Ramadan 1440 AH/2019: Always Remember The Inevitable!, By Murtadha Gusau
We live short lives in this world only to earn eternal lives in the hereafter. Our entire lives in this world is in fighting the good fights against temptations, immorality and injustice. This life is indeed a period of testing and trials. So death marks the end of testing and the beginning of the true life in the hereafter. We were created in this world to have the opportunity to earn eternal life in paradise.
Thursday, Ramadan 11, 1440 AH (May 16, 2019)
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing be upon whom Allah sent as a mercy to the Worlds, upon his Family, his Companions and his Brothers till the Day of Resurrection.
Dear brothers and sisters! One of the common fears people have hard time coping with, is the fear of death. It is by far one of the worst phobias to cope with. It is very common among the sick, and those who are in the latter stages of their lives. It can severely affect an individual both physically and psychologically. It takes one’s happiness away by turning it into constant worrying and depression. It makes the life of the affected person unenjoyable and debilitating. But there is hope. There is a cure for it and it requires a change of attitude. It requires deep understanding of its purpose and timing. It requires acceptance.
Accept it that you are a mortal being and will die. It is guaranteed. So don’t fear death. Fearing it or worrying over it will neither speed up nor delay your death. It will only cause you pain and suffering. Don’t fight it either, for there is no cure for it. Just accept it. Death is natural and it will visit everyone, including you and I. It is not something negative but merely the end of this life, which marks the beginning of an everlasting life in the hereafter. It is a transitional phase. It is the phase where the physical body dies, while the spiritual soul enters the realm of eternal life.
Know that, respected brothers and sisters, everything created will ultimately cease to exist. That means you, your parents, your friends, your children, your wives and everyone who has lived before you and who will live after you, will all die or have died. Death has no preference or forgiveness either. Nobody is exempt from it. When the time comes for death, and when the soul has completed its mission, we will all transit to the next phase, no matter what. It will always be on time. As Allah says in the glorious Qur’an:
“Every soul shall have a taste of Death.” [Qur’an, 29:57]
The reality is that death was created for a purpose and we never take time to understand its purpose. So let ask ourselves the real question: Why do we die? If we ponder over it for a long time, we will understand that everything dies only to change form from one shape to another. If we observe things of this world, we will witness that most things change form by transferring energy from one state to another. Our souls are energy.
That’s what our death is – merely a change from a limited physical form to an unlimited spiritual form. Its a space where energy is transferred from one temporal entity to a permanent entity in the hereafter. Truly, nothing dies but it is transformed from one form to another, as Allah wills. And He the Most Great has decreed that the energy of this life be with us in the hereafter eternally.
Having established that death is certain and timely, lets look at why we fear it. Once we understand the underlying cause of why we fear it, we will be able to overcome it. Knowing why we die will help us accept it easier, but knowing why we fear it will help us overcome its fear. Indeed, all fears are overcome by facing and not avoiding them.
There are many reasons why we fear death. The most obvious answer is not understanding why we die, thus not knowning what will happen to us after we die. To know what will happen requires understanding why we are here. We must know why we exist in the first place, to understand why we die thereafter. It requires deeper thinking than simply living to feed our desires. It requires learning from the book of Allah, the glorious Qur’an, which He has sent to all mankind as an instruction manual for this life and the life hereafter.
There are other reasons why people fear death. Many people fear death because of the fear of pain and suffering, while the process of dying takes place. Some people fear death because it is the end of pleasure or a destroyer of pleasure. They can no longer do the things they once enjoyed. They can no longer be with their loved ones. That thought itself can trigger panic and become a constant fear. Then there are other valid reasons such as leaving loved ones behind with no financial support and someone to take care of them. Their grieving and suffering is enough to make us worry constantly. But these thoughts should not cause us to worry because death is not the end of pleasure but in fact, it is the end of suffering, and more importantly, death is the beginning of eternal life, where we will live with our loved ones again.
Having covered some of the reasons of why we fear death, lets answer the real question: Why do we die? We can best tackle the above question by asking another question that will make us think deeper. So lets ask ourselves: Why do we live such a short lives in this world? If we really take our time and ponder over this question, the answer to why we die will flash in front of us, in black and white.
We live short lives in this world only to earn eternal lives in the hereafter. Our entire lives in this world is in fighting the good fights against temptations, immorality and injustice. This life is indeed a period of testing and trials. So death marks the end of testing and the beginning of the true life in the hereafter. We were created in this world to have the opportunity to earn eternal life in paradise. As Allah said in the glorious Qur’an:
“[He] who created death and life to test you [as to] which of you is best in deed – and He is the Exalted in Might, the Forgiving.” [Qur’an, 67:2]
Many people cannot accept their mortality because they do not take the time to understand the purpose of life in the first place. They view death as a disease. But death, in reality, is the begging of life; for this life is an illusion. We need not put forth all efforts into this world, only to have to leave them all behind. The fact that we make this world about all our striving makes it harder to cope with death when our end comes. We instead need to prioritise and better understand why we are here in the first place, and where our striving should be the most – in temporary things or eternal things? Indeed we have made this world our paradise and our striving follows us consequently. If we truly take our time to understand our true purpose, we will be better prepared to face the inevitable event that will visit everyone of us.
In summary, know that you fear death because of your incomplete understanding of life and death. You fear death because you bring no good deed with you but a soul stained with sins. You fear death because you don’t understand the greatness, mercy and blessings of the Almighty. You fear death because your future is based on your past actions, not the future striving, which you plan to embark on, and which it may never come. You fear death because you don’t understand Allah’s protection and sustenance. He sustains everything He created, including our loved ones whom we will leave behind when we die. You fear death because it causes you to be forgotten but in reality, everything of this world is forgotten. The only thing that is remembered is that thing which is with Allah — The Everlasting. If you want to be remembered, you must have something worthy to be in His presence.
