Alhamdulillahi Rabb'il 'Alameen wa aSSalatu wa
assalamu ala Sayyid al 'Alameen Saahib at-taaji w'al mir'aji w'al joodi w'al
karam wa 'ala aalihi wa aS-haabihi wa ahli baytihi wa az-zawaajihi wa baarik wa
All Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds and blessings
and salutations of peace be upon the Chief of the Worlds, the possessor of the
crown and the Ascension and overflowing generosity and grace and also upon his
Progeny and his Companions and his Household and his Wives and blessings and
(upon them all) blessings and peace.
We see that our hearts have hardened too much. we want
to break away from our lives of sin, but we find ourselves crippled. We want to
tread the footsteps of our great ancestors who led lives of achievement but we
are afraid. we wish to emulate the Awlia in abstaining from desires and
indulging in worship but we are constrained by a myriad of reasons. Why ? The
answer could be found in the Hadeeth : We have forgotten that we shall die.
"there shall come a time when the Kaafirs shall invite each other to kill/harm
you (muslims) as casually as one invites the other to food " the companions
RaDiyallahu `anhum said " Yaa Rasulallah is it because we would be less (in
number?) " Rasulallah
said " No, but that day (in those times) you will be like the foam of the
sea-waves (abundant) " [in another Riwaayah/Narration it is "like the blades of
grass"] the companions asked "then why yaa Rasulallah ?" the Rasul
replied, "for then the love of this material world shall have engulfed you
(muslims) and you (muslims) will have forgotten to remember death".aw kamaa
qaala `alayhis salaatu was azkas salaam;
Said the prince among the authors; the shaykh of many
treasures; sayyiduna wa mawlaana Hujjatul Islaam, al-Imaam Abu Haamid Muhammad
ibn Muhammad al-Ghazzali raDiyallahu `anhu in his book :"mukaashifatul quluub"
// The remembrance of death:
"Akthiruu min dhikri Haadimil Ladhdhaat" // remember
more often that which destroys the pleasures (and desires)
It is indicated in this Hadeeth for a man to remember
death more often and thereby keep himself away from worldly pleasures so that he
is honored in the presence of his Lord Almighty Allah `Azza wa Jall.
" if the animals knew of death like you do (that is it is certain) you wouldn't
find a plump animal to eat.
Hazrat `Aayishah radiyallahu `anhaa asked Rasulallah
"Yaa Rasulallah, will anyone be raised (on the day of judgement) along with
martyrs (without himself being a martyr?)" He replied : "Yes; he who remembers
death for twenty times in a day and a night"
The reason for such a high grade is by remembering
death one becomes weary of the pleasures in this world and begins the
preparation for the hereafter; but forgetting death makes a man indulgent in the
"Death is a gift for the mu-min" for he lives in this world as a prisoner; and
he is at constant war with his desires (nafs) and Shaytaan. And this is not less
than a torment for a believer and death relieves him of these troubles, hence it
is a present for the believer.
that death is Kaffarah for a Muslim. It is he from who other muslims are in
safety (by his hand and tongue); it is he who has the lofty characters of a
muslim; and he who keeps away from all Kabeerah (big sins). If such a Muslim
commits a Sagheerah (small sin), death becomes a Kaffarah for him; and doing the
obligatory commandments (Fards) makes him entirely clean.
It is reported from Hazrat `Ata Khuraasani raHimahullah
passed by a group of people who were laughing loudly. He said: 'remember that
which destroys the taste of pleasures' he was asked 'Master, what is that?' he
It is reported from Hazrat Anas radiyallahu `anhu that
said: 'Remember death too often; the sins will be over and disinclination
towards Dunyaa will increase'
'Death is enough to sever ones ties' and said he : 'Death is a great teacher
with sage advice' (WaaiDH;)
was going towards the Masjid; he saw a group of people talking and laughing
loudly. Said he: 'remember death. I swear by the Lord Almighty the Glorious, in
whose power rests my life, if you come to know of what I know, you would cry
more and laugh less' (that is 'I know of the torments in the grave and also the
power of Allah to torment; and you don't')
A man was praised too much in the presence of
. He asked ' does he remember death (often) ?' they replied 'we have never heard
of it', he said 'then he is not as worthy as you think he is'.
