Every Soul Shall Test Death: a Tribute to Dan Masanin Kano, By Murtadha Gusau
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious and the Bestower of Mercy
Verily, all good praises are for Allah, we seek His help and His forgiveness. We seek refuge with Allah from the evil of our own souls and from our bad deeds. Whomsoever Allah guides will never be led astray, and whomsoever Allah leaves astray, no one can guide. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, He is alone without any partner and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.
“O you who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared, and die not except in a state of Islam (as Muslims) with complete submission to Allah.” [Surah Ali Imran, 3:102]
“O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person, and from him He created his wife, and from them both He created many men and women, and fear Allah through Whom you demand your mutual (rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship) Surely, Allah is Ever an All-Watcher over you).” [Surah An-Nisa’, 4:1]
“O you who believe! Keep your duty to Allah and fear Him, and speak (always) the truth. He will direct you to do righteous good deeds and will forgive you your sins. And whosoever obeys Allah and His Messenger (Pbuh) has indeed achieved a great achievement (i.e. he will be saved from the Hellfire and made to enter Paradise).” [Surah Al-Ahzab, 33:70-71]
Verily the best of speech is the Book of Allah and the best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (Pbuh). The worst of affairs are the newly-invented affairs (in the religion) and every newly invented affair in the religion is an innovation and every innovation is misguidance and all misguidance is in the hellfire. As to what proceeds:
Servants of Allah! I enjoin you and myself to fear Allah, for it (The fear of Allah) is the provision and safety in this world and the Last Day:
“The day when neither wealth nor sons will avail, except him who brings to Allah a clean heart.”
Brothers and Sisters! Allah the Most High says:
“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).” (Surah Al-Imran, 3:175)
My people! Such is the reality of death and what comes after it. Every one of us shall taste it whether poor or rich; healthy or sick, old or young; leader or led and wallahi none of us can escape it.
Allah the Almighty says:
“Wheresoever you may be, death will overtake you even if you are in a fortress built up strong and high.” (Surah An-Nisa’, 4:78)
Respected Brothers and Sisters! Death, as manifested in its character and effects is one of the mysteries that dazzles human intelligence because it has to do with the soul.
“And they ask you (O Muhammad) concerning the spirit. Say: ‘The spirit is one of the things, the knowledge of which is only with my Lord. And of knowledge, you (mankind) have been given only a little.” (Surah Al-Isra’, 17:85)
One of its mysteries is that you see a youth who was full of health and energy, suddenly falls dead without warning; thereby making that youthfulness and energy fade away, bringing all his senses to a complete standstill. That youth might even be an erudite scholar, an eloquent author, a skilled physician or brilliant inventor but it is absolutely out of the question that this quality should prevent death from overtaking him when his time is due.
“When their term is reached, neither can they delay it nor can they advance it an hour (or a moment).” (Surah Yunus, 10:49)
Amr bin Abdullah used to mount the pulpit (Mimbar) and say:
“Many a person who has seen the beginning of a day but would not see it’s end. And many a person who has expected morning but would not live to see it. If only you had known your appointed time and how it comes to pass, you would have detested nursing hope for worldly materials and its deception.”
While man enjoys his good health, playing and merrymaking, moving about in haughtiness, commanding and forbidding, death and illness suddenly attacks him, weakens his body, makes his limbs lifeless and then closes his record.
How near is death! Every day it becomes closer to us and no sooner has the book reached its appointed time that we belong among the dead. Then it becomes clear that life is really like flowers that bloom then afterwards wither or like a lamp that illuminates then afterwards dies down.
Let those who crave for this world and its pleasures ponder over these scattered graves all over the places and realize that the way to pleasures and lustful things, though decorated with beautiful roses inevitably leads to the present condition of those buried in these graves. Happiness is for him whom a messenger of death has opened his eyes to reality before he died, and whoever does not heed to the warning of the Quran, Sunnah and death, even if mountains were to thrust one another in front of him, he would not heed.
Dear brothers and sisters! What we witness in the cemeteries (Makabartu) is a great lesson for us. The carrier of the bier to the cemetery today is taken back there tomorrow (as a dead person) and is left there only with his deeds either good or evil.