Beloved servants of Allah! Death is truly the door to a better world. A world in which pain and suffering doesn’t exist. It is the house where we shall be with our creator in eternity, only if we strive hard for it. Death is our ticket to eternal happiness. Death should be feared only if you don’t live a righteous life. So as long as you haven’t died, you can ask for forgiveness for your past and rectify your current or future, if you have extra time decreed. Death is a good way to make you earn more good deeds. It is there to remind us that this life is not it.
Don’t be like those who are completely oblivious to death such that the only time the thought of it crosses their minds is when they see a dead person or hear that someone is dead. It is those who will truly fear death because its reality never crossed their minds. Unfortunately, they never understood its significance to prepare for it. So the more good deeds you do the more certain you are of your next destination and the less you will fear death.
Keeping death in mind fills up one’s heart with contentment with what one already has of provisions; it curbs one’s desire to indulge in envious, bestial rivalry over things material, and makes us focus instead on worship and devotion because we are certain that death may clamp upon us unannounced anytime. In other words, we are ready to answer the call of the Angel of Death whenever it is made.
My people! Death can best be summarised by a special servant of Allah who once said:
“I’m worried because I’m about to take a path I never treaded before, and because I’m about to meet The Lord whom I never saw before nor do I know what He will say to me or what I will say to Him.”
Such a person doesn’t dread death because he has striven hard to be prepared for the ultimate end. He has been conscious of death and has tried His best to prepare for it. He is looking forward to meeting His creator.
When we have spent time understanding our creator, when we have obeyed Him with His commandments, and when we have brought forth something valuable to say, there shall be no fear but Hope and excitement in meeting our creator.
“Indeed, we belong to Allah, and unto Him we shall indeed return.” [Qur’an, 12:156]
Death is surely Inevitable
Death came to a guy and said, “My friend today is your day.”
Guy: “But I’m not ready!”. Then death said, “Well your name is the next on my list.”
Guy: “Okay why don’t you take a seat and I will get you something to eat before we go.”
Then death said, “All right.” The guy gave death some food with sleeping pills in it, death finished eating and fell into deep sleep. The guy took the list and removed his name from the top of the list and put at the bottom of the list. When death woke up, he said to the guy, Because you have been so very nice to me, I will start from the BOTTOM of the list.”
Wallahi, whatever is written in your destiny will never change no matter how much you try to. If you are in England tonight and its written that you will die in Makkah tomorrow night, then it will happen!
Whoever Loves To Meet Allah, Allah Loves To Meet Him
Dear brothers and sisters! Upon death, Angels of death come to the believers in a pleasant appearance and to the disbelievers and the hypocrites in an unpleasant way.
Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said:
“If a believer is about to die; Leaving this world for the Hereafter, Angels from the sky descend on him, Having bright faces like the sun. And when the disbeliever is about to die; Leaving this world for the Hereafter, Rough angels from the sky descend unto him, having dark faces.”
These angels carry good news to the believers from Allah the Almighty, Therefore these believers look forward to meeting their Lord. Also, These angels carry bad news of severe punishment to the nonbelievers or the corrupt, And therefore, they fear meeting their Lord.
Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said:
“Whoever loves to meet Allah, Allah loves to meet him, and whoever hates to meet Allah, Allah hates to meet him. When the believer is about to die, he is given glad tidings with the pleasure of Allah and His blessings, so there is nothing in front of the believer better than that, so he loves to meet Allah and Allah loves to meet him. And when the nonbeliever is about to die, he is told about the punishment of Allah that will fall on him, so there is nothing more disliked to him than that, so he hates to meet Allah and Allah hates to meet him.”
Allah the Most High says in Surah Fusilat, verse 30 – 32:
“Verily, Those who say: Our Lord is Allah (alone), and they stood straight, on them the angels will descend (at the time of their death) (saying): Do not fear, nor grieve! But receive the glad tidings of Paradise, which you have been promised!”
For disbelievers, their time of death is dreadful. Allah the Almighty says in Surah Al-Anfal, verse 50 and 51:
“And if you could see when the angels take away the souls of those whom disbelieve (at death), they smite their faces and their backs, (saying): Taste the punishment of the blazing Fire. This is because of that which your hands had forwarded. And verily, Allah is not unjust to His slaves.”
My dear brothers and sisters! Always remind yourself about death. Everyone will experience death – the poor and the rich, the old and the young. Your wealth, your house, your money and everything you have today will be gone. Nothing can save you from death. Death is inevitable. So tell me what are you going to do with all your belongings after you die? What will happen to your wealth once you’re in your grave? Will they be of any use then?
You spend your time in this world as if you’re going to live here for eternity. You are more engrossed in this temporary world, which is why you do not have the time to think about Akhira (hereafter). You do not fear death and you are more attached to this world, then why don’t you die before death strikes you and see what you have then, what will go with you in the grave?
The perfect knowledge belongs to Allah the Almighty. Our last prayer is all praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing be upon our beloved Prophet, Muhammad, his Family, his Companions and his Brothers till the Day of Resurrection.
We ask Allah the Most High to strengthen us in this Ramadan, accept our fasts, and reward us with His forgiveness and the highest place in Paradise. Ameen.
Written by your brother, Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, from Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: firstname.lastname@example.org or +2348038289761.