بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
[Yes, I know. You’re struggling to remember what this series is all about. It’s about the man who murdered 99 people.]
In the last part, I mentioned the importance of having good friends. Here’s one more hadeeth on the importance of being around righteous people:
إن لله ملائكة يطوفون في الطرق يلتمسون أهل الذكر ، فإذا وجدوا قوما يذكرون الله تنادوا : هلموا إلى حاجتكم . قال : فيحفونهم بأجنحتهم إلى السماء الدنيا ، قال : فيسألهم ربهم ، وهو أعلم منهم ، ما يقول عبادي ؟ قال : تقول : يسبحونك ويكبرونك ويحمدونك ويمجدونك ، قال : فيقول : هل رأوني ؟ قال : فيقولون : لا والله ما رأوك ، قال : فيقول : وكيف لو رأوني ؟ قال : يقولون : لو رأوك كانوا أشد لك عبادة ، وأشد لك تمجيدا وأكثر لك تسبيحا ، قال : يقول : فما يسألونني ؟ قال : يسألونك الجنة ، قال : يقول : وهل رأوها ؟ قال : يقولون : لا والله يا رب ما رأوها ، قال : يقول : فكيف لو أنهم رأوها ؟ قال : يقولون : لو أنهم رأوها كانوا أشد عليها حرصا ، وأشد لها طلبا ، وأعظم فيها رغبة ، قال : فمم يتعوذون ؟ قال : يقولون : من النار ، قال : يقول : وهل رأوها ؟ قال : يقولون : لا والله يا رب ما رأوها ، قال : يقول : فكيف لو رأوها ؟ قال : يقولون : لو رأوها كانوا أشد منها فرارا ، وأشد لها مخافة ، قال : فيقول : فأشهدكم أني قد غفرت لهم . قال : يقول ملك من الملائكة : فيهم فلان ليس منهم ، إنما جاء لحاجة . قال : هم الجلساء لا يشقى بهم جليسهم
Narrated by Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu): Allah ‘s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said, “Allah has some angels who look for those who celebrate the Praises of Allah on the roads and paths. And when they find some people celebrating the Praises of Allah, they call each other, saying, “Come to the object of your pursuit.’ ” He added, “Then the angels encircle them with their wings up to the sky of the world.” He added. “(after those people celebrated the Praises of Allah, and the angels go back), their Lord, asks them (those angels)… though He knows better than them… ‘What do My slaves say?’ The angels reply, ‘They say: Subhan Allah, Allahu Akbar, and Alhamdulillah.
Allah then says ‘Did they see Me?’ The angels reply, ‘No! By Allah, they didn’t see You.’ Allah says, How it would have been if they saw Me?’ The angels reply, ‘If they saw You, they would worship You more devoutly and celebrate Your Glory more deeply, and declare Your freedom from any resemblance to anything more often.’ Allah says (to the angels), ‘What do they ask Me for?’ The angels reply, ‘They ask You for Paradise.’ Allah says (to the angels), ‘Did they see it?’ The angels say, ‘No! By Allah, O Lord! They did not see it.’ Allah says, How it would have been if they saw it?’ The angels say, ‘If they saw it, they would have greater covetousness for it and would seek It with greater zeal and would have greater desire for it.’
Allah says, ‘From what do they seek refuge?’ The angels reply, ‘They seek refuge from the (Hell) Fire.’ Allah says, ‘Did they see it?’ The angels say, ‘No By Allah, O Lord! They did not see it.’ Allah says, How it would have been if they saw it?’ The angels say, ‘If they saw it they would flee from it with the extreme fleeing and would have extreme fear from it.’ Then Allah says, ‘I make you witnesses that I have forgiven them.”‘
Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) added, “One of the angels would say, ‘There was so-and-so amongst them, and he was not one of them, but he had just come for some need.’ Allah would say, ‘These are those people whose companions will not be reduced to misery.’ “ [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 8, Hadeeth No. 417]
So many people prepare for this and that.
And so few of them prepare for death.
“So glorify the praises of your Lord and be of those who prostrate themselves (to Him). And worship your Lord until there comes unto you the certainty (i.e. death).” [Surah Al-Hijr (15) : 98-99]
Death is probably everyone’s least favourite topic, which is quite strange when you consider that ALL OF US will die.
What’s amazing is that the more righteous a person is, the more at ease they are with dying, and the less righteous a person is, the less at ease they are with dying.
There was a story that I heard that explained to me why that was so. One of the caliphs went to a scholar and asked him why people were so averse to death. The scholar pointed out how nobody would like to leave a house that they had built and furnished for a house that was not ready.
[That was the gist of the story. Sorry, I don’t remember the exact details.]
So, that’s why many people are averse to death. They’ve spent their lives polishing up their dunya (worldy life) but made little effort to build their house in Paradise.
A righteous person, on the other hand, would obey Allah and focus on the hereafter rather than letting this dunya control him/her.
I mean really, brothers and sisters, let’s look at most of our lives:
Why are there so many parties and so few Islamic classes?
Why is there so much talk about useless matters and so little dhikr (remembrance)) of Allah?
Why is there so much time spent reading the news and magazines and so little time spent reading the book of Allah?
Why is there so much time spent toiling away at night for that project that is due the next day but so little time spent toiling away at night by standing up in prayer?
Why is there so much money spent on clothes, accessories, food, furniture and Allah knows what else but so little money spent on charity and helping our brethren who are in need?
Why is there so much time spent on listing other people’s flaws but so little time spent listing our own flaws?
Why is there so much time spent talking or thinking about how we can help our ummah (nation) but so little time actually spent on doing so?
Why is there so much time spent on disobeying Allah and so little time spent on obeying Allah?
It doesn’t have to be this way.
We’re still alive, which means that we can still change before we die.
Now, you might say: “Huh, I’m too sinful! I need time to change.”
Okay, you need to read the following two stories:
1) The murderer who went to Paradise
Abu Said al-Khudri reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: There was a person before you who had killed ninety-nine persons and then made an inquiry about the learned persons of the world (who could show him the way to salvation). He was directed to a monk. He came to him and told him that he had killed ninety-nine persons and asked him whether there was any scope for his repentance to be accepted. He said: No. He killed him also and thus completed one hundred. He then asked about the learned persons of the earth and he was directed to a scholar, and he told him that he had killed one hundred persons and asked him whether there was any scope for his repentance to be accepted. He said: Yes; what stands between you and the repentance? You better go to such and such land; there are people devoted to prayer and worship and you also worship along with them and do not come to the land of yours since it was an evil land (for you). So he went away and he had hardly covered half the distance when death came to him and there was a dispute between the angels of mercy and the angels of punishment. The angels of mercy said: This man has come as a penitant and remorseful to Allah and the angels of punishment said: He has done no good at all. Then there came another angel in the form of a human being in order to decide between them. He said: You measure the land to which he has drawn near. They measured it and found him nearer to the land where he intended to go (the land of piety), and so the angels of mercy took possession of it. Qatada said that Hasan told him that it was said to them that as death approached him, he crawled upon his chest (and managed) to slip in the land of mercy. [Sahih Muslim, Hadeeth No. 6662]