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Spending Final Moments of Life in Virtuous Deeds

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Spending Final Moments of Life in Virtuous Deeds
 
 
Shaykh ‘Alee ibn Abdur-Rahmaan al-Hudhayfee


 

All praise is due to Allaah, Lord of all the worlds. Peace and blessings be upon the Messenger, his household and his companions.

Fellow Muslims! Fear Allaah as He should be feared. Always hasten to seek His forgiveness and pleasure. He who devotes his attention to his Lord will succeed, but he who follows his own desire and forgets his Hereafter will be the loser.

Dear brethren! Your Lord is not in need of you. No sin of any sinner harms Him, as no righteous deed of an obedient servant of His benefits Him. The Prophet narrated that from his Lord in qudsee hadeeth that He said, “O My servants, you can neither do Me any harm nor can you do Me any good.” (Muslim)

In the Qur’aan Allaah says,

“And let not those grieve you (O Muhammad) who rush with haste to disbelieve; verily, not the least harm will they do to Allaah. It is Allaah’s Will to give them no portion in the Hereafter. For them there is a great torment.”

(Aal ‘Imraan 3:176)

Righteous deeds are the cause of every blessing in this world and in the Hereafter. The greatest and the best of all deeds are those done with the heart like belief in Allaah, reliance upon Him, fearing Him, hoping for His mercy, loving all that He loves and disliking all that He dislikes and pinning hopes on Him alone in bringing about benefits and averting harms. Allaah says,

“And if Allaah touches you with hurt, there is none who can remove it but He, and if He intends any good for you, there is none who can repel His Favor which He causes it to reach whomsoever of His slaves He wills. And He is the Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful.”

(Hood 11:107)

Righteous physical deeds follow deeds of the hearts. The Messenger of Allaah said, “The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended.” (Al-Bukhaaree)

Evil deeds are the causes of afflictions in this world and in the Hereafter. Allaah says,

And whatever of misfortune befalls you, it is because of what your hands have earned. And He pardons much.”

(Ash-Shooraa 42:30)

And He says,

“Evil (sins and disobedience of Allaah) has appeared on land and sea because of what the hands of men have earned (by oppression and evil deeds), that He (Allaah) may make them taste a part of that which they have done, in order that they may return (by repenting to Allaah, and begging His Pardon).”

(Ar-room 30:41)

Though man is commanded to perform acts of worship and prohibited from committing sins at all times, this command and prohibition becomes emphatic in the final moments of his life. The Messenger of Allaah said, “Deeds are judged by their ends.” (Al-Bukhaaree)
So whoever Allaah gives success in doing good deeds in his final moments of life have attained good ending. But whoever Allaah disgraces by letting him spending the final moments of his life in evil deeds, such has already been predestined to be among the unfortunate. We beseech Allaah to save us.

Allaah encourages us to spend concluding parts of our lives in righteous deeds when He says,

“O you who believe! Fear Allaah (by doing all that He has ordered and by abstaining from all that He has forbidden) as He should be feared. (Obey Him, be thankful to Him, and remember Him always), and die not except in a state of Islaam (as Muslims (with complete submission to Allaah)).”
(Aal ‘Imraan 3:102)
 
Pious people who fear Allaah seek to spend the final moments of their lives doing righteous deeds. Allaah gives us an example in the persons of Prophets Ibraaheem and Ya’qoob,

“And this (submission to Allaah, Islaam) was enjoined by Ibraaheem (Abraham) upon his sons and by Ya'qb (Jacob) (saying), "O my sons! Allaah has chosen for you the (true) religion, then die not except in the Faith of Islaam (as Muslims - Islaamic Monotheism).” (Al-Baqarah 2:132)

And He says, describing the supplication of the wise among His servants,

“Our Lord! Forgive us our sins and expiate from us our evil deeds, and make us die (in the state of righteousness) along with Al-Abrr (the believers of Islaamic Monotheism, the pious and righteous).”

