Tuesday, 21 September 2010
The Sweetness of Death
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
The following is adapted from a swuhbah from Shaykh Muhammad Nazhim Adil al-Haqqani (q.s.) on the 08th March 2010.
We have not been created for this dunya. We have been Created for servanthood. Allah (s.w.t.) Bestows Honour on humanity and jinn by Allowing us to worship Him. The Honour that Allah (s.w.t.) has Prepared for us is the highest amongst all creation. We must leave heedlessness and awaken to the reality of our existence. That is the message of every prophet that Allah (s.w.t.) has Sent. They came as warners to awaken us from our slumber.
Death ends life's bitterness for the believers. This life passes very quickly. If we do not awake soon enough, it is over. In this fleeting life, we are Given a taste of pleasure and happiness. This is supposed to whet our appetite for everlasting pleasure and happiness in the hereafter. Whatever is Given to us in dunya is merely a temporary appetizer; the eternal main course is served in the afterlife. This is such a great Grant because animals are going to be turned to dust but we will live for eternity to enjoy this main course.
Allah (s.w.t.) is Most Generous. After Giving us a taste of pleasure in dunya, it is not His Intention to Deprive us of it at all. Instead, He Wishes to give more and more of that blessing to us but dunya is not the place for such a gift. It is in the hereafter that such never-ending pleasure has been Kept for us. He Wants us to strive for the hereafter, for after having tasted the pleasures of this world, we must realise the source of that eternal pleasure and seek it out with all our might.
We must be thankful. At one time, we did not exist. We were Brought into existence by Our Lord, to taste such pleasures. Not all creatures have tasted such pleasure. Many creatures never experience the pleasure that we taste. We are also Granted the option to have superior and eternal pleasures in the hereafter, should we choose to strive for them. We must be grateful for every experience of pleasure that Allah (s.w.t.) Bestows. The pleasure of the hereafter is especially blissful because it is a pure pleasure, unlike the pleasure we experience in this world, which is mixed with sorrows and bitterness. In this worldly life, we are struck by arrows of pain and sorrow, of hurt and suffering. These arrows are continuous throughout our lives. No sooner have we removed one arrow when the next one strikes. Some arrows are poisoned arrows, in which the pain of what others have done to us, resides in our hearts until our last breath. With this background, the pleasure of dunya is muted and less enjoyable. The pleasure in the hereafter will be pure, unadulterated happiness. Life in dunya is bittersweet; life in akhirah is pure sweetness. So often, we are hit by these poisoned arrows, and we cry out, “Why?” Allah (s.w.t.) Made this life bitter, so that we will learn to appreciate the sweetness of the next life.
A person's life becomes narrower and narrower until he comes to the last breaths, the Sakarat ul-Mawt, the Agony of Death. At that point, the last breath is very difficult. The reality of death brings a cloud of intense sadness over the dying person. It becomes heavy for him at that moment. In the last few moments, when the angels are shaking the body to extract the soul, it is the most difficult moment of a person's life. We do not understand the meaning of eternity now but at that last moment when our soul is leaving our physical being, we will finally understand what it really means. At that moment, our worldly life ends but a moment after death, a new world emerges and that moment will last endlessly for us. That is eternity.
Once we pass through this narrow door of death, for believers, a new opening emerges; it is an opening filled with pleasures, filled with happiness, filled with light - oceans of eternal fulfillment and satisfaction. But for an unbeliever who had rejected the eternal life, he is plunged into an ever-narrowing chasm, into eternal darkness, a darkness that grows more and more constricting, and becomes darker and darker, for all of eternity. It is an ocean of suffering and sadness. For that reason, Allah (s.w.t.) Sent His prophets and saints to call out to us. Those who are not seeking the eternal life, those drunk with this life's temporary pleasures, or those whose hearts are set on attaining dunya as their main goal of existence; they are destined for the dark territories. We are to follow the prophets and reach the realm of enlightenment, and remain there for eternity. We are meant for the eternal life.
Allah (s.w.t.) is Most Wealthy, al-Ghany. He did not Create just one earth; so many such earths have been created, each with its own unique creatures that were not found on other earths. And the creatures of all these separate worlds were all in praise of Allah (s.w.t.). These earths have met their Qiyamat, which is why we call Him Maliki Yawm ad-Din, as the people of these other earths have been judged, and they are either basking in the ecstasy of eternal enlightenment, or regretting in the suffering of eternal rejection. Billions upon billions of humans have faced Judgement. Ours is next, so we must choose our ending carefully.
We must understand that our Lord is not Poor. He is not like us, and we must understand our Lord's Existence, His Names, His Attributes - all are oceans of knowledge, Azaliyyun Abadiyyun Swamadiyyun, from pre-eternity to eternity, neither of which we truly understand. We must prepare ourselves for the Divine levels. We must us not to insist on remaining at the lowest rung in life, that of animals. Animals are only concerned about eating, drinking and reproducing. If we do not ponder and learn about Allah's (s.w.t.) True Greatness, then we become just like animals. There is no Honour in that. Every one of Allah's (s.w.t.) infinite Creations shows us more and more about His Greatness according to our abilities to understand. We were not Created for this dunya. We were Created for Servanthood.