Tag Archives: death

1. This Could Be Your Last Ramadan. . .

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1.

Take out your phone. Open a blank text and address it to yourself. Write the following: “(your name) has passed away. Inna lillahi wa inna illayhi raji’un. Janazah will be held at our local masjid. Please try to attend and pray for him/her maghfirah”. Now how did that make you feel? How many of such texts have we opened since last Ramadan? Take a moment and recall how many people you were together with last Ramadan who have now passed away.

If you’re reading this then it means you’re alive and have reached another Ramadan, do you realise how lucky you are? Do you know the blessing that has been bestowed upon you? Read the hadith below so you can understand;

Talha ibn ‘Ubaydallah (radhiallahu anhu) reported that two men came to the Prophet (sallallahualayhi wa sallam) who had accepted Islam at the same time. One of them used to partake in Jihad more-so than the other, and so (one day) he fought in a battle and was martyred therein. The other remained behind him for another year, and then he passed away.

Talha said, ‘I saw in my dream that I was at the door of Paradise when behold, I was with both of them (the two men). Someone came out of Paradise and allowed the man who passed away later to enter first. Then he came out again and allowed the martyred one to enter. Then he returned and said to me, ‘Go back, for your time has not come yet.’

Talha woke up and began to inform others about this and they were all surprised. This reached the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) and when they informed him of it, he said: He (sallallahualayhi wa sallam) said, ‘What are you surprised about?’ They said, ‘O Messenger of Allah! Out of them both, this one strove harder (in Jihad) then he was martyred but this other one was entered into Paradise before him.’ The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said,

‘Did he not remain behind him for one year?’ They said, ‘Yes (he did).’ He said, ‘Did he not reach Ramadan, fast and pray with such and such number of prostrations in the year?’ They said, ‘Yes.’ The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said, ‘So the difference between them is greater than what is between the heavens and the earth .
Sahih narration from Ibn Majah (2/345, 346) and al-Albani’s ‘al-Silsilah al-Sahihah’

We have a precious opportunity in our hands, don’t take it for granted. There’s no guarantee that we’ll reach another Ramadan, there’s not even a guarantee that we’ll reach the end of this one! So let’s put in our best efforts to see that it’s our best ever Ramadan yet!

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Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud

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When he was still a youth, not yet past the age of puberty, he used to roam the mountain trails of Makkah far away from people, tending the flocks of a Quraysh chieftain, Uqbah ibn Muayt. 

People called him “Ibn Umm Abd” The son of the mother of a slave. His real name was Abdullah and his father’s name was Mas’ud. 

The youth had heard the news of the Prophet who had appeared among his people but he did not attach any importance to it both because of his age and because he was usually far away from Makkan society. It was his custom to leave with the flock of Uqbah early in the morning and not return until nightfall. 

One day while tending the flocks, Abdullah saw two men, middle-aged and of dignified bearing, coming towards him from a distance. They were obviously very tired. They were also so thirsty that their lips and throat were quite dry. They came up to him, greeted him and said, “Young man, milk one of these sheep for us that we may quench our thirst and recover our strength.” 

“I cannot,” replied the young man. “The sheep are not mine. I am only responsible for looking after them.” The two men did not argue with him. In fact, although they were so thirsty, they were extremely pleased at the honest reply. The pleasure showed on their faces . . . 

The two men in fact were the blessed Prophet(S.A.W) himself and his companion, Abu Bakr Siddiq. They had gone out on that day to the mountains of Makkah to escape the violent persecution of the Quraysh. The young man in turn was impressed with the Prophet(S.A.W) and his companion and soon became quite attached to them. 

It was not long before Abdullah ibn Mas’ud became a Muslim and offered to be in the service of the Prophet. The Prophet agreed and from that day the fortunate Abdullah ibn Mas’ud gave up tending sheep in exchange for looking after the needs of the blessed Prophet(S.A.W).

Abdullah ibn Mas’ud remained closely attached to the Prophet. He would attend to his needs both inside and outside the house. He would accompany him on journeys and expeditions. He would wake him when he slept. He would shield him when he washed. He would carry his staff and his siwak (toothbrush) and attend to his other personal needs. 

Abdullah ibn Mas’ud received a unique training in the household of the Prophet. He was under the guidance of the Prophet, he adopted his manner and followed his every trait until it was said of him, “He was the closest to the Prophet in character.” 

