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Central Khutbah: “Death is the Best Advisor”

The Almighty Allah has described death as a calamity and a misfortune, saying: “If you are traveling on the earth and the calamity of death strikes you…” (Al-Ma’idah, 106). However, the believer knows well that everything Allah has decreed and prescribed has a purpose, meaning, and wisdom. By reflecting on death through the Qur’an, the Sunnah, and our reality, we will see that death, in addition to the pain and sorrow, also has positive aspects, some of which we will mention here.

Death is the best warning

When we think about our own death or when we witness the death of another person, the awareness of this truth awakens in us and prompts us to prepare for it. No one thinks that they will be spared from meeting death. This is Allah’s decree that befalls all people without exception. The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “Death is a sufficient warning, and firm faith is a sufficient wealth” (Bayhaqi, Shu’ab al-Iman). When sins overwhelm you and you find no way to resist them, remember death and the meeting with Allah. This is the best sermon and the best warning. The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “Remember often the destroyer of pleasures (that is, death).” (Reported by Tirmidhi and considered a hasan-ghareeb hadith).

The transition from the house of effort and trial to the house of reward and pleasure

The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “This world is a prison for the believer and a paradise for the unbeliever” (Muslim). The believer is required in this world to strive, to fulfill his obligations, to restrain his desires, and to avoid the forbidden. These constraints are like prison walls within which the believer resides, whereas for the unbeliever, these walls do not exist. Thus, by leaving this world, the believer is met with a beautiful reception and a beautiful reward. Once, a funeral procession passed by the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, and he said: “He has found relief, or they have found relief from him.” “What does it mean: ‘He has found relief or they have found relief from him?'”, the present people asked, and the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, replied: “The servant of Allah who is a believer finds relief from the worldly difficulties and troubles by taking refuge in Allah’s mercy. And the servant of Allah who is a wrongdoer – people, lands, trees, and animals find relief from him.” (Bukhari and Muslim).

The fruits, whose seeds are the deeds in this world, are harvested in the Hereafter. The Almighty Allah says: “Whoever desires the reward of the Hereafter, We will increase for him in his reward. And whoever desires the reward of this world, We will give him thereof, but he will have no share in the Hereafter.” (Ash-Shura, 20). The believer eagerly awaits the moment when he will reap the fruits of his efforts.

The meeting with the best company

After death, the believer joins the most honorable company. The Almighty Allah says: “Those who obey Allah and the Messenger will be in the company of those on whom Allah has bestowed His grace: the prophets, the truthful, the martyrs, and the righteous. And excellent are those as companions!” (An-Nisa, 69-70). Death separates the deceased from people who are either good, and they will soon join him, or bad, and he will distance himself from them.

The end of pain and physical weakness

When a person ages, falls ill, loses his mind, and becomes a burden to others, death is a mercy for him. Man comes into this world helpless and weak, then he grows, strengthens, and returns again to a state of weakness and helplessness: “Allah is He Who created you in a state of weakness, then after weakness gave you strength, then after strength gave you weakness and gray hair. He creates what He wills, and He is the All-Knowing, the All-Powerful” (Ar-Rum, 54). After the spirit and body lose their strength, and illness and helplessness take over, death is a great mercy and blessing. The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, prayed to Allah to spare him from extreme old age (Muslim).

Death is a journey to the world of absolute justice

Unlike this world, where injustice prevails, the world to come is marked by absolute justice. The Almighty Allah says: “We shall set up just scales on the Day of Resurrection, and no soul will be treated unjustly in the least. And if there is (even) the weight of a mustard seed, We will bring it forth. And sufficient are We as accountants” (Al-Anbiya, 47).

Are you ready to undertake this journey without prayer?
This is the crucial question you need to ask yourself after listening to this sermon.
So, what is your answer?
I have no doubt that the decision to pray regularly is at the top of your priorities.

We ask the Lord to grant us a beautiful meeting with Him, the Most High. Ameen.

(Central khutbah by the religious leader Hafiz Hilmija Redžić on April 26, 2024, at the “Centre Islamique et Culturel Berat” in Esch-sur-Alzette)

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