Sunday, June 01, 2008

Sufficient indeed is this reminder...

One day, after Ali(r) followed a funeral procession, and after the corpse was placed in its grave, the family of the deceased began to weep in loud voices. Ali(r) said to them, "What are you crying over?" He then said words to the effect of, "like the deceased you are crying over, death will come upon you all, one by one, until none among you remains". He then stood up and said, "O slaves of Allah, I advise you to fear Allah, Who has set forth parables for you and has decreed precise times for your deaths. He has given you ears so that you can absorb their meanings (the meanings of the parables he set forth), sight to remove anything that prevents vision, and hearts so that you can understand. Indeed, Allah has not created you without purpose Allah has bestowed upon you abundant blessings and has prepared for you rewards (for your actions), so fear Allah O slaves of Allah, and strive hard to achieve (lawful sustenance in this life and Paradise in the Hereafter). Moreover, do good deeds before the destroyer of pleasure (death) comes to you. Indeed, the blessings of this world will not last, and no one is safe from its vicissitudes (The pleasure of this world) are deceptions that impede one [from remembering Allah].

 Take heed from these clear lessons, O slaves of Allah. Let the warnings (about punishment) prevent you from sinning, and benefit from sincere advice and sermons. It is as if the claws of death already have a firm hold upon you. You are guaranteed a house of dirt (the grave). Then you will face terrifying events when the trumpet is blown, when the graves are turned over, when you will be steered towards the gathering place for judgment, and when you will be standing for accountability – all of this is under the full control of the Almighty. Each soul will have someone steering it toward the gathering place for judgment, and each soul has a witness that will give testimony for (or against) it.

"And the earth will shine with the light of its Lord and the Book will be placed and the Prophets and the witnesses will be brought forward, and it will be judged between them with truth, and they will not wronged" – Chapter 39, verse 69.

The lands will shake; the caller will call out; the beasts will be resurrected; secrets will be revealed; hearts will quake; the Hell-fire, whose fire will be blazing, will come into sight. O slaves of Allah, fear Allah, with the fear of a person who is truly afraid, who is truly cautious, who truly sees (impending doom), and who is truly deterred (from sinning), for such a person strives hard, is saved by fleeing (from sins), prepares for the return (for the Resurrection), and seeks help through the acquirement of provision (the performance of good deeds). Sufficient indeed is Allah in His punishment and in His help. Sufficient indeed is the Book (the Quran) as an adversary and as an advocate. Sufficient indeed is Paradise as a reward. In addition, sufficient indeed is the Hell-fire in terms of its destruction (of those who enter it) and its punishment. And I ask Allah to forgive me and you" – Hilyatul-Awliya 1/77-78 and Sifatus-Safwah 1/171-172

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