Take from This Temporal Life for Your Next Life
I lost my great Uncle this past week.
Alhamdulillah, he was well on his way to the BIG 1.0.0 years of age.
He left behind his wife, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. One of his great grandchildren is preparing for her wedding, which is set to happen soon. What a legacy!
Although our dear great Uncle had been bed bound and doing poorly for quite a while, the news of his death brought much sadness. The finality of his departure and the gap his absence will bring could not be dismissed.
Much gratitude is due to Allah (swt) for his long life, filled with so many blessings and being surrounded by his loved ones even at the end. He was blessed to share so much love through his humour and open personality in his lifetime.
I particularly remember a time in his life – some 15 years ago – when he got into the habit of placing his wrist watch around his elbow. No kidding!
That is so typical of his sense of humour and lively disposition. But, all of that is now history.
”Every soul will taste death, and you will only be given your [full] compensation on the Day of Resurrection. So he who is drawn away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise has attained [his desire]. And what is the life of this world except the enjoyment of delusion.” (Ali ‘Imran 3:135)
Our history in this temporal world begins from the cradle and ends in the grave.
And even for those who are blessed with long years, it has to end at some point. Because the next life is the real and eternal abode for all; an everlasting station where we will be given the full recompense for all that we used to do.
I remember as a child, my dad would ask how long I want to live? And feeling wise and knowledgeable because I had read the stories of Prophets like Nuh (as), I would say a hundred plus.
Hundred seemed sooo far away. But I know its not really too far away when my birthday comes around each year or when I hear of another death – such as that of my great Uncle who was close to hundred.
What will you send forth?
Since death is inevitable, the time to take action is NOW.
In this temporal world, we have so many opportunities to invest for our hereafter. The means are many, though the final destination is either – Paradise or Hell (Jannah or Jahannam).
It is good to recall this destination when you get preoccupied with your daily activities, so that you may spend extra dedicated time on prayers, dhikr and recitation of the Qur’an.
This reminder will make you hasten to good deeds everyday rather than procrastinate. And since there will be no room for making choices there; it is only now you can lay your bed and send forth khayr.
So what can you invest more time in?
- Smiling at others
- Giving charity
- Helping others
- Purifying your soul
- Giving dawah
Approach each of your deeds with intentionality and sincerity, for that will be scale with which your actions will be weighed, judged and rewarded.
Take a pause
Life always seems busy but try to take a pause every now and then.
Pause to take in your surroundings, to practice gratitude with your blessings, to be truly present in the moment, to soak in the positive emotions surrounding you.
And more determinedly to soak in the pleasure of being alive.
A popular hadith offers us this reminder. It states that you should ‘Take benefit of 5 things before 5….’
“Take benefit of five before five: Your youth before your old age, your health before your sickness, your wealth before your poverty, your free time before you are preoccupied, and your life before your death” (Narrated by Ibn Abbas and reported by Al Hakim)
Even if you feel you have an empty bank account or poor in some resources today, rememeber to celebrate your life, health, youth, wealth and free time.
If you have all 5, be truly thankful. If you are endowed with only one – the gift of life – do not take it for granted.
Enjoy it by living it according to the guidance of Qur’an and Sunnah. Give gratitude and submit to the One true Lord, who created you and sustains you. Take from what he has given you and prepare for the next life with commitment.
5 things for your next life
Here are 5 things you can take from this life to the next:
– Pure soul;
– Good record of deeds;
– On going charity;
– Supplications from a virtuous child;
– Beneficial knowledge.
The importance of nourishing your soul alongside your physical body is great. Your mind, body and soul matter today but only your soul will matter and benefit you tomorrow – in the hereafter.
But all hope should not be lost because Allah (swt) reassured us that He created this life and death as a test.
”[He] who created death and life to test you [as to] which of you is best in deed – and He is the Exalted in Might, the Forgiving…” (Al-Mulk 67:2)
There is hope for one who prepares well for this test by doing good. So take from this world for your next life. Because it will surely come, if not soon then surely later.
Review your priorities so you can nourish your soul in the best way, in preparation with meeting its Creator.
Be conscious of Allah (swt) at all times because you will be returned to Him.
And be mindful of the quality of your actions because they can make your next life pleasurable.
Craft a worthy legacy today.
Abu Hurairah narrated that Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “When a man dies, his good deeds come to an end except three: ongoing charity, beneficial knowledge, and righteous offspring who will pray for him.” (Muslim)
What do want to be remembered for?
And what are you preparing to take with you to the next life?
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