Asalamu alikumOn the other hand, the Prophet (saw) has also described to us those people who perform the deeds of Paradise until they are only a handspan away from Paradise and then they do the deeds of the Hellfire and they end up one of the inhabitants of Hell. Such a person will be able to do nothing but regret his later actions. He will wish that he had never changed his ways. His soul will refuse to leave from his body because it knows and recognises the good deeds that he used to perform and the bad deeds that he is now performing.
Having a weak faith and preferring this life over the Hereafter is another cause for an evil end. In this case, the person, at his death, will have to say goodbye to that thing that he loves the most - this world or some aspect of this world. In fact, his soul will not be willing or ready to leave what he loves. If he can resist meeting Allaah and the Hereafter to stay here with the things he loves, he would do so.
Some scholars have written about some people who, on their deathbeds, when being encouraged to say, "There is no true god except Allaah", could not respond. All they could think about or talk about was the things that they enjoyed of this world. For example, one person who was addicted to chess simply kept repeating the words, "Check, check", as the Angel of Death was coming to him. That was the real thing that was in his heart, the love of his life, what he lived his life for and that is what he could not wish to part from.
Sulaiman ibn 'Abdul-Malik asked Abu Hazm, one of the followers, "O Abu Hazm, why is it that we hate death?" He answered, "You have built up (constructed) this world and you have destroyed the Hereafter. You hate to leave the thing that you have constructed for the thing that you have ruined." Indeed, how many Muslims put all of their time and energy into getting ahead in this world and very little preparing for the Hereafter. What do you think will be their state when the Angel of Death comes to them? Do you think they will be willing to give up everything they worked for to meet their Lord?
Abu Hazm was also asked how the people will be presented to Allaah on that Hour and he said, "The pious person will be like the one who was gone for a while and is returning to his family. The evildoer will be like the runaway slave returning to his master". That is exactly how those who are disobedient to Allaah will be on that Day. They disobeyed their true and real master and now they have to meet Him. However, for the pious, it will be a joyous occasion, like that of a person returning to his family.
The Prophet (saw) has clearly stated that if a person hates to meet Allaah, Allaah hates to meet him. That person, who has an evil end to his life, will be sitting in his grave seeing his place in the Hellfire. He will beseech Allaah not to bring about the Day of Judgement. He does not want to meet Allaah. However, his pleas will not be listened to. Indeed, his time for praying, pleading, beseeching and repenting is over and now he can only wait and face the results of his deeds.
Dear believers, by preparing for that Hour, by making our deeds, beliefs and intentions righteous, our Hour can be completely different from what I have just described. Instead, it can be like the Prophet (saw) described it in another part of the hadith that I referred to earlier:
"When a believer is about to leave this world and go forward to the Hereafter, angels with white faces, as if their faces were the sun, come down to him from heaven with one of the shrouds of Paradise and some of the perfume of Paradise and sit from him as far as the eye can see. Then the angel of death comes and sits at his head and says, "Good soul, come out to forgiveness and acceptance from Allaah". It then comes out like a drop flows from a waterskin and he seizes it. And when he does so, they do not leave it in his hand for an instant, but they take it and place it in that shroud and that perfume, and from it there comes a fragrance like that of the sweetest musk found on the face of the earth."
In the Qur'aan, Allaah has also described the peaceful plight of the believers at the time of their death - those that are true to the faith, do good deeds and repent after doing evil deeds. Allaah says,
"Verily those who say, "Our Lord is Allaah (alone)", and then they stick to that, on them the angels will descend (at the time of their death) (saying): "Fear you not, nor grieve! But receive the glad tidings of Paradise which you have been promised. We have been your friends in the life of this world and are (so) in the Hereafter. Therein you shall have (all) that your inner-selves desire, and therein you shall have (all) for which you ask for. An entertainment from (Allaah), the Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful." (Fussilat, 30-32)
This person will be shown his seat in Paradise while he is in his grave. He will ask Allaah to bring forth the Day of Judgement. This is the meaning of the Prophet's statement, "Whoever loves to meet Allaah, Allaah loves to meet him".
This will be our situation on that Hour - our own personal Hour that we all have to face at some time. We will either be from those whose souls will be taken easily from their bodies or from those whose souls do not wish to leave their bodies and this world. From now, however, this moment on, we must do our best to work to be among those who will have a wonderful end to their lives. We can do this by correcting our beliefs, removing any doubts, repenting from evil deeds and putting the Hereafter first in our hearts.
I leave you then, with the advice of 'Ali ibn Abu Talib, the Companion of the Prophet (saw). He said, "Go with this life behind you and go with the next life in front of you. Each life has its children so be from the children of the Hereafter and be not from the children of this world. Today are deeds without reckoning and tomorrow is reckoning without deeds".
I pray to Allaah to make us all from those people who will meet a good ending to this life. O Allaah, guide us all to the straight path and keep us firm along that path.