< Thoughts & Readings

Monday, March 08, 2004  

On Death O you who are enjoying the bounty of this world, you will soon depart with your bounty! How fine is this piece of poetry of one of the poets: “Listen, for you are able to hear; if you do not take the initiative it will be too late. Eat as you like and live in ease, the end of all of this is death”. Soon, your wealth and your span of life will vanish, your eyesight will weaken, your mind will lose its sanity and your capacity for food and drink will decrease. You will see the pleasures but you will be unable to have anything of them. Your wife and children will hate you and wish for your death. Care and grief will be thrown on you. This world will abandon you and the hereafter will accept you. If you have good deeds in the hereafter, it will receive you and enfold you in its bosom, but if you have no such deeds, the grave will be your place and the Fire will be your final abode. What is this illusion (that you are in)? The Prophet (Salla Allah ta’ala ‘alayhi wa sallam) used to say: “(Real) living is the living of the hereafter”, and repeated it to himself and to his companions (Radhiya Allah ta’ala ‘anhum). Use your good health and your leisure time in obedience to Allah (‘Azza wa Jall) before the approach of an illness that spoils your good health and business that takes away your leisure time. Make full use of your affluence before you become poor, for affluence does not last forever. Be generous toward the poor and share with them your possessions, for that which give to them is that which you establish as credit with your Lord and will be useful for you in the hereafter. Woe unto you! Take full advantage of your life before your death. Learn a lesson from death, for the Prophet (Salla Allah ta’ala ‘alayhi wa sallam) used to say: “Death is sufficient as a preacher”. Death wears out every new thing, brings near every distant thing and disturbs every clear thing. There is no escape from death. It may come in this very hour and in this very day. This matter is under control of someone else; it is not in your hands. Everything that you have is a loan; your youth, your good health, your leisure time, your affluence and your life are all on loan to you. Therefore, let your concern be with that which is a genuine source of care. (Death) is watching you while you are unaware. You have forgotten to wait for it despite the fact that it is standing in front of you. It will soon come to your field; its field being your well-being and your lives. The spirit of one of you will go, while his body stays behind like a corpse of a sheep. Who will feel for you and bury you in the ground before the earth’s wild beasts and insects eat you? Your family, friends and enemies will stay with their food, drink and pleasures, and they will or will not ask Allah to show mercy toward you. Many kings were killed by their enemies who then threw them in the wilderness, deliberately without burial, to ensure that they will be devoured by dogs and insects. How ugly is the king who ends up like this! How good is this piece poetry of one of the people of Allah: “One whom death can remove is not a real king; the real king is he who does not die”! The sensible among you is one who remembers death and is satisfied with whatever destiny brings, thanking for that which he likes and enduring with patience that which he dislikes. Focus your reflection on matters related to your religion, instead of reflecting on lustful desires and pleasures, and reflect on death and that which lies beyond. O people, die before you die. Die as far as your lower selves and your wills are concerned. Remember death frequently and prepare for it before its arrival and then you will have died before you die. Thus, death will be easy for you and will not represent a burden or grief. The arrival of the day of death and the arrival of the Day of Resurrection are inevitable, so wait for them. These two days have been decreed by Allah (‘Azza wa Jall) and cannot be avoided. Remembering death is a remedy for the disease of the lower self and a benefit over its head. I have spent years remembering death frequently, by night and by day. I have prospered through remembering it and I have overpowered my lower self through that remembrance. On one of those nights, I remembered death and wept from the onset of night until the beginning of dawn. On that night, I kept on weeping and saying: “O Allah, I beg You that the Angel of Death does not take my spirit away but that You take it away”. At the beginning of dawn, my eyes dozed off and I saw a handsome old man with beautiful features coming in through the door. I said to him: “Who are you?” He replied: “I am the Angel of Death”. I said to him: “I have begged Allah (‘Azza wa Jall) that He Himself takes away my spirit and not you”. He asked: “But why did you ask Him for that? What is my guilt? I am just a servant under orders. I am commanded to be gentle with some people and be rough with others”. He then embraced me and wept, so I wept with him. I then woke up while I was still weeping. O you who are in the company of their worldly goods and their great expectations! The appointed times of death will soon come and separate you from your hopes. Hurry up before the arrival of these appointed times. Look at sudden death. Death is not necessarily preceded by illness. Iblis is your enemy so do not heed to his advice. Do not trust him for he is not trustworthy. Beware of him. He wants you to die while you are standing on the foot of heedlessness, disobedience and disbelief. Do not be forgetful of your enemy for his sword will not be prevented from reaching a truthful person or a disbeliever. Only a few individuals escape it. He removed your father Adam and your mother Eve (‘Ala nabiyyina wa ‘alayhima as-salat wa as-salam) from Paradise and he works diligently to prevent you from living therein. He urges you to commit acts of disobedience, sins, disbelief and noncompliance. All acts of disobedience are attributed to him, after the decree of Allah and His destiny. All creatures are subject to affliction except the servants of Allah who are wholly committed to His (‘Azza wa Jall) service, so he has no authority over them. At some times, he can cause the latter harm, for when it is time that a decreed matter takes place, the eye becomes blind. His effect on them touches only the body, not the heart or the innermost being, touches only matters relating to this world not matters pertaining to the hereafter, touches only matters relating to creatures not matters pertaining to the Creator (‘Azza wa Jall). He accesses creatures mainly through the attachment to this world and the lower self. Seeking this world is a burning fire. O young men, occupy yourselves with that which concerns you and reforms you. Preparing for that which lies after death is of concern to you, striving against your lower self is of concern to you, paying attention to your faults is of concern to you, but attending to the faults of other people does not concern you. Remember death and work in preparation for what lies after it, for the Prophet (Salla Allah ta’ala ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “The intelligent person is one who calls himself to account and works in preparation for that which lies after death, while the incompetent person is one who lets his lower self follow its passion, yet still wishes for forgiveness from Allah”. -Shaikh 'Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani, Purification of the Mind (Jila' Al-Kathir)

posted by SuFiSTiC | 3/08/2004 03:09:00 AM |
As for him who fears to stand before his Lord and restrains the ego its desires, the Garden is shelter.
(The Snatchers:40)
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "The Fire is surrounded by all kinds of desires and passions, while Paradise is surrounded by all kinds of disliked, undesirable things."
Whoever does good at night is rewarded during the day and whoever does good during the day is rewarded at night. Whoever is sincere in abandoning a desire is saved from catering to it. God is too noble to punish a heart that has abandoned a desire for His sake.
(Abu Sulayman ad-Darani)
Beware of your ego, and trust not its mischief;
The ego is worse than seventy devils.
(Arabic Poem)
Abu Bakar Balkhi
Md Mubaraq
Md Firdaus

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I seek God's forgiveness, and do not claim that my intention in producing this Blog is confined to good religious purposes; how may I do so when I am aware of the hidden desires, egotistic passions, and worldly wishes that I harbour? I do not claim innocence for myself; the ego is indeed an inciter to evil, save when my Lord shows mercy; my Lord is indeed Forgiving, Merciful. O God! I seek Your protection against my committing idolatry [shirk] knowingly, and Your forgiveness for that of which I am not aware! I ask God to make me and all other believers benefit from this Blog and to render my production of it purely for the sake of His Noble Countenance.

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