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Friday, 14 October 2016


Living In A Transit Lounge
‘The Life of This World Is
But Comfort of Illusion’
(al-Quran 3:185)

Remembering Death Can 
Prevent You From Sinning

Remember death while chasing the
Illusion, and prepare for the Final
Journey! Departure can happen
anytime soon! No baggage allowed!
Only good deeds accompany you.

(M. Javed Naseem)

يٰأَيُّهَا ٱلنَّاسُ ٱتَّقُواْ رَبَّكُمْ وَٱخْشَوْاْ يَوْماً لاَّ يَجْزِى وَالِدٌ
عَن وَلَدِهِ وَلاَ مَوْلُودٌ هُوَ جَازٍ عَن وَالِدِهِ شَيْئاً إِنَّ وَعْدَ ٱللَّهِ
حَقٌّ فَلاَ تَغُرَّنَّكُمُ ٱلْحَيَاةُ ٱلدُّنْيَا وَلاَ يَغُرَّنَّكُم بِٱللَّهِ ٱلْغَرُورُ
“O mankind! Do your duty to your Lord, and
fear (the coming of) a Day when no father can
avail aught for his son, nor a son avail aught for
his father. Verily, the promise of Allah is true!
Let not then this present life deceive you, nor let
the chief Deceiver deceive you about Allah.”
(al-Quran 31:33)

Death is an ultimate reality and nobody shall be spared. It can happen to anybody, any time and anywhere. We know the truth but do we care? These days, death is attacking en mass in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine and other places but we are not bothered because it is not happening to us – yet! But how long?

Narrated Anas bin Malik:
A man asked the Prophet (s.a.w.): "When will the Hour (Day of Judgment) be established, O Allah's Apostle?"
The Prophet (s.a.w.) said, "What have you prepared for it?"
The man said, "I haven't prepared for it much of prayers or fast or alms, but I love Allah and His Apostle."
The Prophet said, "You will be with those whom you love."  
(Bukhari, Book No. 73, Hadith No. 192)

Remembering death is the best way to control our desires, check our activities and put our lifestyle to accountability. It makes us think – and think seriously – of what we are doing and what we should be doing. When we accepted the bond and declared ‘I believe’, we pledged our lives. We surrendered unconditionally to the Will of God, the Almighty Creator, and agreed to obey His commands. In return, He named us Muslims (Believers) and opened the gates of Heaven for us, assuring us of His mercy and blessings. But we don’t respect what we agreed upon; and we obey only those commands that serve our purpose and give us some material benefit. That’s hypocrisy!

We are champions of saying something else and doing something else. We are running a vicious race of material accumulation, and occasionally we talk of Allah and His Prophet (s.a.w.) to pretend that we are true believers. The irony is that we just use those names to impress others. If we had respected those two names, we would have followed their commands and teachings in real life. We are busy enjoying life as if there is no death and we are going to live forever. We are not even bothered by the bloodshed, explosions and destruction taking place around us. Is it the death of the Conscience?

The World vs The Hereafter
“No man can in any wise serve two masters that are at
enmity one with the other; for if the one shall love you,
the other will hate you. Even so I tell you in truth that ye
cannot serve God and the world for the world lies in
falsehood, covetousness, and malignity. Ye cannot
therefore find rest in the world, but rather persecution
and loss. Wherefore serve God and despise the world,
for from me ye shall find rest for your souls.
Hear my words for I speak unto you in truth.”
--- Jesus Christ
(From the Gospel of Barnabas)


A wise man was walking in the funeral of a believer. On the way to graveyard, somebody started talking about the dead man and showed his grief, feeling pity for the deceased. The wise man said: Instead of regretting the sad death of the man, you better start regretting your own death. And instead of feeling pity about him, you should be feeling sorry for yourself. You don’t have the time to talk about these things, as you should be preparing for your own death. The dead man has already passed three stages of a painful journey:
He doesn’t have to fear encountering the angel of death any more.
He doesn’t have to bear the pain and agony of dying any more.
He doesn’t have to fear the terrible end of life any more.
But you! You still have to go through all three stages. You better be prepared!

