Following on from last week’s reminder, we are reminded this
week of the test of the grave. Both in the Quran and in the teachings of the
Prophet SAWS, we are reminded of the test of the grave.
And make no mistake, this is a test that is both coming for
each and every one of us and it is something that we cannot take lightly.
Allah SWT warns us repeatedly of those who will suffer in
their grave. The imam, for example, mentioned ayat 93 of Sura Al-An’am which is
translated to say:
Who does more wrong than the one
who fabricates lies against Allah or claims, “I have received
revelations!”—although nothing was revealed to them—or the one who says, “I can
reveal the like of Allah’s revelations!”? If you ˹O Prophet˺ could only see the
wrongdoers in the throes of death while the angels are stretching out their
hands ˹saying˺, “Give up your souls! Today you will be rewarded with the
torment of disgrace for telling lies about Allah and for being arrogant towards
And Sura Al-Anfal, ayat 50 which is translated to say:
If only you could see when the
angels take the souls of the disbelievers, beating their faces and backs,
˹saying,˺ “Taste the torment of burning!
Dear brothers, for those of us who have heard this reminder
before, we are taught from the Prophet SAWS that we will be asked about our
God, who we followed and to which faith did we belong by the angels when we are
lying down in our graves. Just this point alone is harrowing to think about.
Imagine how that will feel and only Allah SWT knows exactly how that will be for
each of us.
And for those amongst us who are thinking that we know the
answers to these questions, the reminder today is that this isn’t questioning
like you have in an exam or test, it isn’t enough to just utter then answers to
Dear brothers, we need to live the answers to these
questions. Ask yourself, is your conduct, your manners, your everyday behaviour
an answer to these questions. Are you living by the teachings of the book of
Allah SWT? Are you adhering to the sunnah of the Prophet SAWS?
We can all say that Allah is our God, the Prophet SAWS is
our teacher and Islam is our deen but does our life reflect these answers? This
is the reminder today and it is a reminder that each and every one of us should
reflect upon consistently as none of us know when our time will come.
The Prophet SAWS is reported to have said:
“When you die, your place
will be shown to you in the morning and the evening. If you are one of the
people of the Garden, then you will be with the people of the Garden, and if
you are one of the people of the Fire, then you will be with the people of the
Fire. You will be told, ‘This is your place of waiting until Allah raises you
on the day of rising.’ ”
And so we need to take steps today to ensure that we are of
those people who are shown the beauty of the afterlife in our graves. And we
can all achieve this by simply living the life Allah SWT has instructed us to
live, optimistic in the knowledge that one day we will return to Him who will
be happy with how we lived our lives in this dunya.
May Allah SWT make us of the people of the Garden, may Allah
SWT make our test in the grave an easy one and may Allah SWT enable us to live
practically the answers to the questions of the grave.
Dear brothers, death is the only certainty of this life. But
many people refuse to acknowledge death or they are saddened by the prospect of
Allah SWT speaks of death in ayat 185 of Sura Al-Imran. It is
translated to say:
Every soul will taste death. And
you will only receive your full reward on the Day of Judgment. Whoever is
spared from the Fire and is admitted into Paradise will ˹indeed˺ triumph,
whereas the life of this world is no more than the delusion of enjoyment.
As well as this the Prophet SAWS spoke of death as the
destroyer of pleasure. And whilst there are those in life who commit injustices
thinking there is no account, the 19th ayat of Sura Qaf reminds us
˹Ultimately,˺ with the throes of
death will come the truth.1 This is what you were trying to escape!
Dear brothers, death should serve as a reminder for us all
to remember our duties, to avoid haram, to do good in this world and to please
Allah SWT. None of us truly know when our time here will expiry and death will
However, there is an important point to make here. Death is
a journey. It is a journey insh’Allah to an inevitable place that cannot be
compared to this world. If this world was to be called a barren desert, then we
are travelling to a lush garden in comparison. And this is merely our dwelling,
let alone the pleasure of knowing that Allah SWT is pleased with us upon our
return to Him.
If we remind ourselves what potentially awaits us then it
does not sadden the heart. Instead, we become optimistic of our return to Allah
SWT. We feel contentment at the next stage of our journey, and we ask Allah SWT
for forgiveness and actively worship Him with sincerity and love.
