Tuesday 18th of February 2020

Last moments of Aboo Zakeria

Aboo Zakeira was a very pious and virtuous worshipper fellow. When he was in his death bed a friend of him came to him and advised him to recite Kalima-e-Taiyabah (testimonial words confirming oneness of God). But Aboo Zakeira turned his face away. His friend repeated his request to say Laa ilaah Illallah (There is no God but Allah). But he again turned his face and said: ‘I will not recite’, and then he fainted. After some moments when he came to his senses he opened his eyes and asked his friend: Did you ask me something? That man said: Yes, I had requested you thrice to recite Kalima but you turned away your face and on the third occasion also replied that you would not. Aboo Zakeria replied: In fact satan came to me twice and showing me a glass of water asked: would you like to drink? When I said: Yes. He said: First you should say that Jesus (Isa a.s.) is the son of God. I turned away my face. He asked me to do so twice but I refused. On the third occasion he said: Say there is no God at all. I said: I will not say even that. Then he threw away the glass and flew away. On every occasion I was saying ‘no’. But now I confess that ash hadu al laa ilaah illal laah wa an na muhammadar rasoolullah wa an na aliyun waliyyullah

(Layali al-Akhbaar)

Gold coins and a creditor

A man on his death bed was being advised to say words of Faith but he was turing away his face. After becoming conscious he was asked about the reason. He said: I am very fond of gold coins. A man had come to me with a plate full of god coins and said if you will not recite Kalima, I will give this plate to you. As soon as I began to look at those gold coins, I forget how to recite Kalima a Shahaadat.

Another man had given some money as loan to some one. He had a recipt for it. When the creditor reached his time of death, the devil threatned saying that if he would recite the Kaima he would tear up that receipt. “Thus he prevented me from reciting the Testimony to Truth.”

(Muntakhibaat ut Tawaareekh, p.g 854)

It must be understood that satan gets control over man only through the latter’s love for this material world. Therefore, if one has, like Aboo Zakeira, a heart full of love for God, the Holy Prophet and the Day of Judgement (Hereafter), God helps him and the devil cannot harm him.

(Doubtlesly, God does not cause your deeds to go in vain. Verily Allah is Kind and Merciful for His slaves).

Flight from good advice

The world-lovers always run away from hearing the defects, drawbacks and unreliability of the world. They avoid reading books condemning the world and praising the Hereafter. They do not attend meetings in which people are asked to remember God. Such people become fearful on hearing even a word about death and grave. They ridicule the lovers of Akhirat. Obviously the love of a beloved becomes thin when the drawbacks of the latter are mentioned before the former. Therefore a lover never likes to hear the defects of the object of his admiration. The cure for world-love is extremely difficult because an illness can be remedied only when the man concerned realizes that he is ill and is prepared for treatment.

It is definite that if an attempt to make a world-lover be afraid of his sin by reciting the verses condemning world-love that fellow will never accept. On the contrary he will make several excuses to defend his stand and to refute relevant arguments. In short, when one is not prepared to realize that he has done any thing wrong how will he be ready to repent? If the details of the painful consequences of world-love and the spiritual and physical illnesses resulting from his world-love are described before him he will never believe all that. When he does not realize that he is ill how will he get ready to remove world-love from his heart and to gain a healthy soul?

Heedlessness of admonition and hatred for remembrance of God are the signs of the world-lovers. Contrary to it, the signs of those who love Aakhirat are that they hate to remember material world and its passions. Their heart gets peace in the remembrance of God and the Hereafter as is mentioned in the Holy Quran:

الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ وَتَطْمَئِنُّ قُلُوبُهُم بِذِكْرِ اللّهِ أَلاَ بِذِكْرِ اللّهِ تَطْمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوبُ

“Beware, the remembrance of Allah gives peace to hearts.”

(Surah Ra’d 13:28)

It is regarding this topic that the innocent says in Duaa e Abee Hamzah: Yaa Mualla… meaning ‘O Master! My soul found life by Your Remembrance and my silent talk with You resulted in the flight of my fear and in cooling of heat.”

It is said that once a tannery worker who had become accustomed to constant bad smell of leather once was passing through a perfume market. The fragrance and which he had never smelled made him faint. People were trying to bring him back to consciousness by spraying rose water on his face but his condition worsened. Then one of his companions who were aware of the situation asked the gathering to leaved him. He inserted some dirty bad smelling thing into that man’s nostrils and he recovered and soon ran away from perfume sellers.

Verily, how a man who has made his mouth sweet with worldly tastes and passions can feel the sweetness of remembering God and Hereafter? As such remembrance hinders his worldly desires bitterly he runs away from it.

This fact makes us understand the wisdom (Hikmat) hidden behind the Faithful’s worldly failures and his sufferings so that one may taste the bitterness of world and obtain the sweetness of remembering God and Hereafter. Its example is like that of a mother who applies something bitter to her breast in order to make her baby giveup suckling and to make it turn toward food.

