أَكْثِرُوا ذِكْرَ هَاذِمِ اللَّذَّاتِ يَعْنِي الْمَوْتَ

“Increase the remembrance of that which destroys all desires – Death”

(Al Tirmidhi 2229)

Indeed death is worthy of remembrance. Unlike status, wealth and health, death is certain for every soul. It marks the move from the fleeting life of this world to the ever-lasting world of the hereafter. Allah سبحانه وتعالى says,

كُلُّ نَفْسٍ ذَآئِقَةُ الْمَوْتِ وَإِنَّمَا تُوَفَّوْنَ أُجُورَكُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَـمَةِ فَمَن زُحْزِحَ عَنِ النَّارِ وَأُدْخِلَ الْجَنَّةَ فَقَدْ فَازَ وَما الْحَيَوةُ الدُّنْيَا إِلاَّ مَتَـعُ الْغُرُورِ

“Everyone shall taste death. And only on the Day of Resurrection shall you be paid your wages in full. And whoever is moved away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise, he indeed is successful. The life of this world is only the enjoyment of deception.”

(Aali-Imran, 3:185)

Moreover, there is no cheating Death, escaping death or delaying it. Every soul will die at a time known to Allah سبحانه وتعالى. Allah سبحانه وتعالى says,

إِذَا جَآءَ أَجَلُهُمْ فَلاَ يَسْتَأْخِرُونَ سَاعَةً وَلاَ يَسْتَقْدِمُونَ

“When their term comes, then they can’t put it off an hour, not hasten (it).”

(Yunus, 10:49)

And He سبحانه وتعالى says,

وَمَا كَانَ لِنَفْسٍ أَنْ تَمُوتَ إِلاَّ بِإِذْنِ الله كِتَـباً مُّؤَجَّلاً

“No soul can ever die except by Allah’s leave and at a term appointed.”

(Al-Imran, 3:145)

Thus is Death. It is certain and terminates this life. It occurs at a time that is known only to Allah سبحانه وتعالى. So how is one to be regarding an impending and unannounced arrival? Moreover, an arrival that can seize us from any moment that we are born! The wise one is the one who is always prepared for its arrival, by performing the good actions and abstaining from evil and woe to the feeble one who meets it with regret. RasulAllah صلى الله عليه وسلم,

«الْكَيِّسُ مَنْ دَانَ نَفْسَهُ وَعَمِلَ لِمَا بَعْدَ الْمَوْتِ وَالْعَاجِزُ مَنْ أَتْبَعَ نَفْسَهُ هَوَاهَا وَتَمَنَّى عَلَى اللَّهِ»

“The wise one is he who disciplined himself and worked for what is after death, and the feeble one is he who followed his desires, then made (vain) prayers to Allah”. (Tirmidhi 2383)

Woe to the feeble one who upon seeing death will seek to repent or return. Allah سبحانه وتعالى says,

وَلَيْسَتِ التَّوْبَةُ لِلَّذِينَ يَعْمَلُونَ السَّيِّئَـتِ حَتَّى إِذَا حَضَرَ أَحَدَهُمُ الْمَوْتُ قَالَ إِنِّى تُبْتُ الاٌّنَ وَلاَ الَّذِينَ يَمُوتُونَ وَهُمْ كُفَّارٌ أُوْلَـئِكَ أَعْتَدْنَا لَهُمْ عَذَاباً أَلِيماً

“Of no effect is the repentance of those who continue to do evil deeds, until death faces one of them, and he says: ‘Now I repent’ nor of those who die while they are disbelievers. For them have we prepared a painful torment”

(An-Nisa 4:18)

And Allah سبحانه وتعالى says,

حَتَّى إِذَا جَآءَ أَحَدَهُمُ الْمَوْتُ قَالَ رَبِّ ارْجِعُونِ – لَعَلِّى أَعْمَلُ صَـلِحاً فِيمَا تَرَكْتُ كَلاَّ إِنَّهَا كَلِمَةٌ هُوَ قَآئِلُهَا وَمِن وَرَآئِهِمْ بَرْزَخٌ إِلَى يَوْمِ يُبْعَثُونَ

“Until, when death comes to one of them, he says: “My Lord! Send me back, – So that I may do good in that which I have left behind!” No! (Kalla) It is but a word that he speaks; and in front of them is Barzakh until the Day when they will be resurrected.”