This week we were served a reminder of how fleeting this
world is. But these reminders will not end. And one day we will be a reminder
to those who are left behind. Now is the time to remain hopeful on the mercy of
Allah SWT and to remind one another the reward of the believers. Because if you
do ponder on what awaits those who believed and did good in this life then you
can’t help but feel motivated to be a better Muslim and to strive to achieve
the best of the next life, a life that is bliss and never ending.
May Allah SWT enable us to make the most of this life in
preparation for our return. May Allah SWT save us from becoming deluded from
this life and may Allah SWT grant mercy to all of us when death finally reaches
Dear brothers and sisters, in a time where each and every taboo is being dropped in front of our eyes, there is still a topic which is seldom spoken of but is a certainty for each and every one of us. The topic this week is on our death from this world and this is both a certainty and an unknown as we know this time is coming for us but none of us know when it will come.
The imam mentioned ayat 185 of Sura Al-Imran in reference to today’s reminder and it is translated to say:
Every soul will taste death, and you will only be given your [full] compensation on the Day of Resurrection. So he who is drawn away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise has attained [his desire]. And what is the life of this world except the enjoyment of delusion.
And Sura Al-Jumma ayat 8 which is translated to say:
Say, “Indeed, the death from which you flee – indeed, it will meet you. Then you will be returned to the Knower of the unseen and the witnessed, and He will inform you about what you used to do.”
Dear brothers and sisters, we are being told by the Lord of all that we are here only for a short time. These ayats are warning us not to get lost in the distraction of this world. And that this world is merely a vehicle, a test from Allah SWT, that we are experiencing before our return to Him.
As is done in previous reminders, if we are travelling to our destination, say on a train, would we be focused on the destination that we are travelling to our the train carriage that we are sat in? If we are going to visit our loved ones on that train, is it the train that gets all our attention and care or rather is it the excitement of when the journey ends and the loved ones we will be meeting?
Such is the analogy of this life. So many are focused on the train journey itself, they are dedicated in making the journey, the focus of all their love and attention. They even forget about the fact that they are on the journey and that it is the destination that ought to have their time and effort.
As Muslims we must be careful that we do not fall into this trap. We need to be mindful that we are only travellers and that we must pack and prepare well for our destination.
The imam concluded today’s reminder with 4 practical tips or points of contemplation that we must take away in order to keep our mind focused on our destination and to keep the journey, i.e dunya as a secondary thought and not to prioritise it over the eternal life to come.
- We must ask ourselves if we are people who are focused on the afterlife. Are we truly detached from this life. Practically this can be applied through a few tests. For example, when hardship reaches us, is our first thought to think that this is simply a test from our Lord and that our reaction is what is measured and accounted for by Him? Or are we the type to complain when the going gets tough and begin to compare with such and such and become envious as to why they have and we don’t?
Are we the type to lose our temper when things don’t go as we expect? Either through events or even other people’s injustices? Or are we the type to think that the event is from Allah SWT and to return to Him in pleas and prayers and in the case of injustice, pray and forgive the shortcomings of others in the hope Allah SWT shows that same mercy to us?
- The second point is that the good deeds we are doing need to be for the right reasons. Unfortunately our Lord has told us that there will exist people in this world who are good but are doing it for the sake of others. An example being a person who gives to charity but makes sure everyone knows about it. Or someone who teaches Quran, not for the sake of Allah SWT, but for the status amongst his family or friends. These people are the biggest losers because they are doing all the right things but their intentions are corrupt.
We ought to ask ourselves for each and every good deed, are we thinking of Allah SWT when we are doing this? Are we sat on a prayer mat five times a day thanking Him for the opportunity to do such and such good deed? If our remembrance of Allah SWT isn’t there when we are doing good, then can we be sure that the intention is for Him?
- The third is to ask Allah SWT for a good end. If you speak to doctors working the A&E in Muslim countries, you will find that a lot of them are surprised by the fact that not all those who are even told to recite Shahada do so in their final breath. In fact, this in itself is a blessing from Allah SWT that we return to Him with the blessed words in our final breath. The Prophet SAWS said:
whoever’s last words are there is no Lord except Allah enters paradise
We need to ask Allah SWT that we return to Him in a state of remembrance of Him just as we lived life in remembrance of Him.
