Hereafter requires prior preparation
By: Ayatullah Shaheed Syed Abdul Husayn Dastaghaib Shirazi
You do not arrive in the Hereafter in a readymade house. When you came out of your mother’s womb a readymade house was awaiting you. A lamp like the sun during day and moon at night. So also the leveled earth for your habitation. As for your food, mother’s breasts were pre-filled. In short, you came in a well-prepared life. Then you lived in this world until you return and go away from it. But when you get out of the womb of this world and enter the higher world, you see that there is no readymade living for you. Do you know what does a readymade living means? It means that when you die there is no existent light like the light of the sun there. The Noor or Light over there is the same Noor which you carry with you, that you earned during the holy month of Ramadhan, the Noor of good deeds, the light of Faith, the radiance of repentance, the brilliance of sincerity. Your Noor is in your self.
íóæúãó ÊóÑóì ÇáúãõÄúãöäöíäó æóÇáúãõÄúãöäóÇÊö íóÓúÚóì äõæÑõåõãú Èóíúäó ÃóíúÏöíåöãú
"On that day you will see the faithful men and the faithful women- their light running before them…"
On the earth of the final grand gathering (Hashr) there is no sun or moon.
ÅöÐóÇ ÇáÔøóãúÓõ ßõæøöÑóÊú. æóÅöÐóÇ ÇáäøõÌõæãõ ÇäßóÏóÑóÊú
"When the sun is covered, and when the stars darken,"
There is no shining star on Judgment Day. Conditions are totally different over there. There will be no light except the Noor of the last Prophet, Muhammad. Anyone who has earned from this radiance in the world will get it there automatically in the Hereafter.
áóåóÇ ãóÇ ßóÓóÈóÊú æóÚóáóíúåóÇ ãóÇ ÇßúÊóÓóÈóÊú
"…For it is (the benefit of) what it has earned and upon it (the evil of) what it has wrought…"
There are some, for whom, as per narrations, the Noor is just in front of them. There are some Muslims for whom the light gets extinguished and they become almost blinded. You have seen that sometimes a lamp gives a little light and is about to go off and then again it becomes bright. For some the light is so less that they can barely see their feet. Sometimes it becomes so dim that it has almost gone out. This condition in the higher world comes to pass when one had committed sins in the world. Repenting is its lightening up once more. After your death you will see and pass through your time in the spiritual state. Lightening and darkening and again lightening.
One who had sinned had repented too. May God let not the darkness prevail. Be the outward surface of your grave dark or brightened by a thousand lights such light belongs to this world. But where you are after death requires a different kind of light, the light or radiance of Faith or sincerity, brightness of truthfulness, dazzling of good deeds. Your bed is also like that. You recite in Dua Abu Hamzah during these nights: Why should I not weep over my empty-handedness? What is your property and belongings after your death? Ali says, "After death, no one has any house except that which he had prepared in this world." There are some, of course pure believers, whose house there (in the Hereafter) is as vast as the eyes can see.
The body is under dust but his soul or spirit is in the heavenly kingdom. Faith in Judgment Day means revolving around Judgment Day. Such person does deeds, which are useful in the Hereafter. He keeps away from sinful acts. This is faith in Judgment Day. He does not go even near any sin, away from lust, passion and greed, which imprisons everyone, except a true believer. It is not possible that a faithful person bows before passion and lust. Lustful behavior removes Faith from man. I will tell you a short story to illustrate this point.
Models of Faith
They say twelve persons of the Muslim army became prisoners of war while fighting the Romans. The emperor said: Bring the captives to me as I desire to look at them and to know as to how a small number can win over a huge army! When these twelve great men were brought in the presence of the emperor, the king of Byzantine asked them, "I will not kill you. I will also give jobs to you. The only thing you have to do is to come and reform our army so that they may be trained like yourselves and our armies may also make advances like your Islamic forces."
The Muslims opposed the proposal saying, "We are not prepared for this as God is not pleased with such a thing." The Holy Qur’an says:
ÑóÈøö ÈöãóÇ ÃóäúÚóãúÊó Úóáóíøó Ýóáóäú Ãóßõæäó ÙóåöíÑðÇ áöáúãõÌúÑöãöíä
"My Lord! Because Thou hast bestowed a favor on me, I shall never be a backer of the guilty."
