Fear of an evil end had broken the hearts of our righteous Salaf (predecessors). Sufyaan Ath-Thawri cried one night until the morning, and when he was asked whether he cried due to his fear of his sins, he replied: “No, I am more scared of having an evil end.”
Ibn Katheer said: “People who are righteous inwardly and outwardly and whose actions coincide with their words, Allah willing, will not have an evil way to end their lives; and never was this reported about anyone before. It is only those who are evil inwardly and outwardly; those who are daring and indulge in major great sins and who are frequent in committing minor sins. This type of people, who are used to this practice will continue to do so until they die without repenting.”
The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “Verily, deeds are but by the way they end.” [Al-Bukhari]. This is why our right predecessors feared their ends because no one knows how he will end his life and in which state he will depart.
For this reason, Huthayfah was happy to die before the trials about which the Prophet informed them and said: “All perfect praise be to Allah who has hastened my death before these trials”.
One of the signs indicating that the person died while having a good end is dying while performing a righteous deed. Anas narrated that he heard the Prophet saying: “Do not be impressed with someone’s actions (thinking they are righteous) until you see how his end is, because one would be performing a (righteous) deed for a long period of his life, and should he die upon such a deed he would enter Paradise, but he switches to performing evil deeds (before his death). The slave would be performing a (bad) deed for a long period of his life, and should he die upon such a deed he would enter Hell, but he switches to performing good deeds (before his death) and when Allah Wills good for a slave He uses him before his death.”
The companions asked: “O messenger of Allah! How does Allah use him?” He responded: “He enables him to perform a good deed, then ends his life upon it.” [Ahmad]
Huthayfah narrated that the Messenger of Allah said: “He who say,; ‘Laa ilaaha illallah’ (i.e., None is worthy of worship except Allah) seeking the pleasure of Allah, and it being his final statement, will enter Paradise; he who fasts sincerely, seeking the pleasure of Allah, and died whilst in this state, will enter Paradise; he who spends in charity, sincerely seeking the pleasure of Allah, and it being the last thing he did before dieing, will enter Paradise.”
Jaabir reported: “I heard the Prophet saying: “Every slave will be resurrected in the state upon which he died” [Muslim]. Imaam As-Suyooti said: “This narration refers to the state of obedience or disobedience”. Maalik Ibn Deenaar used to say: “If I can afford (physically) not to sleep ever I would not sleep.” He was asked about the reason, to which he said: “I fear that the angel of death would come to me whilst I am sleeping and I would like that he comes whilst I am engaged in a righteous deed”.
An example highlighting one of the best ways to die is for a disbeliever to embrace Islam then immediately die. Anas reported: “A young Jewish boy who was in the service of the Prophet fell ill. The Prophet went to visit him. He sat down by his head and said to him: “Embrace Islam.” The little boy looked at his father who was sitting beside him. He said: ‘Obey Abul-Qaasim (i.e., the Messenger of Allah ).’ So he embraced Islam and the Prophet stepped out saying: “Praise be to Allah Who has saved him from Hell-fire.” [Al-Bukhari].
Recently Allah guided a man from the Philippines to the light of Islam in the city of Taa’if in Saudi Arabia, and he was taught some of the merits of Islam. The very next day after embracing Islam he started reciting some chapters of the Qur’an and on the following morning he passed away, after only two days of him becoming a Muslim.
Uttering the testimonies of faith prior to death is a good deed and another example for one’s good end. Mu’aath ibn Jabal narrated that the Prophet said: “He whose final words are ‘Laa ilaaha illallah’ (i.e., ‘None is worthy of worship except Allah’) will enter Paradise.”[Al-Haakim].
‘Abdullaah Ibn ‘Amr Ibn al-‘Aas reported that when his father was on his deathbed he said: “O Allah! You commanded me with many commands and I fell short in many of them. O Allah! You forbade me from many matters, but I transgressed. O Allah! None has the right to be worshipped but You” then he continued repeating this until he died.
