Although death is the bridge that unites the believer with Allah; one should not ask for his own death. Instead one should try to increase his good deeds in this ephemeral world. Because Rasulullah (s.a.w.) ordered:
“Do not ask for death! Because if a person is good, his goodness increases the more he lives. If he is evil, he might turn back from his mistakes and find the true path.” [Bukhari]
Dear readers; death is a divine fate and nobody, except Allah, knows when it shall approach. Sudden death refers to mercy for the believer, but it is sorrow and remorse for the ungrateful. Everybody should get prepared for the death any time in order not to feel remorse in the end.
# First step of preparing for death: Repentance
“Repentance”is the first step for preparation. It means returning to Allah and feeling sorrow and remorse for following his nafs and again being subject to God’s will. It is ordered in a verse from Quran:
“O ye who believe! Turn to Allah with sincere repentance.” [Tahrim, 8].
Repentance has two aspects: one is invisible side which is felt by heart (remorse and regret), and the other is visible side regarding to behaviors (istighfar: praying for forgiveness). Rasulullah ordered:
“Feeling remorse for sins is repentance.” [Hakim]
Dear friends; what really matters is your heart. We should always regret for our misbehaviors, mistakes and flaws. Also, we should always ask for forgiveness by word. This can be done by simply saying “Astaghfirullah” (O Allah, I ask for forgiveness). Rasulullah (s.a.w.) ordered:
“I swear, I ask Allah to forgive me more than seventy times a day and repent with faith.” [Bukharî]
Repentance should start by reciting Basmala (in the Name of Allah ) and paying respects to Allah and saying salawat for His Prophet. The prayers done for the Prophet is called as salawat. For a more extensive repentance you should say:
“Astaghfirullah, astaghfirullah, astaghfirullah, al-azim, al-karim, allazi lailahe illa hu, al-hayya’l-qayyume wa atubu ilaih.
(O Allah, I ask for forgiveness. He is almighty, generous. There is no God, but He. He is alive and eternal. He provides the subsistence of all the living beings, and I repent unto Him.)
# Refresh your Faith
After repentance, Faith should be refreshed by saying:
“Ashhadu an la ilahe illallah wa ashhadu anna Muhammadan abduhu wa rasuluhu.”
(I bear witness that there is no God besides Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger.)
Although the witness is being done here to the last prophet Muhammad (a.s), but also must believe in all prophets and should love them all. All of them are the prophets of Islam.
Asking for forgiveness and Kalima-I shahada purifies a man. Rasulullah (s.a.w.) ordered:
“Those who ask for forgiveness will be considered as if they have never committed a sin”[Ibni Mace]
Dear readers; sins are forgiven through repentance and if the servant returns to Allah, it shall not mean that his previous unjustices, cruelties and their outcomes should be forgotten. The person should try to compensate those acts and give back to their owner if he has taken anything unjustly. Goods and money gained through gambling, cheating, stealing etc. should be returned to where it belongs; if those people are dead, the money should be returned to their inheritors. If it cannot be reached those people, that money should be given to the poor as alms and its sawab (the afterlife reward) should be sent to the right owner’s spirit. We should perform our prayers previously unfulfilled, pay our zakat dept and oath penance, give the bride price to our wife at once.
# The most correct measure for the good and evil
The most correct measure for the good and evil is the provisions of Allah. Mankind is responsible for these provisions. That is why we are obliged to learn these provisions (the requirements and restrictions of religion) and apply them in our lives. Great efforts should be given to completely fulfill the main tasks of Islam especially such as salat (prayers), fasting, paying zakat (alms) and pilgrimage.
Prophet replies to a person who asks what duties should be done in order to enter Jannah (Paradise): “Those who believe in Allah and perform salat (prayer), pay zakat and fast during Ramadan enters Jannah”.
Especially, performing salat is of paramount importance. Rasulullah (s.a.w) ordered:
“On Judgment day, the first question will be about salat. If salat was practiced well, the other duties will be approved.” [Taberani]
Allah (swt) has limitless mercy and grace towards His creatures. He has also compassion upon us servants. His compassion to us is even much more than a mother to her children. On the other hand, His wrath against heretics that spoil His order and against people who are cruel to others is violent. It is ordered in a Quran verse:
“Those who reject Faith and do wrong,- Allah will not forgive them nor guide them to any way- Except the way of Hell, to dwell therein for ever.“ [Nisaa, 168-169].
# One should have fear for dying without Faith
Nobody should think that they can get away with their evil deeds. Evil and cruelty should be avoided and we shall repent our mistakes and flaws immediately. Repentance should not be left until last breath.
Once a person is nearly dead, his position in afterlife is shown to him. At that moment, he understands the realities of afterlife and it would be too late to repent by that time.
One shouldn’t be afraid of death, but to die without faith. It is ordered in the Quran verses:
“They are those who deny the Signs of their Lord and the fact of their having to meet Him (in the Hereafter): vain will be their works, nor shall We, on the Day of Judgment, give them any weight“ [Kahf, 105]
“Those who reject our Signs, We shall soon cast into the Fire: “[Nisaa, 56].
# Good deeds of heretics shall not help them
Good deeds of heretics shall not help them in the afterlife.
“If any one rejects faith, fruitless is his work, and in the Hereafter he will be in the ranks of those who have lost (all spiritual good).“ [Maida, 5]
“And if any of you turn back from their faith and die in unbelief, their works will bear no fruit in this life and in the Hereafter;” [Baqara, 217]
Allah (swt) is fair. He does not consider cruel people and good people as equals.
“Shall We then treat the People of Faith like the People of Sin?“[Qalam, 35]
“What! Do those who do evil deeds think that We shall hold them equal with those who believe and do righteous deeds,- that equal will be their life and their death? Ill is the judgment that they make.“ [Jathiya, 21]
# Allah has great compassion and mercy
Dear readers; Allah has great compassion and mercy; He is fair and He does not tyrannize anybody. People tyrannize over themselves by following their nafs. And they not only give trouble for themselves, but also cause distress to people around them. The divine order is formed in such a way that the divine justice shall take place on its own. “Those who do good shall find goodness, those who do evil shall find evilness.”But their price in the afterlife are far more important and long-lasting. One shall never doubt the divine justice. Either way or another, it shall appear for sure. Mankind should not think that he is unrestrained.
“Faith”is the primary source of goodness, blessings and happiness in this world and in afterlife. “Reason” and “Faith” are the most important two parameters that define a human being. Devoid of these two blessings, a person would be no different from any animal. That is why we shall appreciate these two blessings and all the other blessings which we are not even aware of. We should be grateful to Allah for these, we should give a lot of importance to His words, offers and commands (the provisions of Quran) and be subject to Him completely. There should be no rebellion. We should not be ungrateful for our Almighty Allah. We shall fear from falling into unbelief and dying without Faith.
Be entrusted to Allah.