Ponder over the Holy Quran

In order to make man realize the irreliability and perishableness of this world the Holy Quran has given many examples for guidance so that who have faith and trust in this Divine Book and its followers may protect themselves from the destructive love of the world. Therefore it is the duty of every Muslim to think deeply over such verses (Aayaat) and to recite them repeatedly. Thus he can obtain the aim of losing interest in the world and attraction for the Hereafter. For example, see how nicely the Almighty Allah has explained the unreliability of the world in verse 20 of Surah Hadeed (57):

اعْلَمُوا أَنَّمَا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا لَعِبٌ وَلَهْوٌ وَزِينَةٌ وَتَفَاخُرٌ بَيْنَكُمْ وَتَكَاثُرٌ فِي الْأَمْوَالِ وَالْأَوْلَادِ كَمَثَلِ غَيْثٍ أَعْجَبَ الْكُفَّارَ نَبَاتُهُ ثُمَّ يَهِيجُ فَتَرَاهُ مُصْفَرًّا ثُمَّ يَكُونُ حُطَامًا وَفِي الْآخِرَةِ عَذَابٌ شَدِيدٌ وَمَغْفِرَةٌ مِّنَ اللَّهِ وَرِضْوَانٌ وَمَا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا إِلَّا مَتَاعُ الْغُرُورِ

“Know that the worldly life is a mere play of show and outward adoration (and beautification) and to be proud of having more wealth and children than others. The example (of worldly life) is like rain which makes the farmer happy by growing their agricultural produce. Then it dries up. Then you see it becoming yellow and then being crushed and in the Hereafter is a severe punishment (for the deniers) and for believers there reward and pleasure and the worldly life is merely a means of ego and deceit.”

(Surah Hadeed 57:20)

This Holy verse explains the world-loving people’s life. It can be said that the mankind is divided into two groups ever since its creation. The first group which is major (more in number) is that of the worldly people who do not believe in any life except this apparent worldly life. Therefore their only endeavour is that they should not miss the worldly delights and tastes. Another group is small in number. It is called the people of Aakhirat (Hereafter). This group believes that the worldly life is but a means of ensuring another permanent life (after death). Their life is based on thought and reason, not a passionate and devilish one. There aim is to know their Lord Creator, to have Faith in Him and to do deeds and which can prove useful in the Hereafter. In view of this aim each and every one of their movement or act or deed is forgetting the pleasure of God. As we have said earlier, when a man does any thing merely to please Allah, though that deed ends it’s result which is based on Divine Light is retained in his self and he gets its benefits throughout his life. Thus it can be seen that the life of the men of Aakhirat is not an aimless play. But since the men of this world never care for God and the Hereafter they does not do any such thing which has everlasting effects. Consequently all their deeds prove fruitless and hollow. The truth is that their entire lifespan from birth to death remains limited to only these five things: (1) La’b (play), (2) Lahv (vain), (3) Adoration (4) Ego and (5) abundance of wealth and children. Each one of them is explained briefly below:

(1) La’b (play)

Every act of man which is not based on good intention and therefore, which does not give good results will be called La’b (play). For example, the gathering of children at a place, their running or making toys of earth which is a mere pastime. It gives no fruit.

Therefore those youths and old people who do not have any divine aim in their deeds and mostly whose deeds are subservient to their desires, are just like children because the connection or relation of all their efforts and endeavours are only with imaginery and superstitious things be they about wealth-seeking or chair-seeking. They want everything for their own self-interest. In short, spending entire life in play and show and to enter the Hereafter empty-handed is called La’b. The only difference between such men and children is that the play of children is for a short time whereas that of the old world-seekers is for a log period. Just as the arrival of night stops the play of children, the arrival of death ends the play (la’b) of the world-lovers.

(2) Lahv

Every engagement which prevents any one from a more serious activity is called Lahv. It is like a child who stops from going to school because of his engagement in play. According to this logic all activities of world lovers are Lahv because they prevent them from thinking about a more important matter, that is, about the permanent life and abdoe of the Hereafter.

The life span of every man, even if it extends upto a hundred years, is after all to end and his happinesses will be finished. Hence every one who engages in the activities of this short-living worldly life and becomes careless about the unending eternal life of the Hereafter (after death) will be called a man of Lahv. But the men of Aakhirat, in whatever work they may be engaged for pleasing God and in obedience to Him, remain always thinking about strengthening their Faith. They do good deeds considering them as their capital for the life after death. Only they are wise people and who will attain salvation.

(3) Adoration and beautification

Whatever a man does to beautify hi body, dress, house, furniture and other materials and to make them attractive for others is called adoration and beautification. For example, women, who concealing their apparent defects, are trying to please men, but who forget that, in fact, their said effort is a draw back which points out toward some of their illness, want or agedness, the biggest being the death of which they show their fear.

If one thinks over the affairs of the worldly people it will be understood that their life is made up of only a superfluous covering. They make their houses strong just to hide their nature of falling down. They adorn and beautify body, dress, house and housing materials and they imitate every modern fashion so that they may make themselves look like civilized, culture, honest and needless of everything. In order to make a show of their richness they make every effort to increase their wealth. They make a show of their knowledge and intelligence for hiding their unawareness of the Truth about the Hereafter. They sing songs of their honesty and welfare activities just to coneceal, from others, their dishonesty and selfishness. They are not tired of repeating the name of God orallty with their tongue so that making a show of their religiousness they may conceal their worldly-love and passion worship. In short, the darker their inside is, the more they make a show of their outward brightness. But the affairs of the Ahl-e-Akhirat or the people of the Hereafter are totally different from it. They, by beautifying their internal soul through total obedience to God’s commands and adorn their Faith, the graceful jewel of humanity. They also pay attention to their outward beauty but only to the extent it does not come into conflict with humanity and God-fearingness and righteousness and only upto the limit fixed by Shariat. For example a woman who makes herself attractive with beauty for her husband or a man who looks into a mirror just to ensure that there is nothing in his appearance or dress that can make people abhor him or the one who wants to keep his dress always clean and who intends to expose God’s blessing on him. If he has money, he may spend it in constructed his house and also in such other works which are permitted by Islam. In short, wise people beautify themselves and their possessions in obedience of God, not for self-showing.

source : QALBE SALEEM/Shaheede Mehraab Ayatullah-ul-Uzma Al-Haaj Sayed Abdul Husain Dastghaib Shirazi (r.a.)
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