Abdullah was taught in the “school” of the Prophet. He was the best reciter of the Qur’an among the companions and he understood it better than them all. He was therefore the most knowledgeable on the Shariah. Nothing can illustrate this better than the story of the man who came to Umar ibn al-Khattab as he was standing on the plain of Arafat and said: 

“I have come, O Amir al-Mu’mineen, from Kufah where I left a man filling copies of the Qur’an from memory.” Umar became very angry and paced up and down beside his camel, fuming. “Who is he?” he asked.

“Abdullah ibn Masiud,” replied the man.

Umar’s anger subsided and he regained his composure. 

“Woe to you,” he said to the man. “By God, I don’t know of any person left who is more qualified in this matter than he is. Let me tell you about this.” Umar continued: 
“One night the Messenger of God(S.A.W), was having a conversation with Abu Bakr about the situation of Muslims. I was with them. When the Prophet left, we left with him also and as we passed through the mosque, there was a man standing in Prayer whom we did not recognise. 
The Prophet stood and listened to him, then turned to us and said, ‘Whoever wants to read the Qur’an as fresh as when it was revealed, then let him read according to the recitation of Ibn Umm Abd.’ 

After the Prayer, as Abdullah sat making supplications, the Prophet, peace be on him, said, “Ask and it will be given to you. Ask and it will be given to you.” 
Umar continued: “I said to myself I shall go to Abdullah ibn Mas’ud straight away and tell him the good news of the Prophet’s(S.A.W) ensuring acceptance of his supplications. I went and did so but found that Abu Bakr had gone before me and conveyed the good news to him. By God, I have never yet beaten Abu Bakr in the doing of any good.” 
Abdullah ibn Mas’ud attained such a knowledge of the Qur’an that he would say, “By Him besides Whom there is no god, no verse of the book of God has been revealed without my knowing where it was revealed and the circumstances of its revelation. By God, if I know there was anyone who knew more of the Book of Allah, I will do whatever is in my power to be with him.” 
Abdullah was not exaggerating in what he said about himself. Once Umar ibn al-Khattab met a caravan on one of his Journeys as caliph. It was pitch dark and the caravan could not be seen properly. Umar ordered someone to hail the caravan. It happened that Abdullah ibn Mas’ud was in it. 

“From where do you come?” asked Umar. 

“From a deep valley,” came the reply. (The expresion used fadj amiq deep valley is a Qur’anic one). 

“And where are you going?” asked Umar. 

To the ancient house,” came the reply. (The expression used al-bayt al-atiq the ancient house is a Qur’anic one.) 

There is a learned person (alim) among them,” said Umar and he commanded someone to ask the person:

“Which part of the Qur’an is the greatest?” –

” ‘God. There is no god except Him, the Living, the Selfsubsisting. Neither slumber overtakes Him nor sleep,’ ” replied the person answering, quoting the Ayat al-Kursi (the verse of the Throne). 

“Which part of the Qur’an is the most clear on justice?”

” ‘God commands what is just and fair, the feeding of relatives . . .’ ” came the answer. 

“What is the most comprehensive statement of the Qur’an?” ” ‘Whoever does an atom’s weight of good shall see it, and whoever does an atom’s weight of evil shall see it.’ ” 

“Which part of the Qur’an gives rise to the greatest hope?” -” ‘Say, O my servants who have wasted their resources, do not despair of the mercy of God. Indeed, God forgives all sins. He is the Forgiving, the Compassionate.’ ” 
Thereupon Umar asked: “Is Abdullah ibn Masiud among you?” “Yes, by God,” the men in the caravan replied. 
Abdullah ibn Mas’ud was not only a reciter of the Qur’an, a learned man or a fervent worshipper. He was in addition a strong and courageous fighter, one who became deadly serious when the occasion demanded it. 
The companions of the Prophet were together one day in Makkah. They were still few in number, weak and oppressed. They said, “The Quraysh have not yet heard the Qur’an being recited openly and loudly. Who is the man who could recite it for them?” 

“I shall recite it for them,” volunteered Abdullah ibn Mas’ud. “We are afraid for you,” they said. “We only want someone who has a clan who would protect him 

“Let me,” Abdullah ibn Mas’ud insisted, “Allah shall protect me and keep me away from their evil.”

 He then went out to the mosque until he reached Maqam Ibrahim (a few metres from the Ka’bah). It was dawn and the Quraysh were sitting around the Ka’bah. Abdullah stopped at the Maqam and began to recite: 
” ‘Bismillahir Rahmani-r Rahim. ArRahman. Allama-l | Qur’an. Khalaqa-l insan. Allamahu-l bayan 

He went on reciting. The Quraysh looked at him intently and some of them asked: “What is Ibn Umm Abd saying?”

“Damn him! He is reciting some of what Muhammad brought!” they realized. 
They went up to him and began beating his face as he continued reciting. When he went back to his companions, the blood was flowing from his face. “This is what we feared for you,” they said. 

