heart grieves but we will not say anything except that which pleases our Lord. Certainly, O Ibraaheem, with your departure we are grieved.”
It is narrated that ‘Uthmān b. ʿAffān – Allāh be pleased with him – said in a sermon:
Son of Adam! Know that the angel of death who has been assigned to you has not ceased to pass you and move on to others, ever since you have been in this world. But it is as if he is about to pass someone else and move on to target you, so be careful and prepare for him (by correcting your deeds). And do not forget him, for he does not forget you. And know o son of Adam, if you are heedless about yourself and do not prepare, no one else will prepare for you. You must meet Allah the Mighty and Majestic, so take for yourself and do not leave it to someone else. Peace be on you. Abū Bakr Al-Daynūrî, Al-Mujālasah wa Jawāhir Al-ʿIlm 2: 73, 74.
Brothers and Sisters, death is haqq and it awaits each and every one of us. The topic usually brings fear which is very normal to individuals simply because no one knows the unseen however, the dying person is encouraged to have hope and not despair following this hadith:
Jābir ( رضي الله عنه) said: Three days before he died, I heard the prophet (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم ) say
« لاَ يَمُوتَنَّ أَحَدُكُمْ إِلاَّ وَهُوَ يُحْسِنُ الظَّنَّ بِاللَّهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ »  None of you should die except while he is having good thoughts about Allah(عزّ وجلّ)
This hadith was explained by al-Nawawī’s explanation of Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim in which it was said, ‘’Regarding the statement of the prophet » None of you should die except while he is having good thoughts about Allah « scholars have said that this is a warning against losing hope and despairing (of Allah’s mercy) and an encouragement to have hope especially at the time of death. Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) also said in the previous ḥadīth » “I am as my servant thinks of Me.” « and (considering both ḥadīth) scholars explain that » having good thoughts about Allah « means that an individual should expect Allah to have mercy on him and pardon him.
This is also indicated by the hadeeth narrated by al-Bukhaari and ; Muslim
Mother of the Believers ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) who said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever loves to meet Allaah, Allaah loves to meet him, and whoever hates to meet Allaah, Allaah hates to meet him.” I said, “O Prophet of Allaah, do you mean hating death, for all of us hate death?” He said, “It is not like that; but when the believer is given the glad tidings of the mercy and pleasure of Allaah, and His Paradise, he loves to meet Allaah, And when the kaafir is given the tidings of the wrath and punishment of Allaah, he hates to meet Allaah and Allaah hates to meet him.”
Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: What this hadeeth means is that the love and hate that are referred to here are those that happen when one enters the stage in which repentance is not accepted, where the dying person is told of his situation and he is shown his destiny.
There are many signs which speak of a good ending of a person and just to mention them briefly:
- Uttering the shaahadah (testimony of faith) when dying
- Dying with sweat on the forehead
- Dying on the night or day of Friday
- Dying as a fighter for the sake of Allaah
- Dying of the plague
- Dying of a stomach disease
- Dying because of being crushed by a falling wall or by drowning
- If a woman dies as a result of childbirth, or when she is pregnant.
- Death caused by burning, pleurisy and tuberculosis
- Dying to defend one’s religion, one’s wealth or one’s life
- Dying guarding the borders of Islam for the sake of Allaah
- One of the signs of a good end is dying whilst doing a righteous deed
You can have a read of each of the bullet points here and it’s evidence insha Allah.
As none of us know how and when we will depart from this world, it is important for us to focus on our ending. Thinking of the state we will depart this world is of paramount importance. Ask yourself this question. ” If I were to die in the state I am in now, will my Creator be pleased with me?”
Let us remind ourselves of death often, we should supplicate to Allah سبحانه وتعالى and strive to have a good ending seeking the pleasure of Allah سبحانه وتعالى . However, making dua for a good ending comes with striving in doing good. We don’t make dua and sit down expecting change. We use our capacity to work hard towards achieving what we want and together with the dua, we hope for excellent results.
Let us rectify our conditions and try our best to put an end to the bad habits we engage in. Each and every single one of us is a sinner. Either we commit it in secret or out in the open, we still are sinners but our Lord is the most merciful. That being said, some of us can be too relaxed and quick to say Allah sees what lies in the heart and it is what is important and the He is the most merciful but have we forgotten also that He is shadid al iqab? “The most severe in punishment”?
Yes, Allah سبحانه وتعالى sees what lies in the heart meaning He knows our intentions. A person can’t be a judge for himself on if they are a good person based on how clean they think their heart is. Actions are but their intentions. We can’t rely on how good of a person we think we might be forgetting that we have to submit to our Creator. We shouldn’t leave out performing our 5 daily salaah, fasting in the month of Ramadan, giving out zakaah or rejecting anything that the messenger ﷺ brought which are all things He has ordained us to perform and should thus be done in the manner He has legislated.
Let us hasten to do righteous deeds in this world now that we have the opportunity to change. Do not wait before it is too late for it is only a short time before we will move to the realm of eternity, either to Paradise whose delights will never end or to Hell whose heat is eternal.
Let us not procrastinate to make tawbah or enjoin in doing good. It is part of the tricks of shaitan. If you are struggling to meet the conditions of hijab as commanded by Allah سبحانه وتعالى , engaging in backbiting, adultery, fornication, drinking or any other sin one might be engaged in and knows to be haraam in Islam, try and make a change.
Just ask yourself one more time, if I were to die in this state, will I enter jannah? Will my Lord be pleased with me?
O son of Adam, are you satisfied with your deeds? Have you ever thought of how your first night in the grave will be like? How are we trying to improve on ourselves? How much of the sunnah of our prophet are we clinging onto?
The believer should be concerned and make their priority to die upon sunnah. Dying upon sunnah is goodness. We should all observe our relations on being upon the sunnah and striving and clinging to be upon it. There is no success except clinging upon the path of the sunnah . The person upon sunnah, let him give the glad tidings of goodness as stated:
Anas ibn Maalik (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) 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; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, 1334.
al-Fudayl Ibn Iyaad (Rahimahullaah) said: “Glad tidings for one who died upon Islam and the Sunnah – and if that is the case then let one say much : As Allah wills (Maa Shaa Allah).”
May Allah grant us all a good ending and make us people of Jannah for indeed, we all belong to Him and to Him we shall all return.
WasSallallahu ‘alā Nabiyinā Muhammad. Your Sister in Islam (Umm Yusuf / Mina)
picture credit: my sister Abbie..
Naṣīḥatī li-Nisā’ (My Advice to the Women) by Umm ʿAbdillāh al-Wādiʿīyyah, the daughter of the late Imām, Al-ʿAllāmah Muqbil ibn Hādi al-Wādiʿī – raḥimahullāh My advice to the Women. By umm’Abdillah al Waadi’yyah