Life of this world is very deceptive. It’s an illusion. It’s like we are in a ‘transit lounge’ and would be departing soon for our destination. But we seem to be addicted to the life of this transit lounge. We have forgotten that we are passengers and have a destination. The journey seems to be more magical than the destination itself. The reason is that we are ignoring the Truth that enlightens our heart and guides us. In the Quran, Allah says:

أَفَمَن شَرَحَ ٱللَّهُ صَدْرَهُ لِلإِسْلاَمِ فَهُوَ عَلَىٰ نُورٍ مِّن رَّبِّهِ
فَوَيْلٌ لِّلْقَاسِيَةِ قُلُوبُهُمْ مِّن ذِكْرِ ٱللَّهِ أُوْلَـٰئِكَ فِى ضَلاَلٍ مُّبِينٍ
“Is one whose heart Allah has opened to Islam, so
that he has received Enlightenment from Allah, (not
better than one hard-hearted)? Woe to those whose
hearts are hardened against celebrating the praises
of Allah! They are manifestly wandering (in error)!”
(al-Quran 39:22)

One day the Prophet (s.a.w.) was sitting in a gathering of believers, and he recited the above verse from Surah Az-Zummar which says that when Allah wants to bestow His light of guidance on someone, He opens his heart wide to Islam and the light of guidance enters his heart.
Somebody asked: O Prophet of Allah, what is the sign that Allah’s light of guidance has entered the heart?
The Prophet (s.a.w.) answered: The person starts disliking the charms and temptation of this deceptive life (of the world), and gets attracted to the real eternal life (of the Hereafter). He starts preparing for death before its coming.

The enlightened hearts are divinely guided. They know that they are staying in this transit lounge (planet Earth) for a short time and that’s all the time they have got to prepare for the final journeying to the Creator. So, they spend this time wisely and do what is going to benefit them in the Hereafter. Can we call it common sense? It’s not common though and most people are not following it!

Once, a companion of the Prophet (s.a.w.), Abu Darda, was accompanying a funeral to the graveyard.  Somebody joined on the way and asked whose funeral it was.
Abu Darda answered: It’s your funeral. And if you don’t like the answer, then it’s my funeral.
The point made was that it was the time to remember death and prepare for it, instead of wasting time in idle talk.

Famous saint Hassan Basri said: I wonder and I wonder a lot about those people who have been informed and commanded to prepare for their deaths as the departure would be announced soon but people don’t worry at all. They don’t care and continue having good time in their worldly affairs. But when they see somebody’s funeral, they pretend to show so much sorrow and grief as if they had attended their own mother’s funeral.

All enlightenment and guidance comes from Allah but it comes to those only who seek it and who strive for it. It’s not like the rain on a town full of sinners and the righteous. Rain benefits all but the guidance is sought and granted. Those who don’t seek it, they are like those who refuse to believe. And they would be punished! 
فَمَن يُرِدِ ٱللَّهُ أَن يَهْدِيَهُ يَشْرَحْ صَدْرَهُ لِلإِسْلاَمِ وَمَن يُرِدْ
أَن يُضِلَّهُ يَجْعَلْ صَدْرَهُ ضَيِّقاً حَرَجاً كَأَنَّمَا يَصَّعَّدُ فِى ٱلسَّمَآءِ
كَذٰلِكَ يَجْعَلُ ٱللَّهُ ٱلرِّجْسَ عَلَى ٱلَّذِينَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ
“Those whom Allah (in His plan) wills to guide,
He opens their breast to Islam; those whom He
wills to leave straying, He leaves their breast
closed and constricted, as if they had to climb
up to the skies. Thus does Allah (heap) the
penalty on those who refuse to believe.”
(al-Quran 6:125)

Death is inevitable! Nobody can escape! The best or the worst part of it is that you never know when it will come unto you. So, what’s the message in it?
The message is loud and clear: You’ve got only this moment! If you want to do something good, do it now! There is no guarantee for the next moment.

Allah has given so many parables in the Quran to make us understand. Here’s an example of a situation on the Judgment Day when the sinners would be begging the righteous to help them but it won’t be possible any more. Help is available only here, in the temporary transit lounge!

يَوْمَ يَقُولُ ٱلْمُنَافِقُونَ وَٱلْمُنَافِقَاتُ لِلَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ ٱنظُرُونَا نَقْتَبِسْ
مِن نُّورِكُمْ قِيلَ ٱرْجِعُواْ وَرَآءَكُمْ فَٱلْتَمِسُواْ نُوراً فَضُرِبَ
بَيْنَهُم بِسُورٍ لَّهُ بَابٌ بَاطِنُهُ فِيهِ ٱلرَّحْمَةُ وَظَاهِرُهُ مِن قِبَلِهِ ٱلْعَذَابُ
“One Day the Hypocrites (men and women) will
say to the Believers: "Wait for us! Let us borrow
(a Light) from your Light!" It will be said: "Turn
back to your rear! Then seek a Light (where you
can)!" So a wall will be put up between them,
with a gate therein. Within it will be Mercy
throughout, and without it, all alongside,
will be (Wrath and) Punishment!”
(al-Quran 57:13)

