The Final Moments

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

By Shaykh-ul-Hadīth, Hadrat Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh

A person’s final moments are dependent on how he spent his life, what he lived for and what his heart remained engrossed in. Accordingly, if a person lives a life of disobedience to Allāh ta‘ālā and is preoccupied in worldly pursuits, his last moments will be whilst engaged in such activities. Similarly, a person living a life of obedience to Allāh ta‘ālā, in His remembrance and in striving for His Pleasure, will find his final moments in acts beloved to Allāh ta‘ālā. Many incidents are recorded in history which bear testimony to this fact, prompting us to reflect on our current state and creating a concern regarding our own preparations for departure from this world.

Shaykh-ul-Hadīth, Hadrat Mawlānā Muhammad Zakariyyā rahimahullāh has quoted a number of incidents:

• Rabī‘ ibn Bazzah rahimahullāh has narrated that a person was in his last moments and the people present encouraged him to recite the kalimah lā ilāha illallāh, but he kept repeating (indicating to a glass of wine), “You drink and also give me one.”

• Another person was in his final moments and the people around him were repeating the kalimah lā ilāha illallāh to prompt him, but he kept saying, “Ten ten rupees, eleven eleven rupees, twelve twelve rupees.”

Hadrat Muftī Muhammad Shafī‘ rahimahullāh has narrated:

• A salesman used to be always occupied in his business ventures, so much so that performing salāh and other acts of worship would never come to mind. During his final moments, people encouraged him to recite the kalimah lā ilāha illallāh, but his end came with him continuously mentioning and calculating his business transactions.

• An incident of another person who remained busy in his worldly pursuits, led to him in his final moments continually saying, “Have you fed my donkey.”

In contrast, we find amazing incidents of pious people who lived a life of piety, engaged in the obedience to Allāh ta‘ālā and toiling for His Pleasure, leaving the world in a manner which leaves us in amazement and wonder.

‘Umar ibn ‘Abd-ul-‘Azīz rahimahullāh is well known for his piety and steadfastness on Dīn. He established justice to such a degree, that the Ummah recognise him as the fifth rightly guided caliph. Many people were gathered around him when his final moments drew near. As he began to cry, someone consoled him and asked, “Why are you crying? Allāh ta‘ālā has revived the Sunnah and established justice through you.”

Hearing this he began to cry more and said, “Will I not be questioned regarding the rights of the people?” He then went on to say, “O Allāh! You commanded me with certain things regarding which I remained imperfect, and you prohibited certain things from which I couldn’t restrain myself, but O Allāh, I bear witness that You are One, Who has no partner and there is none worthy of worship except You.” He then requested all to leave him except his attendant saying there are such creations before him who were neither jinn nor human. After everyone had left, he left this mortal world after reciting the following verse of the Glorious Qur’ān:

This is the home of the Ākhirah, which We shall assign to those who do not desire pomp on earth nor corruption. The (best) outcome shall be for those with Taqwā. (28:83)

The great muhaddith Abū Zur‘ah rahimahullāh was an imām in the field of hadīth. Imām Ahmad ibn Hanbal rahimahullāh states regarding him that he knew 600,000 ahādīth. When his final moments came, the ‘ulamā present began discussing how they should encourage him to recite the kalimah, as they felt it was disrespectful to address him directly. They decided to narrate a hadīth in his presence. One person initiated the hadīth with, “Dahhāk ibn Makhlad narrated to us from ‘Abd-ul-Hamīd ibn Ja‘far who narrated from Sālih”. He then stopped at this point. Hearing this, the great muhaddith began narrating the hadīth saying, “Bundār narrated to us that Abū ‘Āsim narrated to him that ‘Abd-ul-Hamīd ibn Ja‘far narrated to him that Sālih ibn Abī ‘Arīb narrated to him that Kathīr ibn Murrah Al-Hadramī narrated to him that Mu‘ādh ibn Jabal radhiyallāhu ‘anhu narrated that Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam stated, ‘Whoever’s last words are lā ilāha illallāh….’.” He then passed away. The full hadīth is, ‘Whoever’s last words are lā ilāha illallāh will enter Jannah’. By departing in this manner, he practically demonstrated the glad tiding mentioned in this hadīth. What an amazing death Allāh ta‘ālā granted him!

These few incidents are a mere drop in the ocean from the many great and amazing final moments Allāh ta‘ālā has granted His special servants, who made acquiring His Pleasure the objective of their lives. The thought should not cross our minds that these were great people of the past who achieved such heights. Even in this age, Allāh ta‘ālā does not deprive His servants who lead a life of servitude to Him and remain steadfast in their duties and obligations to Him.

Just this month, my very dear and close friend in Barbados, Dr. Muhammad Shafee Nagdi, left this mortal world. May Allāh ta‘ālā grant him forgiveness for any shortcomings and elevate his status in the hereafter and resurrect him with the Ambiyā, the Siddiqīn, the Shuhadā and the Sālihīn. Āmīn.

