Indeed all praise is due to Allah; we praise Him, seek His help, and ask for His forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allah from the evil of ourselves and actions. Whoever Allah guides, none can mislead, but he whom He leads astray you will never find for him a protecting guide. I bear witness that none is worthy of worship except Allah, the First and the Last, the Evident and the Imminent, there is no deity but Him; He is well acquainted with everything. And I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger. May Allah’s peace and blessings be on Muhammad, his companions, and those who follow him in goodness until the Day of Judgment.
Be conscious of Allah O believers! Your Lord the Most High says: “O you who believe! Fear Allah (by doing all that He has ordered and by abstaining from all that He has forbidden) as He should be feared. [Obey Him, be thankful to Him, and Remember Him always], and die not except in a state of Islam (as Muslims) with complete submission to Allah.” [al-Imran: 102]. Allah instructed that you should have piety in your lives till you die. Piety does not have a term with which it ends except death.
O Allah! Make us amongst your pious servants, among your party of people that will achieve felicity and among your righteous friends.
Allah the Exalted says in His Wise revelation: “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: 185]. What a reality which many people have become unmindful of, “Everyone shall taste death.” Verily, death is tasted and for that reason Allah Almighty informed about its taste and that every soul shall taste it. Hence Allah the Exalted stated in more than one verse: ““Everyone shall taste death.”
Death is a creation from the creations of Allah Almighty. He created it as an opposite of life and with it ends trials and tribulations. Regarding this, Allah Almighty say: “Blessed is He in whose Hand is the Dominion, and He is Able to do all things. Who has created death and life, that He may test you which of you is best in deed.” [al-Mulk: 1-2].
Indeed it is a creation from Allah’s creations; He uses it to test people with different kinds of tests which require learning lessons from.
In his Sahih, Imam Ahmad narrates a hadith on the authority of Bara’ Ibn al-‘Azib (May Allah be pleased with him) who said that: We went out with the Messenger of Allah (peace be on him) accompanying the bier of a man of the Ansar. When we reached his grave, it was not yet dug. So the Messenger of Allah (peace be on him) sat down and we also sat down around him as if birds were over our heads. He had in his hand a stick with which he was scratching the ground.”
The companions (peace be upon them) were observing the Messenger of Allah (peace be on him) in this situation, a situation where morale and lessons are drawn when the living and dead gather at one position. One group become a lesson to the other. The greatness of this situation cannot be described or clarified except by a person with a live heart. The Messenger (peace be on him) saw how the pious predecessors took morale and lesson from such situation to which in that regard he said: “I had forbidden you to visit graves, but now you may visit them, It will remind you of the here-after.”
“So the Messenger of Allah (peace be on him) sat down and we also sat down around him as if birds were over our heads.” The Messenger of Allah (peace be on him), the pre-eminent among the sons of Adam sat among his companions in a gathering. Imagine for yourself. Reflect on that type of gathering and what was in it and; let it be as if you are listening even though you are not part of that gathering.
Bara’ says: “He had in his hand a stick with which he was scratching the ground. He then raised his head and said: Seek refuge with Allah from the punishment in the grave. He said it twice or thrice.” The Messenger of Allah (peace be on him) repeated this thrice to his companions whilst they were at a grave which was being dug for one of the companions.
The Messenger of Allah (peace be on him) then said: “Indeed if a servant of Allah is heading towards the hereafter and leaving the world...”
this is the moment of death when the soul reaches the throat: “Then why do you not (intervene) when (the soul of a dying person) reaches the throat? And you at the moment are looking on, but we are nearer to Him than you, but you see not.” [al-Waaqi’ah: 83-85]. This is the moment that was described by the Messenger of Allah (peace be on him) using the description: “Indeed if a servant of Allah is heading towards the hereafter and leaving the world...” thus the grave is the first stage of the hereafter.
In the following narration, the Messenger of Allah (peace be on him) says: “Angels came to him, their faces were like the sun and they sat at a furthest distance that could be seen by an eye then the angel of death came and sat by the Messenger’s forehead and said: o good soul, come out to Allah’s forgiveness and His good pleasure.”
While describing how the soul and body obey the instruction of the angel of death which takes out souls after being authorised to do so by Allah Almighty, the Messenger of Allah (peace be on him) says: “the soul of a good person will come out flowing with easiness like how drops of water flow from a water skin and the angel of death will take it. If it takes the soul, it will stay it in its hands for an instant then other angles will receive it and hurry with it as a way of respect and honour. They will then put it in a cloth and apply perfume on it. Verily the soul is shrouded and perfumed as how the body is shrouded and perfumed but the shrouding of a soul is done by angels not human beings.
