Monday, December 31, 2012

Submissiveness in Prayer (Al-Khushoo' Fis Salah) part 4

Asalamu alikum

Du'a

We should seek guidance and help from Allah for proper and submissive prayer. The Prophet Ibrahim (as) used to make the following du'a:
"O Lord! Make me and my offspring of those who establish regular Salah. O our Lord, and accept my supplication." Qur'an 14:40

To Act Upon and Spread Knowledge
We all have knowledge. Some have a little, some have a lot. We will be asked as to what we have done with it. Act upon it and use it for your benefit and the benefit of others. Offer what knowledge you have to others, even something as simple as telling someone to say Bismillah. The Messenger of Allah (saws) said:
"He who calls people to righteousness, there would be reward assured for him like the rewards of those who adhered to it, without their rewards being diminished in any respect. And he who called people to error, he shall have to carry the burden of its sin, like those who committed it, without their sins being diminished in any respect." Related by Bukhari

There is indeed great difference in he who learns and spreads what he learned and he who does not.

As the Prophet (saws) said:
The example of guidance and knowledge with which Allah has sent me is like abundant rain falling on the earth, some of which has fertile soil that absorbed rain water and brought forth vegetation and grass in abundance. Another portion of it was hard and held rain water and Allah benefited the people with it and they utilised it for drinking, making their animals drink from it, and for irrigation of the land for cultivation. And a portion was barren which could neither hold the water nor bring forth vegetation. The first is the example of the person who comprehends Allah's religion and gets benefit (from the knowledge) which Allah has revealed through me and learns and then teaches others. The last example is that off a person who does not care for it and does not take Allah's guidance revealed through me. Bukhari
It is without doubt that khushoo' in Salah is one of the greatest assets a Muslim can possess in his faith. It comes with struggle, perseverance, and patience and is obtained only by those who work for it, who really set their sights where they should be.
It is related by Hatim bin Al-Asam that he said in answer to a question about prayer:

"When the time for prayer is at hand. I make a proper ablution, go to the spot where I attend to pray and sit there until all my limbs and organs are in a collected state. Then I stand up to perform my prayer, placing the Kabah between my brows, the bridge over Hell beneath my feet, Paradise to my right and Hell to my left, and the Angel of Death behind me, thinking all the while that this is my final prayer. Then I stand between hope and fear. I carefully pronounce "Allahu Akbar!" Then I recite the Qur'an harmoniously, bow in humility and prostrate myself submissively. I then sit back on my left haunch, spreading out the left foot, raising my right foot on the toes. I follow this with sincerity. Then I wonder whether or not my prayer has been accepted.

Excerpt from Inner Dimensions of Islamic Worship - by Al Ghazali
So, as we can see by this example if we could imagine ourselves in this same position, which we are really in though we can't see it visually, we would soon make the realisation that this prayer of ours is of the utmost importance.
We as Muslims, must not only be willing to commit to Islam but we must be ever ready to sacrifice our desires for what will be best for us - in the long run. We should always reflect on the life of the Prophet (saws) and the companions, their struggles and (in this life) very few personal accomplishments - by worldly standards. Their sights were always focused on what they would hopefully achieve in the next life and for the success of the Deen . Make this your aim, not the aim of what you can achieve in this world because you and it will pass away, all that you achieve here other than for Allah (swt) is worthless to you.
So don't waste time - this truth is available to all who sincerely seek it. Now you have your priorities right - your goal is set

Submissiveness in Prayer (Al-Khushoo' Fis Salah) part 3

Asalamu Alikum







Self Assessment
Make it a daily habit to examine your Salah critically. If there is any defect, repent and try to eliminate this defect, as sin without repentance blocks your way to success. Don't let Shaytan defeat you -just keep trying. Maintain a high spirit and ambition, holding firmly to your faith and seek strength only from Allah.
Consider the example of the Prophet (saws), who was protected from error, who has been guaranteed paradise. He would ask Allah's forgiveness 100 times a day. What then should be expected from us?
Assessment of oneself is not meant to instill a feeling of failure or incompetence. As long as your intention is to do good, you follow through with it, and you continue trying, the reward will be given to you.
"Verily! As for those who believe and do righteous deeds - certainly! We shall not suffer to be lost the reward of anyone who do his (righteous) deeds in the most perfect manner." Qur'an 18:30

Recognising your defects shouldn't pull your spirit down but should rather motivate you to improve. Remember that strength is the key to closeness with Allah.