It is also very unfortunate that in these days we see some among those who escort the deceased laughing and playing or attending the funeral for showing off or for politics. This phenomenon is due to the heedlessness and lack of Iman that has hardened people’s hearts and made them forget the Last Day and the frightening conditions of the grave. May Allah awaken us from this heedlessness, Ameen!
Brothers and Sisters in faith! It is expected of him who knows that he will die, be buried, raised up on the day of Resurrection and enter Paradise or Hell to always remember death, prepare for it and reflect on it. He is in fact expected to regard himself among the dead. This is because all that is coming is near and when the angel of death comes neither your wealth nor your people can prevent him from taking your soul.
Servants of Allah! Where are those who achieved their aims and none were comparable to them in that? They collected but could not eat what they collected; they built mansions but could not live there! We on our part are still swimming in the pool of life as if we are meant to live here forever. Uways Al-Qarni said:
“Remember death when you sleep and always think of it when you are awake.”
Fellow respected Muslims! It is a fact that this world and its tribulations appear insignificant in the eyes of him who always remembers death, for, he has lofty aims and strong resolutions; he is far from hypocrisy and always yearns for the everlasting bliss in the eternal Paradise.
Dear brothers and sisters! Remembering death does not in any way make one’s life loathsome to him; forcing him to sit in his home and leave all means of sustenance. It is rather meant to deter him from committing sins and soften his hard heart. We remember death in order to have good preparation for it and for all that follows it by doing righteous deeds, obeying Allah and His Messenger, and increasing one’s efforts in all acts of worship.
Abdur-Rahman Ibn Mahdi said:
“If Hammaad bin Salamah is told, ‘You will die tomorrow.’ He will not be able to increase anything in his deed, because his time is full of worship and remembrance of Allah.”
My respected people! How do we prepare for death? We prepare for death by shunning all abominable things and returning trusts to their rightful owners. We prepare for death by eliminating hatred, jealousy, envy and enmity from our hearts. We prepare for death by being good to the kith and kin.
Ibn al-Mubarak said that Salih Al-Mariy used to say:
“If the remembrance of death leaves me for an hour my heart becomes spoilt.”
It is also said that:
“Whoever frequently remembers death is honoured with three things: quick repentance, self-contentedness and energy in doing acts of worship; and whoever forgets death is punished with three things: delaying repentance, lack of contentedness and laziness in acts of worship.”
Servants of Allah! When will one who always follows his lustful desires and moves wantonly in his heedlessness remember death? When will one who has no regard for Allah’s injunctions in Halal or Haram remember death? When will one who deserts the Quran, Sunnah prays not Fajr in congregation, usurps people’s property unlawfully, loots treasury, takes usury, and commits fornication, remember death? How can one whose habit is slandering others and backbiting, whose heart is full of rancour and envy remember death?
My Fellow Muslims! The Prophets, whenever death came to them were given a chance of choosing between remaining on this world and moving to that noble position. It is beyond doubt that every Prophet would select the everlasting bliss. This happened to Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh), as narrated by Al-Bukhari and Muslim on the authority of Aisha (RA) that she said:
“The Messenger of Allah used to say while he was healthy, ‘No Prophet died until he saw his place in the Paradise, he was then given the choice between that place and remaining in this world.’ So when he was dying and his head was on my thigh, he fainted for a while then regained his consciousness. He stared at the ceiling, then said, ‘O Allah! I choose the Highest Companionship.’ I then said, ‘He was not preferring us.’ It was then that I understood statement he used to tell us and it was true. She said, ‘The last word he uttered was: Oh Allah, I choose the Highest Companionship.”
My people! During death and its pain; in the grave and its darkness; and the Day of Resurrection and its horror people fall into two groups. A group shall remain firm; secured from fright and given glad tidings of Paradise while the other group shall suffer disgrace and ignominy.
Allah the Almighty says:
“Verily, those who say, ‘Our Lord is Allah (alone) and then stood straight, on them the angel will descend (at the time of their death saying,) ‘Fear not, nor grieve! But receive the glad tidings of Paradise which you have been promised.’” (Surah Fussilat, 41:30)
Angels shall descend upon the believers who are straight in heir Iman and religion during death in their graves and when they are resurrected in order to assure them of security and to allay their fears of the horror of the day of judgement. The angels will be telling them, ‘Do not fear about what you are going to meet and do not grieve over what you will be leaving behind of children, family and wealth.’ The angels will also say, ‘We have been your friends in the life of this world and (are so) in the hereafter.’ (Surah Fussilat, 41:31) I. e. we will also be your friends in the hereafter, keeping your company in your graves and when the horn is blown, we will also assure you of security on the day of resurrection.
