Friday, March 18, 2005

We receive a large number of eMails from all over the world and this one came in from a non-Muslim named S.W. He asks the question:
"Dear Sir:
I am trying to make a list of things to do before I die and would like some suggestions?
Thank You,
S. W."
Could you please comment as to what Islam says about death?"
Answer from Sheik Yusuf Estes,
US Federal Prison Chaplain -
"In the Name of Allah the Compassionate, the Merciful. Peace be upon His Messenger Muhammad and His family and all those who follow true guidance until the Last Day."
To continue:
Allah the Almighty is All Wise and Is the Knower of All Things.
For those who are not familiar with the teachings of Islam, we should perhaps cover a few basics before attempting to answer this most honest and in depth question.
There is a small chapter at the end of the Holy Quran called "Al Asr" and it carries a very heavy meaning which can solve a lot of the problems with the dealings of life and death of the human being. Let us consider the plus or minus translation into the English language.
"(Allah Swears an oath of great consequence) By the passage of time, all of the humankind are in a state of great loss (meaning Hell as a result of their dealings here on earth), except for those who come to the correct belief (Oneness of Allah) and do the deeds of righteousness; and encourage and exhort one another to Truth (all that pertains to Islam) and encourage and exhort one another to steadfast patience."
From the above quoted portion of the Quran and verses related to it, the scholars of Islam have concluded the following:
A) All of us are born with a purpose to be fulfilled before death – Worship of the One True God, Alone and on His terms and conditions.
Note: Quran states "Allah only created you all for the purpose of worshipping Him."
B) All of us will die and be in the grave.
Note: Quran states "Every soul shall taste death."
All of us (believers and non-believers) will be recreated (resurrected) on the Day of Judgment.
Note: Quran states "Surely from Allah you came and to Him is your return."
And "Do they not think that they will be resurrected, on a Great Day? The Day when all mankind will stand before the Lord of the Worlds?"
D) Each person will receive his/her "Book of Record" (listing of all their deeds).
Note: Quran states "Nay! Truly, the Record of the wicked is a Preserved Record."
And "Those who receive their books in their right hands will be successful." and "Those who receive their books behind their backs will be the losers."
E) Each person will be held accountable for what he/she has done.
Note: Quran states "Every person will see any good they have done, even an atom's weight. Every person will see any evil they have done, even an atom's weight."
F) None will take away the sins or punishment for another.
Note: Quran states "Allah does not burden a person beyond his ability. He will be rewarded for that which he has earned, and punished for that which he has earned."
G) None will make intercession with the Almighty except as He Wills.
Note: Quran states "Who is there that could come between Allah and what He has created except that He give them permission?"
H) The final destination of Heaven or Hell will be made known.
Note: Quran states "Verily, You shall see the blazing Fire (Hell)."
I) None will enter the Paradise except by the Mercy of Allah.
Note: Prophet, peace be upon him, said; “None shall enter the Jennah (Paradise) except with the Mercy of Allah.” When asked by his companions: “Even you? O, prophet of Allah?” And He replied: “Even me.”
J) None will enter the Fire except those who have earned it. Note: Quran states "Therefore I have warned you of a blazing Fire (Hell). None shall enter it except the most wretched."

Death is like a journey to a land from which there is no return. So before you die, be sure to pack three things to take along with you on the journey:
1) Proper identification { ID }
2) Enough nourishment to last for Eternity
3) Sufficient Garments or Coverings
1) Proper ID: [Book of Record of Persons Life]
This covers two very important categories.
One is the faith or belief.
The other is the actions and deeds.
They must both be correct to insure an easy transition into the Next Life and a proper place in the Paradise in the Hereafter.
Let us begin with the Covenant of faith with the ONE TRUE GOD & Acts of worship to Him Alone without partners.
This is meaning that the person comes to the understanding that there is only One True God who is the only Creator, Sustainer and God of all that exists. This can be understood as “Oneness” or “Tawhid of Islam.” This might be better understood by breaking it down into the following three categories:
1) “Oneness” of Lordship [Tawhid Al Ulu hiyah]
2) “Oneness” of Worship [Tawhid Al Rubbu biyah]
3) “Oneness” of Characteristics [Tawhid Al Asma was Siffat)
Record of submission to His Will over your own will.
Correct Beliefs
There are three things that we will be asked about right after our death:
Who is your Lord?
What is your religion?
Who is your prophet?
Immediately you will find those who will argue that this is not fair. After all, Muhammad, peace be upon him, was sent by Allah with the message of Islam only 1,400 years ago. So, what about all those who lived before him? And what of those who came afterwards and never heard of Allah, Islam and Muhammad, peace be upon him?
And the answer is quite simple. Islam is the only true religion brought by all of the prophets of Almighty God [Allah]. They all preached a message of total surrender to the One and Only True God of the Universe. If the person lived the life of "Surrender, Submission and Obedience to the Almighty, in Sincerity and Peace"; then they in fact, lived as a true Muslim without ever knowing the Arabic terms.
This means that all of the followers of all of the prophets of Almighty God from Adam to Moses to Jesus and Muhammad, peace be upon them all, will find that they will be supplied the correct answers to these questions when asked.