"The strong Mu-min is better and more beloved to Allah than the weak Mu-min."
Muslim
Comprehension and Contemplation
The renown scholar, Ibn Al-Qaym, has said that on two occasions the servant of Allah will be between the hands of Allah: On the Day of Judgement and in Salah. Whoever perfects his stand in this life will have an easy stand on the Day of Judgement.
A man came to the Prophet (saws)and said:
"Give me brief advice in which I don't need anything else. He said to Him: "When you pray, pray like a person who is saying farewell." Ibn Majah, Al-Hakim, and Al-Buhaqi
When you stand to pray and pronounce "Allahu Akbar", reflect upon the meaning of Allah's Greatness, hoping for His reward and fearing. His punishment. When you bow for rukoo' and say, Subhana Rabbi Al-Adheem strive to refine the inner feeling of your own impotence and insignificance before the Might and submission in prayer. Your words Subhanna Rabbi Al-A'alaa should be said with full awareness of your complete poverty to Allah. When you conclude your prayer, feel a sense of gratitude to Allah, for having enabled you to complete this act of worship. Imagine that you are saying this farewell prayer of yours and that you may not live to offer another like it.
Remembering The Last Day
Remember the hardness of the Day of Judgement when we shall all stand before Allah, fearful and ashamed of what we have to present to Him. It is for this reason we should avoid concerning ourselves so much with this life and concentrate on that which will be of benefit to us on that day, particularly acts of worship. Nothing else deserves the importance of remembrance of this day.
"And part of the night prostrate yourself to Him and glorify Him a long night through. As to these, they love the fleeting life and put away behind them a Day that will be hard."Qur'an 76:26-27
Those who ignore this Ayah love the world and are forgetting the heavy day that they will face. Consider the seriousness of the Day of Judgement. Remember death. Remember that your life here is only temporary and can be short.
"Seek help in patience and prayer; truly it is hard except for those who are humble. Who bear in mind the certainty that they are to meet their Lord and that they are to return to Him." Qur'an 2:45-46
Truly those who possess Khushoo', the Khashi'een, seek help in patience and prayer. They know and realise the importance of the Day of Judgement and appreciate that they will meet with their Lord.
This is a positive anxiety which pushes them to do more. They know that as long as they are alive they have a chance to do something to improve their stand on that Day. And they take advantage of each and every chance.
"If only you could see when the guilty ones will bend low their heads before their Lord (saying): Our Lord! We have seen and we have heard; now then, send us back (to the world) we will work righteousness, for we do indeed (now) believe." Qur'an 32:12
Following the Path of the Companions
The Companions of the Prophet (saws, were always shy and afraid to present a bad prayer to Allah. They were filled with fear that their deeds would not be accepted. Consider this in relation to their exquisite piety, as seen in the following stories from their lives:
* One whose leg was in need of amputation was faced with the difficulty of surgery without anesthesia. He was offered alcohol to help decrease the pain he would undoubtedly feel but he refused saying: Cut it off while I am in prayer. The amputation was completed while he was in Sujood.
* Muslim bin Yasaar was praying in the masjid when a portion of the building collapsed. He was completely unaware of the event due to his Salah.
* 'Amir bin 'Abdullah was one of the humble in prayer. He was asked: "Does anything come into your mind in your prayer?" He replied: "Is there something that is more beloved to me than Salah that should come to my mind." They said: "Verily, things come to our minds when we pray." He said to them: "Such as Paradise and the Maidens of Paradise and thing like this?" They said: "No. Our families and our wealth." 'Amir replied: "I would rather spears pass through my body than get that sort of thing in my prayer."
We should look to their level of concentration, love them for their deep faith and strength, and ask Allah to make us like them. They show us that the fundamental elements of prayer are not the mere rituals but rather humility and conscious awareness.
Knowing the Rewards and Punishments
One who has khushoo' benefits enormously whereas one who is lacking in khushoo' will suffer various consequences. By knowing the rewards associated with khushoo' and the punishments for the lack thereof, we may better conceive the importance of developing this very special aspect of Iman.
The Rewards
1. "Successful indeed are the Mu-mineen, those who humble themselves in their prayer."Qur'an 23:1-2
2.The right to enter Al-Jannah through Baab As-Salah - The door of Prayer.
3. Khushoo' will provide you relaxation and will become 'pleasing to the eye'. You will experience tranquillity and calmness. However, such things come only through jihad and patience.
"Truly man was created very impatient. Fretful when evil touches him. And niggardly when good reaches him. Not so those devoted to prayer. Those who remain steadfast in their prayer." Qur'an 70:19-23
4.It will become a source of strength and power and will serve as a protection from Shaytan and provide you with stability. Allah (swt), says:
"Seek help through Sabr (patience) and Salah."Qur'an 2:45
This is evident in the following Hadith:
"He (saws), when saddened by a thing, would seek refuge in prayer."Related by Ahmad and Abu Dawud
Whenever you are in need or trouble - pray!
5. Help's one's conscience and purifies and perfects other deeds. Indeed all of our actions, word and deed, are affected by our Salah. And, Subhan Allah, it works in two very simple ways. Submit more in Salah and you'll submit in other deeds...and vice versa!!!
"The first thing that the servant will be called to account for on the Day of Judgment will be Salah. If it is good, his deeds will have been good. If it is bad, his deed will have been bad." Related by Al-Tabarani
6. Perfects one's morals, manners, character and attitude. This is known as Husnul Khuluq.
"Verily Salah restrains from indecency and evil deeds" Qur'an 29:45
"There is nothing that weighs heavier upon the scale of a believer on the Day of Judgement as does Husnul Khuluq." Related by Al-Tabarani
7. Establishes for you a closeness to the Prophet (saws), on the Day of Judgement. The Prophet (saws), said:
"Verily the most beloved of you to me and the nearest to me on the Day of Judgement are those with the best manners." Al-Tabarani

Rabe'ah bin Ka'ab said:
"I was with the Messenger of Allah (saws) one night, and I brought him water and what he required. He said to me: Ask (anything you like). I said: I ask your company in paradise. He (The Prophet (saws)) said: "Anything other than that?" I said: "That is all." He said: "Then help me to achieve this for you by devoting yourself often to prostration." Muslim
8. Brings you close to Allah (swt).
"Sujood is the closest you can come to Allah." Related by Muslim
9. The falling of sins from your body. The Prophet (saws) said:
"Verily when a Muslim performs Wudu properly, and then observes Salah five times a day, his sins fall off just as these leaves have fallen off.
He then recited the following ayat:
And establish regular prayers at the two ends of the day and at the approaches of the night; for those things which are good removes those things which are evil. That is a reminder for the mindful." Qur'an 11:114
10. The Love of and from Allah. This is the highest of rewards.
"My servant does not draw near Me with anything more loved by Me than the religious duties I have imposed upon him, and my servant continues to draw near Me with voluntary works so that I shall love him. When I love him I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes, and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask (something) of Me, I would surely give it to him; and were he to ask Me for refuge, I would surely grant it to him."
The Punishments
1. Life will be full of discomfort, agony and misery.
"But whosoever turns away from My Message, verily for him is a life narrowed down, and We shall raise him up blind on the Day of Judgment." Qur'an 20:124
Sufferings in life may be evidence of one being upon the wrong path, or relief of sufferings a sign that one is upon correct guidance. A German man suffered continually from migraine headaches. No treatment was of any relief, despite his constant search. He happened upon a Muslim who was offering prayer. He was so interested that he waited to inquire as to what this act of worship was and to what religion it belonged. His interest in the prayer, and the religion which commanded such as an act, was due to the prostration - he had found that he could only obtain relief from his pain while in such a position as that which is assumed in Sujood. He eventually accepted Islam and has not, Subhan Allah, suffered from migraines since.
2. All deeds will be bad - a complete loss. If Salah is not performed, it will definitely affect our other deeds in life.
"The first thing that the servant will be called to account for on the Day of Judgement will be Salah. If it is good, his deeds will have been good. If it is bad, his deeds will have been bad." Related by Tabarani
3. Destruction of the bond of brother/sisterhood in Islam. If we are unable to develop khushoo' with our Lord how can we expect to care and feel for our brother Muslims? Without the benefits that are attained through khushoo', Muslims will part from each other and hatred will be given freedom to develop.
4. Depletion of morality and righteousness. Without submission and humbleness, we will be faced with a society of aggressive, self-centered personalities who have no concern for Allah and Islam.
5. Rejection from Allah. We know the great benefits of Allah's love. What will become of us, if He turns away from us?
"But, after them followed a posterity who lost Salah and followed after lusts; soon then will they face destruction." Qur'an 19:59
In the tafseer (explanation) of this Ayah it is mentioned that the phrase who lost Salah does not mean that they completely stopped praying, but that they delayed it, not praying it at the proper time.
Fulfilling our Bodies Needs
Stray thoughts may be prompted by something external. We should fulfill such bodily needs as necessary to concentrate and gain complete benefits from our Salah. We should sleep and eat well.
We should protect ourselves from the elements of weather so that cold and heat do not cause us discomfort.
Our clothing should be comfortable, not irritating. Our attention is caught by anything which happens to engage our eyes and ears. We should distance ourselves from noise as much as possible to avoid distractions that are possible to control

Submissiveness in Prayer (Al-Khushoo' Fis Salah) part 2

Asalamu alikum




Factors of Khushoo'

True Faith

The Islamic definition of faith is: The belief in the heart, the words of the tongue, accompanied by actions of the body. All three must be found in a person to have true faith. The belief in the heart is evidenced by the actions which are performed, and the actions are accepted according to what is in the heart, so it's a combination of the two. They cannot stand alone. Faith is bound by the following precepts:
To pronounce the Shahadah as well as spread it to others.
To believe in whatever we were told by the Prophet (saws). To believe the truth of the complete knowledge and wisdom of Allah in what he has commanded us to perform or abandon.