As for the unbelievers, when death comes to them and they start suffering its agonies, they will be subjected to ignominy and disgrace.
“And if you could but see when the wrongdoers are in the agonies of death, while the angels are stretching forth their hands saying, “Deliver your souls! This day you shall be recompensed with the torment of degradation because of what you used to utter against Allah other than the truth. And you used to reject His ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) with disrespect.” (Surah Al-An’am, 6:93)
Their sorrow shall increase so much so that they will wish to go back to this world. Allah says:
“Until when death comes to one of them, he says, ‘My Lord send me back.’” (Surah Al-Mu’minun, 23:99)
Qatadah said while commenting on this verse:
“By Allah, he would not wish by this statement to go back to his family and wealth nor to collect the good things of this world and satisfy his desires. He would rather wish to go back and do acts of obedience to Allah. May Allah bless him who does in this life what the disbelievers would wish to do when he sees the torment of Hell!”
Fellow Muslims! How is the need of a dying Muslim to Allah’s success that his last words may be, “La ilaha illallah”. Mu’adh bin Jabal narrated that the Prophet said:
“Whoever has ‘La ilaha illallah’ as his last words will enter Paradise.”
Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim said:
“Dictating this word to a dying man is recommended because one who is dying experiences horrors that were unknown to him before, so it is feared that forgetfulness might overtake him since Satan is close to human beings. Moreover, uttering this statement while dying has a great effect in erasing ones misdeeds because it is a testimony of a slave of Allah who believes in it and knows its meanings; for whose lustful desires are now dead and whose soul has become weak after its might. Then that testimony becomes his last utterance, it purifies him from all his sins because he meets with his Lord with a sincere testimony…”
Brothers and Sisters! The righteous predecessors (Salaf as Salih) also recommended that a dying person be reminded of his good deeds, so that he can have positive thoughts about his Lord. Jabir narrated: The Messenger of Allah (Pbuh) said:
“None of you should die except in the state of having positive thoughts about Allah.” (Muslim)
And the Sunnah encourages talking about good deeds of a dead person and abstaining from talking about his misdeeds. Al-Bukhari reported on the authority of Aisha (RA) that she narrated: ‘The Prophet (Pbuh) said:
“Do not abuse the dead; for they have gone to meet the consequences of their deeds.”’
Again in Sahih Al-Bukhari, Abul-Aswad said:
“I came to Madinah while there was an epidemic there. I sat with Umar Ibn al-Khattab. Then a funeral procession passed by and people praised its owner. Umar said, “It becomes incumbent.” Then another funeral procession passed by and people also praised its owner, and Umar said, “It’s incumbent;” then a third procession passed by and people spoke ill of its owner. Umar also commented, “It becomes incumbent.” Then I said, “What is incumbent, O Leader of the Faithful? Umar (RA) answered, “I said as the Prophet (Pbuh) said, that, “Any dead Muslim whom four persons testify in his favour, Allah will make him enter Paradise, We said, “And three persons?” He said, “And three persons.” We also said, “And two persons?” He said, “Yes, and two persons.” We did not thereafter ask him of one person.”
It should be added that those whose testimony is regarded are the people of virtue and truthfulness. The testimony of an enemy of Allah shall not be considered.
It is also recommendable that the person who washes the dead should conceal whatever defects he may see on him. It is also a right of a Muslim on his fellow Muslims to escort his funeral, pray on him and supplicate for him. In Sahih al-Bukhari, Abu Hurairah narrated that the Prophet (Pbuh) said:
“Whoever attends the funeral of a Muslim faithfully and hoping for the reward of Allah and stays with him until Salah Janazah (Funeral Prayer) is done on him and he is buried, he will go back home with two Qiraats, each is as big as the size of Mount Uhud; and whoever observes Salah Janazah on him and then goes back before he is buried will get one Qiraat.”
