Remembrance of Death

We are so engrossed in our worldly pursuits that the remembrance of death does not occur to us. The Holy Prophet of Allah sallallahu alaihe wasallam has said, "The most intelligent person is the one who often remembers death."

Constant remembrance of it prevents one from evil and sin and motivates him towards good morals. The Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam said, "The remembrance of death defeats joy."

The above narration clearly indicates that we are in this world for a purpose and not just for pleasure and entertainment. The Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam says, "Live in the world as though you are a wayfarer."

Concerning this Hazrat Esa alaihis salaam has said, "This world is like a bridge, cross it and do not build on it."

Life in this world is very short which everyone has to surpass, until he meets his death. Allah says, "For every Ummah (community or nation) there is a term appointed, when their term is reached, not an hour (nor a moment) can they cause to delay, nor (an hour nor a moment) can they advance (it)." (10:49 Tafseer Al-Qurtubi)

How much do we remember Death?

Nowadays, when a person dies, the family and close relatives grieve over the deceased. After some time all is forgotten and much attention is given to the inheritance, so much so they begin to have disputes over it. The wealth of the deceased is valued more than the lessons to be taken from his death. If we remembered it frequently, we would certainly prepare for it.

Prepare for Death!

Intelligent students always prepare for exams. It is also a matter of intelligence to prepare for the account to be given after death. The Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam has mentioned in a Hadith, "Clever is the one who prepares for life after death." The Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam has also said, "Take importance of life before death." (Riyaadh-us-Salhiheen)

Once, the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam came to the Masjid for salaah, when he noticed some people laughing and giggling. He remarked, "If you remembered death, I would not see you like this. Think of your death often. Not a single day passes when the grave does not call out: I am a wilderness, I am a place of dust, I am a place of worms When a believer is placed in the grave, it says; Welcome, it is good of you to have come to me. Of all the people walking on the Earth, I liked you the best. Now you have come in to me, you will see how I entertain you. It then expands as far as the occupant can see. A door from Paradise is opened for him in the grave and through this door he gets fresh and fragrant air of Paradise. However, when a evil man is laid in the grave it says; You are not welcome here. Your coming into me is very bad for you. Of all the people walking on the Earth, I disliked you the most. Now that you have been put into me, you will see how I treat you! It then closes upon him so much that his ribs of one side penetrate into the ribs of the other. As many as seventy serpents are then set upon him, to keep biting him until the day of resurrection. These serpents are so venomous that if one of them happened to spurt its venom upon the earth, not a single blade of grass would ever grow."

Prepare for Death and Die a Muslim!

It is stated in a Hadith that a person will be raised in the state he dies.

Hazrat Yusuf alaihis salaam who had been given the Leadership of Egypt, prayed to Allah that He gives him death in the state of a Muslim and be raised amongst the righteous. Although being a Prophet of Allah, yet Hazrat Yusuf alaihis salaam feared that Allah would raise him amongst the leaders, as he was the Leader of Egypt. What extreme humbleness Yusuf alaihis salaam expressed!

How lucky are those souls who after finding out about the signs of their death, turn towards Allah, ask His repentance for any previous sins and prepare for it by doing good deeds. Such people are the ones who are truly gifted with the kalimah or a good outcome before departing from this world.

This tends to be the sign of their being fortunate and people witness a sign of their salvation from the punishment of the Hereafter.

No Escape from Death!

There is no doubt that there is a cure for every disease. If anyone is infected with a disease then it may be cured through medicine. His life may prolong to some extent but one day the same person will experience something with no cure at all. That is death. Allah states, "Wherever you may be, death will overtake you even if you are in fortresses built up strong and high."

The Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam said, "When Allah decides for a person to pass away at a certain place, he makes a need for that person at that place." (Tirmidhi)

It is in another tradition narrated on the authority of Kuthaima radiyallahu anhu that once the angel of death (Hazrat Izraeel alaihis salaam) appeared in the form of a human being in the court of Hazrat Sulaiman alaihis salaam and gazed continuously at a person present there for some time. That person asked Hazrat Sulaiman alaihis salaam, "Who was that person?" He told him that, that was the angel of death. He remarked: The angel of death had gazed at me in such a manner as if he had determined to take my life." Hazrat Sulaiman alaihis salaam asked him, "What do you want?" He requested him to take him to India. He commanded the cloud to pick him up and drop him in India.

Consequently the cloud carried him to India. The angel of death came to Hazrat Sulaiman alaihis salaam. He asked him, "Why did you fix your gaze at that person?" He said, "I wondered that the Almighty Allah had commanded me to take the life of this person in India whereas he was sitting here in your presence."