The Life Hereafter
by Shaykh Ahmed Abdul Mujeeb Qasmi Nadvi (translated by Muhammad Owais Jafrey)
Everyone in this mortal world is destined to taste death, a bitter truth than no one can deny. Surah Al-Imraan in Aayah 185 says:
“Every soul will taste death and you will be paid in full on the Day of Resurrection. Who ever is kept away from the Fire and admitted to the Garden will have triumphed. The present world is only an illusory pleasure…”
This verse reflects an open secret that mankind through death passes on to another phase of life. Death is but a transition from this physical life to another state of life. A day is bound to come when this world and everything in it will be no more. Allah (SWT) will resurrect mankind as mentioned in Surah Mutaffifeen in Aayah 4-6:
“Do these people not realize that they will be raised up on a mighty Day, a Day when everyone will stand before the Lord of the Worlds?”
This will be a different place where everyone will reap the harvest of what he must have sown in this world. This is the place and time of action and as our borrowed time comes to an end, we will find ourselves in “Daar-ul-Jaza”, a world of profit or loss, of honor or humiliation, of reward or punishment. And remember this life is limited, but the life in the Hereafter is eternal and limitless. Mankind has been given full freedom to spend this life as an investment to earn the benefits of the Hereafter, or devote it to indulge in practices warranting punishment and humiliation. Who in the right mind will choose to spoil an eternal life with misdeeds in a temporary life? Allah (SWT) says in Surah Mulk, Aayah 1:
“Exalted is He, Who holds all control in His hands; Who has power over all things; Who created death and life to test you [people] and reveal which of you does best – He is the Mighty, the Forgiving; Who created the seven heavens, one above the other.”
How sad that knowing this world as “Daar-ul-Amal”, place of action, man totally disregards the Hereafter. He willingly becomes a victim of temptations and doesn’t pay any attention to the messages with which Allah (SWT) has sent messengers after messengers. They time and again came to remind us and to warn us that time will run out. They wanted to wake us up before it was too late. Not caring for the Hereafter and showing no concern even after seeing that people are passing away day and night from amongst us is the last and deplorable stage of forgetfulness and carelessness. Our beloved Prophet (SAW) once said that “Someone’s death is an enough advisor for us.” In yet another tradition, he (SAW) advised: “Think more often of death which nullifies all pleasures.” It was Prophet (SAW)’s usual practice that in the last part of night, he (SAW) used to call his house hold people to wake up in these words: “Get up, remember Allah, remember Allah, the time of the big jolt that will topple this world upside down is approaching fast. Death with all its agony and hardship is here, look, it is close by.” [Tirmizi].
It is a fact that this life is the only opportunity to prepare ourselves for the grave and the Hereafter. If we fail to act, be assured that the grave will be dark and narrow. Prophet (SAW) said that the grave is either a garden from among the gardens of Paradise, or it is a pit from among the pits of Hell. In yet another tradition, he (SAW) said that the
grave calls out daily that it is a place of strangeness and loneliness, it is an earthen closet, and a hole filled with worms. He (SAW) added that when a Momin and a puritan is buried, the grave greets and welcomes him with love and extends itself as far as the eye could see, but when a disobedient of Allah (SWT) is buried, the grave treats him as an enemy. It contracts his body to an extent that his ribs change places as compressed by agonizing pressure.
This is the opportunity that Allah (SWT) has given us to wake up from the slumber of
forgetfulness. No one knows when the angle of death may come and we may loose the only chance to act. Those who are careless, forgetful and sinners will experience in the Hereafter a moment of extreme pain, loss, and shame, but repentance will be of no avail as they the opportunity to act, reform and correct will be lost. The Holy Qur’an describes their condition in Surah Sajdah, Aayah 12 in these words:
“[Prophet], if only you could see the wrongdoers hang their heads before their Lord [submitting]: ‘Our Lord, now that we have seen and heard; send us back and we shall do good. [Now] we are convinced.”
Since this wouldn’t be the time of forgiveness, hence repentance and sense of guilt will be of no avail and the sinner will be told in point blank terms what is mentioned in Aayah 14 of the same Surah:
“So since you ignored the meeting on this Day of yours, now We shall ignore you: taste the lasting suffering for all that you have done.”
This world is for both, the Momin as well as the Kaafir. The only difference is that a Momin leads his life in this world in accordance with the commands and will of Allah (SWT), and a Kaafirclings to the material world without any moral binding. The only thing one needs for the salvation in the Hereafter is to act according to Allah’s and His Prophet (SAW)’s commands in all spheres of life; be it in food, drink, business, inter-relationships, and social interaction. This is essence of Islamic teachings and tailoring one’s life according to these teachings earns Allah (SWT)’s and His Messenger (SAW)’s pleasure.
It is Allah (SWT)’s infinite mercy that He made us Muslims and bestowed upon us Faith in Him, in His Message and His Messengers, without our doing anything to deserve this favor and blessing. The only thing which distracts our attention from Allah is carelessness and forgetfulness. It is very necessary for us to clean our hearts and focus on what is most important. Please take some time off from your daily engagements and preoccupations to ponder upon His infinite blessings. Deliberate on how much time we have spent in His remembrance and in thanking Him for His favors. Think how much time have we spent in obedience and how much in disobedience? A time will come when we will find standing before Him and be held accountable for all that we have done in
this short life. Our hands, feet, eyes and ears will stand as witness against us for using them against His commands. Pay attention, be vigilant and remain conscious and keep
reminding yourself that each moment is shortening your life. Insha Allah continuous self accountability will instill a sense of obedience and adherence to Allah (SWT)’s command and make you realize of things which please or displease Allah. This state in Qur’anic terminology is called “Taqwa”, or Piety, which forms the very basis of all that is virtue, which in turn takes out the fear of death. On the contrary Allah’s angels will descend with glad tidings to endow you with peace and contentment.
Tafseer-e-Ibn-e-Jareer relates that while approaching a Momin, the angel of death asks: “Should I take you out of this world or leave you in?” The Momin replies: “Please make haste and take me away from this troublesome and worrisome place.”
Poet philosopher Iqbal said:
Shouldn’t I tell you the sign of a Momin?
Smile plays on his lips as he greets death.”
There are always some puritans who are pleased at the time of death because they want to join the world where Prophet (SAW), his companions and former Prophets and Messengers are leading a life of bliss and eternal pleasure. Qazi Ayaz (RehmA) writes that when Sayyidina Bilal (RA)’s lay dying, his wife said in grief: “Sad, what a time of grief has dawned.” Bilal (RA) spontaneously replied in his feeble voice: “No, no, this is a moment of great pleasure, Insha Allah I will join my beloved Prophet (SAW), companions, and friends.”
May Allah (SWT) enable us to think about Hereafter and have concern for it! Aameen!
May Allah enable us to realize the importance of the gift of life and the countless blessings we have been bestowed with and utilize our time prudently and wisely and the way it pleases Allah (SWT) and His Messenger (SAW). Aameen!
SWT = Subhanahu Wa Ta'Ala
SAW = Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam
AS = AlehisSalam
RA = Radhiyallaho anhu
RAnha= Radhiyallaho anha
The Friday Khutbahs are published to enhance your knowledge of Islam. The references of Quran and Hadith are the approximate translation of the Arabic text. The editors have not verified the accuracy of the the English translation. The scholarly reader is encouraged to refer to the original Arabic script if there is any doubt. Kindly notify us if the translation can be enhanced.