As regards debts, the family of the deceased should hasten to pay it because a believer’s soul hangs on his debt until it is paid on his behalf. Debts of Allah should also be promptly paid for, it is more deserving to be paid. Ibn Mas’ud said:
“A Believer has no rest until he meets Allah.”
Respected brothers and sisters!
“The eyes surely tear, and the heart is surely in pain, but (with our tongue) we will only say that which is pleasing to Allah, and we are indeed sad at being separated from you, O Dan Masanin Kano.”
Almighty Lord Allah (Subhanahu Ta ‘ala – exalted is He) says in the Quran:
“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. And He is the All-Mighty, the Oft-Forgiving.” [Surah Al-Mulk, 67:1-2]
Servants of Allah! Of course, every one of us has to die. In this regard Allah mentioned in the Quran that everyone has to die including the Prophet himself. Allah says in the Noble Quran:
“Verily, you (O Muhammad Pbuh) will die and verily, they (too) will die.” [Surah Al-Zumar, 39:30]
Allah also said that every soul shall taste the death:
“Every soul will taste death. Then to Us will you be returned.” [Surah Al- Ankabut, 29:57]
Fellow Muslims! No one knows when and where one will die. No one even knows how someone is to die. In this respect Allah says in the Quran:
“Verily, Allah! With Him (Alone) is the knowledge of the Hour, He sends down the rain, and knows that which is in the wombs. No person knows what he will earn tomorrow, and no person knows in what land he will die. Verily, Allah is All-Knower, All-Aware (of things).” [Surah Luqman, 31:34]
My dear brethren!
Al-Muhyi, Al-Mumit: The Life-Giver, the Life-Taker.
These two names of Allah often come together. These names are not mentioned in this exact form in the Quran, but their meaning is conveyed in numerous places. Allah ( Subhanahu Ta‘ala – exalted is He) says:
“It is He Who gives life, and causes death (Yuhyi wa Yumitu), and to Him you (all) shall return.” [Surah Yunus, 10:56]
Allah gives life to things that are dead. We all witness the death of nature around us; a seed—a lifeless thing—is planted and given nourishment, and grows into a tall sturdy tree that gives us flowers and fruits. Then in autumn, the leaves fall, and the trees stand inanimate through the winter. But come spring, the flowers bloom again. Indeed He is al-Muhyi: He gives life. And perhaps the greatest manifestation is our own life: the growth of a human being, with a soul, from a sperm and an egg. Indeed, these are signs for people who reflect:
“He brings out the living from the dead, and brings out the dead from the living. And He revives the earth after its death. And thus shall you be brought out (resurrected).” [Surah Ar-Rum, 30:19]
It is understood that Allah alone is the One Who gives life, and it is He Who takes off life. In this regard, Allah says in the Quran:
“It is He Who gives life and causes death (Yuhyi wa Yumitu). And when He decides upon a thing He says to it only: “Be!” and it is.” [Surah Ghafir, 40:68]
While life and death are from Allah, we have to remember that they are to take place with the permission of Allah alone. Each one‘s life and death are decided by Allah. It is stated in the Quran:
“And no person can ever die except by Allah’s Leave and at an appointed term. And whoever desires a reward in (this) world, We shall give him of it; and whoever desires a reward in the Hereafter, We shall give him thereof. And We shall reward the grateful.” [Surah Ali- Imran, 3:145]
Brothers and sisters! Allah (Subhanahu Ta ‘ala – exalted is He) makes us to die daily while sleeping. He makes most of us to wake up from our temporary death so we can praise Him and to worship Him. The Quran states:
“It is Allah Who takes away the souls at the time of their death, and those that die not during their sleep. He keeps those (souls) for which He has ordained death and sends the rest for a term appointed. Verily, in this are signs for a people who think deeply.” [Surah Al-Zumar, 39:42]
Also Allah has assigned an angel responsible for taking our souls out of our body. The angel‘s name in the Quran is (Malakul Mawt: Mala’kan Mutuwa) Angel of Death. Allah informs us in Noble Quran:
“Say: “The angel of death, who is set over you, will take your souls, then you shall be brought to your Lord.” [Surah Al-Sajdah, 32:11]
My Dear brothers and sisters! The life of each and every human being on this earth is a short one, but the deeds and actions of a true believer are eternal if he knows how to channel them in the right directions. As far as the life span of a human being is concerned, our beloved Prophet (Pbuh) said: Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (Pbuh) said:
“The lifespan for my Ummah is from sixty years to seventy (years).” [Reported by at-Tirmidhi and this hadith is Hasan]
The lifespan of the Prophet’s (Pbuh) Ummah is between sixty and seventy years. The lifespan of the Prophet (Pbuh) as well as of Abu Bakr, Umar and Ali (May Allah be pleased with them) was between sixty and seventy years, though Uthman (May Allah be pleased with him), lived longer than this.
