Essential Contemplation as We Constantly Witness The Departure of Our Loved Ones Whilst Waiting For Our Turn!
In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
Imaam Ibnul Qayyim [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: A desire for the Hereafter cannot be achieved except by way of abstinence from the (forbidden or excessive things) of the worldly life, and abstinence cannot be accomplished except by way of contemplation in two ways:
The First Contemplation: contemplation on the worldly life – its quick passage, disappearance, deficiency and low value, its hassles, ordeals, frustrations and troubles, and the end result is that it will finally come to an end, together with loss and regret. Therefore, its seeker [i.e. the one who seeks after it in a blameworthy manner] is neither safeguarded from grief before and after attaining it, nor after it vanishes. This is the first contemplation.
The Second Contemplation: Contemplation on the Hereafter – its closeness [i.e. not very far away], its definite arrival and occurrence, permanent [existence after it takes place], the nobility of the good and happiness it contains, and the difference between it and this worldly life, just as Allaah [Glorified be He and free is He from all imperfections] said: [وَٱلۡأَخِرَةُ خَيۡرٌ۬ وَأَبۡقَىٰٓ – Although the Hereafter is better and more lasting] [Soorah Al-A’laa Ayah 17]. It is a perfect and abiding [enjoyment, happiness, bliss etc], but the [worldly pleasures] are deficient and will come to an end.
If a person accomplishes these two contemplations, he’ll prefer what sound intellect gives precedence and refrain from what one should refrain from [i.e. everything in this worldly life that diverts a person from obedience to Allaah and leads to what is forbidden]. Everyone is naturally disposed (to the fact that he or she) does not abandon an immediate benefit and a reachable pleasure, whilst (waiting) for a delayed benefit and an absent pleasure whose [arrival is certainly] expected, except when one’s desire for what is loftier and more virtuous is stronger and the virtue of what is awaited over what is immediately present is manifest.
However, if a person prefers what is deficient and will [eventually] cease to exist [i.e. this worldly life], then that is either because the virtue of [the Hereafter] is not manifested to him or due to a lack of desiring what is more virtuous. Both these two states are an indication of weakness in faith, intellect and clear-sightedness, because indeed the one who desires the worldly life -the one who gives it precedence and is eager for it, either he testifies that there is what is more virtuous and everlasting, or he does not testify. If he does not testify [i.e. that the Hereafter is more virtuous and everlasting], he is completely devoid of faith; however, if he testifies to that [i.e. that the Hereafter is more virtuous and everlasting] but does not give it precedence, his intellect is corrupt and he has made an evil choice for himself. These two [testimonies] are inevitable and a servant of Allaah cannot escape them, because giving precedence to the worldly life over the Hereaafter is either due to corruption in faith or due to corruption of one’s intellect, and in many cases both of them are combined together in a person.
And because of this the Messenger of Allaah [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] and his companions [may Allaah be pleased with them] turned away from the worldly life and turned their hearts away from it [i.e. they only took what sufficed their needs and did not fall into any blameworthy deeds due to it]. The Messenger said, “What is the world to me? What am I to the world? Verily, the example of this world and myself is that of a rider who seeks shade under a tree, then he moves on and leaves it behind”. [Reported by Imaam Ahmad 3701 and others]
The Messenger said, “What is the example of this worldly life in comparison to the Hereafter other than one of you dipping his finger in the sea? Let him see what he brings forth.” [Reported by Imaam Muslim 2858]
