The world we are in treats people based on their intellect. The education system grades is centered on intelligence. Certain professions are attributed to be for only the ‘intelligent’.
Being called ‘smart’ ‘sensible’ ‘intelligent’ is something we all crave for, and aspire to have these titles added to our names. But this is a temporary title, and it will fade away with time whether we like it or not 😦
The Prophet ﷺ informs us of the most intelligent person. We can aspire and strive to be like this person regardless of our worldly status, our social status, irrespective of people’s opinion of us. I am sure you are wondering what is the attribute of this person and what does the person do that makes him/her intelligent?
This question was put forward by a man to the Prophet ﷺ: ‘Who is the most intelligent of people?’ He ﷺ replied: ‘The one who remembers death most often and the one who is well prepared to meet it; these are the wise; honorable in this life and dignified in the Hereafter’. Another narration reads slightly ‘Those who remember death the most frequently and those who prepare for death in the best manner, before they pass away. These are from the intelligent ones.’” (Ibn Majah, Tabarni).
“Wherever you may be, death will overtake you, even if you should be within towers of lofty construction” Qur’an 4:78
Death is a topic we don’t like to talk about. It’s a discussion that is usually brushed aside. We don’t like to think about it because we are busy pursuing the fleeting life, amassing wealth and status. Look around you and see if there is someone that has been living in eternity? Sadly, some even pray against it. This is one thing that is guaranteed to happen. Allah ﷻ says: “Every soul will taste death, and you will only be given your [full] compensation on the Day of Resurrection… And what is the life of this world except the enjoyment of delusion.” Qur’an 3:185 Therefore, Death is an inevitable reality. No one can escape from it because this life is temporary. We will all die ONEDAY.
“Remembering death is not an invitation for depression and grief, nor is it gloomy, bleak advice favoring pessimism and passiveness. It is just a reminder of an absolute fact, a fact that we all tend to forget while immersed in this transient, falsely embellished world and cheated by its charming coquetries. We are all one breath away from death. We usually do not remember that and we do not like to be reminded, either. Nevertheless, it is an inescapable fact”Amira Ayad, Healing Body and Soul.
Another aspect I would like to touch upon is that death is not an end in itself. It is the beginning of another journey. We all want to go to Jannah, but without dying we can’t get to Jannah. No one can change the time of their death. The best thing to do in a situation you cannot change is to accept and prepare yourself by making the best of the situation. In another Hadith the Prophet ﷺ informs us to pray as if it’s your last prayer: “When you stand for your prayer, pray as if you are saying farewell. (Ibn Majah) By praying as if it is your last prayer you will gradually learn not to be scared of death knowing that you can die anytime.
You may be wondering why do I have to remember death to be an intelligent person?
- Remembering death forces us to reflect on the purpose of our creation and this involves preparing for it by abstaining from prohibitions and increasing good deeds. Accepting that life is temporary and thread it cautiously.
- Remembering death also make a person reflect on what they have prepared for tomorrow (hereafter). If death comes are we ready to die? The thought of leaving this world makes one fearful but truth be told we are in this world for a short period and by remembering death we are conscious of our actions. So, an intelligent and wise person will have it at the back of their mind they can leave this world anytime. Strive to please His Rabb to be among the successful ones.
- Remembering death is a journey towards detachment. The Prophet ﷺ said: “Remember (death) often the destroyer of pleasures” (Tirmidh̄i 2307) This results in the urge to prepare for the eternal life (hereafter) by performing good deeds. By doing this we gradually learn to be unattached to the false worldly desires
I am sure you are wondering how to implement this Hadith?
- Attend funerals. This is an environment that opens your eye to be reminded that life is short and temporary. Besides, there are rewards for attending the (janazah) funerals of a Muslim. Abu Huraira s رضي الله عنه reported: The Messenger of Allah, ﷺ said “Whoever follows the funeral of Muslim, in faith and seeking reward, and he remains with it until the prayer is offered and the burial ceremony is finished, then he will return with two great rewards. Each reward is like the size of mount Uhud. Whoever offers the funeral prayer and returns before the burial, then he will return with one great reward.” [Bukhari and Muslim]
- Visit graveyards. Similar to the above but different in the sense that, you do not need to visit the graveyard during a funeral. My first visit to the graveyard was unusual. I have always heard or saw it in movies/documentary. But actually going there was deep. Seeing how people were buried in 6 meters, so small. Everyone had the same grave space signifying equality. Taking no worldly possession with them. Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un ‘Verily we belong to Allah, and verily to Him do we return.
(These are just 2 I can think of, feel free to add to it in the comment section)
POINT OF REFLECTION.
Don’t wait for a certain time to act upon this Hadith.
“Remembering death is not about denying the joy of living, on the contrary, it is about enjoying the freedom of flowing with life, knowing that it is a temporary residence”Amira Ayad, Healing Body and Soul
We are constantly reminded when we hear of people dying. Death is inevitable. It can come to anyone, at any time. Irrespective of whether you are young or old, sick or healthy, rich or poor. No one can escape it. It is a reality that will catch up with us sooner or later. And the best thing we can do is to PREPARE. ‘But never will Allah delay a soul when its time has come. And Allah is Acquainted with what you do.’ Qur’an 63:11 – when the time of death comes, no one will be granted respite. (use as a quote) May Almighty Allah make it easy to implement this Hadith, make us die upon the faith and allow us to be reunited in Jannah where death is inexistence.
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Till next time Fi Ammanillah! 🙂
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