Blessed Friday Jemaah,
Let us renew our resolve to strengthen our takwa towards Allah s.w.t. He is the One who gives live and we will definitely return to Allah. Thus, obey all of Allah’s commands and avoid what He has prohibited upon us to achieve success in this world and the hereafter.
Life is a blessing from Allah s.w.t. which we should always be thankful for, because with it comes many blessings such as family, health, wealth and so on. The blessings or nikmat from Allah are meant to help us in our life’s journey on this earth, to help us fulfil our responsibilities as His vicegerent or khalifah in this world. However, people often forget that these blessings are just a means and not the end goal. We may forget that this world is just a temporary stop for us to prepare ourselves and as a means to seek Allah’s pleasure in the hereafter, which will be our final destination and eternal abode.
Hence, we need to constantly remind ourselves of the hadith of the Prophet s.a.w. who taught us that we should be like travellers or musafir in this world. This means that even though we dream of wealth, comfort and convenience in this world, but we should ensure that all these are to assist us in preparing for the moment which Allah s.w.t. mentions in surah Al-Qiyamah verses 26 to 30:
Which means: “Yea, when (the soul) reaches to the collar-bone (in its exit), And there will be a cry, "Who is a magician (to restore him)?" And he will conclude that it was (the Time) of Parting; And one leg will be joined with another: That Day the Drive will be (all) to thy Lord!”
In fact, the Prophet s.a.w. encouraged us to constantly remind ourselves and others that death will surely come to us. In his hadith which means: “Remember frequently the thing that cuts off pleasures: which is death, verily the grave says everyday: I am the home that is abandoned, the solitary abode, the home made of earth, the home of worms. When a believer is buried, the grave will say: Welcome, you are the person I love most, now you have come to me. And the grave will be expanded as far as the eyes can see, and the door of Paradise is opened for him.” [Hadith narrated by Imam Tirmizi]
Blessed jemaah, even though the moment of death is not made known to us, it is one that will surely occur. Thus, it is pertinent upon us to prepare ourselves for the moment when death is immediately upon us. Perhaps, we have had many friends and family members who were still young and were still very healthy, but Allah has called them to return to Him earlier. We do not want to meet Allah in a condition where we are stained with sins and wrongdoings. We hope that the end of our lives is beautiful. We would want the angel of death to greet in the manner mentioned in Surah An-Nahl verse 32:
Which means: “(Namely) those whose lives the angels take in a state of purity, saying (to them), "Peace be on you; enter ye the Garden, because of (the good) which ye did (in the world)."
Dear jemaah, let us ask ourselves, how will our first night be in the grave, with the earth as our bed? Will it be spacious and beautiful, like the gardens of paradise as mentioned in the hadith earlier, or will it be cramped, our bodies crushed and suffering from the torment of punishment?
Let us strive to prepare ourselves to return to Allah. Ensure that our hearts are filled with beneficial knowledge. Those who have religious knowledge, ensure that they practice what they have learned because that will help us to answer the questions asked when we are in the grave. Our knowledge should not remain as information that’s simply stored and not applied.
While we should constantly prepare ourselves for death, it does not mean that we ignore our lives in this world. In fact, constant reflection of our condition when death comes to seize us should actually drive us to become better servants of Allah; obedient to Allah and become ummah of Rasulullah s.a.w. who perform more good deeds.
In order to help us overcome the trials of the grave, we should increase our religious knowledge, and ensure our children do the same, and that our family will uphold the religion to the best of our abilities and knowledge. We should also be more diligent in trying to understand the Noble Quran and strive hard to practice the lessons from the Quran. A person who constantly thinks of death will not let go of any opportunity to help those in need and will not transgress the boundaries set by Allah. If one has accidentally sinned, one will quickly make taubat and try not to repeat the mistakes made. If we have hurt someone, we should quickly seek forgiveness. If we have broken ties with others, then we should try to amend the relationship so that we will not trip just as we reach the door to paradise.
Blessed jemaah, fill our hearts with the light from the Noble Quran for Nabi s.a.w. once said: “Surah al-Mulk (which is the 67th surah if we are to read and reflect upon its meaning) can be our intercession from the punishment of the grave”. Just imagine if one Surah can bring ease and lighten our pain and burden while in the hereafter, what more if we try to understand, appreciate and practise what is in the Quran. We should not let the Quran to be a book that is foreign to our families and us. We should not limit the appreciation of the Quran simply to the beautiful recitation and knowing the rules of tajwid while reading the Quran. If we have sent our children to Quran reading classes, we should ensure that they understand what they read and learn lessons from the verses read.
May Allah grant us the best of ending to our lives on this earth. May Allah accept all our good deeds and grant us husnul khotimah (a good ending) and call upon us with His angels who are gentle and make our graves among the gardens of paradise. Amin ya Rabbal ‘Alamin.
Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura
Friday Sermon, 16 May 2014 / 16 Rejab 1435