Random Thoughts and Notes No. 576-600

576.    As was said by certain people, if one has nothing (a principle) to die for, one has nothing to live for. It is not sufficient that one simply dies for one’s country -patriotism pure and simple- without a deeply-held basis. (Because at the end, it is tautological to die solely for the piece of land under your feet, it does not have any abstract ideals associated with it.)

577.    For a number of believers, death is difficult, since Allah wishes to fully cleanse them and raise their status. And the opposite is the case with the disbeliever at times, Allah may wish to give him all the comforts and ease in this world, to make him suffer fully in the Hereafter.

578.    Tawbah (Repentance) is accepted only while the Ghayb is hidden from us. That is why when one starts to see the Angel of Death, Tawbah is rejected.

579.    (As was mentioned) The boldness of the one who promulgates his sins openly after they were kept secret is such that he is not forgiven [that is, until he desists from this attitude; since he is happy with his sin, contradicting one of the conditions for the acceptance of repentance]. Additionally, one should never look for the sins of his brother, he has been warned that if he does this his own humiliation will occur in the privacy of his house (i.e. he looked to humiliate others in public, Allah makes him debased even with his parents, wife, children, etc.)

580.    (It is mentioned) The previously deceased people of one’s family in Jannah come and ask the newly deceased person about what he left behind on Earth. However, it may happen that a family member has died and does not come to them in Jannah and the indication is that he was not of the righteous (the previously deceased sense this indication).

581.    (It is mentioned) The deeds of the people are presented to one’s previously deceased righteous family members in Jannah: they praise the good deeds and ask forgiveness for the bad ones.

582.    For some, a very old weak man appears to them after death: It is the personification of their weak good deeds.

583.    (It is mentioned) The grave of all of us in fact talks to us, and sells itself as the abode of solitude, etc. Remember that one is buried in the sand one comes from, so there is an affinity between the body and the place of burial.

584.    Many Muslims may not know about this, but the scholars of Tafseer and Seerah were many a times concerned with Jam’ (collecting) of narrations or opinions rather than with theological and methodological verification – these stories have also unfortunately remained in latter-day historians’ and exegetes’ books, making it a prime reference for sectarian polemicists and anti-Muslim propagandists. Of course, the verification has been done and continues to be done, but these “collection books” do remain, and so do the challenges raised by sectarianists and anti-Muslim polemicists.

585.    (It is mentioned) It is recommended to talk to the deceased after burying him, call him by name and remind him that he is about to be questioned – this is similar to how friends help each other just before a big examination in this world.

586.    (It is mentioned) Every person will read his book of deeds, his bad deeds and good deeds, whether he is from the blessed ones or from the wretched ones.

587.    It is very crucial to have an intention behind every action we take, we should not be heedless when we perform our deeds. If we can multiply our good intentions, this is even better and more appropriate.

588.    (It is mentioned) The Companion ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas (RAA) recommended those who buried their loved ones to stay at their gravesides for a considerable amount of time – about half a day. In this way it was hoped the deceased could, through the presence of their living Muslim relatives, obtain the fortitude to answer the questions of the Angels in the grave.

589.    (It is mentioned) There are different narrations concerning how many angels actually interrogate the deceased person, and it is in proportion to his relationship with Allah that the angels will either be lenient or harsh on him.

590.    (It is mentioned) A very important issue is that in the grave, the angels will show the physical shape of Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) to the deceased. If some people during their lives think that aspects of the Prophetic Sunnah were ugly, they will be in a huge problem surrounding the crucial questions in the grave [will they recognize the Prophet (ﷺ) as the Supreme Elect, the Messenger and Beloved of Allah, or will they have problems recognizing him (ﷺ) as such?].

So be very wary of negative attitudes towards the Blessed Sunnah, even if they seem to be very light and in jest.

591.    (It is mentioned) People will be resurrected not only in the state they were in but also with the instrument they habitually used in their lives. The question then arises: Do we want to be resurrected with a Misbahah in our hands or with a musical instrument, or with our phones which kept us away from the remembrance of Allah?

592.    (It is mentioned) There are different sounds on the Day of Judgment: A buzzing sound that gets increasingly louder, which is the Sayha- screeching scream, and then a thundering sound – Nafkhah of Mawt and Nafhkah of Ba’th (Death and Resurrection).

593.    (It is mentioned) A very important point is that Allah resurrects the people, but also the days and the people’s actions, all of these are personified.

594.    It is on the Day of Judgment while on the way to the Mah-shar [Gathering], that the believer will be made to see the true consequences of his own good actions and the evil consequences of those who disobeyed Allah. In this world of course, we need to struggle, but once the Ghayb is laid down before us, we shall see everything as it is in its true bodily and spiritual forms.

595.    People will be asked about every Na’eem (bounty and blessing) they have received, even if they have little food and money; in such cases, they may have a fit body and this is also a blessing. We are reminded of the Hadeeth about questions of lifespan, body, money earned and spent, acts and intentions behind them, and one’s knowledge, and how all these blessings have been acted upon.

596.    It is very lamentable that for matters of the worldly life, many are willing to go the extra mile to have more money, more comfort, better contract terms, and so forth (things which could be acceptable to pursue in and of themselves, but which are ultimately not pure worship). Yet for matters of the Hereafter, many are often adamant at performing only the bare minimum, and not only this but to jump from book to book and scholar to scholar to find how acts of worship can be reduced to the absolute minimum or done away with altogether.

So how is it expected for things to work out when death approaches, and in the Hereafter? This is something many will have to think about a lot, if this is their attitude towards the world and towards worship respectively.

597.    It is a trick of Satan and of the Nafs that a person is directed towards doing Tatawuu’ (extra Nafl [supererogatory] acts) while at the same time neglecting the obligatory ones.

598.    A mistake many of us do is that we jump to “correct people” the first moment we see wrong from someone, rather than wait until the time when the advice will be properly received by the person (i.e. we do not care about receptivity to our advice, but somehow it becomes a matter of arrogance and of satisfying our bloated egos).

599.    The first being to make excuses for not following Allah’s Commands was Iblis – saying that he was better than Adam (Alayhi as-Salaam), implying that Allah did not know how to order the servants. So it is a very dangerous thing to try to make excuses for the sins we commit, it could lead one to disbelief.

600.    Advice given for Muslims living in lands where they weren’t present in larger numbers until a few decades ago, plus a few comments:

If Muslims are serious about their situation, they should try as much as possible to construct their own normative Muslim identity, rather than it being a railroad station on the way back home. Otherwise, the entire Muslim community in such lands will be under unbearable pressure to change and conform to the larger zeitgeist. This will inevitably be the case, since the Muslims would only think of lying low, not making any trouble, obediently doing (and believing) what the larger majority/society have become accustomed to, and making a good amount of money until they can go back home and more openly practice what they want – which by the way will not happen, since the vigor for proper Islam would be lost in such cases, both in their “adoptive” lands, and eventually even in their “native” lands, as more and more people see this lifestyle and railroad-path in a glamourous light.