Allaah [The Most High] said:
نَّمَا مَثَلُ ٱلۡحَيَوٰةِ ٱلدُّنۡيَا كَمَآءٍ أَنزَلۡنَـٰهُ مِنَ ٱلسَّمَآءِ فَٱخۡتَلَطَ بِهِۦ نَبَاتُ ٱلۡأَرۡضِ مِمَّا يَأۡكُلُ ٱلنَّاسُ وَٱلۡأَنۡعَـٰمُ حَتَّىٰٓ إِذَآ أَخَذَتِ ٱلۡأَرۡضُ زُخۡرُفَهَا وَٱزَّيَّنَتۡ وَظَنَّ أَهۡلُهَآ أَنَّہُمۡ قَـٰدِرُونَ عَلَيۡہَآ أَتَٮٰهَآ أَمۡرُنَا لَيۡلاً أَوۡ نَہَارً۬ا فَجَعَلۡنَـٰهَا حَصِيدً۬ا كَأَن لَّمۡ تَغۡنَ بِٱلۡأَمۡسِۚ كَذَٲلِكَ نُفَصِّلُ ٱلۡأَيَـٰتِ لِقَوۡمٍ۬ يَتَفَڪَّرُونَ
وَٱللَّهُ يَدۡعُوٓاْ إِلَىٰ دَارِ ٱلسَّلَـٰمِ وَيَہۡدِى مَن يَشَآءُ إِلَىٰ صِرَٲطٍ۬ مُّسۡتَقِيمٍ۬
Verily the likeness of (this) worldly life is as the water (rain) which We send down from the sky, so by it arises the intermingled produce of the earth of which men and cattle eat until when the earth is clad with its adornments and is beautified, and its people think that they have all the powers of disposal over it, Our Command reaches it by night or by day and We make it like a clean-mown harvest, as if it had not flourished yesterday! Thus do We explain the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, laws, etc.) in detail for the people who reflect. Allah calls to the home of peace (i.e. Paradise, by accepting Allah’s religion of Islamic Monotheism and by doing righteous good deeds and abstaining from polytheism and evil deeds) and guides whom He wills to a Straight Path. [Soorah Yoonus Aayaat 24-25]
Allaah [The Most High] said:
وَٱضۡرِبۡ لَهُم مَّثَلَ ٱلۡحَيَوٰةِ ٱلدُّنۡيَا كَمَآءٍ أَنزَلۡنَـٰهُ مِنَ ٱلسَّمَآءِ فَٱخۡتَلَطَ بِهِۦ نَبَاتُ ٱلۡأَرۡضِ فَأَصۡبَحَ هَشِيمً۬ا تَذۡرُوهُ ٱلرِّيَـٰحُۗ وَكَانَ ٱللَّهُ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَىۡءٍ۬ مُّقۡتَدِرًا
ٱلۡمَالُ وَٱلۡبَنُونَ زِينَةُ ٱلۡحَيَوٰةِ ٱلدُّنۡيَاۖ وَٱلۡبَـٰقِيَـٰتُ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَـٰتُ خَيۡرٌ عِندَ رَبِّكَ ثَوَابً۬ا وَخَيۡرٌ أَمَلاً۬
And put forward to them the example of the life of this world, it is like the water (rain) which We send down from the sky, and the vegetation of the earth mingles with it, and becomes fresh and green. But (later) it becomes dry and broken pieces, which the winds scatter. And Allah is Able to do everything. Wealth and children are the adornment of the life of this world. But the good righteous deeds (five compulsory prayers, deeds of Allah’s obedience, good and nice talk, remembrance of Allah with glorification, praises and thanks, etc.), that last, are better with your Lord for rewards and better in respect of hope. [Soorah Al-Kahf’ Aayaat 45-46]
Allaah [The Most High] said:
ٱعۡلَمُوٓاْ أَنَّمَا ٱلۡحَيَوٰةُ ٱلدُّنۡيَا لَعِبٌ۬ وَلَهۡوٌ۬ وَزِينَةٌ۬ وَتَفَاخُرُۢ بَيۡنَكُمۡ وَتَكَاثُرٌ۬ فِى ٱلۡأَمۡوَٲلِ وَٱلۡأَوۡلَـٰدِۖ كَمَثَلِ غَيۡثٍ أَعۡجَبَ ٱلۡكُفَّارَ نَبَاتُهُ ۥ ثُمَّ يَہِيجُ فَتَرَٮٰهُ مُصۡفَرًّ۬ا ثُمَّ يَكُونُ حُطَـٰمً۬اۖ وَفِى ٱلۡأَخِرَةِ عَذَابٌ۬ شَدِيدٌ۬ وَمَغۡفِرَةٌ۬ مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ وَرِضۡوَٲنٌ۬ۚ وَمَا ٱلۡحَيَوٰةُ ٱلدُّنۡيَآ إِلَّا مَتَـٰعُ ٱلۡغُرُورِ
Know that the life of this world is only play and amusement, pomp and mutual boasting among you, and rivalry in respect of wealth and children, as the likeness of vegetation after rain, thereof the growth is pleasing to the tiller; afterwards it dries up and you see it turning yellow; then it becomes straw. But in the Hereafter (there is) a severe torment (for the disbelievers, evil-doers), and (there is) Forgiveness from Allah and (His) Good Pleasure (for the believers, good-doers), whereas the life of this world is only a deceiving enjoyment. [Soorah Al-Hadeed’ Aayah 57] [An Excerpt from Al-Fawaa’id’ page 148-152. slightly paraphrased]
Abdullaah Ibn Umar [may Allaah be pleased with him] said, ”Allaah’s Messenger took hold of my shoulder and said: ‘Be in this world as if you were a stranger or a traveler.” Ibn Umar used to say: ”If you survive till the evening, do not expect to be alive in the morning, and if you survive till the morning, do not expect to be alive in the evening, and take from your health for your sickness, and (take) from your life for your death”.