Dr. Muhammad Shafee Nagdi was my host whenever I visited Barbados and was very affectionate towards me and showed me much love and affection. He was very respectful towards the ‘Ulamā and Mashāyikh and would endeavour to serve and bring comfort to them. Almost all the prominent Mashāyikh who visited Barbados during his lifetime have been his guests and his manner and behaviour towards them was such that he would win their hearts. I was very saddened and experienced much grief upon the news. However, when his sons narrated to me the details of his final moments, I was wonderstruck and experienced immense happiness for the way Allāh ta‘ālā called him to his final abode.

Dr. Muhammad Shafee Nagdi was very steadfast and punctual with his a‘māl and ma‘mūlāt (prescribed practices). He would for the last forty years wake up for tahajjud and complete his ma‘mūlāt. In the last few years he was not very mobile, yet he remained punctual regarding his daily practices. Even in a poor state of health, he would normally wake up around 1am and engage in tahajjud salāh, dhikr and du‘ā until the beginning time of Fajr and then perform his Fajr. Thereafter, he would recite Sūrah Yāsīn and one juz from the Qur’ān. He would then awaken his wife and son for Fajr salāh.

His son, Rafeeq, narrated to me that during his father’s last night in this world, as per his usual practice he attended to his father at 1am to assist him to perform wudū and seat him in his chair for tahajjud, thereafter returning to sleep. Later in the morning, he was not awakened by the call of his father, but his mother. Worried, he got up and went to see his father to find that he had, at some point during the night, departed for the hereafter. This in itself was a great honour, that he had left this world whilst engaged in worship. However, the detail mentioned by his son is more amazing. He said that he found his father in the condition that the Qur’ān was still open and in his father’s hands. This means, according to his regular practice, Dr. Shafee must have performed his tahajjud salāh, completed all his ma‘mūlāt, performed his Fajr salāh, recited Sūrah Yāsīn and also the Qur’ān. Furthermore, when his son looked at the Qur’ān, it became apparent that he was on the last page, which indicated that he had just completed the Qur’ān. Subhānallāh! What a praiseworthy final moment Allāh ta‘ālā granted my beloved friend!

It is evident that, when a person makes Allāh ta‘ālā his objective and lives a life striving to acquire His Pleasure, then his final moments will be in the same state. We should take lesson from such incidents and reflect on how we are leading our lives, so that we can mend our ways by sincerely repenting from a life of negligence and adopting a life of piety and devotion.

May Allāh ta‘ālā grant us all the tawfīq to live such a life that we breathe our last when we are engaged in acts that are most beloved to Him, so that we depart with His Forgiveness, Mercy and eternal Pleasure. Āmīn.

© Riyādul Jannah (Vol. 26 No. 8, August 2017)


• Please forward this message on to all your contacts

Advertisements

How to Acquire Husn Al-Khatimah


11th Safar 1438 AH ~ Friday 11th November 2016

By Hadrat Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh

If we study the lives of the pious servants of Allāh ta‘ālā, i.e. the Ambiyā, Sahābahradhiyallāhu ‘anhum, the Muhaddithūn, Fuqahā, Awliyā, we will find one common factor in their lives, and that is their concern for securing Husn Al-Khātimah so that they are successful in the Court of Allāh ta‘ālā. Despite their lives being full of virtue, they would worry and pray for death in the state of īmān and Islām. 

Allāh ta‘ālā quotes the du‘ā of Yūsuf ‘alayhis salām in the Glorious Qur’ān:

…O Creator of the heavens and the Earth, You are my guardian in this world and the Hereafter. Make me die a Muslim and make me join the righteous. (12:102)

This is because a single word of disbelief at the time of death can erase the benefits of a lifetime of virtue and obedience. On the other hand, a person may live a life of sin and vice, and then be granted the blessing of īmān in the final moments of his life, thereby securing the success of both this world and the Hereafter. Through His infinite Grace and Mercy, Allāhta‘ālā inspired me with six points, which will secure Husn Al-Khātimah and a good death for ourselves, which in turn will result in a good outcome in the Hereafter, Inshā’allāh.

1. Adopt Taqwā (fear of Allāh ta‘ālā). Taqwā holds the power to repel all the forces which weaken one’s īmān and at times snatch it away. This can be understood from the verses wherein Allāh commands the believers to adopt Taqwā. We understand from them that once a person becomes a believer, the method of safeguarding that belief is adopting Taqwā. And Taqwā simply means to create a barrier between disobedience to Allāh and ourselves. Another name for this Taqwā is Istiqāmah (steadfastness), because when a person, after accepting īmān, remains steadfast upon the Commands of Allāh, he will not disobey Him. Allāh ta‘ālā mentions:

Surely, those who have declared: ‘Our Lord is Allāh’, then remained steadfast, on them the angels will descend, saying, ‘Do not fear, and do not grieve; and be happy with the good news of Jannah (Paradise) that you had been promised. We have been your friends in the worldly life, and (will remain as such) in the Hereafter. And for you here is whatever your souls desire, and for you here is whatever you call for.’ (41:30)

So when one accepts īmān by saying, “My Lord is Allāh”, and thereafter safeguards this īmān by remaining steadfast in carrying out the Commands of Allāh and staying away from every disobedience, then Allāh will reward him with a good death, as is indicated in the verse above, that the angels will descend with special mercy at the time of his death. The commentators of the Qur’ān have mentioned that the angels of mercy are always with those who are steadfast on Dīn; however, the special indication given in this verse is that at the time of their death, the angels become visible to them, who give them the glad tidings of Jannah from their Lord.

