In a day and age when the world is gripped with dispute; and disagreement is at its peak, there remains one fact that is undisputed, moreover is accepted by each and everyone: Death. No matter what religion, group or sect one may be attached to, the fact of dying is not refuted.
This is why in the Holy Qur'an, we see that Allah Taa'la has described death and says that there remains no doubt in the matter of death.
So after having realising that death is inevitable, one has to turn his attention to the eternal life which awaits him after his death. But sadly, we see today that instead of preparing for the hereafter, we have turned our attention to this futile and worthless world which too will one day come to an end.
Explaining this, Imam Ghazali Rahmatullahi Alayhi says that if the entire world was to be filled with sesame seeds and after every 1000 years, a bird was to come and eat one seed and then go back and return after a thousand years, even then this world would one day come to an end but this is not the case of the hereafter which will remain for eternity.
So now dear reader, tell me which life is worth our efforts. Allah Himself says in the Qur'an in Surah Aa'la:
“You give preference to the worldly life whereas the life of the hereafter is better and eternal.”
After establishing death is inevitable and life which succeeds is better and everlasting then we have to live a life which pleases our Lord till the day we die. All praise is for the Almighty who gave us the perfect example to gaining his everlasting bounties by sending to us the best of mankind: Muhammad . If we mould our lives around the life of the Holy Prophet , then we can look forward to death and meeting our Lord. Otherwise, death will find us when we will be trying to avoid it but Allah Taa'la states:
“Wherever you may be, death will reach you even though you may be in fortresses built up high and strong.” (Surah Nisaa)
It is through the infinite blessings of Allah that he has made us believers and not from amongst the disbelievers; and Inshallah through the blessing of this faith, we will one day enter paradise in contrast to the disbelievers who will never enter paradise.
One may raise an objection here as to why the foundation of the eternal life lies on a mere 60-70 years. The answer is quite simple because death merely underlines the intention of a believer or a disbeliever to remain as he or she would if they were to remain forever.
After having been given the blessing of being from amongst the believers, we have to spend our lives in obeying Allah which means doing all those good deeds which are a means of His pleasure and avoid all those deeds which incur His wrath and displeasure.
As we look into the lives of our pious predecessors, we see many of them were lying in wait for death.
Hazrat Bilal radhiyallahu anhu, the Muazzin of the Holy Prophet was on his death bed and his wife was crying. He says to his wife, “Why are you crying? Tomorrow I am going to meet the Holy Prophet and his companions.”
A pious saint, Sheikh Fatah bin Shakhrof never lifted his gaze towards the sky for a period of thirty years. Once he lifted his gaze and prayed that I long to meet you and it has intensified so please call me towards you. After this prayer, he did not remain on this earth for more than a week.
Why shouldn't every Muslim be lying in wait for death as this is the bridge to meeting his or her creator? – This yearning however doesn't come without effort as with everything in life. We have to lead our lives in such a way that when death comes, we receive it with open arms.
Death is inevitable, there is no hiding and the life that succeeds it is eternal, so why not give up the temporary pleasures of this world for the eternal bounties of the hereafter?
The method of this is that just as the Prophet of Allah did; increase the remembrance of death as this will make one turn their intentions towards the hereafter.
We pray to Allah Taa'la that he gives us the ability to remember death abundantly and do those actions which will make death easy upon us and make the day that we meet Him the happiest day ever. Ameen