(Al-Mu’minun, 23:99-100)

Woe to the feeble one for the word Kalla (No!) is a word that is used as a rebuke and the meaning is: “No, We will not respond to what he asks for and We will not accept it from him.” Thus we hear of Al-Rabee’ b. Khaytham who had dug a grave in his house, so that if he found hardness within his heart, he would enter it and lay down for as long as Allah wished and read from these ayaat:

رَبِّ ارْجِعُونِ – لَعَلِّى أَعْمَلُ صَـلِحاً فِيمَا تَرَكْتُ

“O my Lord! Send me back (to life) in order that I may work righteousness in the things I neglected”

repeating it, then he would reply to himself saying: “Oh, Rabee’, here, you have been returned, so work.”

It is known that our time in Barzakh will continue, ending only when we are summoned for Judgment, on the Day of Judgment. Thus, once in the Barzakh there is no return to this life, only forward to Judgment. Mujahid said, Al-Barzakh is a barrier between this world and the Hereafter. Muhammad bin Ka’b said, “Al-Barzakh is what is between this world and the Hereafter, neither they are the people of this world, eating and drinking, nor are they with the people of the Hereafter, being rewarded or punished for their deeds.” Thus it is a place where there is no deed that can be performed, let alone save from the Judgment which heralds punishment or reward. So, when a man asks, when will the Day of Judgment come for me, personally, as a man, let him consider that as soon as he dies, it is time for his Judgment.

Thus the wise one is the one who heeds this certainty and works for it every waking moment of every day. He is the one who is aware of the wisest of us all and the best of us all, RasulAllah صلى الله عليه وسلم, for صلى الله عليه وسلم was always deeply aware and prepared for death. Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq (ra) once said to him صلى الله عليه وسلم: “Your hair has become grey, O Messenger of Allah.” So he صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

«شَيَّبَتْنِي هُودٌ وَالْوَاقِعَةُ وَالْمُرْسَلَاتُ وَعَمَّ يَتَسَاءَلُونَ وَإِذَا الشَّمْسُ كُوِّرَت»

“[Surah] Hud and its sisters have made my hair grey: Al-Waqi’a, ‘Amma Yatasaa’alun and Itha Al-Shamsu Kuwwirat.” (Tirmidhi 3219)

And it was narrated by Ibn Najjar, of Ibn ‘Umar that the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم overheard a reader reading,

إِنَّ لَدَيْنَآ أَنكَالاً وَجَحِيماً

“With Us are Fetters (to bind them), and a Fire (to burn them)”

(Al-Muzammil 73:12)

and he صلى الله عليه وسلم fainted. So aware were the Companions of death. Not only was he صلى الله عليه وسلم aware and prepared, he صلى الله عليه وسلم called upon us to be aware of death and prepared of it. This is why the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم stressed the remembrance of death and to prepare for it, as he stressed the visiting of graves and praying for peace upon them, as it is the best admonition and the best of reminders. Abi Tharr (ra) said The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

«زُورُوا الْقُبُورَ فَإِنَّهَا تُذَكِّرُكُمْ الْآخِرَةَ»

“Visit the graves, as it will be a reminder of the Akhirah” (Ibn Majah 1558)

The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said,

«أَكْثِرُوا ذِكْرَ هادم اللَّذَّاتِ يَعْنِي الْمَوْتَ»

“Increase the remembrance of that which destroys all desires” (Al Tirmidhi 2229).

So let us all today be mindful and take heed. Let us consider the terminator of life’s pleasure and let us be prepared. Let us strive and let us not waste a moment seeking the pleasure of Allah سبحانه وتعالى. Let us strive to know of all the obligations and fulfill them. Let us take care to be aware of the prohibitions and abstain from them. Let us work to establish Islam in our individual lives as well as the collective life of this Ummah, as a Khilafah, implementing Islam, protecting it and spreading its light to all of humankind.

Written for the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir by

Musab Umair – Pakistan

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