(Aal ‘Imraan 3:193)

And He describes the supplication of His repentant servants,

“Our Lord! Pour out on us patience, and cause us to die as Muslims.” (Al-A‘raaf 7:126)

‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Amr narrated that the Messenger of Allaah said, Indeed, the hearts of all the sons of Adam are between the two fingers out of the fingers of the Compassionate Lord as one heart. He turns that to any (direction) He likes. Then Allaah’s Messenger said: O Allah, the Turner of the hearts, turn our hearts to Your obedience.” (Muslim)


If Allaah makes someone succeed in spending final moments of his life in righteous deeds, such a person has attained a happiness after which he will never experience misery; and if someone concludes his life with evil deeds, such a person has lost both his worldly life and his Hereafter.

Pious people are always concerned with righteous deeds throughout their life and they strive also to spend their last moments in righteous deeds. They do righteous deeds, have positive hope and in Allaah and have good opinion of Allaah though they always accuse themselves of negligence.
 
Allaah says,

Verily, those who have believed, and those who have emigrated (for Allaah’s Religion) and have striven hard in the Way of Allaah, all these hope for Allaah’s Mercy. And Allaah is Oft-Forgiving, Most-Merciful.”

(Al-Baqarah 2:218)

He who is sincere with Allaah in his intention, acts according to the Sunnah of the Prophet and follows the guidance of the Prophet’s companions, it is Allaah’s way to let such a person spend concluding moments of his life in good deeds. Allaah says,

“Certainly We shall not make the reward of anyone who does his (righteous) deeds in the most perfect manner to be lost.”
(Al-Kahf 18:30)

And He says,

“And he who works deeds of righteousness, while he is a believer (in Islaamic Monotheism) then he will have no fear of injustice, nor of any curtailment (of his reward).”

(Taa Haa 20:112)

There are factors that lead to good ending of life. Some of these are:

Sincerity and good intention: This is a condition for acceptance of any deed.

Continuous observance of prayers in congregation: The Messenger of Allaah said, “Whoever performs the ‘Asr and Fajr prayers [in congregation] shall enter Paradise.” (Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim)


Faith and righteousness: Allaah says,

“So whosoever believes and does righteous good deeds, upon such shall come no fear, nor shall they grieve.” (Al-An‘aam 6:48)

Being conscious of Allaah in private and in public by implementing His commands and keeping away from His prohibitions: Allaah says,

“That home of the Hereafter (i.e. Paradise), We shall assign to those who rebel not against the truth with pride and oppression in the land nor do mischief by committing crimes. And the good end is for the pious.”


(Al-Qasas 28:83)
 
Keeping away from major sins: Allaah says,

“If you avoid the great sins which you are forbidden to do, We shall expiate from you your (small) sins, and admit you to a Noble Entrance (i.e. Paradise).”

(An-Nisaa 4:31)

Adhering to the guidance of the Prophet and following the path of his Companions: Allaah says,

“Indeed in the Messenger of Allaah (Muhammad (peace be upon him)) you have a good example to follow for him who hopes for (the Meeting with) Allaah and the Last Day, and remembers Allaah much.”

(Al-Ahzaab 33:21)

He also says,

“And the foremost to embrace Islaam of the Muhjirn (those who migrated from Makkah to Al-Madinah) and the Ansr (the citizens of Al-Madinah who helped and gave aid to the Muhjirn) and also those who followed them exactly (in Faith), Allaah is well-pleased with them as they are well-pleased with Him.”

(At-Tawbah 9:100)

Avoiding doing injustice to others and avoiding aggression of all forms: The Messenger of Allaah said, “The [true] Muslim is the one from the harm of whose hand and tongue other Muslims feel secure; and the emigrant is the one who abandons what Allaah has forbidden.” (Al-Bukhaaree)

The Messenger of Allaah also said, “Beware of the invocation of the wronged, for there is no screen between it and Allaah.”

He also said, “There is no sin whose punishment Allaah hastens in this world except aggression and severing of ties of kinship.”

Being kind to others: Allaah says,

Those who spend their wealth (in Allaah’s Cause) by night and day, in secret and in public, they shall have their reward with their Lord. On them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.”

(Al-Baqarah 2:274)

Being a generous and magnanimous Muslim: The Messenger of Allaah said, “Good deeds prevent bad deaths.”