My people! Life in this world is a temporary one. The real (Permanent) life is the one of Life Hereafter. In this respect the Quran states:
“And this life of the world is only amusement and play! Verily, the home of the Hereafter, that is the life indeed (i.e. the eternal life that will never end), if they but knew.” [Surah Al- Ankabut, 29:64]
“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).” [Surah Ali- Imran, 3:185]
Fellow Muslims! We are here on a trial basis, we are here on a temporary basis, and we are here for a passage to Paradise or Hell. The real life of an eternal rest is that of the hereafter. In this respect Allah says in the Quran:
“O my people! Truly, this life of the world is nothing but a (quick passing) enjoyment, and verily, the Hereafter that is the home that will remain forever.” [Surah Ghafir, 40:39]
And without coming to this world, without dying we can‘t go to paradise. We can‘t dream to go to the final destination without tasting death. So we have to die whether we like it or not. Death is truth (Haqq). It is a passage to Paradise. Therefore, it is important that we always remember the death and prepare for it.
Our beloved Prophet (Pbuh) reminded us that we have to remember death, as it is the one that defeats all types of pleasures. Narrated by Ibn Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) that the Messenger of Allah (Pbuh) said:
“Increase your remembrance of the One which defeats pleasures (Mai rusa jin dadi).”
While we are to remember death, we have to prepare ourselves to meet it – before it meets us. In this regard our beloved Prophet (Pbuh) said:
“Do for your life as if you are to live eternally, and do for the hereafter as if you are to die tomorrow.”
Allah the Almighty says in the Quran:
“Everyone is going to taste death, and We shall make a trial of you with evil and with good, and to Us you will be returned.” [Surah Al- Anbya’, 21:35]
Servants of Allah! Death is simply a continuation of life, a transition from one place to another. We are believers in the next life, so death is not really the “end” in that final sense. Because of that, we can reconcile ourselves with death now; by planting a seed, by being there for our loved ones and making amends for wrongs, by becoming more humble, and by building, not destroying. We make peace with death by re-arranging our priorities while we are able to, and by laying the groundwork for being able to say the Kalimah Shahadah before we die: La Ilaha Illallah (there is no god but Allah).
My beloved people! There is a second relationship with death: when those we love are taken away. When it comes to those we love, sometimes we feel angry at death. How dare “death” take our loved ones away from us? But the truth is, Allah is al-Mumit : He is the One who takes away life.
This may be reassuring, but it does not truly take away the pain of separation. Yet this pain is normal. The Prophet (Pbuh) talked about it when he lost his son, as did the Prophet Ya‘qub Alaihis Salam (peace be upon him) when he lost Yusuf (Alaihis Salam). And imagine when the Companions lost their Beloved (Pbuh).
Imagine when the Prophet (Pbuh) went on Hajj (pilgrimage), and gave his famous farewell Sermon. After more than 20 years of struggle, lots of ups and downs, pain and joy, the Prophet (Pbuh) and his Companions finally go on Hajj in a free Makkah. After the farewell Sermon, the Prophet (Pbuh) passionately asks:
“Have I relayed the message?” The Companions respond in the affirmative; how could anyone say no? They were finally praying by the Ka’abah. Muslims were being dispatched to different areas in the Arab world, inviting others to Islam. The Prophet (Pbuh) looks up at the sky, saying, “O Allah, bear witness.” Not long after, the Prophet (Pbuh) becomes ill. In his final days, he cannot even lead prayers. He faints several times in a day. He says, “Truly death has its agonies.” [Bukhari]
When he passes away, and the Companions pray for the first time after the Prophet‘s (Pbuh) death, Bilal (RA) gave the call for morning prayer and during it he broke down in tears and sobs. His crying tore the hearts of all others who had been part of the living.