Hazrat `Abdullah ibn `Umar radiyallahu `anhuma reports
that ' I was the tenth person present when a youth among the Ansaar came to
and asked " Yaa Rasulallah ! Who is the most wise and honorable ?" he replied
"He who remembers death the most and makes an excellent preparation towards it
is the most wise and only such people will be the most honorable on the day of
Hazrat Hasan raHimahullah said 'death hath made this
dunyaa contemptible. There ain't no bliss for the wise here.
Hazrat Rabee`y ibn Khaythum radiyallahu `anhu said 'for
a believer awaiting death is the best to wait for' 'a wise man once wrote to his
brother: ' Yaa akhi, before going to the place where you won't die even if you
wish for it fear death and be good in deeds'
When death was mentioned in the company of Hazrat Ibn
Seereen radiyallahu `anhu he would be thunderstruck. Hazrat `Umar ibn `Abd
al-`Azeez radiyallahu `anhu would invite the scholars in the night and they
would discuss death and the day of judgement. When discussing the hereafter he
would cry so much that one would think it was a funeral!
Hazrat Ibraaheem at-Taymee rahimahullah said 'death and
the fact that I shall be presented before my Lord Almighty has removed all love
of pleasures from my heart'
Hazrat Ka`ab radiyallahu `anhu said ' for he who
recognized death, all the agonies and troubles have come to an end'
Hazrat Mutraf rahimahullah said : " Idreamt that a
person was standing in the middle of a Masjid in Basrah and was saying 'death
hath rent the hearts of those who fear their Lord Almighty Allah; by Allah you
will always find them disturbed.'"
Hazrat Ash`ath radiyallahu `anhu reports 'whenever we
visited Hazrat Hasan radiyallahu `anhu we would find him discussing hell,
Judgement Day and death'
Hazrat Umm al-Mu-mineen Sayyidah Safiyyah radiyallahu
`anha reports ' a woman complained of a hardened heart to Hazrat `Aayishah
radiyallahu `anha. She said, 'remember death, your heart will soften.' she did
likewise and her heart did soften; she came to Hazrat `Aayishah and thanked
Whenever Hazrat `Eesaa `alayhis salaam heard of death,
he would bleed.
Whenever Hazrat Daawuud `alayhis salaam heard of death
and Judgement day he would be breathless. and his body would shiver; then the
mention of Mercy of Lord Almighty Allah would solace him a bit.
Said Hazrat Hasan radiyallahu `anhu 'all the wise men I
have met were afraid and terrified by death'.
Hazrat `Umar ibn `Abd al-`Azeez radiyallahu `anhu asked
a scholar to advise him. Said he, 'you shall not escape death inspite of being a
Caliph. All your ancestors upto Hazrat Aadam `alayhis salaam have tasted death,
and now it will be your turn'. The caliph kept sobbing for a long time.
Hazrat Rabee`y ibn Khaythum raziyallahu `anhu had dug a
grave behind his house. He would go and sleep in it for a number of times in a
day and used to say, 'if i am negligient of death for a while, all my labor will
go in vain'.
Hazrat Mutraf ibn `Abdallah ibn ash-Shukhayr
rahimahullah said: 'death has snatched away the pleasures of those indulgent in
this dunyaa. Fear Allah and beseech him of pleasures that are permenant (that is
Hazrat `Umar ibn `Abd al-`Azeez radiyallahu `anhu said
to 'remember death too often; if you are rich, death will make you poor. and if
you are poor, it will make you plentiful; forever'.
Hazrat Sulaymaan ad-Daaraani radimahullah said " I
asked Umm Haarun once, whether she loved death. She replied in the negative. I
asked her why it was so. She said, 'How would I like to meet He, whom I have
disobeyed ? i haven't prepared for death hence i dislike it'"
Hazrat Abuu Muusaa Tameemi rahimahullah says that the
famous poet Farazdaq's wife died. Prominent people of Basra including Hazrat
Hasan al-Basri radiyallahu `anhu were present at the funeral. He asked Farazdaq:
'O aba Faraas, what have you prepared for this day?'. he replied: 'i have been a
muslim for sixty years'. when his wife was buried, Farazdaq said these verses:
- akhaafu waraa-al qabri in lam tu-`aafinee // asaddu
minal qabri iltihaayan wa aDyaqaa
- idhaa jaa-anee yawmal qiyaamati qaayidun // `aneefun wa
sawwaqun yasuuqul Farazdaqaa
- laqad khaaba min awlaadi Aadama man mashaa // ilan
naari maghluul al-qilaadata azraqaa
- I am afraid of the horrors buried in the grave if
Thou dost not protect me my Lord; which is a cramped pit and wherein are
- And on the Judgement day a terrifying, hard-hearted
angel shall drive Farazdaq
- Verily amongst the progeny of Adam `alayhis salaam the
condemned is he who walks towards hell, thirsty wearing the blue collar of hell.
