In a recent visit to Pakistan, I happened to attend the funeral of one of my uncles. I had gone to see him just the day before he passed away. His eyes lit up and as I entered the room he was in. He gestured for me to drink the coffee which was brought for me. He’d suffered a stroke a couple of months ago and was unable to speak or move or eat (he could move his left arm and blink and was being fed liquid food through a tube. He could hear and understand and would squeeze my hand with his left hand and blink to acknowledge it. It brought tears to my eyes.
What a life he had led: nine children all married and have had children of their own. As old as he was, he was mobile until the stroke. He was ready to meet Allah Subhanahu WaTaala. I informed him of the Hadith that when a believer is sick, he continues to get the reward of the good deeds he used to do when he was well even when he can’t do them while he’s sick. I asked him to pray constantly for the garden of paradise for himself, his family/friends and relatives. I asked him to seek forgiveness from Allah for himself, his family/friends and relatives to be protected from the hellfire. He squeezed my hand with surprising strength at everyone of these du’aas. It was as though he smiled when I told him that the old age and paralysis is only a test from Allah briefly and that in Jannah we’d all be young and be able to fly around as we wished. It was as though he cried when I told him that Allah is shy when a white bearded Muslim asks Allah for something – so ask Him for entry into Jannah and protection from Jahannam with persistence like a kid asks for candy. The next day he was gone. The janazah was serene with a masjid full of people in the neighborhood that knew him as Abdullah Sahib and in the masjid which he frequented daily for all his prayers. May Allah forgive his sins and admit him into his paradise and may we meet him there ameen!
Just two years ago, Abdullah Mamu’s younger brother Khalid Mamu had passed away (while he was being rushed to the hospital from the masjid). He was speaking to his daughter on the cell phone as he died. She’d reminded him to say the kalimah and he passed away saying “Laa ilaha illallah Muhammadur Rasullullah”. What a way to die! Subhan Allah!
Life is a journey and death is not the end. No human being ever created will ever cease to exist: we were created for eternity. This life is brief, the next life is forever. Everything in life is a test. All our deeds, good or bad, will remain with us for eternity. The material possessions will remain in this world and be inherited by others who may fight over it after you’re gone. So let’s all prioritize our lives and chase after the akhirah and not the dunia. Although we live in this world and have to raise families and earn our livings, we shouldn’t get attached to this world and whatever it contains. Who in their right mind will build a house at a train station or an airport? It’s a journey, not a destination. The next life is eternal so we need to be ever more concerned about how we would be there: whether we’ll have a nice house in Jannah or not? Let us prepare ourselves for the ‘real life’ that is to come, without wasting a single day.
Share with your friends and family and let us be prepared for our deaths before it catches up with us when we are unaware.
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