The Messenger of Allah (peace be on him) said: “The soul comes out like the best fragrance of musk that is found on the face of the earth, then they go with it to heaven such that they will not pass by a gathering of angels unless they say: what is this good fragrance? The angles carrying it will respond: It is so and so and they will name him by his best names which he was called with on earth until they reach the next heaven then they will seek permission to enter the next heaven and it will be opened for them. The angles in that heaven will accompany it until it reaches the next heaven.” The angels will honour it, receive it and accompany it till it departs their heaven and enters in the next heaven. This will happen till it reaches the heaven where Allah, Lord of the universe is. There is none worthy of worship except Him, the Most Compassionate, The Most Merciful. “The Most Beneficent (Allah) rose over the (Mighty) Throne (in a manner that suits his Majesty).” [Ta-Ha:5]
He also says:“Do you feel secure that he, who is over the heaven (Allah).” [al-Mulk:16].
He is the Exalted, The Most High and The Most Great.
If the soul reaches that place, Allah Almighty will say: “write down the book of my servant in an Inscribed record and return it to earth because from it we created it and to it we will return it and from it we will bring it forth again.
The Messenger of Allah (peace be on him) who does not speak out of his own desire said: “His (the deceased person’s) spirit will be restored to his body, two angels will come to him, make him sit up and ask him: Who is your Lord? He will reply: My Lord is Allah. They will ask him: What is your religion? He will reply: My religion is Islam. They will ask him: What is your opinion about the man who was sent on a mission among you? He will reply: He is the Messenger of Allah (peace be on him). They will ask: Who made you aware of this? He will reply: I read Allah's Book, believed in it, and considered it true; then a crier will call from Heaven: My servant has spoken the truth, so spread a bed for him from Paradise, clothe him from Paradise, and open a door for him into Paradise. So some of its air and its perfume will come to him, and a space will be made for him as far as the eye can see.
The Messenger of Allah (peace be on him) went on to say: “A well dressed man smelling good will come to him and say: glad tidings to what has made you happy. This is your day which you were promised. He will say to that man: who are you; your face is a face of someone who comes with goodness. That man will respond: I am your good deeds.”
another hadith says: “The dead person is followed by three: His family, his wealth and his deeds. Then two of them come back: His family and his wealth, and there remain one.”Verily what remain are actions whether they were good or bad, they will be with you in the grave. This is what the Messenger of Allah (peace be on him) was referring to when he informed his companions about the state of a righteous person when he said: “Who are you; your face is a face of someone who comes with goodness. That man will respond: I am your good deeds, he (the deceased) will be excited and happy upon seeing Allah’s honour and favour such that he will say: O my Lord, commence the final hour (judgement), O my Lord, commence the final hour (judgement) so that I go back to my family and wealth.”
This is an idea of how big and critical the situation will be whereby young people’s hair will turn grey and honour and respect will be given to people of reason and understanding. Indeed this is a situation which will be witnessed by each one of us. Allah says in this respect: “Everyone shall taste the death. Then unto Us you shall be returned.” [al-‘Ankabut: 57].
Every one of us shall taste death and pass through this situation. If the situation is good then praise be to Allah, but if it is otherwise, the we seek refuge in Allah from disappointment and a person has no one to blame but himself.
While explaining the state of the wretched ones who disobeyed and belied their Lord and transgressed against their souls, the Messenger of Allah (peace be on him) who does not speak out of his own desire said: “When a disbelieving servant is about to leave this world for the hereafter, Angels with black faces will come to him from heaven together with a Friar and sit at a furthest distance that can be seen by an eye, then the angel of death will come and sit by his head and say: O evil soul, come out to the wrath and anger of Allah.” We seek refuge in Allah from disappointment. The Messenger of Allah (peace be on him) went on to say: “the soul will separate with the body in a state of uneasiness, anxiety and fear” but this will not avail it from death because Allah says: “Every soul shall taste death.” “The soul will separate from the body by being removed like how a skewer is removed from wet wool.” While carrying on with description of this state, the Messenger of Allah (peace be on him) says: “If it (the angel of death) takes the soul, it will stay it in its hands for an instant then pass it over to the Friar which will go with it like the smell of a corpse found on the face of the earth. The angels will take the soul to heaven and they will not pass by a group of Angels without saying: what is this bad smell. The angels carrying the soul will respond: this is so and so and they will mention the person with his worst names till they reach the first heaven, they will ask permission for it to enter but the heaven will not be opened for it, then the Messenger of Allah (peace be on him) read the verse: “Verily, those who belie Our proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc. and treat them with arrogance, for them the gates of heaven will not be opened, and they will not enter Paradise until the camel goes through the eye of the needle.” [al-A’raf: 40]. Meaning to say: if a camel enters through a needle’s hole, then they will enter paradise. And how is this possible?
Allah the Exalted will say: “Write his record in an inscribed record which is on the lowest earth, then his soul will be thrown heavily. The Messenger of Allah (peace be on him) then read: “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: 31], His spirit will be restored to his body, and two Angels will come and say: who is your Lord? As he was deprived of this answer in this world, he will fail to answer on that frightening and sorrowful moment. “He will say: Alas Alas” like a person who is trying to remember something that he has forgotten. “I do not know, it will be said to him: You did not understand and you did not follow those who had understanding.” This is how the Angels will respond to him. “They will then say: What do u say about this man who was sent on a mission among you? He will reply: Alas alas, I do not know. He forgot to make use of knowledge and deeds in the world so he will be deprived of knowledge in that situation.”
