Sheikh Ali ibn Abdur-Rahman al-Huzaifi

If you think deeply about this transient worldly life, its despicable ornaments, and its ever-changing nature, you will realize its real worth and true meaning. He who trusts it will be deceived, and he who is inclined to it will be doomed. This world is as short as one’s life in it. One’s life starts with a few hours, which are followed by further hours, then days, then months, and then years. Then life comes to an end, and nobody knows about the horrifying matters that await him after his death.

Are the lives of others after your death an extension of your own life? A man’s life is but a single moment compared with the life of successive generations, and even this present life is nothing but a brief enjoyment. Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) says:

إِنَّمَا هَٰذِهِ ٱلۡحَيَوٰةُ ٱلدُّنۡيَا مَتَٰعٌ وَإِنَّ ٱلۡأٓخِرَةَ هِيَ دَارُ ٱلۡقَرَارِ (39)

“….. this life of the world is only a (momentary) benefit, while the Aakhirah (Hereafter) is, indeed, the place of permanent living.” (Ghaafir 40:39)

Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) also says:

وَٱضۡرِبۡ لَهُم مَّثَلَ ٱلۡحَيَوٰةِ ٱلدُّنۡيَا كَمَآءٍ أَنزَلۡنَٰهُ مِنَ ٱلسَّمَآءِ فَٱخۡتَلَطَ بِهِۦ نَبَاتُ ٱلۡأَرۡضِ فَأَصۡبَحَ هَشِيمٗا تَذۡرُوهُ ٱلرِّيَٰحُۗ وَكَانَ ٱللَّهُ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيۡءٖ مُّقۡتَدِرًا (45)

“Give them the example of the worldly life; it is like water We sent down from the sky, then the vegetation of the earth was mingled with it, and then it turned into chaff that is blown by the winds, and Allah is powerful over everything.” (Al-Kahf 18:45)

Our Lord informs us about the brevity of people’s stay in their graves until the day they are resurrected for judgment. He tells us that this long period will seem to them on the Day of Judgment like an hour. Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) says:

وَيَوۡمَ يَحۡشُرُهُمۡ كَأَن لَّمۡ يَلۡبَثُوٓاْ إِلَّا سَاعَةٗ مِّنَ ٱلنَّهَارِ يَتَعَارَفُونَ بَيۡنَهُمۡۚ (45)

“The Day when He will gather them (in the next life,) they will feel as if they had not stayed (in the world) any longer than a fraction of a day. They will recognize each other……” (Younus 10:45)

Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) also says:

وَيَوۡمَ تَقُومُ ٱلسَّاعَةُ يُقۡسِمُ ٱلۡمُجۡرِمُونَ مَا لَبِثُواْ غَيۡرَ سَاعَةٖۚ كَذَٰلِكَ كَانُواْ يُؤۡفَكُونَ (55)

“And on the Day when the Hour (Qiyaamah: the Day of Judgment) will take place, the sinners will swear that they did not remain (in the graves) more than one hour. In the similar way they used to be contrary (to truth in their worldly life).” (Ar-Room 30:55)

Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) also says:

فَٱصۡبِرۡ كَمَا صَبَرَ أُوْلُواْ ٱلۡعَزۡمِ مِنَ ٱلرُّسُلِ وَلَا تَسۡتَعۡجِل لَّهُمۡۚ كَأَنَّهُمۡ يَوۡمَ يَرَوۡنَ مَا يُوعَدُونَ لَمۡ يَلۡبَثُوٓاْ إِلَّا سَاعَةٗ مِّن نَّهَارِۢۚ بَلَٰغٌۚ فَهَلۡ يُهۡلَكُ إِلَّا ٱلۡقَوۡمُ ٱلۡفَٰسِقُونَ (35)

“So, (O Prophet!) observe patience, as the resolute messengers observed patience, and be not in haste about them. The Day they will see what they are promised, (it will be) as if they did not stay (in the world) more than an hour in a single day. This is a message. So, none will be destroyed except the sinners.” (Al-Ahqaaf 46:35)

How long will you then live when it is all like an hour in a single day? And what is your share in this hour? Blessed are those who do good deeds and shun prohibited acts, for that will win them the good pleasure of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) and the delights of the gardens of Jannah (Paradise), where they will abide forever with the pious, near the Lord of the Worlds. And wretched are those who follow their lusts, neglect their Salaah (Prayers) and all religious obligations, as they will be doomed to the lowest depths of Jahannum (Hellfire), where they will be tormented forever with the disbelievers.

O You who have been deluded by your good health, and therefore have disobeyed your Lord! O You who have been corrupted by your free time, and therefore have engaged in distractions! O You who have failed to stand the test of your wealth, and therefore have ruined yourself! O You who have followed your evil whims and desires, and therefore have fallen into sin! O you who have been deceived by your youth, and therefore have forgotten about death! O you who have dared to disobey your Lord because you feel that you still have time to live and hopes to fulfil! When death snatches you away, you will wish to return to this world to do deeds other than those you used to do, but in vain!

The Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) said: “Remember the destroyer of pleasures (i.e. death), for it is not remembered amidst many pleasures but it makes them seem little (by causing one to be less desirous of such pleasures, which will then seem insignificant), and it is not remembered amidst few pleasures but it makes them seem many (by making one content with what one has, however little it may be).” (At-Tirmizi, An-Nasaaee, and Ibne Hibbaan)

The Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) also said: “Death is sufficient as an admonition.”

O You who are heedless, neglectful, and disobedient! Is it not time for you to turn to your Lord in repentance? Is it not time to wake up from your deep sleep and respond to the call of Allah? Is it not time to do good deeds and abandon evil deeds? Will you not draw lessons from the previous generations and deserted dwellings? Will you not draw lessons from those who left all their grandeur and glory and have now become history? There are lessons and morals to be drawn from the coming and passing of days and years. You will continue to leave a day behind and welcome another until your appointed time is over and your hopes come to an end. Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) says:

وَأَن لَّيۡسَ لِلۡإِنسَٰنِ إِلَّا مَا سَعَىٰ (39) وَأَنَّ سَعۡيَهُۥ سَوۡفَ يُرَىٰ (40) ثُمَّ يُجۡزَىٰهُ ٱلۡجَزَآءَ ٱلۡأَوۡفَىٰ (41) وَأَنَّ إِلَىٰ رَبِّكَ ٱلۡمُنتَهَىٰ (42)

“and that a man shall not deserve but (the reward of) his own effort, and that his effort will soon be seen, then he will be recompensed for it in full, and that to your Lord is the end (of every one),” (An-Najm 53:39-42)

Therefore, strive to enter Jannah, the eternal abode whose bliss will never end, decrease, or perish. Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) says about it:

ٱدۡخُلُوهَا بِسَلَٰمٖۖ ذَٰلِكَ يَوۡمُ ٱلۡخُلُودِ (34) لَهُم مَّا يَشَآءُونَ فِيهَا وَلَدَيۡنَا مَزِيدٌ (35)

“Enter it in peace. That is the Day of Eternity. They will have in it whatever they wish, and with Us there are things even more than that.” (Qaaf 50:34-35)

Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) also says:

مَّثَلُ ٱلۡجَنَّةِ ٱلَّتِي وُعِدَ ٱلۡمُتَّقُونَۖ تَجۡرِي مِن تَحۡتِهَا ٱلۡأَنۡهَٰرُۖ أُكُلُهَا دَآئِمٌ وَظِلُّهَاۚ تِلۡكَ عُقۡبَى ٱلَّذِينَ ٱتَّقَواْۚ وَّعُقۡبَى ٱلۡكَٰفِرِينَ ٱلنَّارُ (35)

“Here is the description of the Jannah (Paradise) promised to the Muttaqoon (Allah-fearing): underneath it the rivers flow; its food is everlasting and (so is) its shade. This is the ultimate abode of the Muttaqoon (Allah-fearing) while the ultimate abode of the disbelievers is Fire.” (Ar-Ra‘d 13:35)

And strive to escape Jahannum, whose torment of its dwellers will never abate, by obeying Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa)’s certain command and avoiding his great wrath. Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) says:

فَٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ قُطِّعَتۡ لَهُمۡ ثِيَابٌ مِّن نَّارٖ يُصَبُّ مِن فَوۡقِ رُءُوسِهِمُ ٱلۡحَمِيمُ (19) يُصۡهَرُ بِهِۦ مَا فِي بُطُونِهِمۡ وَٱلۡجُلُودُ (20) وَلَهُم مَّقَٰمِعُ مِنۡ حَدِيدٖ (21) كُلَّمَآ أَرَادُوٓاْ أَن يَخۡرُجُواْ مِنۡهَا مِنۡ غَمٍّ أُعِيدُواْ فِيهَا وَذُوقُواْ عَذَابَ ٱلۡحَرِيقِ (22)

“…… As for those who disbelieve, garments from fire shall be tailored for them, and boiling water shall be poured from over their heads whereby everything in their bellies, as well as the skins, will be melted. And for them there are hooked rods of iron. Whenever, in their anguish, they will intend to come out of it (the fire), they will be turned back to it, and (it will be said to them,) ‘Taste the punishment of burning’.” (Al-Hajj 22:19-22)

Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) also says:

وَقَدِّمُواْ لِأَنفُسِكُمۡۚ وَٱتَّقُواْ ٱللَّهَ وَٱعۡلَمُوٓاْ أَنَّكُم مُّلَٰقُوهُۗ وَبَشِّرِ ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ (223)

“…. and advance something for yourselves, and fear Allah, and know that you are to meet Him, and give good news to the believers.” (Al-Baqarah 2:223)

May Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) bless you and me with the Great Quraan and make us benefit from its Aayaat (Verses) and wise words and benefit from the guidance and right sayings of the Imam of all Messengers. Aameen!