Avoiding innovations: Innovations are disastrous. They corrupt and the religion and weaken Islaam little by little. Allaah says,

“And whoso obey Allaah and the Messenger (Muhammad (peace be upon him)) then they will be in the company of those on
whom Allh has bestowed His Grace, of the Prophets, the Siddiqn (those followers of the Prophets who were first and
foremost to believe in them, like Abu Bakr As-Siddiq (may Allah be pleased with him), the martyrs, and the righteous. And
 how excellent these companions are!”

(An-Nisaa 4:69)

Those on whom Allaah bestowed His grace are free from innovations.

Invoking Allaah for that: Allah says,

“And your Lord said: "Invoke Me, (i.e. believe in My Oneness (Islaamic Monotheism) and ask Me for anything)
I will respond to your (invocation). Verily! Those who scorn My worship (i.e. do not invoke Me, and do not
believe in My Oneness, (Islaamic Monotheism)) they will surely enter Hell in humiliation!”

(Ghaafir 40:60)

In the hadeeth, the Messenger of Allaah said, “What has been destined cannot be avoided, but invocations
are useful concerning what has happened and what has not.”

If a Muslim invokes Allaah for his brother for happy ending, the invocation is accepted. The Messenger
of Allaah said, “If a Muslim supplicates for his brother in his absence, the angels will say: Amen, and same to you.”

So strive to spend the final moments of your life in righteous deeds. Beware of spending the final moments of your
 life in sinful deeds, for that is the greatest calamity and clear loss.

The righteous predecessors extremely feared spending last moments of their lives in bad deeds.

Al-Bukhaaree reported on the authority of Aboo Mulaykah who said, “I met thirty of the
Prophet’s Companions, all of them feared being a hypocrite.”

Sufyaan ath-Thawree was so afraid of his past and final deeds that he would weep and say,
“I am afraid that I might have been destined as miserable in the Mother of the Book.”
He would also say, “I fear that eemaan might be removed from me at the time of death.”

Maalik ibn Deenaar used to perform prayers throughout the night and he would say,
“O my Lord, You know those who will dwell in Paradise and those who will dwell in Hell.
Where is Maalik going to dwell?”

Dear brethren! Those who know stories of dying people and witness some of these scenes
would seriously want to spend their final moments of life in righteous deeds.
Someone was heard – while he was dying – saying, “Welcome to these faces that are not
faces of humans and Jinn.”

Some dying persons were also witnessed saying ‘Laa ilaaha illallaah’. And whoever says
‘Laa ilaaha illallaah’ as his final utterances shall enter Paradise. Some were seen reciting
the Qur’aan and some discussing topics relating to the law of inheritance, some talking in
scholarly matters and someone was heard telling those who were around him,
 “Do not fear. I have been given the glad tiding of Paradise.”

One of the scholars said, “Concluding deeds are results of earlier deeds.” so be among the
successful ones. Follow the path of the righteous and do not follow the path of the doomed,
those who spend the final moments of their lives in evil deeds.

Abdul-Azeez ibn Abee Rawwaad said, “I saw a man dying and was being told to say
‘Laa ilaaha illallaah’ but the final word he uttered was: ‘He does not believe in it’, and he
died upon that utterance. When I asked about the man I was told that he was a drunkard.”
 
Another dying person was asked to remember Allaah but what he could say was, “Pleasing so and so is dearer to him than seeking Allaah’s pleasure.” That was all he could utter because he was addicted to illegal sexual intercourse.

Another person was asked to say ‘Laa ilaaha illallaah’ when he was dying. Instead of saying that he said, “Many are the tired women who are asking for the way to the bathroom.” The reason for this seemingly illogical utterance is: This person had deceived a woman who had asked him for the way to the bathroom by tricking her into his house that looked like that bathroom. He then had an illegal intercourse with her.

Another dying person was asked to say ‘Laa ilaaha illallaah’ but he kept saying, ‘cigar, cigar’, because he was a heavy smoker when he was alive and healthy.

There are many factors that lead to evil ending such as abandoning obligations, committing forbidding things and being absent from congregational prayers. This is because; when sins are excessively committed, they overwhelm the sinner and love of committing sins overcomes the heart. When death comes, the sinner will find it difficult to abandon the sins and Satan will then prevail over the man in his dying moments while he is in the state of confusion and weakness. He will then utter what he is accustomed to and end up spending the final moments of his life horribly.
 
