by Safiya Arif
“Surely we belong to Allah, and surely to Him we will return.” [2:156]
Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’oon.
It’s what we say after we find out someone has passed away. A relative, a neighbor, a friend. We’ve all been there, we’ve all known someone or heard of someone who has passed away.
While we mourn and pay our respects, it’s important for us to realize the meaning of our words. “Surely we belong to Allah, and surely to Him we will return.” We… that means you and I.
Today could be your last day. Tomorrow I may not be here.
Sometimes when we hear about death we forget that one day we’re going to face it too. We think of it as something in the distant future, something we don’t have to worry about until we’re old or sick. We fall asleep every night with so much confidence that we’ll wake up the next day. We leave our homes without considering the possibility that we won’t return. We assume that we have years and years to live. The reality is, however, that the time we’re given is not our own. It is up to Allah swt to decide how long we live and when we die. And we forget that every day we are alive, we are only getting closer to death.
In the Qur’an, Allah swt says:
“Every soul will taste death. And We test you with evil and with good as trial; and to Us you will be returned.” [21:35]
How many times have we said or heard something along the lines of “I’ll start praying fajr when I get to college,” or “I’ll spend more time with my parents when I’m older.” We are so caught up in this dunya that we forget to prepare for our akhirah. But take a couple minutes to think about it… What if today was your last day? Are you happy with the path that you’re on? Will people remember you as a good person? Are you content with the deeds you’ve done? Have you repented for your all of your sins? Are you ready to face Your Creator?
Abdullah ibn Umar (R) used to say, “In the evening do not expect [to live until] the morning, and in the morning do not expect [to live until] the evening. Take [advantage of] your health before times of sickness, and [take advantage of] your life before your death.”
We’ve all heard the cliche… “Live each day like it’s your last.” It’s time we start realizing that there’s great truth to it, it’s time we start following it. We don’t know how much longer we have to live, but while we’re here we should be preparing for our deaths. We should be striving to get to Jannah. If you don’t like the person you’re becoming, now is the time to change. Now is the time to do as many good deeds as you possibly can and repent for any sins you have committed. And when I say now, I mean start now and continue for the rest of your life, however long or short Allah swt wills it to be.
“Perfection is not demanded of us. But sincerity, integrity, honesty, and our best effort is what Allah swt and His messenger (S) have asked of us.” – Shaykh Abdul Nasir Jangda
May Allah swt put barakah into our lives so that we may please Him as we strive toward Him. May He keep us on the right path until our deaths, and allow us to leave this world with His name as our final words. May He protect us from the punishment of the grave and grant us homes in the highest of Jannahs. Ameen.
I want to leave you with this video of Boonaa Mohammed reciting his famous piece, “Too Late” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YZC10liKMg). As always, please feel free to share your thoughts by commenting below!