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Reflecting on Death
Channel: Hamza Tzortzis
File Size: 15.56MB
Death is the reality from which none can escape. It draws nearer every day; every hour; every minute. According to the CIA’s The World Fact-book 2007, almost two people die each second. Death is not a disaster, but simply a passing from this world onto the next. It should make us reflect and ponder about the purpose of life, and what will become of us after death.
Episode Transcript ©
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smilla rahmanir rahim al hamdu Lillah wa Salatu was Salam ala rasulillah. Brothers and sisters, I want to give you some of my reflections on death in sha Allah. And the first reflection is that death. I know this is obvious, but it's quite critical to understand that death happens to everyone. Allah subhanho wa Taala says in the Quran called lunasin a cotton moat. Every soul is going to taste death. Take musalla his salon For example, one of the best prophets Musa alayhis salaam
who split the sea with his stuff. By the way, the mercy of Allah subhanho wa Taala, who dealt with the tyrant, Sharon musala his salam, even he died.
Take for example, Yusuf alayhi salam, one of the most amazing prophets and an amazing story for those who reflect and seek the truth. He had three major calamities, he was put in the well in the darkness of a very deep well, he had the fitna the calamity of the seduction of the wife of Al Aziz, he was in the prison for many years, put the unjustly
but yet, he survived. And he overcame these things with forgiveness, with patience, and because he was of the as the Quran says, of the mercy noon, he was a noble character, yet Allah took his life away as well.
Take for example, Ibrahim alayhi salam,
the friend of Allah subhanho wa Taala, the father of the believers, Abraham and he Salaam he also
had to die.
And look at the Ibrahim alayhis salaam when he was told to slow to his son. And the amazing thing about Ibrahim alayhis salam, he didn't
look at the command. He looked at the one who commanded it. And that's how you must be a character with pure tawheed with a pure oneness in your heart. But nowadays, what do we do? It doesn't sound right. God really said that. Is that God now I must be weak. Yeah, isn't I have the Quran because what we do, we think we must be the commander and the commands must be in line with our limited perspective. We look at the lessons from Ibrahim alayhis salaam, he was willing to slaughter his son because he knew the command came from Allah kudos, the holy the perfect. Man, the Merciful, the Compassionate and will do the loving al Hakim the wise. So he knew the command was a derivative of
the winner of Allah subhana wa Tada. So therefore this command can never be unjust. So he did it. And Allah replaced his son with something else, which shows if you really follow the commands of Allah, Allah will make it easy for you. Just like it made it easy for Ibrahim alayhis salaam, but yet a lot of the life away of Ibrahim alayhis salam. So the point here is, everyone goes even the best people that we read about the best blessing prophets who took footsteps on this planet on this earth, they had to go.
Even the tyrants, qaddafi, and the other tyrant has not yet dead, but he will die to what's his name, the dog, I mean, acid, he is a dog. Actually, that's an insult to dogs. He's a criminal. Because these dogs fulfill their own natures by human beings. Sometimes we don't fulfill our nature's duty, sometimes we go away from the fitrah from the natural path. So this evil tyrant he's gonna go to. And that's why the concept of death actually diminishes the ego. Who are you? What are you, you think you're gonna be here forever, you think you're gonna get away with all your math and your facade and your fitness? You're gonna become one buffet as well. You're going to taste death,
you're going to meet your Lord. And that's one of the beautiful signs of death itself, that no matter what happens in your life, things are going to be solved. Yes. The atrocities done by qaddafi the atrocities done by Asad, the choice is done by any tyrant, they will face justice, because they're going to die to. They're no different from me and you. They're rearrangement of molecules. They're no different from me. They don't have three legs and three arms. They're still gonna die. Take Alexander the Great One of the greatest leaders in the Greco Empire.
Take his death as a sign. Some academic said that he died from malaria.
From a mosquito bites,
so don't be late to anything small. Try and sleeping with a mosquito in the room. And you know, a small thing can really mess you up. And it's true. And it just shows Allah subhanho wa Taala is showing to us. This guy thinks he was so great when it was Afghanistan is a Mayan Afghani, right, Alexander the Great.
He was supposed to be the great, but look, he died from a mosquito bite. He's gonna taste death too. So the point he is, everybody's gonna taste death, as Allah says in the Quran in chapter four, verse 78, who were so ever you may be deaf will overtake you, even if you're the fortresses built, high, strung and high. So it's a guarantee brothers and sisters is more of a guarantee than the love of your mother death. As they say, in Britain, there's two things you can guarantee. And there's death and taxes, right?
