On the few occasions that I have seen individuals about to pass into the Akhirah, I have always wondered what their final thoughts were about. Of course, we might never know. As we approach our final destination, we struggle between fear of punishment, or whatever the case might be, and the hope that our Lord would be satisfied with us.

We can understand how the fear operates, because it is something that accompanies us throughout our lives, especially if we are Muslims who are very conscious of our futures. The reason why many of us are deeply concerned about our religious behaviour and that such behaviour should be in obedience of our Lord, is perhaps the major factor for us worrying about what is going to happen to us once we close our eyes permanently. This is very common.

Despite these fears, there is also in one the hope that Allah Almighty will be satisfied with the extent of one’s obedience to Him. And it is this hope that sometimes takes away the fears and the worries. You see, we are just human beings, and weak ones at that and like one is concerned about ones Dunya activities, so one should even be more concerned about how one is going to spend eternity in the Akhirah. It can be an eternity of intense happiness and bliss or one of intense grief.

There is one group of people that Allah Almighty frees of grief and worry, both on this planet and in the Akhirah. Allah Almighty says in the Qur’an:

أَلآ إِنَّ أَوْلِيَاءَ اللهِ لاَ خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَ لاَ هُمْ يَحْزَنُوْنَ

Behold! verily on the friends of Allah there is no fear nor shall they grieve (x: 62).

There is no doubt that these people, if one examines their status, occupy a very special station by their Lord. It is a station at which they are characterised by satisfaction and contentment, and the worries they have and any grief which they might experience are very insignificant in relation to the extent of their satisfaction and contentment. These qualities of heavenly bliss totally overwhelm the qualities of anguish and grief, which so many others are going to experience.

We must understand that they have acquired the status of heavenly bliss as a consequence of the intense obedience of their Lord and His Messenger (ﷺ). Their station and their achievement at this station, were not acquired because of little bits of religious service. An examination of the lives of any one of the Awliya’ indicates the extent of time that they spent on their prayer mats. It is the reward for this sacrifice of time for the sake of their Lord that they are placed at stations at which they are referred to as Friends of Allah Almighty.

It appears from an examination of their lives, that there is very little struggle between fear and hope, because they had already received the good news of their position in the Akhirah; good news which maximizes their hope in their Lord. One does not know whether there are any people with hope of a high standard, who still have within them little bits of worries about the Hereafter, because, you see, one is never absolutely sure about one’s Akhirah despite what one is engaged in. So there is always an element of worry, because in the final analysis, we depend for our destination in the Akhirah, not on what we had achieved on this planet, but on the extent to which our Lord grants us mercy.

The granting of mercy is a central matter in our eventual destination. Although it is true, and I believe completely in this, that the overwhelming attribute of our Lord that will operate on the Day of Judgment, and that already operates throughout His creation, is that of Mercy. But I also understand that Allah Almighty’s response to His obedient servant, the servant who spent most of his time sincerely on his prayer mat with his rosary and with the Qur’an, who worked hard in His Cause and studied His Religion, would be fairness by His Lord. And it is this fairness that will cause Divine Mercy and Divine Shade to engulf the servant. One cannot see how any servant would be rejected by his Lord if that servant’s daily activities on this planet involved sincere submission to his Lord. We must understand it like this. There is no element of unfairness in the Attributes of our Lord. Just as He is the Most Merciful and the Most Generous, He is also the Most Fair; that is why Nabi Muhammad (ﷺ) one day remarked that he has not come across anyone that makes excuses for the behaviour of human beings as Allah Almighty does. It is our Lord’s overwhelming fairness, love of His creation and Divine Dignity that makes Him act in this way for all of us. We must understand and we must appreciate.

Most aspects of our Lord are closed to us, beyond us and not for us. But if we examine His Workings very closely, He makes us understand very minor aspects of His Names and Attributes to help us in our worship of Him. You see, in the final analysis, what He grants to us and what He allows us, has to do with our approach to Him and His approach to us. Every time I think of our Lord, those Names that indicate punishment or similar Attributes, recede from my mind. There should be in all of us a deep desire to be overwhelmed by His Mercy here and in the Hereafter; and it is this desire that should generate in us or that should motivate us to want to strive for Divine Mercy at the end of one’s time. I hope I am not wrong in this. I hope that my understanding of my relationship with my Lord and my approach to Him and my desire for His Mercy, are all as He would wish them to be or are all according to the operation of His Will. With regard to our Lord’s Absolute Greatness, what He grants to His creation is so infinitesimal, if I can even use these words. But even this formulation is not totally correct.

We cannot in fact think in terms of “parts or portions” of any of the Attributes of our Lord. We know that He has these Attributes. We know that some have described these Attributes as infinite, endless, shoreless oceans, but we also know that subtracting from each one of these oceans does not decrease its infinity in any way. Because we know so little of how our Lord operates, and what He grants that, in fact, we have only a semblance of understanding of how these grants work. I am trying to explain this for my own understanding, but even that does not help. Perhaps some time in the future our Lord will grant me the grace to understand how His grants work in relation to their infinity. Perhaps …insha Allah.

[Letters to Seekers on the Spiritual Path Vol 2 – Unpublished 2012]

Shopping cart0
There are no products in the cart!
Continue shopping