“By God,” replied Abdullah, “the enemies of God are not more comfortable than I at this moment. If you wish. I shall go out tomorrow and do the same.” “You have done enough,” they said. “You have made them hear what they dislike.” 
Abdullah ibn Masiud lived to the time of Khalifah Uthman(R.A). When he was sick and on his death-bed, Uthman came to visit him and said: 

“What is your ailment?”

“My sins.”

“And what do you desire?”

“The mercy of my Lord.”

“Shall I not give you your stipend which you have refused to take for years now?” “I have no need of it.” 

“Let it be for your daughters after you.” 
“Do you fear poverty for my children? I have commanded them to read Surah Al-Waqi’ah every night for I have heard the Prophet saying, ‘Whoever reads Al-Waqi’ah every night shall not be effected by poverty ever.'” 

That night, Abdullah passed away to the company of his Lord, his thoughts moist with the remembrance of God and with the recitation of the verses of His Book

Leaving A Legacy

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Recently my elder sister lost a friend. A very nice lady we all knew and
had come to like. She was a doctor and not just any type of doctor
that is just ambitious and only cares about her career, but one that
gave in her time and energy to saving lives and helping out. She was a
very active member of an NGO that helped the Internally displaced
people(IDPs). She spent her time(remember again she’s a doctor)
with them and Alot of her money was invested for this purpose. Let’s
just say she touched a lot of lives and we can only pray that Allah in
His infinite mercy will accept it from her as sadaqatul jaariya (ongoing
charity after death). Ameen.

Now there is one thing that she didn’t achieve in her lifetime. Yes, I
call it achievement because we live in a society that believes you are
inferior once you don’t achieve that. I am sure by now you all know
what that is. Yes, ALLAH did not destine for her to be married in this
world. Now the question is- are you, the married person better than
her? Or is Allah more pleased with you because of your marriage
status? Or is there a Hadith or ayah from the qur’an that gives you
glad tidings of entering paradise before her? Then why is it that the
first thing that comes out of our mouths when we hear of her death is
– ‘wayyoo gashi batayi aure ba’ (shet! And to think she never got
married). Tell me, what has marriage got to do with her death?
If you should ask why it is of great importance for a person to be
married before he/she dies, you would get the same answer from
almost everybody- So that they would leave offspring that would pray
for them. Or some would say- ‘it’s easier to remember one in your
prayers when you see his child’.Now I ask you again- did you
guarantee that person would give birth just because he/she got
married? Didn’t Allah SWT tell us in the qur’an that He would make
some women barren? So what happens to those women? Then about
these kids. How many of them turn out to be actually good? How
many of them Really pray for their parents in the real sense? What
about those that die before their parents? How many kids did our
beloved Prophet Muhammad SAW have in his lifetime yet at the time
of his death, wasn’t it Only Fatima that remained? And even she, did
she not receive glad tidings from her father thatshe would join him
shortly after his death? Did that mean our prophet was forgotten by
hicompanions since he didn’t leave offspring that would make them
remember him?

The Prophet SAW told us in a very popular Hadith that ‘When a man
dies, his good deeds come to an end except three: ongoing charity
(sadaqatul jaariya), beneficial knowledge and righteous offspring that
will pray for him’ (Muslim). Did we notice how righteous offspring
came as the last of the three? He SAW also said ‘The good deeds that
will reach a believer after his death are: knowledge which he learned
and then spread; a righteous son whom he leaves behind; a copy of
the Qur’an that he leaves as a legacy; a mosque that he built; a house
that he built for wayfarers; a canal that he dug; or charity that he gave
during his lifetime when he was in good health. These deeds will
reach him after his death.” [Ibn Majah]

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Can we see how many good things that we can do that will benefit us
after death? If truly and sincerely it’s the after life we are thinking of.
Now ask yourselves- how many of us have really given our marriages
it’s full rights? Can we beat our chests and say we are sure that we
will be included in the Prophet’s saying ‘Any woman that dies while
her husband is pleased with her will enter Jannah?’ Those children
that you love and think are here to stay forever after your demise, how
many duas or adhkars have you taken your time to teach them?
I hope from my tone I don’t sound like I have anything against
marriage. If anything, I love being married. I understand that by
marrying, one has completed half of his deen. What I am against is
the hypocrisy of our people and the superiority attitude in which the
married people carry themselves. Allah tells us ‘Inna akramakum Indal
laa hi atqaakum'(Verily the noblest of you in the sight of Allah is the
best in conduct). He SWT did not specify whether married or
unmarried. There has never been any verse or Hadith stating the
superiority of one status over another(only of course the fabricated
ones that have been circulated). The legacy you live is what will carry
on long after you die just like our beloved Nabiyy SAW. So let us all
try to make the best of our time and stop lamenting over what we
can’t control. Allah is Al- Adl (the Just) and Al-Alim(the One who
knows). His timing is the best. Do the best you can and don’t wait to
get married before you reach your potential. For the unmarried, now is
the time to acquire a lot of beneficial knowledge and put more in
helping the society. For the married, work on yourselves too. Dress
more decently, spend more time with your family And less time
gossiping with other married people about how marriage is hard
work. Let’s all focus more on ourselves for really, in the end, it’s all
about you and Your Rabb.