To perform good deeds and refrain from bad ones.

To comply and obey and accept.
"And they say; 'We hear and we obey; (we seek) Your forgiveness our Lord; and to You is the end of all journeys'."(Qur'an, 2: 285)
If these things are applied to Salah, along with firm belief in the importance and benefit of Salah, then it is sure, Insh Allah, to increase our khushoo' which will in turn increase our faith.
The main constituents of faith may be grouped under two important conditions:
Ikhlas - sincerity
Emulation - following the Sunnah

"Blessed be He in Whose hands is Dominion, and He has power over all things. He Who created death and life that He may try which of you is best in deed." Qur'an, 67:1-2
"Blessed in deed" involves sincerity and emulation of the Sunnah. No better advice is given to a brother Muslim than to tell him to fulfill these two things. Without them, he will have lived his life for nothing; all his deeds will have been lost. Through them, all deeds will be saved and protected, and by Allah's mercy, accepted.
Ikhlas
Ikhlas, or sincerity, refers to the complete absence of shirk. It means not only performing Salah to fulfill the obligation, but to really feel your need, your poverty for it, and to purify ourselves, all out of total love for Allah, wanting to get nearer and nearer to Him, hoping for the highest level in paradise amongst the Muqarraboon, those close to Allah. The Messenger of Allah (saws) related the following:
"Allah the Almighty has said: Whosoever shows enmity to a friend of Mine, I shall be at war with him. My servant does not draw near to Me with anything more loved by Me than the religious duties I have imposed upon him, and my servant continues to draw near to Me with voluntary works so that I shall love him. When I love him I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes, and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask (something) of Me, I would surely give it to him; and were he to ask Me for refuge, I would surely grant it to him." Related by Al-Bukhari
Salah is indeed a gift. There are many who don't like Salah at all, and when they hear the Adhan they could car less. Those who find in Salah the benefits that Allah bestows upon His servants, who perform it as it should be performed, are joyful to be called to prayer. Be thankful and appreciative in your heart for the gift of being able to perform Salah.
One of the enemies of sincerity is admiration of one's self. Pride is a type of shirk, an association of oneself with Allah.
"He who has in his heart a mustard seed of pride shall not enter Paradise."Muslim
Never admire yourself or your deeds, particularly your prayer. Look to those who are better than you. This will encourage you and humble you.
As true sincerity is built mainly on true love, desire, and fear of Allah, the following will assist you in establishing your sincerity:
Knowing Allah (swt) by His names and attributes, appreciating His Lordship.
Ihsan: "To worship Allah as though you see Him, knowing that though you cannot see Him, He sees you."Muslim
To acknowledge religion and guidance as being from Allah.
"And you have no good thing but it is from Allah."Qur'an, 16:53
If it wasn't for Allah's guidance we would not be Muslims, so at least out of thankfulness we should be humble and sincere.
"But Allah has endeared faith to you and has made it beautiful in your hearts and he has made hateful to you unbelief, wrongdoing and rebellion; such indeed are those who walk in righteousness. A grace and favor from Allah; and Allah is full of Knowledge and Wisdom."Qur'an, 49:7-8
To look at our defective selves and actions. No matter how much we try, we will never be able to perform worship to the level that Allah deserves. This should build a competitive feeling in us, an ambition to do more, to try harder, hoping for Allah's mercy. This is what it means to feel complete poverty to Allah. As well, we should look to those who are better, who are very God-conscious and fearing. This will help to develop the desire for humility. Failure to apply reflective inspection to oneself will only serve to increase one's defects.
To appreciate the blessings bestowed upon us. Anas bin Malik related that on the Day of Judgement every servant will be presented with a record of is good deeds and a record of his bad deeds. Then he will be shown a record of all of the blessings he was given by Allah (swt) (such as sight, hearing, feeling, etc.). The Lord will say (to the blessings he granted his servant) "Take from the good deeds of my servant what you deserve." If only one of the blessings of Allah were to come forth and take what it deserves from the servants good deeds, there would be none remaining. (Al-Khushoo' fis Salah 'Abdullah Al-Jaar Allah)
"And He gave you (the faculties) of hearing and sight and understanding; little thanks do you give!"Qur'an, 32:9
Go and visit the sick, the very sick, that lie in the hospitals. You will deeply appreciate your seemingly simple blessings which will in turn increase your sincerity in worship.
Emulation of the Sunnah
Emulation is a required principle of every act of worship in Islam. The act you perform and the way you perform it cannot be a fabrication of your own which has no basis in the Sunnah. This is according to the Hadeeth of 'Ai-ishah (ra) who related the Prophet (saws) as saying:
"Whoever innovates something into this religion of ours which does not belong to it will have it rejected."Muslim
According to the words of the Prophet (saws): "Pray as you have seen me pray."
Prayer, as well as all other acts of worship, can only be considered perfect and complete if it is in accordance with the Sunnah of the Prophet (saws). They must be totally free of innovation. Otherwise they will be rejected by Allah (swt).
"The Day that the wrongdoer will bite at his hands, He will say, "Oh! Would that I had taken a path with the Messenger!" Qur'an 25:27
Recitation of the Qur'an and Remembrance of Allah (Dhikr)
"Don't speak a lot without remembering Allah, for verily speaking much without remembering Allah hardens the hearts. And the people who are most distant from Allah are those with hard hearts."Tirmidhi
Recitation of the Qur'an and Dhikr, accompanied by contemplation of the meaning is one of the most tremendous ways of softening one's heart.
"Allah has revealed the most beautiful Message in the form of a book, consistent with itself, repeating; the skins of those who fear their Lord tremble threat; then their skins and their hearts do soften to the remembrance of Allah."Qur'an 39:23
Recitation of the Qur'an and Dhikr is a protection from shaytan and a cause of tranquillity of the heart. Sadly, the hearts of today's Muslims are no longer sensitive to the Qur'an. If our hearts are really pure, then we never stop reciting Qur'an. 'Uthmaan bin' Affaan, radi Allaahu 'anhu, would pray Fajr then remember Allah in Dhikr. Then he would recite Qur'an till Dhuhr! If our hearts were purified, we would never stop reciting Qur'an:
"Those who believe and whose hearts find satisfaction in the remembrance of Allah; for without a doubt in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find satisfaction." Qur'an 13:28.
"And remember Allah frequently that you may prosper." Qur'an 62:10.
Shaytan always works to distract us so we should always seek help from Allah by saying "Audthu billahi minash shaytan nirrajeem". The same can be applied in Salat. When you become so distracted in your prayer that you can't control it say "Audthu billah himinash shaytan nirrajeem" then spit lightly over your shoulder three times. 'Uthman bin Affaan related that he came to the Prophet (saws), and said:
"Allah's Messenger, Satan intervenes between me and my prayer and my reciting of the Qur'an and he confounds me." Thereupon, Allah's Messenger (saws), said, "That is (the doing of the Shaytan) who is known Khanzab. When you perceive its effect, seek refuge with Allah from it and spit three times to your left."Muslim