The pain at the separation from the Prophet (Pbuh) never truly left the Companions. Bilal (RA) moved out of Madinah, unable to be there without the Prophet (Pbuh). This is natural. Perhaps nothing can replace someone’s presence with you, especially not the Prophet’s (Pbuh). And this is why we hear of so many Companions asking to be near the Prophet (Pbuh) in Paradise. They were hurt by the parting, but they also had something to work towards.
Servants of Allah! Allah the Almighty is so generous that when He takes away the life of someone, it is not the end of your relationship with them. As one of the living, your prayers for them still benefit them. If they gave continuous charity (Sadaqah Jariyah), it goes on for eternity. If you love someone, truly love them, then be a cause of goodness for them in this life and the next. Do not let the time that you spend with them be a gossip session. Seek to truly benefit each other by making a conscious effort to do something, even if very small, for the sake of Allah. That is the meaning of love — it will carry on until after death.
So do not treat death like it is the end, but prepare for it like it is. Invest your life in such a way that you will see the fruits in the hereafter, because surely “every soul shall taste death.” [Surah Al- Ankabut, 29:57]
And we are advised to “worship your Lord until there comes unto you the certainty (i.e. death).” [Surah Al-Hijr, 15:99]
If any of us had any doubt that death is coming, Allah the Most High being al-Mumit, surely removes any such doubt.
And when your time comes, know that your soul is being taken by Allah the Almighty, who both gives and takes away life. And to Him we shall return. In that there should be awe, a sense of comfort and a call to action.
Our Relationship with Al-Mumit and Death
My friend, prioritise things in your life. Work on your character, increase in good deeds, find your passion and figure out how to use it towards good. Let go of animosity, hatred, jealousy and envy, because they only brings you down.
2. Pray as if it were your last prayer
Learn and understand the internal element of the various prayer actions, one of the most effective ways to get Khushu’ (devotion) in prayer is by praying as if it were your last, as the Prophet (Pbuh) advised. It was narrated that Abu Ayyub said:
“A man came to the Prophet (Pbuh) and said: “O Messenger of Allah, teach me but make it concise.” He said: “When you stand to pray, pray like a man bidding farewell. Do not say anything for which you will have to apologize. And give up hope for what other people have.” [Ibn Majah, and classed as Hasan]
3. Live the way you wish to die with sincerity
The Messenger of Allah (Pbuh) said:
“When Allah wills good for His slave, He sweetens him.” He was asked, “What is this sweetening?” He said, “Allah guides him to do righteous deeds before he dies, then He takes (his soul) whilst he is in that state.” [Ahmad]
The Prophet (Pbuh) also said:
“Whoever gives charity and that is the last of his deeds will enter Paradise.” [Ahmad]
Sincerity is key here: the Prophet (Pbuh) narrates a story of a martyr, a scholar and a man who gave much to charity. Amazing as these deeds are, what these three sought from their deeds were attention and fame. And those people will not be in Paradise [narrated in Muslim]. May Allah protect us. Ameen.
4. Du’a (supplication)
Since He the Almighty is the One who causes death, He is also the One who can give you a good death.
The Prophet Yusuf (AS) made a supplication:
“Cause me to die as a Muslim (the one submitting to Your Will), and join me with the righteous.” [Surah Yusuf, 12:101]
Brothers and Sisters! None of us knows what our state will be, so one of the most important things is to remember that only Allah can give us what we desire, and He is al-Mujib (the One who responds to prayers) so we should ask Him to only take our soul when we are in the best, most sincere state; to make our best deeds the final ones; and to accept from us the best of what we gave. The Prophet (Pbuh) said:
“A person whose last words are La ilaha illallah [there is no god but Allah] will enter Paradise.” [Abu Dawud]
May Allah make us of them. Ameen.
If those whom we love have passed away, then we can still benefit them and bring them good by praying for them. And if we are fortunate enough to still have our loved ones around us, then it is the perfect time to transform our relationship with them from one that is limited to this life to one that lasts for eternity. Allah the Most High tells us in the Quran:
“And those who kept their duty to their Lord will be led to Paradise in groups, till, when they reach it, and its gates will be opened (before their arrival for their reception) and its keepers will say: Salamun Alaikum (peace be upon you)! You have done well, so enter here to abide therein.” [Surah Al-Zumar, 39:73]
It can start with something simple: start a monthly gathering with a few friends and family and do something that brings you tranquillity, make a messaging or email group and send daily hadith, or have a yearly charity project that will benefit you even after you pass away. More importantly, make sure your intention is sincere. Follow it with actions and Du’a, and let Allah the Almighty elevate your relationship.But be sure that you are sharing the Haqq (truth) and not Batil (faleshood/fabricated information, not of religion).
