Saturday, November 5, 2016

What Will I Leave Behind? - A Tribute to Linda

" O man! Verily, you are returning towards your Lord with your deeds and actions (good or bad), a sure returning, and you will meet (the results of your deeds which you did)." 
(Surah Inshiqaq: 6)

Bismillah,

For awhile now I was suffering from emaan lows and heedlessness. Even before I moved back to Canada I felt like my problems were heavily weighing me down. My problems felt like burdens upon burdens that just gave me excuses to drown myself with things that wouldn't increase my emaan and would just cause more heedlessness . I struggled a lot with my emaan during the past year and a half from the time I was living in merikuhhh up until now. I can't explain what it was exactly that made me lazy. I blame it mainly on myself and my own deficiencies because in the end even though shaytan plays a role in our demise, it is ourselves who allow him to get to us in the first place, and even use him as our main excuse. I do not deny that my passion for the deen is anywhere near where it used to be or where I wish it to be. I guess I just got caught in the life of this dunya and worrying so much on my dunya problems that I kind of just put aside my akhirah goals.

The reason why I am bringing this up is because a week ago I had received tragic news regarding two families. Inna Lillahi wa Inna Ileyhi Rajioon. A friend of mine who's beloved mother returned to Allah after battling stomach cancer ( May Allah accept her as a shaheedah ameen!) and another sister (who I was not close with, and who to me was just an online personality) passed away 3 months after delivering her second child from cancer ( May Allah forgive her and grant her Jannah ameen!). She was only in her early 30's who had a very loving husband who she would talk about often. Both these incidents happened a day after each other Subhana'Allah and it really made me reflect upon my own life. Alhamdulillah I was able to see my friend's mother the day before she returned to Allah and it really opened my eyes. I had only met Linda, my friend's mother once and even though it was only one time, I fell in love with her immediately. I remember the first time I met her she sat up and had her eyes glued on the television where the Qur'an was playing and the K'aaba showed. She talked about how nice it would be to go there. Despite her illness, she had a loving energy that really touched my heart. She was sweet, she was kind and I truly felt like she was a loving mother to her children (May Allah have mercy on her and grant her the highest level of Jannah ameen.) It only took me one meeting and I already felt such an affinity for her. She was a revert as well Alhamdulillah! The second time I saw Linda was indeed the last (May Allah reunite me with her in Jannah ameen!) La Hawla wala quwatta illah billah. There is no Might or Power except Allah. Linda's health had deteriorated significantly and when I saw her on that hospital bed, I could not help but break down and cry. A plethora of emotions overwhelmed me as I reflected upon the first day I met her to the final moments of her life. Knowing that she was going to return to Allah any given moment that day really struck me. The memories still keep playing in my head and the feelings are as raw as ever. I was touched to see the amount of support my friend had received (and continues to receive) and how there was a sister sitting beside Linda reading Qur'an during her final moments in the hospital. So many sisters wanted to visit Linda and support my friend because they knew what a special woman she was. Though the room was filled with quiet sobbing there was an unexplained feeling of comfort and hope. Comfort because we knew that she would return to her Lord and hope that He will be pleased with her. The fact that she had stomach cancer was a mercy from Allah as it is considered one of the ways of a Shaheed.

{Abu Hurairah that Allah's Messenger (sallal lahu alayhi wa sallam) asked: "Who do you consider to be a martyr?" They said: "O Allah's Prophet, he who is killed fighting for the cause of Allah." The Prophet (sallal lahu alayhi wa sallam) said: "(If this is the definition of a martyr) then very few in my Ummah will be martyrs!” They asked: "Who else are they, O Allah's Messenger?" He said: "He who is killed fighting for Allah's cause is a martyr, he who dies in the cause of Allah is a martyr, he who dies in an epidemic is a martyr, he who dies from a stomach disease is a martyr, and the one who dies of drowning is (also) a martyr."  (Muslim, no: 891}

 My friend told me she felt very at peace and calm when her mom returned to Allah. Close friends and family surrounded the bed and made duaa for her and at that moment they knew that Linda was in a better place. Alhamdulillah.  May Allah be pleased with her and make her grave spacious and full of noor! Please make duaa for her as you are reading this!

It made me reflect upon just how weak the human being truly is ! We walk around the earth with our head up high and our noses in the air, but once we are struck with calamities and illnesses we lower our heads with shame and humility. Sometimes we call upon Allah only when we need something or when we are suffering or dying yet all the other times when we are perfectly fine we are heedless and forget that our lives and hearts are in the Hands of Allah !


