Friday Khutbah – Friday, 22nd November 2013 – 16th Muharram 1435 – SummaryIn: General, Lecture Summaries
What guarantee do we have that we are going to be alive today. Go and visit the graveyards and see how many of our relatives and acquaintances whom we used to know and love have passed away. What is going to remain with us are our deeds that we have sent forth for the Hereafter. In Surah Al-Nahl (16:96) Allah(swt) says, “What is with you passes away, i.e. must vanish and what is with Allah i.e. the good deeds that we send forth to Allah (swt) will remain. Indeed, we shall give reward those who are patient according to the best of what they did.”
And in Sermon No. 238 in Nahjul Balagha, Imam Ali(a.s.) cautions us that we should collect provision for the next world by performing good deeds before our death. He says, “Perform good acts while you are still alive, and while the books are open (for recording your actions); while the sinner is still being given hope before the light of action is extinguished; and before the time expires and our life ends, and the door of ‘tawba’ is closed.”
Death is just a transfer from one home to another. On the Day of Ashura, Imam Husain (a.s.) said to his companions, “Death is nothing but a bridge over which you pass from this world of difficulties and distress towards a vast heaven of eternal happiness. Who amongst you does not like to migrate from the worldly prison to the heavenly palace? And as for your enemies, it is like migrating from the palace towards the prison.”
Remembrance of death:
If there is anything that kills unlawful desires of our soul, it is remembrance of death. By constantly remembering death we are actually plucking out the roots of our negligence and preparing ourselves for the appointment with Allah(swt). When you frequently remember death , your preoccupation with this fleeting world will diminish and the fire of greed will be extinguished. According to Mulla Muhsin Fayd Kashani, the Prophet’s saying, ‘’An hour’s contemplation is better than a year’s worship,’’ is very much about the remembrance of death. When a person contemplates about death his exaggerated view of the world is dissolved and he strives harder for the Hereafter.
The believers are those who remember death most and are the most prepared for it. When the Prophet(saw) said,
“Increase the ‘zikr’ the remembrance for the demolisher of desires” he was asked “What is the demolisher of desires?” He said, ‘death’
One way of reviving the remembrance of death in our hearts is to visit graveyards and attend the sick.
Categories of people :
People fall under three categories as far as remembrance of death is concerned.
Those who do not remember death:
The first group of people are those who are possessed by the comforts and the glitter of this world whose deeds are not good. These are the ones who take death lightly as if they are exempted from death. They are the ones about whom Allah (swt) says in Suratul Jumu’a (62:8) “Say, indeed the death that you flee from will certainly overtake you.”
When our time comes to leave this temporal world, we cannot defer it by a single hour nor advance it
The second group of people are those who repent and remember death abundantly to instil fear and awe in their hearts. These are people who are always afraid that death might seize them before they have made the necessary preparations. They do not actually detest death or meeting Allah (swt). Rather they fear they have lost the opportunity to meet Him due to their failures and shortcomings in this world.
The third group of people are those who are not afraid of death. Rather, they remember death continuously, for what is their utmost desire and wish is their appointment to meet their beloved, for the lover always desires to meet his beloved. This group pray to Allah (swt) saying, “O Allah, keep me alive as long as life is ‘khair’ good for me, and take me away when death is better for me (Sunan Abu Dawood No. 3108)
Yet higher than this third group are those who entrust their entire affair to Allah (swt). They love best what Allah loves best. Their love and devotion to Allah(swt) brings them to the level of satisfaction with the divine. They are the example of ‘’mootu qabl ‘anta mootu’’. ‘’Die before you die.’’
In Hadith Al-Qudsi, Allah (swt) says,
“I wonder how a person can be happy when he is certain of death.”
“and I wonder how a person who is certain of the Day of Reckoning (The Day of Judgement) but still accumulates wealth.”
Where are the huge treasures accumulated by Shaddad, Fira’wn and Qaroon ? They have all left them behind and are themselves rotting in hell.
“I wonder at a person who is certain of going into the grave, but still smiles without concern.”
“I wonder at a person who is certain of the Hereafter and its Bounties but he still rests.”
“I wonder at a person who cleans him/herself with water, but does not cleanse his heart.”
“I wonder at a person who knows that Almighty Allah is aware of his actions, but still commits sins.”
“I wonder at a person who knows that he/she will die alone, go into the grave alone, give accounts alone, but is still totally engrossed with people who will not be able to help him/her.”
The period of time just before death is known as ‘ihtidhaar’ and the person who is on his deathbed is referred to as ‘muhtadhir’. It is recommended to help the dying person recite ‘’La ilaha illallah’ for Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (a.s.) has said, “Whoever recites ‘La ilaha illallah’ during his dying moment will go to Jannah.” It is also recommended to help the dying person recite and understand the ‘kalimah’ and the names of the 12 Imams. It is also mustahab to recite before the dying person Suratu Yaseen, Surah Saffaat, Ahzaab, Ayatul Kursi, the 54th ayah of Suratul A’raaf, And the last three ‘aayaat of Suratul Baqarah which starts with ‘Lillahi maa fis-samawaati wal ardh and ends with ‘anta mawlana fansurna ‘alal qawmil kaafirin.’’ Also, it is highly recommended to recite audibly as many times as possible du’a e adeelah near the dying person during the time of ‘ihtidhar’ if the dying person is not able to recite it for it contains the fundamentals of imaan. Lastly, help the dying person to recite the following du’a of forgiveness and also familiarise yourself with these recitations during your lifetime. This is a du’a for forgiveness.
“Allahummaghfir liyal kathira min ma aa’seek”
“O Allah, forgive me for the many sins commited against you.”
“Waqbal minnil yaseera min ‘taa ‘atik”
“and accept the few good deeds in your obedience.”
“Ya man yaqbalul yaseera wa ya’fu ‘anil katheer”
“O He who accepts the few good deeds and forgives the many sins.”
“Iqbal minnil yaseer, wa’fu ‘annil katheer”
“Accept from the few good deeds and forgive my many sins.”
“Innaka antal ghafoor”
“Surely, you are the forgiver.”
“Allahumar hamni fainnaka raheem.”
“O Allah ! Have mercy on me for You are forever Merciful.”
We seek forgiveness of Allah (swt). We pray to Allah (swt) that at the time of death we die with a’maale salihah. Wa aakhiru da’wana anilhamdu lillahi rabbil ‘aalameen.
Muallim Murtaza Bandali, London, UK