6. Sadaqah Jariyah: Ongoing charity
Abdullah bin Abi Qatadah narrated that his father said: “The Messenger of Allah (Pbuh) said: “The best things that a man can leave behind are three: A righteous son who will pray for him, ongoing charity (Sadaqah Jariyah) whose reward will reach him, and knowledge which is acted upon after his death.” [Ibn Majah, and this Hadith is Hasan (Sahih) and a similar chain is mentioned in Sahih Muslim]
Dear respected Brothers and Sisters! Death does not have to be the end. We can leave behind things that bring benefit to and help people, and that also benefit us long after we are gone. The Prophet (Pbuh) gave us some examples of that: It was narrated that Abu Hurairah said:
“The Messenger of Allah (Pbuh) said: “The rewards of the good deeds that will reach a believer after his death are: Knowledge which he taught and spread; a righteous son whom he leaves behind; a copy of the Quran that he leaves as a legacy; a Mosque that he built; a house that he built for wayfarers; a canal that he dug; or charity that he gave during his lifetime when he was in good health. These deeds will reach him after his death.” [Ibn Majah, and classed as Da’if]
Moreover, we are told:
As narrated by Anas bin Malik: The Messenger of Allah (Pbuh) said: “There is none amongst the Muslims who plants a tree or sows seeds, and then a bird, or a person or an animal eats from it, but is regarded as a charitable gift for him.” [Sahih Bukhari]
It is important to remember that the opposite is true. Do not leave behind something that is a ‘bad legacy’; that harms others spiritually or materially and may harm you after you are gone.
7. Pay your debts
The Day of Judgement is also the day on which debts are paid. It is important to make sure that we leave this world without any outstanding debts, whether it is money that you owe people or even an apology.
The debtor is a prisoner, as the Prophet (Pbuh) said:
“Your companion is being detained by his debt.” [Narrated by Abu Dawud]
My people! Islam takes the matter of debt very seriously and warns against it and urges the Muslim to avoid it as much as possible.
It was narrated from Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) that the Prophet (Pbuh) used to say in his prayer:
“Allahummah inni a’uzu bika minal ma’tham wal maghram (O Allah, I seek refuge with You from sin and heavy debt).” Someone said to him: “How often you seek refuge from heavy debt!” He said: “When a man gets into debt, he speak and tells lies, and he makes a promise and breaks it.” [Narrated by al-Bukhari and Muslim]
Imam Al-Nasa,’i narrated that Muhammad ibn Jahsh (may Allah be pleased with him) said:
“We were sitting with the Messenger of Allah (Pbuh) when he raised his head towards the sky, then he put his palm on his forehead and said: “Subhanallah! What a strict issue has been revealed to me!” We remained silent and were afraid. The following morning I asked him, “O Messenger of Allah, what is this strict issue that has been revealed?” He said, “By the One in Whose hand is my soul, if a man were killed in battle for the sake of Allah, then brought back to life, then killed and brought back to life again, then killed, and he owed a debt, he would not enter Paradise until his debt was paid off.” [Al-Nasa’i]
And The Prophet (Pbuh) refrained from offering the funeral prayer for one who had died owing two dinars, until Abu Qatadah (may Allah be pleased with him) promised to pay it off for him. When he saw him the following day and said, I have paid it off, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Now his skin has become cool for him.” [Musnad Ahmad]
Al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar (may Allah have mercy on him) said in Fath al-Bari (4/547):
“This Hadith indicates how difficult the issue of debt is, and that it should not be undertaken except in cases of necessity.”
It was narrated from Thawban (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (Pbuh) said:
“Whoever dies free from three things – arrogance, cheating and debt – will enter Paradise.” [Narrated by al-Tirmidhi]
Brothers and sisters! I received the announcement for the death of a former Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the United Nations, Alhaji Yusuf Maitama Sule, Dan Masanin Kano who died in an Egyptian hospital with a great shock.