"And when We cause mankind to taste of mercy, they rejoice therein, but when some evil afflicts them because of (evil deed and sins) that their (own) hands have sent forth, lo! They are in despair!" (Surah Rum: 36)

"And when We show favour to man, he withdraws and turns away, but when evil touches him, then he has recourse to long supplications" 
(surah Fussilat: 51)

And when harm touches man, he invokes Us, lying down on his side, or sitting or standing. But when We have removed his harm from him, he passes on his way as if he had never invoked Us for a harm that touched him! Thus it seems fair to the Musrifun that which they used to do (Surah Yunus: 12)


...O mankind! Your rebellion (disobedience to Allah) is only against your ownselves, - a brief enjoyment of this worldly life, then (in the end) unto Us is your return, and We shall inform you that which you used to do. (Yunus: 23)

All these verses I shared really open my eyes and make we think about myself. Not only am I heedless sometimes but I often forget that during these hardships and tests, they are meant to expiate some of my many sins and also to give me a chance to earn as much rewards as I can so that I can bring them to Allah on the day I meet Him! Sometimes I get so caught up in all my life's problems that I forget to say "Alhamdulillah" for all the other blessings that I overlook. Duaa is and always will be a form of worship and even when things are good and we are smooth sailing through life (which that in itself is a big fitnah and you should be worried), we should always make duaa that Allah protects our health and gives us well being as well as always asking for guidance and for good in the akhirah! I often think about life since Linda's return to Allah and I think how she has left her children to continue fulfilling her legacy which she left behind. She was able to raise children who will insha'Allah be sadiqah jariyyah for her and insha'Allah her grave will be filled with ease and noor because of her children continuing to do good deeds in her name for the sake of Allah. That is something really amazing when I think about it...and then it also makes me ponder...What will happen when I am in that grave....what legacy will I leave behind? As soon as my soul exits my body, that is it. I won't be able to do any more good deeds, I can't repent any more and I won't be able to go back and erase all the wrongs I did. What will I bring to Allah? 

Honestly, since that day, every time I just picture in my head the image of a grave and how two people I once knew is in there right now and how the first stages of their Hereafter has begun, I can't help but shiver . Sometimes it takes something as real as death to bring us back to reality and to put us in our place. We often think that we have life all figured out and that we continue to be heedless and commit haram even while knowing that we are disobeying Allah. Yes, the human being is weak and we are made to sin but how many times have we actually prayed to Allah and asked Him for forgiveness? Too many frightening stories out there about instant deaths, dying upon kufr, and dying upon great evil acts which we hear and see every day. May Allah protect me and you and all the Muslims ameen. We always think "oh, it wont be me" or " oh i plan to do Hajj or make ummrah soon , I know Allah will not take my life before then!" Oh sons and daughters of Adam! How naive we are to think that we will not be next! One minute I was sitting with Linda and having a conversation with her and the next, she returned to Allah (May Allah have mercy on her soul ameen!) One minute that sister just gave birth to her daughter and the next her family and friends are mourning over her loss ! She had great plans for the future and she believed that she was going to fulfil them all! But how death does not wait! How death does not wait! I know that many of you who read this will think "ya but still, I won't be next, not me" and then there will be some of you who will take heed and this post will send chills up your entire body. I pray that you will be the latter for you really will never know when it is your turn.

May this post be a reminder to me and to you and may we always take heed and build our bank of good deeds so we have at least some to bring with us in the grave. It really is time to start taking our life seriously and push and strive for the ultimate goal. Meeting Allah while He is pleased with us. 


It was narrated that Haani’ the freed slave of ‘Uthmaan ibn ‘Affaan said: when ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affaan stood by a grave he would weep until his beard became wet. It was said to him, “You remember Paradise and Hell and you do not weep, but you weep because of this?” He said, “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘The grave is the first of the stages of the Hereafter; whoever is saved from it, whatever comes afterwards will be easier  for him, but if he is not saved from it, what comes afterwards will be worse for him.’” And the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “I have never seen any scene but the grave is more frightening than it.” 
(Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2308; Ibn Maajah, 4567; classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 1684)