Many of the Salaf died while praying, which is another example for a good way to end life. ‘Abdullaah Ibn Abi As-Sarh supplicated one night after having performed Qiyaam saying: “O Allah! Make my last deed in this life the performance of Fajr prayer.” Then he performed ablution and prayed Fajr and died while concluding his prayer.
Abu Tha’labah used to say: “I hope that Allah will not make me suffer upon death like I see some people do.” Then he started performing Qiyaam and died while in the position of prostration. That night his daughter saw in her dream that her father died, so she woke up terrified and went to her mother asking about her father, so she told her that he was praying Qiyaam. They went to check on him and found him in the position of prostration and when they moved him he fell to his side.
A young man prayed the Fajr prayer with the congregation and sat in the mosque reciting the Qur’an and waiting for the sun to rise so that he may pray two Rak’ahs and he did not know that it was the last hour of his life, and died whilst in that state.
A 55-year-old lady was admitted into the emergency room as a result of getting a heart attack which made her heart stop beating completely. When the physicians were trying to make a heart massage with special equipment a very astonishing thing happened, which doctors had never seen before that day … the woman suddenly opened her eyes and spoke calmly saying a few words … she did not complain of any pain … she did not scream asking for their assistance … she did not ask for her husband or children … she simply uttered the two testimonies of faith … then the heart stopped again. She repeated this three times … then she died … and her face illuminated. When her husband was asked about the type of woman she was, he said: “I married her more than 35 years ago, and since then I have never seen her abandon the Witr prayer (i.e. the odd-numbered Rak’ahs after the optional night prayer) unless she was sick or during her monthly period”.
Dying while fasting is yet another example exemplifying a good end, like in the case of Asmaa’ bint Abu Bakr and her son ‘Urwah.
Some people die whilst in the state of Ihraam which entitles the person to a great reward, as in the narration about the Companion who died as a result of his animal kicking him whilst in the state of Ihraam (for either Haj or ‘Umrah), the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “Wash him with water and lote-tree (leaves), shroud him in his own garments and do not cover his head, because he will be resurrected on the Day of Resurrection uttering the Talbiyah.”.
There are some people who die whilst reciting the Qur’an, like in the case of ‘Uthmaan Ibn ‘Affaan¸ who was known to be a person who continuously recited the Qur’an day and night. He was martyred whilst reciting the Qur’an in his house.
Once Ibn ‘Abbaas recited the saying of Allah which means: “Is one who is devoutly obedient during periods of the night, prostrating and standing [in prayer], fearing the Hereafter and hoping for the mercy of his Lord, [like one who does not]?” [Qur’an 39: 9] then he said: “I swear by Allah! This applies to ‘Uthmaan Ibn ‘Affaan”.
One of the best examples indicating a good end is being martyred. Al-Miqdaam Ibn Ma’di Karib, narrated that the Prophet said: “A martyr has six bounties: He will be forgiven with the first drop of his blood that is spilt; He will see his place in Paradise (at the time of death); He will be saved from the ‘Great Horror’ (on the Day of Judgment): A Crown of Dignity will be placed on his head, which contains many corundum, each one being more precious than this life and all that it contains; He will have 72 Women of Paradise; And, he will be allowed to intercede for 70 of his family members (who would have otherwise gone to hell).”[At-Tirmithi]
Shaddaad Ibn al-Haad, narrated: “A Bedouin came to the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, accepted Islam and said: ‘I wish to migrate (to Madinah)’. So the Prophet asked some of his companions to take care of him. Then after a battle, the Muslims had gained some booty so the Prophet divided it and gave the Bedouin’s share to some of his companions to look after, as the bedouin was still at the rearguard.
When the bedouin returned, they gave him his share, so he asked them: ‘What is this?’ they replied: ‘It is your share from the booty which the Prophet gave us to hold on to for you.’ So the Bedouin took the booty and went to the Prophet and asked: ‘What is this?’ The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, replied: “Your share of the booty.” The bedouin said: “This is not why I believe in you and follow you; rather, I follow you so that I can get shot by an arrow right here, (and then he pointed to his throat) then die and enter Paradise.” The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “If you are sincere then Allah will grant you your wish.”
