Remembering Death

BismillahirRahmanirRahim

You must make a practice of sincere devotion. You must perform your
ritual prayer for His sake, not for the sake of His creatures. You
must keep the fast for His sake, not for the sake of His creatures.

You must live your lives for His sake, not for the sake of His
creatures.

You must live your lives in this world for the sake of
Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He), not for the sake of His
creatures, and not for the sake of your own egos. In all acts of
worshipful obedience, you must be dedicated to Allah, not to His
creatures.

You will not be capable of performing righteous deeds, nor of sincere
dedication in the performance thereof, unless you practice the
remembrance of death. You will also be incapable of remembering death,
unless you make it your practice to contemplate the dilapidated burial
sites, and to reflect on their inhabitants and what they used to be
involved in. You must sit beside the crumbling tombs, saying to
yourselves: “Once upon a time, those who lie buried here would be
eating and drinking, having sexual intercourse, engaging in sport and
play, and getting together for social purposes. What is their
condition now? What benefit can they derive from all of that? What do
they have at their disposal, apart from their righteous deeds?”

– (Hazret Abdul Kadir Geylani ks) [Jala Al-Khawatir, tr. M. Holland]

Be with Saliheen until Death comes for you

BismillahirRahmanirRahim

Salman al-Farisi (ra) said that some people who recently accepted Islam once came to the mosque of Holy Prophet (sws) along with others of their class, and they sought a private audience with Allah’s Messenger (sws). Their leader said, “O Messenger of Allah, why wouldn’t you sit regularly on a raised chair exclusively for you in the forefront of the mosque, and meanwhile, ask these people and their foul-smelling jubba (mantels) to pull away from us into the furthermost corner of the mosque, so that we can hearken attentively to your teachings and learn from you.”

It is then that Allah, the Lord of Majesty and Glory, sent down the revelation, “Rehearse to them what is revealed to you from the Book of your Lord. Nothing can ever change His Words, and you will not find refuge except in Him! Apply yourself with patience to remain in the company of those who call upon their Lord morning and evening, seeking His countenance. Keep them constantly under your watch, and do not let your focus wander beyond their circle. Do not solicit the company of those who seek the pomp and glitter of this lower life, nor obey anyone whose heart We have veiled and caused to forget to remember Us, those who follow their own whims and desires, and whose condition has degenerated to the point that it can bring about their ultimate loss. Say: `The truth comes from your Lord,’ hence, whosoever wants to believe in it, let him believe in it, and whosoever want to reject it, let him reject it. Surely We have prepared for the unjust ones a fire whose smoke and blazes will hem them in like a corridor whose walls and roof stand high. Therein, if they cry out for relief, they will be given water like melted brass that will scald their faces. Alas, what a dreadful drink it is and how uncomfortable is such a couch to recline on! As to those who believe and do righteous deeds, surely We do not leave unrewarded the work of someone who does good. Such ones will be rewarded with gardens of eternity beneath which rivers flow. Therein, they will be adorned with bracelets of gold and they will wear green garments of fine silk and brocade, and therein, they are consoled in safe heavens, – Aah, what a gratifying reward and how comfortable is such a couch for reclining! (Quran 18: 27-31).”

Salman al-Farisi (ra) continued: “Immediately upon receiving this revelation, Allah’s Messenger (sws) stood up and left the circle and he went searching for them. Moments later, he found most of the Ahl-e Suffa sitting at the far back of the mosque, remembering Allah and invoking His praises. When he saw that, Allah’s Messenger (sws) exclaimed blithely, “All praises be to Allah Who did not let me die before He had enjoined upon me to abide with constancy in the company of the chosen ones among my nation. Henceforth, and by Allah, living is living in your company until death comes.”

[narrated Abu Amru bin Hamdan] [Source: Ranks of the Elite, by Imam Abu Na’im]

Do Battle on These Terms

BismillahirRahmanirRahim

“Here I am, summoning you to violent death in the Name of Allah (that is to say, to combat with the ego, the passions, and the natural impulses). Who will dare to respond? Who will step forward to meet the challenge? Who will show that he has the courage for it? Who will be prepared to take the risk? This means death, but then life everlasting. Do not run away! Endure with patience, and then with still more patience. Courage is an hour’s patience. You must be patient with your compliance with your Lord (Almighty and Glorious is He). If there is one among you who can bear the burden of readiness to accept the divine decree, Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) will relieve him of it, and He will inscribe him in the register of the brave. When someone is ready to sacrifice himself, he acquires a sense of certainty. When someone knows what he is looking for, he attaches little importance to what he must spend in order to attain his goal.

Be sure of where you stand, and then make haste. Come here on the footing of sincerity, so that you may knock at the door of the Lord of Truth (Almighty and Glorious is He). You must stay there as long as it takes, until the door is opened for you. You may as well be importunate in asking Him for the things you need, since this will do you more good than your importunity toward your king and potentates and wealthy patrons.

Follow the example set by your predecessors in their quest for their Lord (Almighty and Glorious is He) and their total absorption in Him.”

– (Hazret Abdul Kadir Geylani ks)
[Jala Al-Khawatir, tr. M. Holland]

Having the Correct Notions

BismillahirRahmanirRahim,

“If Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) and His remembrance are present with you, your heart will certainly be filled with His nearness, and the notions suggested by Sheytan, the passions and this world will all avoid your company. There is a kind of notion belonging to this world, and a notion belonging to the hereafter. There is a notion belonging to the angels, a notion belonging to the ego, and a notion belonging to the heart. There is also a notion belonging to the Lord of Truth (Almighty and Glorious is He). It is therefore necessary for you, O truthful one, to get rid of all those other notions and to rely on the notion of the Lord of Truth (Almighty and Glorious is He). If you reject the notion of the ego, the notion of passions, Sheytan’s notion and the notion of this world, the notion of the hereafter will come to you. Then you will receive the angels’ notion, then finally the notion of the Lord of Truth (Almighty and Glorious is He). This is the ultimate stage.”

– (Hazret Abdul Kadir Geylani ks)
[Jala Al-Khawatir, tr. M. Holland]