It was narrated that al-Bara’ (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: We went out with the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) for the funeral of a man from among the Ansaar. We came to the grave and when (the deceased) was placed in the lahd, the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) sat down and we sat around him, as if there were birds on our heads (i.e., quiet and still). In his hand he had a stick with which he was scratching the ground. Then he raised his head and said, “Seek refuge with Allaah from the torment of the grave”, two or three times. Then he said, “When the believing slave is about to depart this world and enter the Hereafter, there come down to him from heaven angels with white faces like the sun, and they sit around him as far as the eye can see. They bring with them shrouds from Paradise and perfumes from Paradise. Then the Angel of Death comes and sits by his head, and he says, ‘O good soul, come forth to forgiveness from Allaah and His pleasure.’ Then it comes out easily like a drop of water from the the mouth of a waterskin. When he seizes it, they do not leave it in his hand for an instant before they take it and put it in that shroud with that perfume, and there comes from it a fragrance like the finest musk on the face of the earth. Then they ascend and they do not pass by any group of angels but they say, ‘Who is this good soul?’ and they say, ‘It is So and so the son of So and so, calling him by the best names by which he was known in this world, until they reach the lowest heaven. They ask for it to be opened to them and it is opened, and (the soul) is welcomed and accompanied to the next heaven by those who are closest to Allaah, until they reach the seventh heaven. Then Allaah says: ‘Record the book of My slave in ‘Illiyoon in the seventh heaven, and return him to the earth, for from it I created them, to it I will return them and from it I will bring them forth once again.’ So his soul is returned to his body and there come to him two angels who make him sit up and they say to him, ‘Who is your Lord?’ He says, ‘Allaah.’ They say, ‘What is your religion?’ He says, ‘My religion is Islam.’ They say, ‘Who is this man who was sent among you?’ He says, ‘He is the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).’ They say, ‘What did you do?’ He says, ‘I read the Book of Allaah and I believed in it.’ Then a voice calls out from heaven, ‘My slave has spoken the truth, so prepare for him a bed from Paradise and clothe him from Paradise, and open for him a gate to Paradise.’ Then there comes to him some of its fragrance, and his grave is made wide, as far as he can see. Then there comes to him a man with a handsome face and handsome clothes, and a good fragrance, who says, ‘Receive the glad tidings that will bring you joy this day.’ He says, ‘Who are you? Your face is a face which brings glad tidings.’ He says, ‘I am your righteous deeds.’ He says, ‘O Lord, hasten the Hour so that I may return to my family and my wealth.’ But when the disbelieving slave is about to depart this world and enter the Hereafter, there come down to him from heaven angels with black faces, bringing sackcloth, and they sit around him as far as the eye can see. Then the Angel of Death comes and sits by his head, and he says, ‘O evil soul, come forth to the wrath of Allaah and His anger.’ Then his soul disperses inside his body, then comes out cutting the veins and nerves, like a skewer passing through wet wool. When he seizes it, they do not leave it in his hand for an instant before they take it and put it in that sackcloth, and there comes from it a stench like the foulest stench of a dead body on the face of the earth. Then they ascend and they do not pass by any group of angels but they say, ‘Who is this evil soul?’ and they say, ‘It is So and so the son of So and so, calling him by the worst names by which he was known in this world, until they reach the lowest heaven. They ask for it to be opened to them and it is not opened.” Then the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) recited (interpretation of the meaning): 
“for them the gates of heaven will not be opened, and they will not enter Paradise until the camel goes through the eye of the needle”  [al-A’raaf 7:40] 
He said: “Then Allaah says, ‘Record the book of My slave in Sijjeen in the lowest earth, and return him to the earth, for from it I created them, to it I will return them and from it I will bring them forth once again.’ So his soul is cast down.”  Then the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) recited the verse (interpretation of the meaning): 
“and whoever assigns partners to Allaah, it is as if he had fallen from the sky, and the birds had snatched him, or the wind had thrown him to a far off place” [al-Hajj 22:31] 
He said: “Then his soul is returned to his body, and there come to him two angels who make him sit up and they say to him, ‘Who is your Lord?’ He says, ‘Oh, oh, I don’t know.’ They say, ‘What is your religion?’ He says, ‘Oh, oh, I don’t know.’ Then a voice calls out from heaven, ‘Prepare for him a bed from Hell and clothe him from Hell, and open for him a gate to Hell.’ Then there comes to him some of its heat and hot winds, and his grave is constricted and compresses him until his ribs interlock. Then there comes to him a man with an ugly face and ugly clothes, and a foul stench, who says, ‘Receive the bad news, this is the day that you were promised.’ He says, ‘Who are you? Your face is a face which forebodes evil.’ He says, ‘I am your evil deeds.’ He says, ‘O Lord, do not let the Hour come, do not let the Hour come.’” 
Narrated by Abu Dawood, 4753; Ahmad, 18063 – this version was narrated by him. Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 1676. 

It was narrated from ‘Aa’ishah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to say, ‘Allaahumma inni a’oodhu bika min al-kasali wa’l-haram wa’l-maghram wa’l-ma’tham. Allaahumma inni a’oodhu bika min ‘adhaab al-naar wa fitnat il-naar, wa fitnat il-qabri, wa ‘adhaab il-qabri, wa sharri fitnat il-ghina wa sharri fitnat il-faqair wa min sharri fitnat il-maseeh il-Dajjaal. Allaahumma ighsil khataayaaya bi ma’ al-thalji wa’l-baradi wa naqqi qalbi min al-khataaya kama yunaqqa al-thawb al-abyad min al-danas, wa baa’id bayni wa bayna khataayaaya kama baa’adta bayna al-mashriqi wa’l-maghrib (O Allah! I seek refuge with You from laziness and old age, and from debts and sins; from the torment of the Fire and from the tribulation of the Fire, and from the tribulation of the grave and the torment of the grave, and from the evil of the tribulation of wealth, and from the evil of the tribulation of poverty, and from the evil of the tribulation of the Dajjaal (Antichrist). O Allah! Wash away my sins with the water of snow and hail, and cleanse my heart from sin as a white garment is cleansed from filth, and put a great distance between me and my sins, as great as the distance You have made between the East and the West).” 
(Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 6014). 

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