Submissiveness in Prayer (Al-Khushoo' Fis Salah)

Aasalmu alikum






Islam has placed great importance upon the performance of prayer, not only the physical act but the mental and spiritual role as well. What is this importance of prayer in the life and afterlife of a Muslim? What are the consequences of prayer?
The Importance of Prayer
1. The first thing you are required to do after pronouncing Shahadah is Salah. Salah is a primary pillar of Islam. In other words, it upholds one's Islam. Abandonment of prayer will negate a person's Islam. Without Salah, one becomes a Kaffir.
"Verily between man and between polytheism and unbelief is the negligence of prayer."Muslim
2. The performance of prayer, as well as the grade of performance, affects all other deeds in life. The Prophet, (saws), said:
"The first thing that the servant will be called to account for on the Day of Judgment will be Salah. If it is good, his deeds will have been good. If it is bad, his deeds will have been bad." At-Tabarani
Salah, performed correctly with khushoo' is the key to success and true faith. Allah, (swt), tells us:
"Successful indeed are The Believers, those who humble themselves in their prayers.Qur'an 23:1-2
Muslims, in general are very deficient in their Salah. These deficiencies range from small to severe, yet everyone suffers as a consequence. Prayer benefits the individual as well as the society. If this benefit is not gained, not only will the individual Muslim suffer but the society will face the loss as well.
The situation of today's Islamic society is not very optimistic and it is worsening. This is due to progression of sin and lack of repentance. In order to combat this we must return to the performance of obligatory acts and render them as they should be performed. This, especially in the case of Salah, will do much to improve the state of Muslims. Why be astonished at our deterioration if our own Salah is cursing us/ A "return to Islam", involves true, sincere repentance and obedience of Allah's commands, If believers don't stop sinning, punishment will come from Allah, (swt).


The Definition of Khushoo'


Khushoo', which may loosely be translated as submission, incorporates:
Absence of Haughtiness: This characteristic, which is found in most, constitutes pride and self-sufficiency. It must be completely removed. This does not mean that we must belittle ourselves to a state of worthlessness. It simply means that we should realise our deficiencies and eliminate any feeling of lack of need for Allah. We are in need of Him not He of us.
Humbleness: Once the self-pride and self-sufficient feelings are removed, Allah's greatness is magnified. We cannot but feel meek, insignificant, and submissive and thereby humble ourselves and acknowledge our true need for Allah(swt).
Acceptance of Commandments and Compliance Through Actions: This refers to the total surrender to the Creator, The owner of the Worlds.
Khushoo' is a complex of different morals, feelings, and intentions, all of which are directed to Allah, the fruit of which is compliance through physical actions, This constitutes true extraction of oneself from whatever may prevent this sincerity, feeling the Might and Glory of Allah, and feeling humility and the tremendous power of Allah coupled with complete poverty to Him only, (swt). It is to stand before Him with our hearts placed sincerely in His hands. Though this submission, this khushoo', is emphasised in Salah it should be characteristic of every intention, word, and deed we perform.
"Say: Verily, my prayer and my service of sacrifice, my life and my death are all for Allah, Lord of the Worlds." Qur'an, 6:162
The place of submission, true submission, is in the heart. It bears fruit in the different parts of the body; the eyes, tongue, hands, feed. In essence, our whole life should be a submissive prayer if we wish to be of the Muflihoon, the Successful:
"Successful indeed are the Mu-mineen, those who humble themselves in their prayer."Qur'an, 23:1-2
Submission, or khushoo', is most often mentioned with Salah, as it is the act of worship that is the common denominator of all other acts of devotion, e.g. Ihraam/Hajj, Sawm, Shahadah, expenditure of oneself, supplication and remembrance of Allah, Recitation of Qur'an, and acts of devotion of the heart, which are the most important Salah is the most important pillar of Islam after the Shahadah. It is a true action of Shahadah - Declaration of Faith. When we are praying we are directing ourselves to Allah confirming our belief in Tawheed. . Compare Salah to fasting. When we fast we abstain from the intake and output of many things other than food and drink, such as evil thoughts, words and deeds. Salah is similar act - the abstention of everything but prayer. Zakah, as well as Sadaqah, purifies us in our actions, as does Salah. Salah contains the best supplication:
"Show us the Straight Way."Qur'an 1:6
We recite this verse regularly in our prayer, at least seventeen times daily. How often do we recite it for the sake of recitation outside of prayer? We should do so more often. It is actually a complete prayer of supplication to Allah for guidance.
When you are bowing in rukoo' you praise Allah. When you are in prostration you are the closest you can come to Allah. It is here that you should supplicate and ask Him for your needs. All of your life's problems should come out in your prostration's, remembering that it is we who are in need of Allah not Him of us.
"The closest a servant comes to his Lord is in Sujood; therefore make excessive du'a, for it is most likely to be answered."Related by Muslim
When submission is truly established in the heart, only then will a Muslim be known as a humble person. Only through true submission of the heart will the rest of the body. - which carries out words and actions - comply with discipline to the commands of Allah. This is the true meaning of Islam - actual acceptance then compliance through obedience to and performance of whatever command Allah has commanded. So submission is not confined to Salah alone. Actually, submission is Islam. To understand this, we must grasp the deeper connotations of khushoo'.
A person may feel that he has khushoo' yet this is not apparent in his actions. This is not true khushoo'. Submissiveness and humbleness cannot possible end with prayer. It affects a person's entire attitude and action, not limiting itself to Salah. Many of today's Muslims feel that their level for Islam is sufficient.
When you advise them to improve themselves and their deeds they respond by saying that fanaticism is not necessary. They don't want to be labeled a 'fundamentalist'. Any person who feels satisfied with his level of Islam should remember the following ayah:
"Has not he time arrived for the Believers that their hearts in all humility should engage in the remembrance of Allah and the Truth which has been revealed (to them) and that they should not become like those to whom was given the Book aforetime? But long ages passed over them and their hearts grew hard? For many among them are rebellious transgressors."Qur'an 57:16
This ayah addressed the Companions of the Prophet (saws). Though they were pious, righteous and very devoted, Allah (swt) wanted them to improve themselves

Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Goodly Life.




