Thursday, January 20, 2011
Death: The End or The Beginning Of Believing Soul…
As Muslims it is time for us to reassess our approach to dying and death. Dying is understood to be a part of living — an important part. Sometimes we may not want to know about the processes that occur after we die because we are afraid or don’t want to think about it. However, this should not be the attitude of a Muslim. — The prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said, “live in this world as though you are a stranger or a traveller (passing through it).” [Muslim]
We as Muslims are on a journey and should know about the whole journey’s itinerary, not just one part, and should also understand some things about the destination. We should be foremost in learning and understanding about death and dying, so we can organize our lives accordingly, as what follows death for us is.
The Prophet said, “When a believer dies, he gets rest from the mercy of Allaah from the toils and harms of this world, but when one of the unbelievers dies, mankind, the trees and animals are relieved.” (Al-Bukhaaree).
However for some reason we are not patient with this, and we fail to recognize this, and we have developed the same fear of death, as the non-Muslims. And if we are careful and think about this, the simple reason is we know we are not preparing well. And for those with poor preperation, i.e. Islam, we know the likelihood is damnation.
The Prophet said, ‘Allah said, “O Adam! Bring out the contingent of the hell-fire!” Adam said, “Who are the contingents of the hell-fire?” Allaah answered, “Of every thousand, nine hundred and ninety nine.”(Al-Bukhaaree) In another version, he says, “Of every hundred, ninety nine.”
Surely it is this recognition that drives this fear? Surely it is looking at our preperation that makes us fear death? If we are yet to start honoring the five daily prayers, surely, the hadith of the messenger of Allah, “The difference between us and them is Salaah. Whoever abandons it has disbelieved.”Is what matures this fear inside?
We are urged to accept the will of Almighty Allah with good grace and patience – but many Muslims when they find out that they are going to die – are quite appalled and indignant – They protest in agony and outrage-
-Dying is normally associated with Suffering –Pain and Trauma. — And it is normal to fear suffering, and react to it with anger and frustration, because we feel oppressed by it and powerless against it. The denial of our own power lies at the root of suffering.
Quite often suffering blocks our faith (IMAN) and some of the many Questions that are asked are “Why Me” “Where is Allah in all of this” Why am I being Punished. — There is this Search for meaning.
And this is driven by us seeing death as a punishment, as maybe we are living our lives slightly different to what we know is beloved to Allah. Hence the hesitation.
"Allah Almighty said: If My servant loves to meet Me, I love to meet him, and if he hates to meet Me, I hate to meet him." (narrated by Bukhari)
Pain & Suffering is most certainly not a curse from Almighty Allah but rather a blessing and a test to see how we will react when challenged and tested.
“A true slave of Almighty Allah when he is afflicted with suffering or pain will turn to HIM and say in Prayer, “We belong to Allah and unto him Is our return” O Allah reward me for my affliction and give something better in exchange for it”
And this is because deep down he knows his affair is with Allah and will be only but good. Ultimately how could it not be, just think about the hadith;
Allah's Apostle said, "No calamity befalls a Muslim but that Allah expiates some of his sins because of it, even though it were the prick he receives from a thorn."
Then think about the mercy of Allah.
With this brothers and sisters, I remind us all, to make preperation for death, and do so by first and foremost, fulfilling the pillars of Islam, and then going to find ways to win the Mercy of Allah, without which no one will enter paradise.