After a short while, fighting resumed and the bedouin’s body was brought to the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam with an arrow in his throat at exactly the spot where he had pointed to the Prophet. Thereupon The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “He was sincere so Allah granted him his wish.”
Then using his own garment, the Prophet shrouded the bedouin, prayed the funeral prayer over him and was heard by his companions to say during the prayer: “O Allah! This is Your slave who migrated for Your sake and was killed as a martyr – and I testify to this”.Which testimony could ever be more honourable, sincere and truthful than this great one given by the Prophet?
A truck driver named Abu Dujaanah was known in his town to be an evil person who consumed intoxicants. One day, he got in a deadly car accident, but Allah saved him. Allah decreed that two righteous young men see the accident and rush to him whilst he was unconscious and took him with them and when he woke up they told him to perform Ghusl (ritual bath) which he did, then they instructed him to pray, and after he prayed they said to him: “Allah has rescued you from death and had you died upon the state you were in, it would have been the worse way to die and be resurrected. You should repent to Allah and shun all sins.”
Their words affected him deeply, and he shunned his evil company with whom he used to hang around, and started practising. A few months later, he travelled to Bosnia for Jihad, and Allah granted him martyrdom there. His body remained with the enemies thrown in an open field for two and a half months after he was killed, and then a swap of dead bodies happened between the Mujaahideen and the Serbs, and when the brothers opened the plastic bag in which he was kept for this long period, they saw his face smiling and an extremely pleasant scent emanating from his body.
These were but some examples of how a good end may be, and we ask Allah to bless us and grant us a good way to end our lives.
Article source: http://www.islamweb.net/emainpage/
The meaning of the dual testimony of faith
Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing of Allah be upon our Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), and on his household and all of his Companions.
How many times have you heard or even said the following words? Ash-hadu allaa ilaaha illallah wa ashadu anna Muhammadar Rasoolullah. [I bear witness that there is no deity except Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah]. Yes indeed, it is the two-part testimony or declaration of faith by which the one who utters it enters into the fold of Islam. More importantly however, is whether you as a listener or as the one who has made this declaration have really considered the meaning of this great declaration and its implications for the one who utters it?
Importance of Understanding the Testimony
This testimony of faith is the foundation upon which Islam is based. The concept of life, the universe and man is diffused from it, and upon it is based the message of all Messengers (‘alaihimus salaam) beginning with Noah (‘alaihi salaam) and ending with Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), peace be upon them all. The first half of the testimony constitutes what is also known as al-kalima, which literally means ‘the word’ Laa ilaaha illallah.
Allah the Exalted says: We did not send a Messenger before you without revealing to him: ‘There is no God worthy of being worshipped except I, therefore worship Me’ [Al-Anbiyaa - 21:25]
The Testimony Comprises Two Pillars: Denial and Affirmation
1. The first half of this first part Laa ilaaha – There is no Ilaah (deity) – denies everyone and everything other than Allah, the Exalted, the attribute of divinity. This is known as nafy (negation) in Arabic.
2. The second half of this declaration illallah (except Allah) affirms and restricts divinity to Allah alone. That is, the slave must believe that Allah is the only true God, and therefore must not dedicate any act of worship to other than Allah. This is known in Arabic as ithbaat (affirmation).
Conditions of the First Half of the Declaration
Confessing the testimony of faith must be coupled with fulfilling its seven conditions. Every door has a key that unlocks it. These conditions may be analogised with the teeth of that key in order that it function properly. Though one may have indeed entered Islam upon uttering the words it can also be said that complete faith cannot be attained unless he fully understands the implications of his testimony.
1. Knowledge which negates Ignorance. Allah states: So know [O Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), Peace be upon him] that La ilaaha Illa-Allah. (There is no God but Allah). [Q 47:19]. The more a believer knows about Allah and His Deen the less likely is he to fall prey to the traps of Satan and more likely to benefit himself and others.
2. Certainty which negates Doubt. Only those are the believers who have believed in Allah and His Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), and afterward doubt not but strive with their wealth and their lives in the Cause of Allah. They are the truthful. [Al-Hujuraat - 49:15]. The declaration should be made with the fullest conviction and confidence that Allah is One and Alone and Islam is indeed the true religion.