Servants of Allah! Know that, the unblemished public service record was one of the greatest and most indelible virtues for which Dan Masanin Kano would be remembered by Nigerians and the world. He was one of Nigeria’s greatest and most remarkable politicians, whose vast experience, knowledge and wisdom were invaluable and immeasurable.
Servants of Allah! The death of Dan Masanin Kano is a monumental loss to the African continent. From struggle for independence, to his stewardship as a Federal MP, Federal Commissioner of public complaints, to his service as Nigeria’s permanent Representative to the United Nations, his record of public service was excellent, exemplary and worthy of emulation.
His death was a great loss. He impacted the nation positively in various spheres of human endeavour. as a complete gentleman and good citizen, who dedicated his life to the unity, progress and development of Nigeria. Our country has lost a rare gem. A leading light from the old generation has been extinguished. He was a complete gentleman whose honesty, commitment and dedication to the unity of Nigeria will forever be remembered.
As Nigeria’s representative to the United Nations in 1979, Dan Masanin Kano was known for his pragmatic and blunt disposition to equity and fairness of all member nations, and as a politician of great repute, he was the Chairman of the United Nations’ Special Committee against Apartheid, a committee he gave good account of himself and made Nigeria proud.
He is a forthright leader with a generous spirit. A distinguished leader, political thinker and a great strategist. An elder statesman and detribalised Nigerian. A patriot, who devoted his life fighting for the unity and stability of Nigeria. He represented a voice for the voiceless tribes in the country.
With his death, Nigeria has lost a great nationalist, a detribalized Nigerian, who spoke truth at all times during his lifetime. A one man that has become a permanent feature in the politics of the country, beginning from first republic when he was appointed a minister at his youthful age.
I’m extending my sincere condolence message to the family of Dan Masanin Kano, the Kano State Government, the Emir of Kano His Highness Muhammadu Sanusi II, the entire people of Kano State and the whole Nigerian Muslim Ummah and all the fellow Nigerians, for this irreparable and irreplaceable loss.
Let us pray to Allah, first of all, to give comfort and solace to the Late Dan Masanin Kano family, friends and associates. And help them quickly to ease their pain, and to overcome their sorrow. O Allah, help us to give them support in this difficult time.
O Allah, shower your Mercy and forgiveness on the soul of the late Dan Masani and allow him to enter your garden (Jannatul Firdaws). He was dearly loved by all of us, and we will never forget him. O Allah, grant us all the best of this world, and the best of the afterlife, and save us from the torment of hellfire.
Let us pray. May Allah give us all the strength to endure hardship with patience, and to emerge from all the trials and tribulations of this life, with our Iman renewed and our trust in Allah strengthened.
I console Dan Masanin Kano family to patiently bear this momentous loss since it is written that every soul shall taste death.
My hearts are with them. I share in their grief. I pray that Almighty Allah will give them the fortitude to bear the loss. May Allah forgive Dan Masanin Kano his shortcomings and failings, have mercy on him and grant him Jannatul Firdaws, ameen thummah ameen.
I ask Allah to assist us in living by the Quran and Sunnah. I pray that He lets us recognise the truth for what it is and helps us to follow it, and that He lets us see falsehood for what it is and helps us to avoid it.
O Allah! Guide us and protect us from the causes of ignorance and destruction! Save us from the defects of ourselves! Cause the last of our deeds to be the best and most righteous! And forgive all of us. Ameen Yaa Rabb!
My respected people! Anything good I have said in my today’s Khutbah (Sermon) is from Allah the Almighty, and any mistakes are my own and we seek refuge in Allah from giving wrong advice and from all forms of calamities and fitnah. And I ask Allah’s forgiveness if I stepped beyond bounds in anything I said or I do.
May Allah be praised; and may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon His Messenger Muhammad and upon his family and Companions.
With this I conclude my Khutbah (Sermon) and ask Allah, the Almighty and the sublime, to forgive all of our sins. So seek his forgiveness, He is all forgiving Most Merciful.
This Jumu’ah Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Friday, Shawwal 13,1438 A.H. (July 7, 2017), by Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and late Alhaji Abdurrahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene Kogi State Nigeria. He can be reached via: +2348038289761.