We will never do such a thing. The emperor ordered, "Take these men to the church, point out to them the beautiful female monks and hand them over to them. Also tell the girls to show affection to these Muslims. Let the Muslims know that these girls will submit to them provided they agree with the said proposal. Moreover you will also get much more rewards."
When these Muslims were brought to the church and their eyes fell on those lustful and beautiful girls they exclaimed, "Is this a house of worship or a house of passion!" They cast their eyes down so that the seeing may not be repeated as the repetition of such seeing is prohibited. If one’s eye falls on an alien lady, to look at her again is unlawful, it being full of risk. They lowered their heads and eyes and did not move from their place. The king was informed of this. In our opinion, these are men indeed. They are not childish, lustful or greedy, who may bow down before money or be enslaved by women. They are Muslims, honorable and respectful. They believe in the Might God.
æóáöáøóåö ÇáúÚöÒøóÉõ æóáöÑóÓõæáöåö æóáöáúãõÄúãöäöíäó
"…and to Allah belongs the might and to His Apostle and to the believers.
As such they keep aside wealth and passion. They submit to none and nothing but Only One God. Their faith is not in money and lust. Their condition is such, day and night. It is said: He lives in his worldly house but his heart and soul is in the grave. He is always caring for the means of the grave. If you want to get benefits in the other world, after death, in fact, you will be with what you are in this world. If your heart is involved and drowned in the worldly corpse, your foul smelling body will be with you in the grave.
If your heart was revolving round Muhammad and the Progeny of Muhammad, if you were loving Qur’an and longing for Paradise and its bounties they will be with you after death. What is the condition of a world-lover? How madly he runs after worldly wealth, which is material. His entire thinking is about gathering money and dearness and cheapness of worldly possessions etc. One who loves the Hereafter should also be after the things related with the other world. His entire attention is towards God, Hereafter, religion and truth.
Whatever is in the flask oozes out of it too. (Persian Saying)
World-lover has signs and so also has the one who loves Hereafter. One who wants this material world is constantly after getting the material benefit and tries his best so that his income may not diminish. One who loves the Hereafter too must be like that. He says to himself: Before the holy month of Ramadhan ends let me collect as many benefits as possible. What is the condition of a materialistic man? What does he do to gain benefit from land costing a thousand toomans per meter? Almighty God grants you a thousand fold more. Then how much more you should strive to get it? You must do as many good deeds as you can before the holy month comes to an end. Believer is one who trembles at the mention of God’s name before him. His heart fills up with the fear of the Judgment Day when it is talked about. This is the sign or symbol or Faith. Otherwise his faith is only in this material world. In his grave is also a rotten corpse, which symbolizes this low world. This is the reality.
The summary of our talk of today is: What is required after death is Faith and a heart full of reality. What was only on the tongue goes away. If your heart has fear of God, you must decide what should be with you at the moment of your death. So remain with faith, fear, lowliness and humility before truth. Of course it also has its signs. How the worldly people attend their work in time? O believer! The sign of your faith is that when you hear the call "Hasten for Prayer" from the minaret of the mosque, O the one who really believes in the Hereafter, rush and race towards prayer, the best deed and be not lazy and careless.
Ali bin Abi Talib appeals in Dua Kumail
: O God! I request you earnestly not to let me be lazy with regard to the affairs of the Hereafter. Please forgive me as I have been lazy in my affairs pertaining to my Hereafter.
If a proposal for a good deed is put before me, I reject it myself. This is a weakness of faith. Otherwise if man has true faith he himself rushes towards a good deed and undertakes it immediately.
Do not turn again to lust
Now, as God Almighty has granted you this precious holy month of Ramadhan, and as you have faith and affection for good deeds and as you are regularly attending prayer and hearing the commentary of Holy Qur’an, and observing fasts etc., pray to God so that you may be able to maintain these habits even after the holy month is over. Woe unto the eye, which shed tears during the holy nights, which looks at Holy Qur’an and also looks at shameless scenes on the television screen, which are against God’s pleasure.