3. Sincerity and purity of intent which negates Shirk. Surely the religion (i.e. worship and obedience) is for Allah only. [Az-Zumar - 39:3]. No deed will be accepted if it is not done with pure intent and aim to please Allah.
4. Truthfulness which negates Hypocrisy. Do people think that they will be left alone because they say ‘We believe’ and will not be tested? And we indeed tested those who were before them. And Allah will certainly make known those who are true and will certainly make known those who are liars. [Al-Ankabut - 29:2,3]. It is very simple for one to feign belief but it is Allah who indeed knows the inner truthfulness of all who claim to believe in Him.
5. Love and devotion which negates disdain of Allah’s religion. And to mankind are some who take some (associates for worship) besides Allah as rivals; they love them as they love Allah. But those who believe love Allah more (than anything else). [Al-Baqarah - 2:165]. Loving Allah necessitates that the believer put full trust in him and loves all that he learns of what Allah has commanded and forbidden. Therefore the true believer loves each and every aspect of Islam and he loves those others who likewise do so.
6. Submission which negates Disobedience. And turn in repentance to your Lord and submit to Him in Islam. [Az-Zumar 39:54]. To willfully disobey when Allah’s commands have been made clear is to belie the declaration of faith.
7. Acceptance which negates Rejection or Denial. Truly when it was said to them: ‘There is no God except Allah’, they puffed themselves up with pride (i.e. denied it). And (they) said : ‘Are we going to abandon our gods for the sake of a mad poet? [As-Saffaat 37:35-36]. There can be nothing but full acceptance of the truth of the declaration. Partial acceptance is like no acceptance at all.
The Second Half of the Testimony: Muhammadan Rasoolullah
This is the declaration that “Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) is the Messenger of Allah”. This second part of the testimony of faith is no less important than the first. In fact. It is impossible for one to be a true believer in the first part without also believing in the second. It necessitates belief in the following:
1. Total submission to Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) in whatever he ordered. Allah states: But no, by your Lord, they can have no faith, until they make you judge in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions and accept them with full submission. [Q4:65] and He who obeys the Messenger has indeed obeyed Allah [Q4:80]
2 . Avoiding what he (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) forbade. And whatsoever the Messenger (Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), gives you, take it and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it). [Al-Hashr 59:7].
3. Believing in all those matters he informed us about. The Messenger believes in what has been revealed to him form his Lord and so do the believers [Al-Baqarah 2:285]
4. Loving the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam). The Prophet has said about himself None of you truly believes until I am more beloved to him than his parents [lit. father], his children [lit. son] and all of mankind. [Al-Bukhari]
A Sobering Thought
Allah states: O Prophet, We have sent you as a witness and a bringer of glad tidings and a Warner. And as one who invites to Allah (i.e, to worship Him Alone) by His Leave and as a Lamp spreading Light (through your instructions). [Al-Ahzaab - 33:45, 46]
In an age when there is actually controversy over whether or not a Muslim must actually obey Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and adhere to his way, no true Muslim should remain ignorant of the great meanings contained within the two-part testimony by which one joins this great Deen of Islam. It may well be true as is said by some “There are many who have been Muslims for all of their lives who are really in need of taking the Shahaadatain all over again.” The Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) is the one who brought us Islam in its final form and exemplified it in his speech and character. Though him (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) Allah has spread His light all over this earth and surely in such a dark place as the world can at times be, there is nothing more needed than a beacon to show us the way.
Causes of provision
In an authentic narration narrated by Abdullah ibn ‘Umar, in Ibn Majah’s Kitab al Fitan, which is also mentioned in Al-Hakim’s Al-Mustadrak, as well as by al-Baihaqi and al-Bazzar, we learn about several causes of most fascinating consequences. The following can be deduced from that narration:
lRain is withheld when zakat is not paid, and it would not fall at all were it not for animals.
lIllnesses not seen before appear when immorality spreads among people and when it becomes public.
l Lack of provision and injustice of rulers towards their people occurs when those people cheat in measuring.
lAllah sends an enemy to a people that takes from their hands that which they like, when those people leave their covenant with Allah and His Messenger and leave the Book and the Sunnah.
lDiscord among people occurs when leaders do not judge by Allah’s Book and when they choose from it what they like and leave the rest.