One of the things that lead to horrible ending is innovation in matters of religion. It brings curse upon the innovator for it is more grievous than major sins. The Messenger of Allaah said, “Some people among my nation will come to my pond [on the Day of Resurrection] and the angels will drive them away and they [the angels] would say: ‘You did not know what the matters that they introduced into your religion after you had left them.’ Then, I will say, ‘May those who altered [the religion] after me be kept far and far away [from Allaah’s mercy].” Another cause of horrible ending is doing injustice to others and committing aggression against them concerning their lives, wealth and honour. Likewise is committing injustice against one’s self by committing any of the acts of shirk. Allaah says,

“Verily, the wrong-doers will not be successful."”

(Al-Qasas 28:37)
Stinginess, reluctance to help fellow Muslims and making little supplications are factors that lead to horrible ending. Allaah says,

“The hypocrites, men and women, are from one another; they enjoin (on the people) Al-Munkar (i.e. disbelief and polytheism of all kinds and all that Islaam has forbidden), and forbid (people) from Al-Ma'rf (i.e. Islaamic Monotheism and all that Islaam orders one to do), and they close their hands (from giving (spending in Allaah’s Cause) alms.). They have forgotten Allaah, so He has forgotten them.”

(At-Tawbah 9:67)

Allaah also says,

“They are miserly towards (spending anything in any) good (and only covetous of booty and wealth). Such have not believed. Therefore Allaah makes their deeds fruitless.”

(Al-Ahzaab 33:19)

Inclining towards the life of this world and its beauties and being indifferent to the life of the Hereafter are some of the causes of horrible ending.
 
Allaah says,

“Verily, those who hope not for their meeting with Us, but are pleased and satisfied with the life of the present world, and those who are heedless of Our Ayt (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.), their abode will be the Fire, because of what they used to earn.”

(Yoonus 10:7)

Other things that cause horrible ending are heart diseases like jealousy, malice, rancour, arrogance, looking down upon the Muslims, betrayal, disliking what Allaah loves and loving what Allaah dislikes. Allaah says, informing us of the supplication of one of His righteous servants,

“And disgrace me not on the Day when (all the creatures) will be resurrected; the Day whereon neither wealth nor sons will avail, except him who brings to Allaah a clean heart.”

(Ash-Shu‘araa 26:87-89)

Writing unjust and biased wills also leads to horrible ending because it goes against the teachings of this pure religion. Allaah says,

“And be afraid of the Day when you shall be brought back to Allaah. Then every person shall be paid what he earned, and they shall not be dealt with unjustly.”

(Al-Baqarah 2:281)

Fellow Muslims! Be dutiful to your Lord by implementing His commands and avoiding His prohibitions, you will be saved from His punishment and awarded His Paradise. Allaah says,

“O mankind! Be afraid of your Lord (by keeping your duty to Him and avoiding all evil), and fear a Day when no father can avail nothing for his son, nor a son avail nothing for his father. Verily, the Promise of Allaah is true: let not this worldly life deceive you, nor let the chief deceiver (Satan) deceive you about Allaah.”

(Luqmaan 31:33)
 
The Messenger of Allaah said, “By Allaah in Whose Hand is my soul, a person among you may do deeds of the people of the Fire till there is only a cubit or an arm-breadth distance between him and the Fire, but then that writing (which Allaah has ordered the angel to write) precedes, and he does the deeds of the people of Paradise and enters it; and a man may do the deeds of the people of Paradise till there is only a cubit or two between him and Paradise, and then that writing precedes and he does the deeds of the people of the Fire and enters it.” (Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim)

Dear Muslims! Do righteous deeds, abstain from forbidden acts, strive for things that will enable you spend your final moments meritoriously and beware of things that cause horrible ending. Exert efforts in doing things that will make you earn your Lord’s pleasure, for everybody will find easy such deeds as will lead him to his destined place.

Perform good deeds sincerely and have good opinion of your Lord. One should not perform evil deeds and yet nurse hopes in Allaah. In the hadeeth, the Messenger of Allaah taught us a supplication that if any Muslim makes it, he will die before he is afflicted with calamity. The supplication is: “O Allaah, let us have good ending in all matters and protect us from the disgrace of this world and the punishment of the Hereafter.”