The hard floor no longer bothers you, nor do the white sheets over your face feel claustrophobic.
You are unable to move your limbs so as to gesture towards those around you, to move the sheet from your face and allow you to breathe. For just as your breathing was limited, the time which you stayed on the face of this earth was also limited. This time for you has now run out.
All bodily satisfactions and delights of this fleeting abode have now ceased to hold any value. Ah! If only you had come to realise the deceitful nature of this world and the meagre existence you led in its abode.
As you lie there, motionless and wrapped up, people from both far and near have gathered to console your family, see you for the last time and leave you to your fate. It is not really you they have come to bid farewell, rather it is your corpse they bid farewell to. This is because the minute your soul was extracted from your body you no longer suitably come under the definition of a ‘person.’ Yes, you are now a corpse whose neighbouring friends are soon to be the various insects that mother earth contains - whose very womb you are fast-approaching...
No single matter is in your control now; your last moments in this world are quickly passing. The years you spent in this world now seem short; everything of this world has broken its link with you. As for your memories, then they too will stay for a time but soon they will be wiped out as generations pass by. Yes, even the dusty albums in the attic will soon be left unattended collecting more dust - only to be viewed rarely and even they too one day will be worthless, forgotten and lost.
The room is packed with family, friends, neighbours and even strangers, as they gather to take you to the masjid for your funeral prayer. You are unable to receive and greet them - let alone thank them - for coming to your funeral prayer, one of the five duties of a Muslim over another Muslim (Al-Bukhaari (1240) and Muslim (2162) narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: “The rights of one Muslim over another are five: returning the (greeting of) salaam, visiting the sick, attending funerals, accepting invitations and saying ‘Yarhamuk Allaah (may Allaah have mercy on you)’ to one who sneezes.”)
Some people you would never have expected to come have turned up for your funeral prayer, and others you would have expected to attend are... absent. Their excuses, whether valid or not, hold no significance for you at this point. Now the reality has surfaced: each soul will be given its due and no soul will avail another, unless Allah, the Glorious, Wills. How true the Words of Our Lord are! Then in the end unto Him will be your return. Then He will inform you of that which you used to do. (Surat al An’aam :60)
What matters now is whether or not forty believing men have gathered for your funeral prayer, something which now holds weighty importance for you as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “There is no Muslim man who dies and forty men who do not associate anything with Allaah pray the funeral prayer for him, but Allaah will accept their intercession for him.” (Narrated by Muslim)
Some of your dear family members and friends cry nearby; if only they knew that more than their tears, you are in need of their supplications to the Lord of the heavens and the earth to make you pass the test awaiting you in the grave and to make easy your standing on the Day of Judgement in front of Allah, the Almighty, the Just and Swift in taking to account. If only you could arise and inform your friends and loved ones that what has happened to you will surely happen to them. That Allah, He is the Irresistible, Supreme over His slaves, and He sends guardians (angels guarding and writing all of one's good and bad deeds) over you, until when death approaches one of you, Our Messengers (angel of death and his assistants) take his soul, and they never neglect their duty. Then they are returned to Allâh, their Maulâ [true Master (God), the Just Lord (to reward them)]. Surely, His is the judgement and He is the Swiftest in taking account. (Surat al A’naam :61-62)
In the room in which your dead body lies, people are murmuring and whispering with one another. Even outside people are standing in circles with their heads lowered and in deep discussion. If only you could come secretly and listen to what they are saying, for their discussions will play a vital role in determining where your next home is. This is because Anas ibn Maalik (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: A funeral passed by and they spoke well of him, and the Prophet (may the Peace and Blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “It is guaranteed.” Then another passed by and they spoke ill of him, and he said: “It is guaranteed.” ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “What is guaranteed?” He said: “The one of whom you spoke well, Paradise is guaranteed for him, and the one of whom you spoke ill, Hell is guaranteed for him. You are the witnesses of Allaah on earth.” (Agreed upon)
Today, you are in need of the praises of people and their recognition of any good you performed. But do you know what the most worrying thing is? You have no control over who says what. In truth, even if you could listen to their conversation, your time has now finished and you can no longer go back in time and fix your past record. You cannot multiply the good deeds you have done - even if you earnestly desire to do so...
You are at fault; the words of Allah [azza wa jall] were present within the copy of the Qur’aan that lay for months on your bookshelf without being read. If only you had realised that an appointed term awaited you, if only you had realised that the pursuit, aspiration and desire for Paradise will surely be rewarded by the Most High: And no person can ever die except by Allah’s leave and at an appointed term. And whoever desires a reward in (this) world, We shall give him of it; and whoever desires a reward in the Hereafter, We shall give him thereof... (Surat aal Imraan :145)
Today, the truth is evident and manifest: “...and whoever is removed away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise, he indeed is successful. The life of this world is only the enjoyment of deception (a deceiving thing).” (Surat aal Imraan :185)
The believers gather to pray your first and final funeral prayer, whilst your non-Muslim friends leave you to your fate as they go back home and accept that you will no longer be around.
Yes, you will not pray but will be prayed over.
*Download the complete PDF (Preparing The Muslimah For The Grave (PDF)) by following the link.
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