Life, is either for a person, or against him
It's hours and seconds, days and years pass him by
Leading him (by his actions) to the Love and Good Pleasure of Allah
until he is amongst the people of Ultimate Success and the Gardens of Paradise
or they are against him, leading him (by his actions) to the Fires of Hell
and to the Anger of the One, the Just Ruler [Allah]

Life, either it will make you laugh & rejoice for an hour
over which you will cry for an eternity (in the Hereafter)
or it will make you cry for an hour
over which you will laugh & rejoice for an eternity (in the Hereafter)

Life, is either a great blessing for a person,
or an adverse affliction against him

This is a life which was lived by the earliest generations
by our fathers and forefathers
and by all those who preceded us
All of them, returned to Allah with what they used to do [their deeds]

"Life" refers to every single moment that is lived within it
and every hour spent within it
And within all of these, we live a life that is either for us or against us

Thus, the successful and happy person
is the one who sees life, and recognises it's reality and true nature
For by Allah, it is a life that frequently causes some people to weep, their tears never drying
and frequently makes others laugh, their laughs and joys then never to return

My beloved, Allah has made this life as a trial, a test,
an exam, in which is made apparent the true nature of His slaves
Thus happy is the one who is made successful (in this exam) by the Mercy of Allah
while miserable & banished (from salvation) is the one upon whom the Pleasure of Allah becomes forbidden (through this exam)

(Know) for every hour that you live, either Allah is pleased with you in this hour (by your deeds)
or the opposite, we seek refuge in Allah from that
Therefore (by this hour) either you come closer to Allah
or you stray further from Him

Thus it may be, that you live a single moment of love and obedience to Allah (by your actions)
by which are forgiven the inequities of your life
and a lifetime of sins
And it may be that you live a single moment in which you deviate purposely from the Path of Allah
distancing yourself from His obedience
which then becomes a cause of misery & distress, for the rest of your life
We ask Allah for His Safety and Pardoning

In this life there exist two seperate 'callers'
The first, is anything that calls to the Mercy, the Good Pleasure and the Love of Allah (be they thoughts or actions)
The second type of caller, is anything which invites to the opposite of that
(Such as) a desire or lust that incites one to evil
or a sudden sinful whim that may result in an evil ending (dying in bad or sinful circumstances)

Thus it may be, that a person within a moment of his life, weeps;
a weeping of regret and repentance over his negligence towards his Lord;
and by (these tears) Allah changes his evil deeds into good deeds (on his record)

But how many a people continue to commit sins?
how many a people still indulge in evil?
how many a people continue to distance themselves (from Allah),
frequently travelling away from their Lord (by their actions)?
Thus all of them are distant from the Mercy of Allah
unbeknownst to them, strangers to the Good Pleasure of Allah

Then comes upon them that hour, that exact moment (of penitence),
which is what we are referring to, by "the goodly life",
in order that they shed tears of regret and remorse,
and that a reason for anguish in the heart may be ignited,

Such that the person realises how long his alienation from Allah has been
and how long his absence from his Lord truly has been
so that he may then say, "Indeed I am turning to my Lord repentant, remorseful,
and in hope of His Mercy and Good Pleasure!"

This time (of penitence) is a person's key to happiness and contentment,
the time of regret.
It is as the scholars say,
"Indeed man sins a great deal,
but if he is truly sincere in his regret and repentance,
Allah will change his sins into good deeds"
Thus his life too then becomes pure and goodly,
by the purity and truthfulness of that regret and repentance
and by the sincerity in the very distress and pain felt within himself

We ask Allah the Greatest, Lord of the Honourable Throne,
to give life to this blessed caller to His Mercy, within our hearts
and to the pain we should feel when we are neglectful towards Allah and His Commands

My beloved, every single one of us needs to ask themselves a question,
we need to ask ourselves day and night,
How many nights are spent awake in activity?
and how many hours are passed (in this way)?
How many have laughed in this life?
And (most importantly) was Allah Pleased with this laughter?

How much of this time was spent in entertainment and enjoyment in this life?
Was this enjoyment one that Allah was Pleased with?
How many nights were spent awake (in activity)?
Was this staying awake (and what you did in those nights), pleasing to Allah?

And so on and so forth,
(These are) questions that he should be asking within himself
But a person might wonder why he should be asking these questions (i.e. what's the point)?

Yes! You must ask yourselves these questions
as passes not the instant of a blinking of an eye,
nor a fleeting moment in your life,
except that you are living in and experiencing the Blessings of Allah!

Thus it is from great respect and humility towards Allah
that a person remains constantly aware of the greatness of the Blessings bestowed upon him

From this humility is to truly feel and acknowledge that the food we eat,
belongs to and is provided by Allah

And that we quench our thirst with a drink created by Allah
And that we are shaded and sheltered by a roof provided by Him
And that we walk forth upon a ground provided by Him
And that without doubt we are living in and experiencing His every Bounty and Mercy
So what could we possibly have to offer Him in return?

(So it's important) a person asks himself these questions.

(For example) doctors say that there exists a substance in a person's heart,
that if it were to increase or decrease by 1%
he would die instantly...
So (think) in which courtesy and kindness,
which mercy and compassion from Allah does mankind enjoy, experience and live in!

(Even if) a person asks himself about the Mercy of Allah alone,
When he wakes up in the morning,
possessing his hearing
possessing his sight
possessing his physical strength,
who is the one safeguarding his hearing?
Who is the One safeguarding his sight?
Who is the One safeguarding his intellect?
Who is the One safeguarding his very soul?

He must ask himself, who is the One protecting all of these things?
Who is the One who Bestowed him with good health and wellbeing?