- And finally, that we need to start banking for the next life. None of us know when our time in this journey is up. Nobody is certain when our destination will arrive and so we need to be preparing for the journeys end each and every day we are still here. This should be in the practical manner as instructed to us by the best of creation, SAWS.
Acts such as daily remembrance through duas at set times. We all have phones with alarm functions or to-do list apps we can download so set daily reminders for duas, for recitation of even a single ayat of the Quran, for weekly acts of charity or voluntary fasts for the sake of Allah SWT.
Start small, form small habits but make them consistent and insh’Allah these will rack up over time and will count in your next life. Remember, it’s consistent acts such as these which will also serve to weaken the influence of Shaitaan in this life as well.
Dear brothers and sisters, we pray that Allah SWT enables us to be of those who are mindful of death and that we return to him in such a state. The imam reminded us of the hadith in which the Prophet SAWS said:
“When Allah wants good for a slave, He puts him in action.” It was said: “How does he put him in action O Messenger Of Allah?” He said: “By making him meet up with the righteous deeds before death.”
Let us be of the correct mindset so that we are of these people mentioned in the hadith.
My dear brothers and sisters, the hope of a long life has spoiled the life of many people. It is the eagerness and the excessive love of this life makes the one to forget about the hereafter. Shaytan is deceiving them by making them thinking they can live a long life.
The prophet SAWS warned us against the hope of long living. The imam reminded us of the following hadith in relation to this. It’s translated to say:
The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) took me by the shoulder and said, “Be in this world as though you were a stranger or a wayfarer.” And Ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) used to say, “In the evening do not expect [to live until] the morning, and in the morning do not expect [to live until] the evening. Take [advantage of] your health before times of sickness, and [take advantage of] your life before your death.
Also we have the following hadith related to us about the state of the heart. This was referenced by the imam also and it translates to say:
I heard Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) saying, “The heart of an old man remains young in two respects, i.e., his love for the world (its wealth, amusements and luxuries) and his incessant hope.”
Dear brothers and sisters it is the eagerness of life and the hate of death making people to have the false hope and to pay no consideration of the hereafter. It has been mentioned many times before in reminders that the taboo topic of this day and age is death still. By removing death from the everyday thought of the average person, it allows them to be sold on the idea of living in the moment, to just do it, to live a live free of limits, to do what makes oneself happy.
Just narrating these ideas today, it is hard to see how they can fall foul of the belief of the Muslim. However, these idea all point towards the focus on the love of this world. The imam referenced a passage from the Quran which is translated to say:
Perhaps those who disbelieve will wish that they had been Muslims. Let them eat and enjoy themselves and be diverted by [false] hope, for they are going to know.
The hope which has been criticized here is not about those who love the blessings of Allah SWT, of course there is nothing wrong in an appreciative Musim. The criticism here is geared towards those who believe that this is all thta there is to live. That there is nothing else worthy of their time and focus. It is meant for those who focus purely on the blessings of this life and not the inevitability of the hereafter.
Allah SWT says in the Quran talking about what the good people of Israeel said to Qarun which a lesson for all. It is translated to say:
“But seek, through that which Allah has given you, the home of the Hereafter; and [yet], do not forget your share of the world. And do good as Allah has done good to you. And desire not corruption in the land. Indeed, Allah does not like corrupters.”
And as an example of the criticized hope, Allah SWT says:
“And you will surely find them the most greedy of people for life – [even] more than those who associate others with Allah. One of them wishes that he could be granted life a thousand years, but it would not remove him in the least from the [coming] punishment that he should be granted life. And Allah is Seeing of what they do.”
And so, if we have a strong belief in Allah’s SWT decree regarding the length of our life and our earnings, we can make the balance of how put the efforts in for both life. The imam referenced a hadith in relation to this. This is translated to say:
The Prophet (ﷺ) drew a square and then drew a line in the middle of it and let it extend outside the square and then drew several small lines attached to that central line, and said, “This is the human being, and this, (the square) in his lease of life, encircles him from all sides (or has encircled him), and this (line), which is outside (the square), is his hope, and these small lines are the calamities and troubles (which may befall him), and if one misses him, an-other will snap (i.e. overtake) him, and if the other misses him, a third will snap (i.e. overtake) him.”
And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can conclude that wasting time is another form of false hope. We all know how valuable is our time and it needs to be spent in the good and benefitable things. The one who cares about his second life should not waste his time in anything.