2. Love the pious and spend time in their company. The pious people are the people of Taqwā. The effect of loving them will create in one the desire to spend time in their company, and in doing so the effect of their taqwā will rub onto one’s self. Allāh ta‘ālāmentions: 

O you who believe, adopt taqwā, and be in the company of the truthful. (9:119)

We need to firstly accept īmān, which alhamdulillāh we all do, and thereafter safeguard our īmān by adopting Taqwā, which can be acquired by staying in the company of those who already have it. The term ‘The Truthful’ used here is another name for those who have Taqwā, as mentioned in another place in the Qur’ān:

…Those are the ones who are truthful, and those are the God-fearing. (2:177)

Similarly the Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam states in a hadīth:

On the Day of Judgement, a person will be with whom he loved. (At-Tirmidhī)

If a person entertains love for the pious, he will be with them in the Hereafter, and the pious people will be granted entry into Jannah, for which īmān is a prerequisite. Thus, we can deduce that such a person will die in the state of īmān.

3. Giving in charity. Spending in the path of Allāh ta‘ālā cools the Anger of Allāh. If Allāhta‘ālā is angry with a person, what chance is there for him to have a good death? Therefore, charity paves the way for one to die in the state of īmān, as indicated by the Prophetsallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam: 

Sadaqah (charity) extinguishes the anger of the Lord and prevents an unpleasant death. (At-Tirmidhī)

An unpleasant death could either mean death without īmān or death in an undesirable state, i.e. as a victim of a tsunami, hurricane, or earthquake. Inshā’allāh, a person will be saved from both types of death.

4. Carrying out acts upon which the intercession of the Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallamis guaranteed. In various narrations, the Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam has encouraged carrying out certain good acts, the virtue of which is that the intercession of the Prophetsallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam will become incumbent for the doer. One should inquire about and learn such acts from reliable, authentic sources and act upon them. The intercession of the Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam is of two types. The first being that on the Day of Judgement, when every human will be gathered in the Plain of Resurrection, every soul will be in a state of extreme worry and fear regarding its fate in the court of Allāh ta‘ālā. At this tense moment, the Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam will intercede on behalf of the whole humankind and request Allāh ta‘ālā to begin the reckoning. The reckoning will thus begin, and this is known as the ‘general intercession’. Thereafter, once the process of reckoning begins, the Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam will specifically intercede on behalf of many individuals of his ummah, with the permission of Allāh. Only a person who dies in the state of īmān will be worthy of receiving this ‘special intercession’ of the Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam. The glad tidings of intercession upon various good actions is this ‘special intercession’ which is exclusively for people with īmān. It can be therefore understood that those carrying out these good acts will die with īmān, as only they will be worthy of this ‘special intercession’. One example of such an act is reciting the du‘ā after the adhān.

5. Repeatedly thank Allāh ta‘ālā for the great bounty of īmān, for Allāh ta‘ālā promises: 

If you express gratitude, I shall certainly give you more. (14:7) 

It should be kept in mind that gratitude should be expressed in 3 ways:

  • By acknowledging and contemplating over this great bounty in one’s heart and mind that Allāh has granted this to me through His Grace only without my deserving it.
  •  By verbally expressing one’s gratitude.
  • By fulfilling the Commands of Allāh in regards to this bounty.

If we acknowledge the bounty of īmān with our heart and mind, express praise for Allāh verbally and carry out the demands of this ni‘mah (blessing), i.e. adopt Taqwā, then Allāh will increase this ni‘mah of ours inshā’allāh.

6. Make du‘ā for a good death and for a pleasant abode in the Hereafter. You may do this in your own words or by using supplications from the Qur’ān and ahādīth, for example: 

O Allāh, forgive our living and our dead, those present from among us and those absent, our young and our old, our males and our females, O Allāh whoever you keep alive from among us, keep him alive on Islām, and whoever you give death to, give him death upon īmān. (Ahmad)

Allāh ta‘ālā mentions the supplication of the knowledgeable people: “Our Lord, do not let our hearts deviate from the right path after You have given us guidance, and bestow upon us mercy from your own.” (2:8)

If we strive to do the above and ask Allāh ta‘ālā sincerely, then inshā’allāh, He will grant us this great bounty of death in the state of īmān.

May Allāh ta‘ālā grant us the true understanding of the reality of the Hereafter and grant us the tawfīq to adequately prepare for it. Āmīn.

© Riyādul Jannah (Vol. 21 No. 2, Feb 2012)


• Please forward this message on to all your contacts