(Think of) those who are sick, lying on white beds (in hospital)
those who are sighing and in pain (from illness),
By Allah, through these great blessings Allah conveys His Love for us,
The great blessings of good health, wellbeing, security and safety
All of these are provided purely so that we may live a goodly life

Allah, praised & exalted is He, desires two things from His slave:
The first is that he carry out his obligatory duties (e.g. prayer)
and the second, is the abandonment of all Allah has forbidden and held him back from

As for the one who claims that closeness to Allah
entails a life of suffering or limitations
Then such a person without doubt has erred greatly in how he perceives Allah

For, by Allah, if you do not purify and make good your life by closeness to your Lord,
you will never be able to do so by way of anything else

And if you do not purify and adorn your life by carrying out your obligatory duties to Him,
and abandoning all that He has forbidden,
Then by Allah, you will never be able to so by way of anything else

A person may experience every single pleasure life has to offer
but by Allah, he will never experience anything more pleasurable,
more beautiful than servitude to Allah
by carrying out his obligations to Him
and leaving all that He has forbid him from

(In life) you are subjected to two choices,
whenever you are faced with a matter,
you have the choice to either do it or not do it

If you decide to go forth and do anything in this life,
ask yourself, "Has Allah permitted you to do this thing, or not?"

Since the human being himself is owned by Allah
the hearts are all owned by Allah
and the souls are all owned by Allah

Thus a person should,
whenever he wants to do something or hold back from it,
ask himself, will Allah be pleased with you (by this action)?
If so, then let him proceed
Or, will Allah not be pleased by this action?
If not then he should hold himself back.

For, by Allah, a person does not proceed with an action nor hold back from it,
requesting Allah's Mercy (and counsel in the decision),
except that he pleases his Lord in the process

Therefore true happiness and a goodly life are only to be found in closeness to Allah

Closeness to who?
To the King of Kings
the Controller of the Heavens & the Earth
To whom belongs the Ultimate Command, all creation
and the perfect arrangement and measure of all that exists

Thus you may find that man is always
in a state of anxiety and weariness
You may find an individual who has everything he desires
But by Allah, you will find most of those who have all they desire
suffer from mental or psychological problems,
from anxiety and depression,
most of them are extremely unhappy and dissatisfied with their lives

Go and look for the wealthiest person
and you'll most likely find him to be from
the most miserable people in life

And has made the sweetness and savour of life to be found,
in being close to Him

And has placed the key to a pleasurable, amiable life,
in a pleasurable, amiable relationship with Him

(If we look at just) one prayer that a person performs
from the 5 obligatory daily prayers;
at the moment of completing his bowing and prostrating
and completing his servitude to his Lord,
then at leaving the place of prayer,
he feels a great sense of ease and peace within himself!

By Allah, even if he were to spend all the wealth on the earth
(in attempt to buy this feeling)
He would be unable to seek a way to it.

Thus the goodly life is found only in closeness to Allah
A pleasant, comfortable life will only be found by a closeness to Allah
If a person does not purify and make good his life
through this close relationship,
then by who (or what) will he....?


"The Goodly Life"
Sheikh Muhammad Mukhtar Ash-Shinqiti


Saturday, December 29, 2012

A meeting with Allah . . . Sheikh Ibn al Qayyim rahimahullah

Asalamu Alikum


I believe this is beneficial for all insha Allah.

Ibn al-Qayyim said, in regards to the description of the Paradise and the delights that it contains:
“And if you ask about its ground and its soil, then it is of musk and saffron.
And if you ask about its roof, then it is the Throne of the Most Merciful.
And if you ask about its rocks, then they are pearls and jewels.
And if you ask about its buildings, then they are made of bricks of gold and silver.
And if you ask about its trees, then it does not contain a single tree except that its trunk is made of gold and silver.
And if you ask about its fruits, then they are softer than butter and sweeter than honey.
And if you ask about its leaves, then they are softer than the softest cloth.
And if you ask about its rivers, then there are rivers of milk who’s taste does not change, and rivers of wine that is delicious to those who drink it, and rivers of honey that is pure, and rivers of water that is fresh.
And if you ask about their food, then it is fruits from whatever they will choose, and the meat of whatever birds they desire.
And if you ask about their drink, then it is Tasneem, ginger, and Kaafoor.
And if you ask about their drinking cups, then they are crystal-clear and made of gold and silver.
And if you ask about its shade, then a fast rider would ride in the shade of one of its trees for a hundred years and not escape it.
And if you ask about its vastness, then the lowest of its people would have within his kingdom and walls and palaces and gardens the distance that would be travelled in a thousand years.
And if you ask about its tents and encampments, then one tent is like a concealed pearl that is sixty miles long.
And if you ask about its towers, then they are rooms above rooms in buildings that have rivers running underneath them.
And if you ask about how far it reaches into the sky, then look at the shining star that is visible, as well as those that are far in the heavens that the eyesight cannot possibly reach.
And if you ask about the clothing of its inhabitants, then they are of silk and gold.
And if you ask about its beds, then its blankets are of the finest silk laid out in the highest of its levels.
And if you ask about the faces of its inhabitants and their beauty, then they are like the image of the Moon.
And if you ask about their age, then they are young ones of 33 years in the image of Adam, the father of humanity.
And if you ask about what they will be hearing, then it is the singing of their wives from among the Hoor al-’Ayn, and better than that are the voices of the Angels and the Prophets, and better than that is the Speech of the Lord of the Worlds.
And if you ask about their servants, then they are young boys of everlasting youth who resemble scattered pearls.
And if you ask about their brides and wives, then they are young and full-breasted and have had the liquid of youth flow through their limbs; the Sun runs along the beauty of her face if she shows it, light shines from between her teeth if she smiles; if you meet her love, then say whatever you want regarding the joining of two lights; he sees his face in the roundness of her cheek as if he is looking into a polished mirror, and he sees the brightness from behind her muscles and bones; if she were to be unleashed upon the World, she would fill what is between the Heavens and the Earth with a beautiful wind, and the mouths of the creation would glorifiy, praise, and exclaim greatness, and everything between the East and the West would be adorned for her, and every eye would be shut from everthing but her, and the light of the Sun would be outshone just as the light of the Sun outshines the light of the stars, and everyone on the face of the Earth would believe in the Ever-Living, the One who Sustains and Protects all the exists.
And the covering on her head is better than the World and all that is in it, and she does not increase with age except in beauty; free from an umbilical cord, childbirth and menses, and pure of mucous, saliva, urine and other filthy things; her youth never fades, her clothing is never worn out, no garment can be created that matches her beauty, and no one who is with her can ever become bored; her attention is restricted to her husband, so she desires none but him, just as his attention is restricted to her so she is the sole object of his desire, and he is with her in utmost safety and security, as none has touched her before of either humans or Jinn.
And if you ask about the Day of Increase (in reward) and the visit of the all-Mighty, all-Wise, and the sight of His Face – free from any resemblance or likeness to anything – as you see the Sun in the middle of the day and the full Moon on a cloudless night, then listen on the day that the caller will call: ‘O People of Paradise! Your Lord – Blessed and Exalted – requests you to visit Him, so come to visit Him!’ So they will say: ‘We hear and obey!’
Until, when they finally reach the wide valley where they will all meet – and none of them will turn down the request of the caller – the Lord – Blessed and Exalted – will order His Chair to be brought there. Then, pulpits of light will emerge, as well as pulpits of pearls, gemstone, gold, and silver. The lowest of them in rank will sit on sheets of musk, and will not see what those who are on the chairs above them are given. When they are comfortable where they are sitting and are secure in their places, and the caller calls: ‘O People of Paradise! You have an appointment with Allaah in which He wishes to reward you!’ So they will say: ‘And what is that reward? Has He not already made our faces bright, made our scales heavy, entered us into Paradise, and pushed us away from the Fire?’
And when they are like that, all of a sudden a light shines that encompasses all of Paradise. So, they raise their heads, and, behold: the Compeller – Exalted is He, and Holy are His Names – has come to them from above them and majestified them and said: ‘O People of Paradise! Peace be upon you!’ So, this greeting will not be responded to with anything better than: ‘O Allaah! You are Peace, and from You is Peace! Blessed are You, O possessor of Majesty and Honor!’ So the Lord – Blessed and Exalted – will laugh to them and say: ‘O People of Paradise! Where are those who used to obey Me without having ever seen Me? This is the Day of Increase!’
So, they will all give the same response: ‘We are pleased, so be pleased with us!’ So, He will say: ‘O People of Paradise! If I were not pleased with you, I would not have made you inhabitants of My Paradise! So, ask of Me!’ So, they will all give the same response: ‘Show us your Face so that we may look at it!’ So, the Lord – Mighty and Majestic – will remove his covering and will majestify them and will cover them with His Light, which, if Allaah – the Exalted – had not Willed not to burn them, would have burned them.
And there will not remain a single person in this gathering except that his Lord – the Exalted – will speak to him and say: ‘Do you remember the day that you did this and that?’ and He will remind him of some of his bad deeds in the Worldy life, so he will say: ‘O Lord! Will you not forgive me?’ So, He will say: ‘Of course! You have not reached this position of yours (in Paradise) except by my forgiveness.’
So, how sweet is this speech to the ears, and how cooled are the righteous eyes by the glance at His Noble Face in the Afterlife…
{Some faces that Day will be shining and radiant, looking at their Lord…} (al-Qiyaamah:22-3)
[from the amazing and beautiful book Haadi al-Arwaah ilaa Bilaad il-Afraah by Ibn al-Qayyim, pg. 193] from At-Tibyaan