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May Allah SWT make us all die when He is most pleased with us and
may we be able to leave all the forms of sadaqatul jaariya that would
benefit us. Ameen Ya Rabb
Please pray for my Sister’s friend. Jazaakumullahu khayran

Umm Turab

The Illusion of ‘having fun’.

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Bismillah.
I was discussing with a sister recently and she was narrating an encounter she had with some other sisters at a wedding. She was discussing with a sister about how it’s wrong to dance (if it’s in a mixed gathering) and the other sisters, as if waiting for the opportunity, started getting at her. They were telling her that she shouldn’t be so uptight and rigid, she should lighten up and be happy. So she asked them ‘Do I look unhappy to you?’ and then one of them replied, ‘well, you’re boringly happy’. They had a laugh and the conversation ended.
As she was narrating the incidence to me, I recalled the several times I had similar encounters too, of people telling me to loosen up and ‘have fun’. People assume being a practicing muslim is weird and boring, like we don’t enjoy life.  And I wish that people could be me for a day and see that I do ‘have fun’ ; halal fun. See there’s no ‘fun’ in disobeying Allah. That type of fun only leaves us feeling guilty afterwards, and if we don’t feel guilty after disobeying Allah then we should check our hearts ; they may be physically alive but spiritually dead.

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But we’re normal human beings too, we want to loosen the hijab a lil too and get the attention, date the bad boys, listen to music and dance, ‘have fun’ too.
But then what happens? We have fun, and then we die? Because no one can deny death. And we get questioned for all the ‘fun’ we had. See the issue is we’re all going to die, we’re all going to be questioned in the grave and we all have one God to answer too; those who ‘had fun’ and those who were ‘boringly happy’.

I was once advising a friend of mine about the camel hump hijab style and she was not bothered and told me ‘our deeds are never going to be enough to get us to Jannah anyway’. I honestly felt like smacking her! How can we use that as an excuse to disobey Allah? Granted, our deeds will never be sufficient to get us to jannah, it is only by Allah’s mercy that we can attain it. But what do you think will attract Allah’s mercy? Your good deeds or your bad deeds? Do we honestly think that we can go about living life breaking Allah’s commands and expect His mercy on Yaumul Qiyamah? Have you forgotten that there are the likes of Umar bin khattab, Abubakar As-siddiq, Fatima(RA) and imam Ahmad in our ummah? Imagine if on the Day of the Judgement you get called up after someone like Ibn Qayyim or Imam shafi’e, how do you think your questioning will go? What excuses will we give Allah as to why we disobeyed Him?
Sometimes we ought to view our sacrifices as the cases that we can present to Allah azza-wa-jall; when He (SWT) calls out our numerous sins and all we can answer is guilty Ya Rabb, guilty, perhaps we can plead with Him and tell Him that we gave up and so and so for His sake, we did so and so for His sake.

As Imam Omar Suleiman said in one of his lectures, ‘Anybody can do good deeds, anybody can give sadaqah and read Qur’an, the real challenge is giving up bad deeds’.
We should always look to those above us in the deen and not those below us.

So you see my dear brothers and sisters, there’s no use in having fun at the expense of Allah’s pleasure, we’re going to be held accountable for the ‘fun’ we had and God forbid we get to experience the torment of Jahannam because of it. The only fun worth having is the kind where you’re still in Allah’s good books even after it.
And let’s also try and make sacrifices for the sake of Allah. Let’s try and leave that sin or bad habit that we are more aware of so that we may earn Allah’s pleasure and His mercy on the Day of Judgement.
May Allah guide us all and make the following of guidance easy for us, ameen.
Assalama alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu.
Your sister in Deen,
Umm Saabir.