A poet has written well:
- qif bil qubuuri wa qul `alaa saaHaatihaa // man
minkumul maghmuuru fee DHulmaatihaa
- wa manil mukarrama minkumu fee q`arihaa // qad dhaaqa
bardal amni min raw`aatihaa
- ammas sukuuna lidhil `uyuuni fa waaHidun // laa
yastabeenal faDlu fee darajaatihaa
- law jaawabuuka la akhbaruuka bi alsunin // taSiful
Haqaayiqu ba`ada min Haalaatihaa
- ammal muTee`a fa naazilun fee rawDatin // yufDaa ilaa
maa shaa-a min dawHaatihaa
- wal mujrimuT Taaghee bihaa mutaqallibun // fee hufratin
ya-waa ilaa Hay-aatihaa
- wa `aqaaribun tas`a ilayhi faruuHihi // fee shiddatit
ta`adheebi min ladghaatihaa
- stand ye by the graves and ask 'em // who amongst
thee is steeped in darkness
- and who dwells in honor // and who tastes the calmness
and sleeps in peace?
- silence prevails without a difference // and the
difference in status cannot be fathomed
- if they can answer you, verily they shall // tell thee
of the truth; of that hath befallen them
- 'he who was pious dwells in a garden // and strolls in
paradise wherever he wishes
- and the criminal/sinner is shoved in // a gorge that is
full of venomous serpent
- and scorpions that scramble towards him and his soul //
is in indescribable torment
Hazrat Maalik ibn Deenar radiyallahu `anhu passed by a
graveyard. he said:
- ataytul qubuura fa naadaytuhaa // fa aynal
mu-`aDHama wal muHtaqar
- wa aynal mudhillu bi sulTaanihee // wa aynal muzakkee
- I came to the graveyard and said // where are the
great ones and where, the contemptible?
- and where are the powerful // and where are the
virtuous who were conceited of their piety?
A voice replied:
- tafaanuu jamee`an fa maa mukhbirun // wa maatuu
jamee`an wa maatal khabar
- taruuHun wa taghduu banaatath tharaa // fa tamHuu
maHaasina tilkaS Suwar
- fa yaa saayilee `an unaasin maDuu // a maa laka fee maa
- all of them were annihilated and none remained to
reply thee // all of them have died and so have the tales (about them);
- they are buried under tonnes of earth // and the soil
is disfiguring their beautiful faces
- and O ye, who asks of the people of yore // Hast thou
gained any advice and are forewarned? ( i couldn't find a better word for
It was written on a tombstone:
- tunaajeeka aHdaathun wa hunna Sumuut // wa
sukkanuhaa taHtat turaabin khufuut
- a yaa jaami`yad dunyaa lighayri balaaghatin // liman
tajma`ad dunyaa wa antaa tamuut
- they tell a tale though they seem silent // they,
the ones buried under the soil, shrouded;
- "O ye, who is amassing this dunyaa which shall be
someone else's soon // why dost thou amass it whilst thou shalt die!"
Ibn Samaak rahimahullah says i passed thru' a graveyard
it was written on a tombstone:
- yamurruu aqaaribi janbaati qabree // ka anna
aqaaribee lam ya`arifuunee
- dha wul meeraathi yaqtasimuuna maali // wa maa ya-luuna
an jaHaduu duyuunee
- wa qad akhadhuu sihaamahum wa `aashuu // fa yaa lillahi
asra`u maa nasuunee
- my relatives pass upon my grave // as tho' they do
not recognize me
- they divided my wealth amongst themselves // and did
not care to repay my loans
- everyone partook of his share and lived blissful // Oh!
how soon they have forgotten me!