Thursday, December 27, 2012

SELF-EVALUATION AND CONQUERING FEAR OF DEATH

Aasalamu Alikum




SELF-EVALUATION

The Prophet emphasised the necessary of lhtisab or self evaluation at every opportunity: `Everyone starts his day and is a vendor of his soul, either freeing it or bringing about its ruin'. (Muslim.) Umar ibn al Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, also said in this respect:
Judge yourself before you are judged, evaluate yourself before you are evaluated and be ready for the greatest investigation.
At every Prayer time, especially in the early hours of the morning, when you are alone and can feel your own heart beating -seek forgiveness from Allah. The time of Salat al-Fajr, before the start of each day, is an ideal occasion to take account of yourself and plan for the day ahead.
Imam Tirmidhi related that the Prophet said, on the Day of judgment no child of Adam will move from the presence of God, unless he has answered the following five questions:
- In what pursuits and work did he spend his time?
 
- For what ends did he use his mental and physical energies?
 
- By what means did he earn his wealth?
 
- How did he spend his wealth?
 
- How far did he act according to what he knew was right?
These five points can serve as a useful self-analysis programme. They can assist in checking our moral motivations, God-consciousness and determination to work for the cause of Allah. This self-analysis programme, when implemented on a regular basis, will serve as an important measure of your readiness to meet with Allah.

CONQUERING FEAR OF DEATH

The Day of judgment, though it is to be feared, must also inspire in us a desire and eagerness to meet Allah. Sayyida Aisha reported that the Prophet said:
`Whoever loves to meet Allah, Allah loves to meet with him; and whoever dislikes the meeting with Allah, Allah also dislikes the meeting with him.'
I asked: `O Prophet of God, is it because of the dislike of death, for all of us dislike death?'
He said: `It is not so, but rather it is that when the Believer is given news of Allah's mercy. His approval and His Paradise, he likes to meet Allah and Allah likes to meet him; but when the unbeliever is given news of Allah's punishment and His displeasure, He dislikes to meet Allah and Allah dislikes to meet him.' (Muslim.)
Our eagerness and desire to meet Allah should therefore, be echoed in all our Prayers. The Prophet Muhammad used to supplicate repeatedly:
O Allah, I ask you for a soothing life after death, and I ask you for the pleasure of looking upon Your Face and for the yearning to meet You, free from suffering distress or from trial that leads one astray. O Allah, adorn us with the ornament of faith and make us guides and rightly guided. (an-Nasai.)
This desire to meet Allah will calm our fear of death, which is only a natural instinct. Even the Prophet Musa, on whom be peace, out of fear ran away when he saw his staff turning into a serpent. [Ta Ha 20: 17-24.] Fear, though, can be conquered with dhikr, doing good and keeping ever before us, our meeting with the Lord and Master of the Day of Judgment.
Whoever hopes to meet his Lord He should do good deeds and associate none other in the service of his Lord [al-Kahf 18: 110.]

SEEKING ALLAH’S MERCY AND HIS FORGIVNESS

Aaslamu Alikum


SEEKING ALLAH’S MERCY

The abundance of Allah's rahma or mercy will not come without pure actions. Pure actions, however, when performed, will make you deserving of Allah's mercy. This, in turn, will enable you to earn the delights of janna and His pleasure. The Quran proclaims: Call on Him with fear and longing. Surely, Allah's mercy is ever near to the doers of good. [al-Araf 7:56.] The Messenger of God also said:
`No one will be saved [from the Hell fire and admitted into Paradise] by his deeds alone.' When asked, `Not even you, O Messenger of God!', he said, 'Yes, not even me, unless Allah covers me with His mercy. So, do good deeds properly, sincerely and moderately in the morning, in the afternoon and during part of the night. Always remember moderation and always abide by moderation. Thus, you will reach your destination.' (Bukhari, Muslim.)
Be reassured that Allah is not a vengeful God, ready to punish, but rather, one who is full of mercy and compassion. He, Himself has declared: My mercy encompasses all things. [al-Araf 7: 156.] Likewise, consider, the manner in which our actions are recorded in His scale of justice, as explained by the Prophet:
Allah records the good deeds and the bad deeds thus: If anyone intends to do a good deed but does not actually do it, Allah writes it down with Him as a full good deed. If he intends it, and does it too, Allah writes it down with Him as ten to seven hundred times that good deed, or many times over. If anyone intends to do a bad deed but does not actually do it, Allah writes it down with Him as a full good deed. When he intends a bad deed and does it as well, only then Allah writes it down as one bad deed. (Bukhari, Muslim.)
Thus, as long as our actions are worthy and deserving of Allah's mercy, His mercy will not be denied to us. The Prophet has again explained:
There are one hundred parts of mercy. Allah has given only one part which is distributed among the jinn, humankind, animals and insects. It is because of this that they are kind to one another, show mercy to one another; it is because of it that a wild animal is kind to its young. But, Allah has kept ninety-nine parts of mercy with Him, which He will show to His servants on the Day of Resurrection. (Bukhari, Muslim.)