The neglectful things restrain you from the path of the Hereafter. When would you be anxious for the Hereafter? Why people are not at all mindful of their Hereafter? It is only due to these passionate, exciting and lustful scenes and affairs. In short, now that you have arrived here, may God keep us all stuck to the right path and may we give up sinning and may we prepare for our journey to the other world and may all of us love one another.
Friendship with one another brings bliss
Begin at home and go unto the two worlds. If the wife and the husband love one another for God’s sake, His bounties are also with them. How sweet then is their life! If there is good behavior with the neighbor, between the buyer and seller, partner and partner or associate, if one considers the property of other as his own, if they consider the loss of others their own, they will really become sincere friends. In such circumstances God rains favors on them, which are beyond imagination indeed.
God deserves to be more affectionate
It is narrated that a youth had much affection for Prophet Dawood. He had full faith in him and was attending him regularly for learning the Psalms. This youth was so much attracted to this, that he did not do anything else. Briefly speaking, one day the angel of death visited Dawood. At that moment the angel looked rather sharply at that youth. Dawood asked the angel, "Why did you cast such a sharp look at my friend?" The angel replied, "Yes, I have to visit him (for taking his soul) next week." Dawood asked again, "Is it firmly fixed?" The angel replied, "Yes, this man will not live for more than a month now." Then the angel went away.
Dawood also loved this youth for the sake of God. So he felt much on hearing about his early end. He talked sweetly with him and asked, "Have you married?" The youth replied, "No." Dawood told himself: This youth is not going to live for more than a week. He is not yet married. He began to think about finding a wife for him. So that he may benefit from her at least for one week. He put forth a proposal before a person among Bani Israel and said, "For God’s sake give your daughter to this youth in marriage tonight." That gentleman also accepted the proposal readily, asked his daughter and she also agreed. They made arrangements for the honeymoon, which was held the same night.
The youth, as usual, continued to visit Dawood daily. On the seventh day while Prophet Dawood was expecting news about that youth’s demise, he arrived there himself. Dawood did not say anything to him. In short, after one week, the angel of death once again came to meet Dawood. The latter asked the former what had happened. How is it that the youth remained alive? The angel replied, "The time of his death had arrived but you, the girl’s father and the girl herself performed deeds that attracted God’s mercy. The mutual love for one another stirred divine mercy. When God saw them doing this He said, ‘It is for Me more than you to love and to be kind to this youth, so We extended his life.’
Wife’s obedience to husband for God’s sake
It is written in the book Muhjjatul Baiza that during the days of the Holy Prophet, in Medina, there was a woman whose husband intended to go on a journey. He told her, "Do not go out of the house till I come back." The lady agreed.
Before long her father fell ill. She sent a word to the Holy Prophet asking, "O Messenger of God! While going abroad, my husband had asked me not to leave the house, but my father is ill, so can I visit him?" The gist of the matter is that the Holy Prophet did not give her permission and considered that husband’s obedience was essential.
The woman’s father was about to breathe his last. The lady’s heart again became restless and she once again sent a word to the Holy Prophet seeking permission but got the same reply. Then her father expired. She again asked the Holy Prophet whether she could attend the funeral? The Holy Prophet repeated his reply saying, "Since your husband has asked you to remain in the house, you must not go out." As the woman had faith, she accepted the order. She feared God’s punishment and knew that God’s pleasure was in her husband’s pleasure. The Messenger of God gave her good tidings: Almighty God has, due to the deed of this lady, forgiven her, her father, her mother and her husband. God pardoned all of them due to the goodness of the deed of this lady. Just see, how one deed enables a woman to become so lucky! Let us leave the matter here and proceed further.
Farewell to the dear month of Ramadhan
O faithful lovers of God! You know our beloved month is about to leave us. Once the veil is lifted you can see how blissful this holy month of Ramadhan was. It has ended now. It is preferable to bid farewell to this holy month during the last Friday, during the last night. Let the relevant supplication be recited. How to bid farewell to a dear one who is leaving us with a promise to meet again in the Hereafter. How is such a dear one given farewell?
