In the name of Allah
The All Compassionate, the All Merciful
24th Rabial-Awwal 1444 (21st October 2022)
Islamic Universal Association
20 Penzance Place, Holland Park
London, W11 4 PG
Jihad An-Nafs – Part 102
Purification of the heart-Part 44
Death is a continuation of life in another place. According to the Holy Prophet (s.a.) “You have not been created for extinction, but for eternal existence.” Imam Ali (a.s.) has cautioned his followers that this world is transitory and for those who spend their life in transgression, death is the beginning of eternal misery and disgrace. However, those who are obedient to Allah (s.w.t.) by leading a virtuous life would welcome the chance of leaving this transitory world to live in eternal bliss. Ali (a.s.) has addressed the issue on death in many of his sermons. I quote below an extract from his Sermon 132 from the Nahjul Balagha:
“By Allah, death is a reality not a play; it is truth not falsehood. Its caller makes himself heard and its driver is in haste. People should not deceive you.
You have seen those who lived before you amassed wealth, feared poverty and felt safe from evil consequences and their innumerable desires distanced them from the reality of death. However death overtook them, turned them out of their homeland and took them out of their place of safety. They were borne in coffins, people carried them on their shoulders and supported them with their hands, one after another.
Did you not witness those who were engaged in endless desires, built strong buildings, amassed much wealth but their houses were turned into graves and their collections were ruined? Their properties were entrusted to their successors and their spouse after them. They cannot now add to their good acts nor can they invoke Allah’s mercy for their evil acts. Therefore, whoever makes his heart accustomed to the fear of Allah achieves a forward position and his actions are successful.
Prepare yourself for death and do all that you can for paradise. Certainly this world has not been made a place of permanent stay for you. It has been created as a pathway in order that you may take from it the provisions of your good actions for the permanent house in paradise. Be ready for the departure from here and accept travelling beyond.”
- Death is a reality; according to Islamic teachings, it is the truth and there is no doubt about it.
- Everyone will face death and the best evidence is people, including monarchs and the wealthy, who died before. Their amassing of wealth and their feeling of security on earth did not avail them.
- This world is temporary and a pathway towards our eternal abode.
- Death is the end of life on earth and thereafter no one can add to their provisions for the hereafter or seek the mercy of Allah (s.w.t) for their evil deeds.
- Man shouldtherefore remember his Lord at all times, and spend his life in His obedience. To be continued
Personality of the Holy Prophet (s.a.)
Allah (s.w.t.) conferred great favors and blessings on man when he sent the Holy Prophet (s.a.) on earth with guidance and the religion of truth. He was the greatest Messenger of Allah and was sincere in his love and compassion. He selflessly lived for others and generously helped the poor and needy. He was the light of Allah (s.w.t.); like a lamp he illuminated the abyss of darkness and ignorance. From the confines of Arabia it was his light that reached the farthest of regions and released people from their burden. His conduct was extremely modest and he was most tolerant and forgiving despite having the power of retaliation. The adversities and sufferings that he endured illustrate his high tenacity and commitment. He did not slacken for a moment in discharging his duties nor was he ever disheartened. Imam Ali (a.s.) has portrayed his personality in his sermon, which is produced under Sermon 94 in the Nahjul Balagha; an extract from it reads:
“Allah reserved for his prophets the best place of stay. He moved them in succession from distinguished fore-fathers and from chaste wombs. Whenever a predecessor from among them died a successor stepped in for the cause of the religion of Allah until this distinction of Allah, the Glorified, reached Muhammad – peace and blessings of Allah be upon him and his descendants.
Allah created Muhammad from the most distinguished source of origin and the most honourable place of planting, namely from the same lineal tree from which He brought forth other prophets and from which He selected His trustees. Muhammad’s descendants are the best descendants, his kinsmen are the best of kin and his lineal tree is the best of trees. It grows in esteem and rises in distinction. It has tall branches and bears special fruits.
He is the leader (Imam) of all who exercise the fear of Allah and is a light for those who seek guidance. He is a lamp whose flame is burning, a meteor whose light is shining and a flint whose spark is bright. His conduct is upright, his behaviour is outstanding, his speech is decisive and his decision is just. Allah sent him after an interval from previous prophets when people had fallen into errors of action and ignorance. Allah may have mercy on you.”
- Allah (w.t.) has chosen His messengers from a special place and from distinguished lineage.
- The Holy Prophet (s.a.) was created from the most distinguished source of origin and the most honorable place of creation, namely from the tree that Allah (s.w.t.) created other prophets and trustees.
- He is the leader of all the prophets as he brought the final revelation and completed the religion of Allah (s.w.t.).
- The Holy Prophet (s.a.) descendants are the best and his lineal tree is the best of trees and is distinct. It contains towering branches and bears special fruits.
- He is the leader and Imam of those who fear Allah (s.w.t) and is a light of guidance and a lamp that never extinguishes.
- His conduct is upright, his behavior is impeccable and his decisions are just.
- Allah (s.w.t.) sent him during the age of ignorance and despair after a period of respite from earlier prophets.