The end of an individual's life in this Dunya
is something of great significance, as it depicts what will become of that individual in the life to come. The good ending signals a life of bliss in the hereafter, whereas the evil ending points to a life of misery in the life to come. The Prophet (SAW) said: “Indeed the actions are but depicted by their endings.”
It was due to this reason that the righteous from among the slaves of Allah would prepare themselves for their final moments, constantly performing righteous actions, humbling themselves to Allah, and persistently asking Allah to keep them firm upon His deen till they meet Him, thereby fulfilling the command of Allah:
“O you who believe, fear Allah as He should be feared and do not die except as Muslims.”
[Aal 'Imran 3:102]
Sufyan ath-Thawri used to weep and say: “I fear that I will be stripped of Iman at the time of death.”
And Malik ibn Dinar used to stand all night grasping his beard saying: “My Lord, surely You already know the dweller of Jannah
from the dweller of the Hell-Fire, so which of the two places is the dwelling of Malik?”
These are examples of the state of fear that the Salaf
would be in, fearing departure from this Dunya
on an evil note, even though they are the last ones to be worrying about punishment in the hereafter due to their strong Iman
, and knowledge. It was as a result of their state of humility before Allah that made them like this, considering themselves minute in front of Allah, knowing that their affairs are completly in the hands of Allah, granting guidance to whom He wills and striping it from whom He wills.
The Prophet (SAW) said: “The hearts of the children of Adam are all between two of the fingers of ar-Rahman, He directs them as He wills.”
Then he said: “O Director of hearts, direct our hearts to Your obedience.”
One may argue that if the ending is all that matters in determining my life in the hereafter, then I can live life how I please fulfilling my lusts and desires outside the bounds of Islam, then towards the end of my life I start performing righteous actions and refrain from sins so that I die on a good note. In response to this, we must realize that the way one spends his life goes hand in hand with the way in which his life ends. Thus, the one who spends his life full of righteousness his ending will be a good one by the permission of Allah. As for the one who spends his life full of evil and disobedience his ending will be based upon that, for Allah says:
“And your Lord does injustice to no one.”
Secondly, this argument is baseless since not a single soul knows when it will leave this world. So how would it be possible to become righteous at the end when the end is not even known?
We ask Allah to make the best of our actions our final ones, the best of our moments our last ones, and the best of our days the Day in which we meet Him.
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
26th of Jumada Al-Akhir 1429