Time and space pass away speedily in this material world. But it has spiritual aspect, which lasts forever. Its name is Ramadhan. How is it? No one knows but (God and His Messenger tell the Truth) every existing one has to be gathered after death. Time and space also have a gathering. This same month of Ramadhan, which has passed away is there in the higher world. The brightness of this very month of Ramadhan will be witnessed by us after our death. The outward of the hours, which we spent in the Holy nights have passed away but its interior (spirit) is still there. It will be the cause of the light and brightness of your eyes after death.
Hours of our life
Ibn Fahd Hilly narrates from the Holy Prophet that hours of a man’s life are of three kinds. They are such that when their other worldly appearance comes before a faithful, he will become so happy that if that happiness is distributed among the people of hell, they too will become happy. Such hour is when a faithful passed it in the remembrance of God, remaining in the mosque, hours when he fasted for God’s pleasure, gathered with other faithful people in religious meetings wherein the youths, the old ones called upon God meekly and in humiliation. Such deeds and hours are permanent.
Every word, which you uttered for God, every deed, which you did for the pleasure of God, every repentance, which you made during this month, you will observe that all of them have lasted. What I am telling you is bid farewell to the dear holy month. Perhaps you may not see it again except in the Hereafter. It is about to slip away from our hands. Imam Zainul Abideen says: O Dear month of Ramadhan! You had brought the holiday (Eid) for the friends of God. How fast you left for the friends of God and how hard were you for others!
I now narrate the rest of this narrative –another hour is such that it, if you see, makes all so restless that if its restlessness is distributed among the people of Paradise all of them will turn restless. It is the hour or time in which you committed a sin. Alas, if our eyes can see the sins which we might have committed during Ramadhan,
The Holy Qur’an says:
Çáúíóæúãó äóÎúÊöãõ Úóáóì ÃóÝúæóÇåöåöãú æóÊõßóáøöãõäóÇ ÃóíúÏöíåöãú æóÊóÔúåóÏõ ÃóÑúÌõáõåõãú ÈöãóÇ ßóÇäõæÇ íóßúÓöÈõæäó
"On that day We will set a seal upon their mouths, and their hands shall speak to Us, and their feet shall bear witness of what they earned."
Tomorrow, on the Judgment Day, all the limbs and organs will witness to the deeds done by each. The hand, the eye, the flesh, the tongue, all will speak up. Do not ask: How? It is a different power and a different world.
By the way, there also is a narration. The Imam says
: When one repents and repents heartily, God sends a decree to the writers of deeds and also to the limbs or organs of that person: Do not give witness to this servant’s sinning on the Day of Judgment because My servant has himself confessed to his sin and repented over it.
"On that day she shall tell her news, because your Lord had inspired her."
The very ground beneath your feet will be a witness against you.
The third (kind of) hour is medium, neither happiness nor sorrow. It is the hour, which passed in deeds, which were neither in obedience nor in His disobedience. Such hours also cause sorrow. One will really feel sorry as to why he did not perform deeds of God’s obedience for getting benefits now!
Recite the prayer of farewell
Jabir narrated from the Messenger of Allah: Recite briefly this supplication on the last Friday of Ramadhan so that God Almighty may do to you either of the two things: Either He will extend your life span so that you get another holy month or if your death is already decreed He will improve your affairs. O Lord! Let this month may not be the last holy month of Ramadhan of my life. May I not be buried this year. I may worship and fast also the next year and recite Qur’an.
But if it is Your determined decree whereby this year may be the last year of my life (for which there may be no remedy through supplication or charity) then please, kindly, let there remain no sin in my account unforgiven (making me pure and clean). Be Merciful to me. Give me liberty through salvation. Improve my deeds so that I may not be deprived. I may not go out empty-handed from the holy month of Ramadhan. Please grant me the happiness of Eid-ul-Fitr by Your Mercy. O Lord! Let not these hands return empty-handed from Your Court.
Bid farewell to the holy month of Ramadhan with the final farewell to Husain.
Peace of Allah be upon you, O Aba Abdillah (Husain)!