Meditating Upon Death
When we lie down upon our bed at night, let us imagine it to be the last moments of our life. Hence at this juncture, we sincerely and truthfully repent and seek forgiveness from Allah SWT for all our sins. Thereafter, it is also healthy for us to imagine and contemplate that our soul is actually leaving our body. We are then given the ghusl (bath). Next our body is wrapped in kafan - the white cotton shroud used to clothe the deceased. Thereafter, we imagine our Solatul Janazah is performed. The procession will then carry us to our grave mark, and we are then lowered into our grave. In the grave we are being faced with the famous questions from the angels - Munkar and Nakir - the two angels who question the deceased in the grave. Thus, we ponder over the aspects that will follow after death until we fall asleep. This is a good way to meditate.
When we wake up the next morning, we may regard it is only as an extension in our life that Allah Ta'ala has granted us. This extension is also to enable ourselves to promptly prepare for death. We should therefore not indulge or perpetrate any such action which make it difficult for us to answer the questions in the grave and the Day of Judgement. Also, during the course of the day, in everything that we do, we should regard that day as the last day of our life, and this state of mind should be present with us until it is finally nightfall. At night, we again repeat the same process.
In hadith, Rasulullah SAW has exhorted the Ummah to remember death excessively. The above prescription is to induce that required awareness of death.
The Treatment of Anger Agitated by Humiliation & Destroying Pride
This form of spiritual ailment frequently and usually attacks the intellectuals, the professionals and the generally respected 'superior' people of society. It is a serious and intense disease, of which its peak is the entrance into Jahannam. Allah forbid. Such people affected by this malady become enraged and upset when people humiliate and belittle them in public.
The remedy to treat this sickness is extremely easy provided that we install the courage to treat the disease we are suffering.
The way is - whenever anybody belittles or humiliates us, we should immediately ponder thus:
"I have committed various other sins. My character is also poor. I carry much physical and spiritual impurities within my body all the time too. Hence if somebody belittles or humiliates me, so what? The perpetrator has not even come close to the reality of my evils, which is worse."
"Furthermore, whatever happens in this world is first sanctioned from above by Allah Ta'ala. Only then does it become apparent here. My being humiliated was also sanctioned from above, hence it has occurred. Why then should I become angry? Besides this, whatever occurrence upsets me takes place as a compensation for my sins. I should therefore be grateful to the one humiliating me that as a result of this my sins are being forgiven."
Thus by following the above simple prescription InshaAllah, we will not feel distressed when humiliated or looked down at. Let us remember that the humbler we are, the closer we are to Allah SWT.
Every person should at all times look at his/her own shortcomings and make an effort towards self-reformation. We should instead become blind to the shortcomings of others. The person who looks towards his/her own shortcomings and is blind towards the faults of others has been praised in the Ahadith. It is in this regard that pride is a great obstacle. It prevents one from recognising one's own faults and being oblivious of one's own shortcomings. Pride always engages one in looking for the fault of other.
Lastly, we should always be extremely careful in controlling our tongue. We should also protect ourselves from falling into quarrels or disputes with anyone - as it feeds pride and ego, and destroys humility and humbleness.
Tuesday, 22 May 2007
Meditating Upon Death