- innal Habeeba minal aHbaabi mukhtalisun // laa
yamna`ul mawta bawwaabun wa laa Harasuu
- fa kayfa tafraHu bid dunyaa wa ladhdhatihaa // yaa man
ya`uddu `alayhil lafDHu wan nafasuu
- aSbaHta yaa ghaafilan fin naqSi munghamisan // wa anta
dahruka fil ladhdhaati munghamisuu
- laa yarHamul mawtu dhaa jahli li ghurratihee // wa laa
alladhee kaana minhul `ilmu yuqtabisuu
- kam akhrasal mawta fee qabrin wuqifta bihee // `anil
jawaabi lisaanan maa bihee kharasuu
- qad kaana qaSruka ma`amuuran lahuu sharafun // fa
qabrukal yawma fil ajdaasi mundarisuu
- friends were parted // and no guard nor escort could
prevent the coming of death
- how can ye be blissful in this dunyaa and its pleasures
// O ye, whose every word and every breath are being counted
- O ye the negligent! thou spends time wastefully // and
so is your life being spent
- know, that death shall not spare the ignorant pitying
his ignorance // nor shall it spare the knowledgeable in lieu of their knowledge
- many are they whom death hath silenced to their graves
// and they cannot answer, they lie dumb
- yea, your palace was talked about sometime ago // but
now, even the signs of your grave have been wiped out
It was written on another:
- waqiftu `alal aHibbati Heena Sifat // qubuuruhum kal
- fa la in bukaytu wafaaDa damee // ra-aytu `aynaayi
- I understood when the graves of my friends // were
raised like the backs of camels
- even tho' if i cried blood // their eyes wouldn't move
(they wouldn't come to life)
It was written on a doctor's grave:
- qad qultu lammaa qaalaa lee qaayilun // qad Saara
luqmaanu ilaa ramsihee
- fa ayna man yuuSifu min Tibbihee // wa hadhqihi fil
maa-i ma`a Habsihee
- hayhaata laa yadf`au `an ghayrihee // man kaana laa
yadf`au `an nafsihee
- When someone asked of me, said i // even Luqmaan the
great doctor had to go to his grave
- Where is he who was famous for his medicine // and he
who was acclaimed for his skill
- Nay, nay; how can he ward off death from others // he
who couldn't ward off that from himself!
It was written on another grave:
- yaa ayyunnaasa kaana lee amalun // quSSira bee `an
- fal yattaqillaha rabbuhu rajulun // amkinahu fee
- maa ana waHdee nuqiltu haythu taraa // kullun ilaa
- O ye, the people! i had many aspirations // but they
were cut short by the arrival of death
- It is better for a man to fear his Lord Almighty // and
spend his life doing good
- I am not the only one who hath come here (to the grave)
// every one shall come here someday.
The translation of chapter 28, mukaashifatul quluub
ends here. wa billahi nasta`yeen.
Dunya: Dunya means the world literally. But here it
means indulgence in the material pleasures of this temporal world. Dunya is also
described figuritively as an enticing female. All that is done to satiate one's
desires is also known as Dunya.
Aakhirat: It is the life in the hereafter.
Zuhd: It means to forsake the pleasures of this world.
This necessarily doesn't mean that one should leave everything and go and sit in
a forest. Rather, it means how one should abstain from desires.
MubaaH: That which is neither prohibited by the
Sharia`ah nor recommended by it.
Nafs: Nafs means one's life. A Nafs has states and that
are three; Nafs Ammarah, Nafs al-Lawwamah and Naf al-MuTma-innah - the lower
ego, the reproaching ego and the Satisfied ego. (Psychologists term this as the
superego;) The Lower ego or the Nafs al-Ammarah is that which is base, which
always craves for material comfort and has vast desires; the Qur-aan says: "Innan
Nafsa La-Ammaratunm Bis-Suui // The Nafs al-Ammarah only commands/entices
towards sin (lust, desires)." This can think of only food, drink, sex and such
mundane things. Such a Nafs doesn't differentiate between good and
bad, civility and bestiality. This has a devil-may-care
When it is a bit civilized it thinks a bit higher and
reproaches itself on error. Such a nafs is Nafs al-Lawwamah. The Qur-aan says:
"Wan Nafsil Lawwamah // I swear by the life (ego) that reproacheth itself". Tho'
it is on leash, it falls into sin or the lower ego mode when not guarded. Vice
is inherent and not entirely washed off.
When the ego improves in a better state, it reaches the
state of Satisfaction or the ITminaan. Here the ego doesn't desire anything; And
this is the ego that is praised in the Qur-aan : "Yaa Ayyatuhan Nafsul
MuTma-innah // O ye, the life (ego) that hath reached contentment". We should
strive to make our Nafses, as a Nafs al-MuTma-innah.
Makhluuq is creation. Everything other than Allah `Azza
Wa Jall is creation, Makhluuq.