It is ironical that the place where we do not have to live forever we are concerned about it as if this is the only life we have. And the Hereafter which is eternal and lasting is the least of our worries.
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala reminds us,
“[The time of] their account has approached for the people, while they are in heedlessness turning away. No mention comes to them anew from their Lord except that they listen to it while they are at play,” [21: 1-2].
Are we living in oblivion?
Our death and resurrection should keep us worried especially when engaging in something that we shouldn’t be doing. When the soul urges us to do wrong, we must ask ourselves: what if I die right now. How will I face Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala? In what condition will I be resurrected? Some years ago, there was news of college girls dying in a stampede in a concert. I was haunted by the thought in what condition their souls would have been recollected? We beg Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala to grant us all an honorable life and death in a state that He is pleased with, ameen.
We Will Be Questioned About Our Life on Earth
To be honored with such a death we will have to become the kind of people who say, “We heard and we obeyed,” and not of those who say, “We have heard but we are not going to obey.” Because we will be questioned about our time spent on this earth, as Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says,
“He is not questioned about what He does, but they will be questioned,” [21: 23].
Let us prepare for the questioning of the Hereafter as we prepare for our worldly exams. Let us strive to be among the high achievers as we do for the worldly positions.
Our Deeds Will Be Weighed
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala tells us our deeds will be weighed, and when that happens where would we stand?
“And We place the scales of justice for the Day of Resurrection, so no soul will be treated unjustly at all. And if there is [even] the weight of a mustard seed, We will bring it forth. And sufficient are We as an accountant,” [21: 47].
There is glad tiding for him whose good deeds outnumber the bad ones. An easy way to raise our scales is to get busy in glorifying and praising Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala with words such as SubhanAllahi wabihamdihi SubhanAllahil Azeem.
Allah Will Protect You If You Protect His Deen
We have learned in Surah al-Baqarah when we remember Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala with our thikr He too remembers us. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala takes care of His righteous servants no matter what people plot against them. When Prophet Ibraheem spoke against the idols the community advised his father to burn him alive. They said, “Burn him and support your gods – if you are to act,” [21:68].
Little did they know that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is the Creator of fire. He said,
“O fire, be coolness and safety upon Ibraheem. And they intended for him harm, but We made them the greatest losers,” [21: 69-70].
When man surrenders to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, He helps him miraculously. We see this in the example of other messengers as well. They submitted only to Him, cried out only before Him, and sought help from Him alone. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala helped them all and took them out of their distress, at His decided time. Let us not be hasty with our prayers and have all our hope in Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala alone.
Learn the Du’as of the Prophets
Sometimes when we want something we are unable to articulate our words properly. It is a mercy of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala that through His prophets He taught us the words to make du’a in. In Surah al-Anbiya, we learn the du’a of Prophet Yunus ‘alayhi salaam,
“There is no deity except You; exalted are You. Indeed, I have been of the wrongdoers,” [21: 87].
Look at how he makes the du’a, he first praises Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and then acknowledges his mistake. In the narrations it has been said, when the angels heard this du’a they pleaded his case in the court of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala because they would often hear him being engaged in thikr when he was safe on the land. Such is the power of thikr.
What chances do we have if a whale swallows us up, we will come out alive? Have we attained that special status with Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala where He will save us miraculously?
For Allah, Nothing is Impossible
Talking about miracles, Prophet Zakariya ‘alayhi salaam was blessed with an offspring despite his old age and his wife’s barrenness. Because for Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala nothing is impossible.
How can we get closer to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala to attain the special status? It is said that the closest position one can be to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is prostration.
The entire creation in the heavens and the earth, the sun, the moon, the stars, the mountains, the trees, the moving creatures and believers prostrates to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, as we learn in Surah al-Hajj ayah 18.
When we choose to neglect our prayers, it is not that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is in need of our prostration. There are billion other created beings that prostrate to Him and win a special status with Him. If we are arrogant and do not prostrate, it is our loss. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says,
“They have not appraised Allah with true appraisal. Indeed, Allah is Powerful and Exalted in Might,” [22: 74].
This is such a heartbreaking statement! Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has given us everything, this computer or mobile device that we are reading this post off of. He made it possible for us to sit in the air-conditioned room when it’s 90 degrees (F) outside and to eat a healthy evening meal when we break out fast. Yet, we don’t acknowledge Him as He deserves to be acknowledged?
(Adapted from Mufti Ismail Menk’s Peace of Pearl Series, Cape Town, Ramadan 2013.)