We must know that as long as we have a false hope of this life, the distractions of play and leisure will continue to take us away from focusing on the next life. None of us know how much longer we have on this life and therefore we ought to plan accordingly.
Our plan should not have the typical strategy of all play whilst we are young and then all prayer when we are old. This is a foolish strategy as the assumption here is that we will make it to old age.
Allah SWT mentions the failure of this approach in the Glorious Quran. It is translated to say:
And spend [in the way of Allah ] from what We have provided you before death approaches one of you and he says, “My Lord, if only You would delay me for a brief term so I would give charity and be among the righteous. But never will Allah delay a soul when its time has come. And Allah is Acquainted with what you do.“
Instead, our strategy ought to be one of spending time in both play and prayer in all times of our life. And not in equal measures either. The blessing of leisure is there for us but our focus still needs to remain on the worship of Allah SWT.
And this isn’t just on the prayer mat, in the perfect balance we can worship Allah SWT as well as enjoy the blessings of this life. Appreciate Allah SWT in the times of enjoyment, remember him in the good times and balance your life with deeds that will count you amongst the righteous and those whom the trappings of the dunya did not affect their focus on the life hereafter.
he topic of death is one which often finds the audience uncomfortable in listening to it. Nobody likes to think of death because as well as their own mortality, they often think of loved ones that have passed away in times past.
However, this is an important topic as the reminder of death enables us to best spend the time prior to it. And it is a certainty for us all as Allah SWT states in Sura Al-Imran, Ayat 175:
Everyone shall taste death. And only on the day of Ressurection shall you be paid your dues. And whoever is removed away from the fire and admitted to paradise, he indeed is successful.
This ayat ends with a statement which is paramount for us all to reflect upon. Allah SWT ends this ayat by declaring:
The life of this world is only the enjoyment of deception.
Dear brothers, often we can be guilty of spending time in this dunya excited by what it has to offer. Last week’s khutba outlined the blessings that Allah SWT has bestowed upon each and every one of us and naturally we enjoy these blessings in their entirety.
But sometimes we can forget the conclusion of what life really is. Every day it becomes closer to us and no sooner has the book reached it’s appointed time that we then belong amongst the dead.
Whilst we are craving the pleasures that this world has to offer, it is important to cast thought occasionally to those graves you pass from time to time.
Those cemeteries are a great lesson for us. We will be the dwellers of such places one day and one day it will be us that are carried there and not one of the attendees.
Allah SWT has emphasised this many times in the Quran and one reference is to Sura Al-An’am, ayat 62 which states:
Then they his servants are returned to Allah, their true Lord. Unquestionably, His is the judgment, and he is the swiftest of accountants.
However, with such reminders comes the key to this life. As muslims, we are blessed with the knowledge that life does not end with death. In fact, for those who embark upon attaining the pleasure of Allah SWT, this life should be a build-up to hope, optimism and excitement that one day they will meet their Lord who will be pleased with them and grant them an eternity in Paradise.
Dear brothers, it should be the case therefore that the trials and tribulations of this world begin to appear insignificant to us as we are mindful of death. Someone who remembers death has high aims and is instead yearning for the everlasting bliss in paradise.
Remembering death though does not mean that one should make their life loathsome in any way. It is not the way of the muslim to obsess over death and be locked away in a room waiting for his time.
Instead one should use death as a reminder to keep him away from sin and the ways of the Shaytaan. Use it to be hopeful and optimistic towards the next life, the real life. Use it to soften the heart towards others as we are all headed in the same place.
Use the rememberance of death to drive oneself towards righteous deeds, obeying Allah SWT and increasing one’s efforts in all acts of worship.
We must be wary that we do not fall into the group of people who Allah SWT refers to when he says in Ayat 99-100:
Until when death comes to one of them, he says: “My Lord, send me back That I might do righteousness in that which I left behind.” No! It is only a word they are saying and behind them is a barrier until the day they are resurrected.
We can never do enough deeds to guarantee our fate in the next life. But we can use this reminder to reset our way of thinking to that of the truth of our existence and that is to be grateful slaves to our Master, Allah SWT until our return to Him.
May Allah SWT make us mindful of our inevitable conclusion. May Allah SWT make us hopeful and optimistic towards our final abode. And may Allah SWT fulfil our high expectations of our next life.
Ameen wal hamdullilahi rabilalameen.