One can wonder, how many secular scientists and those usually perceived as intellectuals are there that fail to understand Allah’s Sunan yet spend their lives trying to understand causes of many happenings in the universe? More importantly, how many of us fail to understand true reasons behind various disasters in our own Muslim countries? ...Thankfully, we can correct this by learning.
What follows is a mention of two major causes of provision, many of which are mentioned in the Qur’an and the Sunnah.
Among other causes of provision and development are Jihad in the Path of Allah, Hijrah for the sake of Allah, Haj and ‘Umrah, leaving sins, da’wah to Allah, seeking forgiveness and repentance, good behaviour towards the weak and spending for the sake of Allah.
Tawakkul – Relying and depending on Allah the Exalted
Allah the Exalted said:
“And whoever relies upon Allah – then He is sufficient for him. Indeed, Allah will accomplish His purpose. Allah has already set for everything a [decreed] extent.” [at-Talaaq: 3]
“If you relied on Allah with a true reliance, He would provide for you the same as He provides birds: they set off in the early morning with empty stomachs and return back at the end of the day with full stomachs.” [At-Tirmidhi, Ahmad]
Shaykh Fadl Ilaahi said: “The one who relies upon Allah with a true reliance is provided for as birds are provided for, and how would it be otherwise, when he has relied upon the Ever-Living who does not die, and whoever relies on Him, He will suffice him.” [Mafaatih ar-Rizq, 36]
Tawakkul in the Qur’an:
Tawakkul is enjoined in the Qur’an in many places and is a lofty station:
“And upon Allah let the believers rely.” [Ibrahim: 11]
“And rely upon the Ever-Living who does not die.” [Al Furqaan: 58]
“So worship Him and rely on Him.” [Hood:123]
Tawakkul is a cause of Allah’s love for His servant:
“Verily, Allah loves those who rely on Him.” [Aal ‘Imraan: 159]
Tawakkul is a condition of iman and a distinguishing mark of the believers:
“And upon Allah rely if you are believers.” [al-Maa’idah:23]
“The believers are only those who, when Allah is mentioned, their hearts become fearful, and when His verses are recited to them, it increases them in faith; and upon their Lord they rely.” [al-Anfaal:2]
The believer knows that no harm and no benefit can come except by Allah’s permission, that He gives and withholds and that He owns everything in the universe. She or he knows that no one can give what Allah withholds, and that no one can withhold what Allah gives.
Lastly, relying on Allah does not mean that one leaves striving in this world. Allah says:
“So walk among its slopes and eat of His provision” [Al-Mulk: 15]
“And when the prayer has concluded, disperse within the land and seek the bounty of Allah.” [al-Jumu’ah: 10]
“And whoever fears Allah – He will make a way out for him. And will provide for him from where he does not expect.” [At-Talaq: 2-3]
Ibn ‘Abbas said: “‘And will provide for him from where he does not expect’: meaning from where he does not hope.” [Zaad al Masyr 8:291-292]
“And if only the people of the cities had believed and feared Allah, We would have opened [i.e. bestowed] upon them blessings from the heaven and the earth; but they denied [the messengers], so We seized them for what they were earning [of blame for their sin].” [al-A’raaf: 96]
Ibn ‘Abbaas said: “Meaning, We would enrich them with what is good, and facilitate it for them from every side.” [Tafsir Abi Sa’ood 3/253]
“And if only they had upheld [the law of] Torah, the gospel and what has been revealed to them from their Lord [the Qur’an], they would have consumed [provision] from above them and from beneath their feet [i.e. in great abundance]. Among them are a moderate [i.e. acceptable] community, but many of them – evil is that which they do.” [Al-Maa’idah: 66]
Ibn Mas’ood said: “At-Taqwaa is that Allah is obeyed and not disobeyed, that He is remembered and not forgotten, and that He is thanked and not shown ungratefulness.” [At-Tabaraani in al-Kabeer 90/92]
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