Imaam Abdul-Azeez Bin Baaz [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: This is a tremendous affair because the stranger (in a land) has no concern (for anything else) except with the affairs of travel, therefore let those in the worldly life prepare (themselves). This is what is befitting the believer–he (or she) should be a stranger because the stranger (in a land) prepares for travel. Likewise, this is how the sensible person should be in a (state of) preparedness and cautiousness. [Al-Hulalul Ibreeziyyah Min At-taliqaat Al-Baaziyyah Alaa Saheeh Al-Bukhaariy. Vol 4. Page: 223]
Al-Allaamah Saaleh Al-Fawzaan [may Allaah preserve him] said: The Muslim is like a stranger in this worldly life. The stranger is one residing in a country other than his country. The worldly life is not the Muslim’s permanent place of residence; rather the Muslim’s permanent place of residence is paradise. He is in this worldly life to work for entry into Paradise. He takes what is needed from this world to aid him work for entry into paradise. The Muslim is like a traveler in this worldly life- the traveler takes rest during his journey and then carries on travelling. He does not reside permanently in that place he stopped to take a rest. In the life of this world, the Muslim is that traveler. In reality he is not a permanent resident in the worldly life because his time in it is very little. His nights and days take him towards the afterlife. What is befitting the Muslim with regards to the days, nights, and his health? If you reach the morning do not delay good deeds till in the evening because it maybe that you will not reach the evening. If you reach the evening do not delay good deeds till the morning because it maybe that you will not reach the morning. Do not delay repentance and righteous deeds till another time. As long as a person is in a state of good health and wellbeing, he is able to perform fasting, the night prayer etc; but when he becomes sick he is not able to perform fasting, the night prayer etc. Therefore, as long as Allaah has given you good health, then hasten towards righteous actions because a time will come in which you will be unable to perform them-either due to illness, old age, or senility. Prepare for death and what is to come after it. Allaah gave you this life in order that you busy yourself with what will benefit you in the Hereafter, so do not spend your life in play and jest. [An Excerpt from ‘Al-Minhatur Rabbaaniyyah Fee Sharh Al-Arba’een. pages 285 287. slightly paraphrased]
Finally: Tremendous Supplications
اللَّهُمَّ بِعِلْمِكَ الْغَيْبَ وَقُدْرَتِكَ عَلَى الْخَلْقِ أَحْيِنِي مَا عَلِمْتَ الْحَيَاةَ خَيْراً لِي وَتَوَفَّنِي إِذَا عَلِمْتَ الْوَفَاةَ خَيْراً لِي، اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ خَشْيَتَكَ فِي الْغَيْبِ وَالشَّهَادَةِ، وَأَسْأَلُكَ كَلِمَةَ الْحَقِّ فِي الرِّضَا وَالْغَضَبِ، وَأَسْأَلُكَ الْقَصْدَ فِي الْغِنَى وَالْفَقْرِ، وَأَسْأَلُكَ نَعِيماً لَا يَنْفَذُ، وَأَسْأَلُكَ قُرَّةَ عَيْنٍ لَا تَنْقَطِعُ، وَأَسْأَلُكَ الرِّضِا بَعْدَ الْقَضَاءِ، وَأَسْأَلُكَ بَرْدَ الْعَيْشِ بَعْدَ الْمَوْتِ، وَأَسْأَلُكَ لَذَّةَ النَّظَرِ إِلَى وَجْهِكَ وَالشَّوْقَ إِلَى لِقَائِكَ فِي غَيْرِ ضَرَّاءَ مُضِرَّةٍ وَلَا فِتْنَةٍ مُضِلَّةٍ، اللَّهُمَّ زَيِّنَّا بِزِينَةِ الْإِيمَانِ
وَاجْعَلْنَا هُدَاةً مُهْتَدِينَ
O Allah! By Your Knowledge of the unseen and by Your Power over creation, let me live if life is good for me, and let me die if death is good for me; O Allah! I ask You to grant me (the blessing of having) fear of You in private and public; And I ask you (to make me utter) a statement of truth in times of contentment and anger; And I ask You for moderation when in a state of wealth and poverty; And I ask you for blessings that never ceases; And I ask You for the coolness of my eye that never ends; And I ask You (to make me pleased) after (Your) decree; Aand I ask You for a life of (ease, comfort, tranquility etc) after death; I ask You for the delight of looking at Your Face (i.e. in the Hereafter) and yearning to meet You without any harm and misleading trials (coming upon me); O Allah! Adorn us with the adornment of Eemaan, and make us (from those who are) guided and guiding (others). https://salaficentre.com/2021/01/01/o-allaah-let-me-live-if-life-is-good-for-me-and-let-me-die-if-death-is-good-for-me/
اللَّهُمَّ أَصْلِحْ لِي دِينِي الَّذِي هُوَ عِصْمَةُ أَمْرِي
وَأَصْلِحْ لِي دُنْيَايَ الَّتِي فِيهَا مَعَاشِي
وَأَصْلِحْ لِي آخِرَتِي الَّتِي فِيهَا مَعَادِي
وَاجْعَلِ الْحَيَاةَ زِيَادَةً لِي فِي كُلِّ خَيْرٍ
وَاجْعَلِ الْمَوْتَ رَاحَةً لِي مِنْ كُلِّ شَرٍّ
O Allah! Rectify my religion for me, which is the safeguard of my affairs; rectify my worldly [affairs], wherein is my livelihood; and rectify my Afterlife to which is my return; and make life for me [as a means of] increase in every good and make death for me as a rest from every evil. [Saheeh Muslim Number: 2720] https://salaficentre.com/2020/12/29/o-allaah-rectify-my-religion-for-me-which-the-safeguard-of-my-affairs-a-tremendous-supplication/
May Allaah grant us a righteous end, grant abundant mercy to our parents, grandparents and all Muslims who have preceded us to the Afterlife Aameen.