Death and the Advice of Imam Al Qurtubi

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Think, O’ you who are deceived by this world, of death and its agonies, how difficult and bitter a cup it is. What a true promise death is! How fair a judge it is!Death is enough to fill the heart with fear and the eyes with tears, to separate people, destroy pleasure and put an end to all worldly hopes. Have you given any thought,

O’ son of Adam, to the day when you will die and will be taken out of your place? When you will move from spaciousness (of this world) to the confines (of the grave), when friends and loved ones will let you down, and brothers and friends will desert you?When you will be taken from your bed and placed in a hole in the ground, and instead of a soft blanket you will be covered with dust and earth?

O’ gatherer of wealth, O’ industrious builder, by Allah you will have nothing left of your possessions except shrouds, and even they will be destroyed and will vanish as your body disintegrates and turns to dust. Where is the wealth that you amassed? Will it save you from these terrors? No indeed, you have left it behind for those who will not praise you, and you have come with your burdens (of sin) to One Who will not excuse you. 

Imagine yourself, O’ you who have been deceived by this world, when the agony of death and stupor of death overwhelms you, and you start moaning in the throes of death.There will some who will say, ‘So and so has made a will, and his wealth has been calculated,’ others will say, ‘So and so can no longer speak, he does not recognise his neighbours and he does not speak to his brothers.’ It is as if I can see you listening to these words and unable respond.

Imagine yourself, O’ son of Adam, being taken from your bed to the place where your body will be washed and shrouded, and being forsaken by your family and neighbours, wept over by your friends and brothers.Imagine the one who has washed your body saying, ‘Where is the wife of So and so to forgive him? Where are the orphans? Your father has left you and you will never see him again after this day.’ Where is the wealth that you have gathered and prepared for hardship and terror? There is no money in your hand when you are dying. The wealth and pride that you enjoyed have been replaced with humiliation and poverty.What has become of you,

O prisoner of your burdens, O’ you who have been taken away from your family and your home?  What was it that concealed the right path from you, and caused you to have no interest in making provision for your long journey and time of difficulty?Did you not know,

O’ you who were deceived by this world, that this journey to the Day of intense horror was inevitable, when the time spent gossip would be to no avail?That is the Day when you are standing before the Sovereign, the Judge, and the blows struck by your hands, the places where feet took you, the words uttered by your tongue, the actions of all your limbs and faculties, will be counted against you.If Allah has mercy on you, you will go to Paradise, otherwise you will go to the Fire of Hell.

O’ negligent one who ignores these matters, how long will this negligence last? How long will you delay? O you think that the issue is insignificant? Do you think that the matter is easy? Do you think that your situation will help you when it is time for you to depart? Or that your wealth will save you when your actions condemn you? Or that your regret will help you when your feet are slipping? Or that your friends will show you any sympathy when you are gathered (for judgement)?No, by Allah, you are wrong in your thinking, and you will inevitably come to know the reality. You are not content with enough, you never have your fill of that which is haram, you do not listen to lessons, you are not deterred by warnings.You persist in following desires and you go about your life without guidance. You are happy with the things that you have accumulated but you do not think what lies ahead.

O’ you who are sleeping unaware, wandering without guidance, for how long will the neglect last? Do you think you will be left alone and let off, and that you will not brought to account tomorrow? Or do you think that death can be bribed? Or do you think that death distinguishes between gazelle and lion? No, by Allah, wealth and sons can never ward off death from you. Nothing can benefit those who will be forgiven except righteous deeds. So good news to those who listen and understand, who practise what they preach, and are deterred from following their whims and desires, those who know that the victor is the one who pays heed, and that man will have he has striven for.So wake up from this negligence, and make righteous deeds the provision with which you equip yourselves. Do not wish to attain the status of the righteous when you are weighted down with the burden (of sin), doing immoral deeds, when Allah is watching you even when you are alone.Do not be so deceived by hopes and wishes that you neglect to strive.

One poet said,
 Take provision from this life to help yourself in the Hereafter.Strive for the sake of Allah and do good deeds.     
Do no accumulate too much in this world,     
For that accumulation will eventually diminish.     
Would you like to accompany people     
Who have provision when you do not?”
Source: Tadhkirat Al Qurṭubī

Hasan Al Basri’s Advice

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Hasan Al Basri used to say:
“O son of adam, You will die alone, be resurrected alone, and be recompensed alone. O son of adam! If all people obey Allah and you disobey Him, their obedience will not benefit you. If they all disobey Allah qnd you obey Him, their disobedience will not harm you. O Son of Adam, beware of your sins, for it is your flesh and blood at stake. If you are saved from the evil repercussions of your sins, your flesh and blood will be saved for you. If it is the other destination,then it is a fire that will never be extinguished, a body that will never perish and a soul that will never die” -Hasan al Basri p. 101