بسم الله والحمد لله والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله وعلى آله وصحبه ومن تبع هداه وبعد
A Mirage that is Soon to Disappear
Allaah سبحانه و تعالى Says about the disbelievers:
رُّبَمَا يَوَدُّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لَوْ كَانُوا مُسْلِمِينَ
ذَرْهُمْ يَأْكُلُوا وَيَتَمَتَّعُوا وَيُلْهِهِمُ الْأَمَلُ ۖ فَسَوْفَ يَعْلَمُونَ
“How much would those who disbelieved wish that they had been Muslims (on the Day of Resurrection). Leave them to eat and enjoy, and let them be preoccupied with (false) hope. They will come to know!” [Al-Hijr: 2-3]
Leave off of you those empty exchanges of praise. Be greedy as regards to your day and night. And indeed turn all your attention to that which benefits you, for indeed life is short. And no one will benefit you, because you will die alone and you will enter your grave alone and you will be questioned alone and you will stand before Allaah alone. Then, for sure you will be asked about your deeds. So invest your time and do not waste even a single moment of it. And do not be like those who when death, the destroyer of pleasures and separator of people, comes to them they say;
“…My Lord! Send me back” [Al-Mu’minoon:99]
Why is it that he wants to return? Is it because he wants to build a house? Or that he wants to furnish a home? Why is it that he wants to come back? Why does he want to return? He wants to do good deeds!
لَعَلِّي أَعْمَلُ صَالِحًا فِيمَا تَرَكْتُ
“So that I may do good in that which I have left behind…” [Al-Mu’minoon:100]
Now you are here! So if you are one day going to say: “Oh my Lord return me, such that I may do good deeds with what I have left behind.” You are here now and you will not be returned. Such opportunity, none, by Allaah will let slip out of their hand except the foolish. The weak of mind let such opportunities slip by; this person that will later say: “Return me to do good, return me to the dunya to engage in the doing of good deeds.”
You are now in it (i.e. dunya) so work righteousness. You are not asking to be returned at the moment and this is very soon, because surely you will not be returned. The return is impossible, so work towards that day and prepare yourself for it. And know that no one will fast on your behalf. No one will pray on your behalf. Do it for your own self. And be greedy as regards to your next life. Because Allaah, Blessed and High is He, has informed us that the disbeliever, on the Day of Judgement, will say in regret and sorrow: “I wish I had prepared for my life (of the Hereafter).”
This dunya is like a mirage that is soon to disappear. A rainbow soon to go away. Like lightening that appears as a flash, it doesn’t stay. If you want to hang on to this life and remain within it, try to grab a fist of water, you will not be able to. The one who wants this dunya to remain for him, is like the one who grabs a fist of water; betrayed only by the cracks between his fingers. We need to leave off those things that we have become accustomed to. And from the things that have become habitual to us. As regards to how we spend our time, we have to be greedy, as regards to the moments and minutes and seconds of our lives. The students of knowledge particularly are the foremost candidates for being careful about how they spend their time.
Imam Ibn al-Jawzee رحمه الله تعالى after narrating the hadeeth of the Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم in which he صلى الله عليه وسلم tells us that Ibraheem عليه السلام told him to deliver his salaams to his Ummah (of Muhammad) and tell them that Jannah is fertile soil (empty land) and to populate it, is to say SubhaanAllaah, Al Hamdullilaah, La illaha illa Allaah, and Allaahu Akbar.
So whenever you say these words, these lasting words, these good words, a palm tree will be planted for you in Jannah. Ibn al Jawzee comments after the hadeeth saying: “SubhaanAllaah! How many palm trees have we frivolously given up?”
Saying these tasbeehaat is an easy matter, however I understand the excuse of those who were not aided by Allaah and I ask Allaah that we should not be from them. Sometimes an individual knows where the khayr (good) is and he has unshakable belief of what his path should be – and he has knowledge of which direction he should take, but is unable to move towards that bounty of Allaah – not even a single movement nor take towards it a single step, because his sins have tied him down and because his transgressions have bound him. So to Allaah we belong and to Him we shall return.
We ask Allaah, Elevated and Mighty is He, to give us vision and insight as regards that which benefits us and to give us the benefit of that which we are able to see.
Abridged from Sh. Muhammad Sa’eed ibn Raslaan’s lecture, Jan 2011
Original transcription and translation by Hisham Abouzeid