SEEKING ALLAH'S FORGIVENESS

The decision to live our lives for the sake of Allah is no guarantee that we will not forget Allah and commit mistakes for `all children of Adam are sinners, but best among sharers are those who constantly repent'. (Tirmidhi.) Imam Bukhari recorded that even the Prophet, though he was sinless, `sought Allah's forgiveness 70 times a day'. We should therefore, constantly seek the forgiveness of Allah for every single sin, small or great. Allah says:
Ask forgiveness from your Lord, then turn towards Him in repentance; He will loosen the sky over you in abundance, and He will add strength unto your strength. [Hud 11: 52.]
Seeking continuous forgiveness of Allah will assist in ensuring that our hearts and souls remain pure and wholesome. The Prophet said in this regard:
When a Believer sins, a black spot appears on his heart. But if he repents and seeks Allah's forgiveness, his heart becomes cleansed and polished. However if he continues to commit more and more sins [without seeking forgiveness, the spot continues to spread and ultimately covers all of his heart. This is the rust which Allah mentions [in the Quran]: What deeds they earn rust upon their hearts. [al-Mutaffifin 83: 14.] (Ahmad, Tirmidhi.)
Whatever the magnitude of our misdeeds, Allah is always ready to respond with an even greater amount of pardon. Therefore, never despair of the mercy of Allah, in seeking His forgiveness, even for those sins committed repeatedly: O My servants who have transgressed against themselves, despair not of Allah's mercy; for Allah forgives all sins, surely He is the all-forgiving, the Mercy-giving. [az-Zumar 39: 53.] Thus, as long as there is hope there remains opportunity for redemption and salvation. Be aware, though, that the best form of repentance involves a firm resolve to reform and do better. The Messenger of Allah said:
Remain conscious of Allah and Fear Him wherever you are, and follow a bad deed with a good deed which will wipe it out, and behave well towards people. (Tirmidhi.)

THE CERTAINTY OF DEATH AND MAN'S FORGETFULNESS

Asalamu Alikum

THE CERTAINTY OF DEATH

Allah has created everything with a fixed life span. The Quran states: It is not given to any soul to die save by Gods permission, and at an appointed time. [Ali Imran 3: 145.] Indeed there is no certainty in life except death. Every soul will taste death. [Ali Imran 3:185.] Not only is death itself inescapable, but the place and the very day and hour of death have been forever fixed: No person knows what he will earn tomorrow and no person knows in what land he will die. [Luqman 31: 34.] When the time arrives they cannot tarry a single moment nor can they go ahead. [an-Nahl 16: 61.]
In death, we are compelled to return to God. In life, however, we can choose to draw closer to God voluntarily by living our lives according to His will. In this way, we have the opportunity to meet Allah and gain His pleasure even before we leave this world.
Those who fail to use the bounties of Allah to earn His pleasure during this life, will forever regret their mistakes for the cessation of life brings the cessation of opportunities for redemption and salvation, as the Quran warns:
When death comes to one of them, he says, My Lord, let me return, let me return to life, so that I may act righteously in whatever I have left behind"Nay, it is but a meaningless word he utters; for behind them now is the barrier of death until the day they shall be raised up. Then, when the Trumpet will be blown, no lies of kinship will remain between them that day, neither would anyone be able to take care of another. Then, they whose weight of good deeds is heavy in the balance will attain salvation. But, they whose weight is light in the balance, will have squandered their own lives. In Hell will they abide forever. [al-Muminun 23: 99-103.]

MAN'S FORGETFULNESS

Though death is certain, we tend to forget from time to time our meeting with our Lord. This forgetfulness, although part of human nature can make us stray from our true mission in life: If anyone withdraws himself from Allah's remembrance, Most Gracious, We appoint for him an evil one to be his intimate companion. [az-Zukhruf 43: 36] Forgetfulness, however, can be overcome by remembering Allah in all of life's activities, as the Quran again declares: Those who fear Allah, when a thought of evil from Shaytan assaults them, bring Allah to remembrance -whereupon, lo! They see aright. [al-Araf 7: 201.] Additionally, we are urged in the Quran to make the following supplication:
Our Lord take us not to task if we forget or make mistakes. Our Lord lay not upon us a burden like that which you laid on those before us.
Our Lord, make us not bear burdens which we have no strength to bear. Pardon us, and forgive us, and have mercy on us. You are our Lord Supreme: Help us against people who deny the truth. [al-Baqara 2: 286.]
Know that to fear death from which there is no escape is foolish. Having no fear of what is going to happen after death, though it is within our power to change it in our favour, is reckless. Allah reminds us in the Quran, Do not throw yourself into destruction with your own hands. [al-Baqara 2: 195.] For, no effort to please Allah will be left unrewarded, while every effort made to seek the pleasures of this world will come to naught. Moreover, the Prophet reminded us that nothing will go with us to our graves except our
deeds and that constant reminder of death will assist in keeping our indulgence in Dunya in perspective: `Remember often the terminator of pleasures [i.e. death]'. (Tirmidhi.) He also advised that we should take time to attend janaza or funeral prayers, as well as visit the graves of those who have made the transition into the Next-life, for these too will serve as reminders of our eventual fate: `He who expects to meet God should visit the graves for they remind us of the Hereafter'. (Muslim.)
The Prophet also wanted us that if we seek only the fulfillment of our selfish worldly desires, our lives may well become filled with frustration:
Whoever allows the world to become his biggest concern has nothing to do with Allah, and Allah will instill four qualities into his heart: anxiety which will never leave him, business which he will never be free from; poverty which he will never rid himself of, and hope which he will never fulfill. (Tabarani.)
Additionally, one of the worst punishments the Quran describes is reserved for those who remain forgetful of Allah. On the Day of Judgment Allah will not speak to them. He will not even look in their direction. In this world they will claim to belong to Allah but they are heedless of His commands. On the Day that matters most, there will be a wall between them and Allah. His mercy and His compassion will be overflowing, but not for them.
Behold those who barter away their bond with Allah and their pledges for a trifling gain - they shall not partake in the blessings of the life to come; and Allah will neither speak unto them nor will He cleanse them of their sins; and grievous suffering awaits them. [Ali Imran 3: 77.]