After the angel of death removes the soul from the body, the angels will carry the soul of the one who has died up to the heavens and when they come to Allah the Most High, He will reject any who are not in possession of the correct answers [mentioned above]. After the questioning the person will be then reunited with his or her own dead body and spend the remainder of time waiting for the Day of Judgment.
2) Nourishment:
Acts of charity and kindness only for the sake of the Almighty. These good deeds will accompany the person throughout his or her life in the grave until the Day of Judgment. On the Day of Judgment they will all see their deeds clearly.
There are two angels who record all the actions and deeds of the individual from birth until death. The angel on the right records all of the good deeds while the angel on the left records all of the bad ones.
As soon as the person intends to do a good thing, a good deed is recorded for him/her.
After doing the good deed, ten full good deeds are recorded for the person (or 70 or 700 or as much as Allah Wills).
If a person encourages others to do a good deed, then a matching reward is recorded for the one calling to the good deed.
Another angel on the left, records all of the bad and evil deeds of the person as follows:
If the person intends to do a bad deed, but stops himself from it because he/she knows it is wrong, then a full good deed is recorded for them.
If the person intends an evil or bad deed but does not have the chance to commit it, then nothing is recorded either way.
If the person commits a bad deed, the angel on the left begins to record a bad deed in his/her “Book of Records”, but the angel on the right stops him and asks him to wait to see if the person might repent. After a while the angel on the left again begins to record the bad deed but again the angel on the right stops him with the same pleading. This continues for a while and if the person refuses to seek the forgiveness of The Almighty, then one full bad deed is recorded to his/her account.
At anytime that a person should commit a bad deed, he/she should immediately seek forgiveness from the Almighty and follow up the bad deed with a good one.
Additionally, when a person performs the obligatory prayers on time in accordance with the teachings of Islam, all the sins from the most recent prayer are forgiven.
When a person attends the Friday prayers according to the teachings of Islam, he/she is forgiven for all of the sins for the previous week since the last Friday service.
When a person makes the obligatory pilgrimage to Mecca during the month of Thurl Hijah on the Islamic calendar, all the sins since birth are forgiven and the record is wiped clean for a fresh start. All previous good deeds remain in place.
In the case of the one who comes to Islam from some other faith group, all of his/her sins are forgiven and wiped clean and all of the previous ones are held in place. The person is as pure and innocent as a new-born baby but with the exception that all of the deeds previously committed whether bad or good are all purified to become mountains of good deeds for the new comer to Islam.
3) Garments:
Forgiveness, Honesty, Respect & Fairness in dealings with others is the best covering.
One important note: Even if a person has no bad deeds at all and he or she has mountains of good deeds it will still not be enough to gain entrance into the Paradise of the Almighty.
Because of the saying of the prophet, peace be upon him, that “None shall enter the Jennah (Paradise) except with the Mercy of Allah.” When asked by his companions: “Even you? O, prophet of Allah?” And He replied: “Even me." [mentioned above]
Oh yes, don't leave behind a mess -- leave behind a Will!
And finally and most important of all regarding the death of anyone, Allah says in the Holy Quran:
"And do not die, except in complete submission to Almighty Allah."

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andrea chiu said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and for inspiring us.
Keep it up and continue on what your doing. Visit my site too.

Nathalie Uy said...

Good vibes. Everyday, all day. God Bless :)