We are all sinners, we are all human beings. Allah knows us well because He has created us. He knows that we’ll be tempted to sin again and again and again, till our last breath. Still He assures us that His mercy encompasses all and everything. He’ll forgive us every time when we repent, seek His forgiveness and promise not to repeat the sin again. In other words, His mercy is conditional. Again, His mercy is not like the rain that falls on everything and everybody in a particular area. It falls on those who seek it by repenting, by begging pardon, and by promising not to sin again. No repentance, no mercy!

وَإِنِّى لَغَفَّارٌ لِّمَن تَابَ وَآمَنَ وَعَمِلَ صَالِحَاً ثُمَّ ٱهْتَدَىٰ
"But, without doubt, I am (also) He that
forgives again and again, to those who repent,
believe, and do right; who, in the end,
are ready to receive true guidance."
(al-Quran 20:82)

In the above verse, Allah makes it very clear as to who qualifies for His mercy. It’s a common belief among believers (especially Muslims) that even if you are a non-practicing Muslim, you would be pardoned in the end and would go to Paradise. No, it is not going to happen if you don’t repent and seek Allah’s forgiveness before death comes unto you. Moreover, you have to prove your honesty and sincerity too. Here’s another proof from the Quran!

قُلْ يٰعِبَادِىَ ٱلَّذِينَ أَسْرَفُواْ عَلَىٰ أَنفُسِهِمْ لاَ تَقْنَطُواْ مِن
رَّحْمَةِ ٱللَّهِ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يَغْفِرُ ٱلذُّنُوبَ جَمِيعاً إِنَّهُ هُوَ ٱلْغَفُورُ ٱلرَّحِيمُ
وَأَنِـيبُوۤاْ إِلَىٰ رَبِّكُمْ وَأَسْلِمُواْ لَهُ مِن قَبْلِ أَن يَأْتِيَكُمُ ٱلْعَذَابُ ثُمَّ لاَ تُنصَرُونَ
وَٱتَّبِعُـوۤاْ أَحْسَنَ مَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكُم مِّن رَّبِّكُـمْ مِّن قَبْلِ
أَن يَأْتِيَكُـمُ ٱلْعَذَابُ بَغْتَةً وَأَنتُمْ لاَ تَشْعُرُونَ
“Say: O my Servants who have transgressed
against their souls! Despair not of the Mercy
of Allah; for Allah forgives all sins; for He
is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
Turn to your Lord (in repentance) and bow
to His (Will), before the Penalty comes on
you; after that you shall not be helped.
And follow the best of (the courses) revealed
to you from your Lord, before the Penalty comes
upon you of a sudden while you perceive not!”
(al-Quran 39:53-55)

The above three verses of Surah Az-Zummar describe the criterion very clearly. Despair not of the mercy of Allah but turn to Him, repent, seek forgiveness before death comes unto you! After that, you won’t he helped. It would be too late.

His command is very clear that you have to ‘follow the best of the courses revealed to you from your Lord’ before your death! This is the minimum qualification, the merit base – follow the Quran and live by it! Without it, you should not expect mercy.

Ibn Umar narrates: We were ten people sitting in the company of the Prophet (s.a.w.). One of the Ansars asked the Prophet (s.a.w.):
‘Who is the wisest and the most conscious person?’
The Prophet (s.a.w.) answered: ‘Those who remember death most and are preparing for it the best possible way. They are the people who will win the honors both in this world and in the Hereafter.’

He also said: If you remember death more often, you’ll distance yourself from the pleasures (or temptations) of this worldly life.

Remembering death controls your ambitions and curtails your hopes. It reminds you to stay away from sins; do good deeds for the Hereafter; strive for a simple living; not to accumulate wealth and material goods; not to violate other people’s rights; not to commit transgression; not to spread corruption; etc., etc.

Once in a gathering, a young man asked the Prophet (s.a.w.):
‘O Prophet of Allah! Who is the wisest among believers?’
The Prophet (s.a.w.) replied: ‘The one who thinks about death more often; talks about death more often; and starts the best preparation for it before death comes unto him.’

Salaam (peace and protection of Allah)! May Allah bless you and guide you all!


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