“A caller will call from the heavens: He has lied, so spread a bed for him from Hell, clothe him from Hell, and open for him a door into Hell. Then some of its heat and pestilential wind will come to him, and his grave will be compressed, so that his ribs will be crushed together. There will come a man with an ugly face, wearing ugly clothes and badly smelling and say: glad tidings to whatever is hurting you, this is your day which you were promised. Then he will say: who are you? Your face looks like a face of someone who comes with bad news. The ugly man will respond: I am your deeds. The person will say: O Lord! Do not start the hour (judgement).” He will be facing great humiliation and a severe sorrow.
O Allah! Save us from moments of shame, O the Mighty and Glorious. O Allah! Grant us forgiveness and favour us with Your mercy and enter us into paradise through the doors of the righteous ones, and add us to the group of Your pious servants, O Most Compassionate, Most Merciful. This I have said and I ask Allah to forgive myself and yourselves. He is indeed The Most Forgiving, The Most Merciful.
All praise is due to Allah, The One and Only, The One Who neither begets nor is He begotten, and there is nothing like unto Him. I bear witness that none is worthy of worship except Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger. May Allah’s peace and blessings be on him, his companions, and those who follow him in goodness until the Day of Judgment.
Fear Allah O servants of Allah and do some good acts for your souls. “Whosoever receives guidance, he does so for the good of his own self, and whosoever goes astray, he does so to his own loss.” [Yunus: 108].
In a Hadith Qudsi, Allah, Lord of the universe says: “O My servants, it is but your deeds that I account for you, and then recompense you for. So he who finds good, let him praise Allah, and he who finds other than that, let him blame no one but himself.”
Do good acts that will make you successful and happy in front of Allah the Exalted. Everyone shall meet his Creator. “O man! Verily, you are returning towards Your Lord with Your deeds and actions (good or bad), a sure returning, so you will meet Him.” [al-Inshiqaq: 6]. All of us shall meet the Lord of the universe except that some will meet Him rejoicing and happy and others will meet Him shattered and disappointed. We seek refuge in Allah from disappointment.
O servants of Allah! This world is a field in which people cultivate deeds. So do not be niggardly against your own soul because whoever is niggardly does so at the expense of his own soul. Do good deeds because there is so much omission and evil deeds. The Messenger of Allah (peace be on him) says: “All the sons of Adam are sinners, but the best of sinners are those who repent often.” So make sincere repentance to Allah and do good deeds as much as you can. There is no specification or limit when it comes to types of good deeds which can be done; Every utterance of Allah's Glorification (i.e., Subhan-Allah) is an act of charity, and every utterance of praise of Him (i.e., Al-hamdu lillah) is an act of charity, and every utterance of profession of Faith (i.e., La ilaha illallah) is an act of charity, and every utterance of His Greatness (i.e., Allahu Akbar) is an act of charity; and enjoining good is an act of charity and forbidding what is disreputable is an act of charity, helping your brother is an act of charity, your smiling in the face of your brother is an act of charity. The Messenger of Allah (peace be on him) said: “Protect yourself from Hell-fire even by giving a piece of date as charity.” How much goodness is in this piece of date? There is so much goodness except that Satan comes and prevents us from this goodness and lures us to do so much evil. He makes good deeds appear less important in our eyes and he makes major sins easy for us. We therefore get involved in different kinds of evil and distance ourselves from the doors of goodness. The Messenger of Allah (peace be on him) clarified the way for us and showed us everything that is good and righteous when he said: “Do not consider any act of goodness as being insignificant even if it is meeting your brother with a cheerful face.”
In this regard, shouldn’t the right of Allah on His Oneness and worshiping Him be the first thing that we must ask ourselves, then the right of Allah with regards to prayer which many people fail to make, then all the obligatory things that Allah has prescribed upon us. Ask yourself: where do you stand with regards to Allah’s rights upon you? Then hasten towards doing good deeds, you will find that your Lord gives many rewards for few good deeds. To this end, Allah says: “And whoever does evil or wrongs himself but afterwards seeks Allah’s forgiveness, he will find Allah OftForgiving, Most Merciful.” [al-Nisaa’:110].
Ibn Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him) said: “If a man commits evil that is bigger than the heaven and the earth then seek Allah’s forgiveness afterwards, he will find Allah OftForgiving, Most Merciful.”
O Allah! Forgive us, have mercy on us, absolve us and treat with us generosity and kindness. O Allah! We seek Your forgiveness for you are indeed the Most Forgiving, set right our deeds and make our good deeds easy and makes us do what pleases you O Lord of the heavens and earth. Allah! Keep us safe in our lands and reform our leaders and rulers, and give us rulers who fear You and follow what pleases You. O Allah! Grant us guidance and protect us from the evil of our own souls.
O Allah! Bless Muhammad and his family as you blessed Ibrahim and his family; You are indeed worthy of praise, full of glory.