So brothers and sisters, think about when you're like 15 years old, or 20 years old, or eight years old, like I'm 33 years old now. It was just yesterday, I was 18. Yesterday, I was eight. Yesterday, I was like four, right? Honestly, oh, sometimes act like four. That's a different story. Right. But the point is, it was just yesterday, some of you are mothers. Now. Some of you are on T G's, right? Some of you are grandfathers, some of you are
aspiring fathers. Right. The point is just yesterday, who were we and what were we Time flies so fast. And this is why when you reflect on death, it actually allows you take a conscious picture within your psyche and your consciousness to realize supine on this life is so transit is so ephemeral, it's so like, almost empty, it's so like, almost worthless. If you just reflect on your past, you could summarize your entire 30 years in just one memory, right? So this itself makes us realize that actually, we have to be conscious of every present moment. Because sometimes we'll always living in the past brothers and sisters, and this is the spiritual reflection on death.
Because thinking that we're going to be eternal means that we always don't take consciously within ourselves, our
limited life, that we're gonna be here for a long time. And the moment you realize that you're not gonna be here is the moment of the ego diminishes. And it is the moment that you don't take the past seriously anymore, because we're the biggest problems in the Muslim community is we don't adopt the Quranic verse when Allah subhanho wa Taala is sort of bucket of verse 30. He talks to the angels, and he says he's going to send down a vise turn on the earth. Adam alayhis salam? And what do the angels say, hold on a second. You show this guy is going to spill blood chaos fitna facade, because the angels as the Mufasa room they talk about there was something before them, some lmsc was Jane or
whatever the case may be, that was spreading mischeif and bloodshed on Earth. So the angels are looking at the past to judge the present. What does the law say? I know that which you don't know. I know that which you don't know, Allah has the totality of wisdom and knowledge. We have in particular, we have a pixel, Allah has the picture, we have the pixel. So by realizing our death, our limited nature transit nature, we will be able to understand that you know what, life's too short to live in the past all the time. And let's take lesson from the angels that we don't keep referring to the past to inform our prison, because our life would be one big circle, right? Isn't
that what happens? Sometimes life is one big circle, because we always refer to the past to understand our president to inform our future. So if you always referring to the limited past your negative experiences, life is going to be one big roller coaster, in a circle.
And this is why brothers and sisters, some of our relationships with our family members with other people are white, very negative, because we think the past, is it. It's definite, we think the past is wise, like revelation, we think is the only way things can happen. Because she was always like this. And she always said that to me. And she always used to say things like this, therefore, she's going to do it now. So how are you going to forgive how you gonna move forward? You know, we have three filing cabinets, the filing cabinet of the past, the one of the president one of the future and what we do, we take the filing stuff, papers in the filing cabinet of the past, and we put it
into the future. So whenever living the present, we're always living the future through the past. It's one big joke. Honestly, let me give you a story.
Who likes stories Put your hand up. Good boy.
Let me tell you this story. I used to work for an American military company, Northrop Grumman.
And in the office. We used to have a kitchenette. And I used to love tea. Cha Yeah. I love tea. I love coffee. So I'll go and I used to drink Rose puchong. It's roasted tea leaves over rose petals. It's romantic, right?
So I will be going to the kitchenette area, and I'll see my friends john and Paul. And there'll be whispering so I'm looking up and they're whispering. Sure. I'm like, I have self confidence. I'm an alpha male. No problem, right. So I go back, I finished my tea. The next time I go to the kitchen, have one more tea or coffee. I see them there again.
And then they stopped when I approach I'm thinking that's cool school. Maybe they have a relationship. You know, it's the 21st century. God knows what's happening these days.
The next day, I do the same thing. I woke up and I see them looking at me whispering I come closer. They stop whispering now happens he every day for about 10 days. And now I'm creating a drama. I'm like, Okay, okay, that john, he's a scumbag. I remember when I said I got a pay rise, his face change color. Something was stuck in his throat. He's jealous. And I know, Paul, he used to stab in the back when we used to be in high school together because I used to
do silly things and used to be jealous, right? And, and my father when I was seven, he said those things to me too, that people are always going to be jealous of me. And you always have to be like this. And then I remember my uncle used to be the same thing with my father. He's part of my family history. And he got really crazy. And these guys are jealous. And I'm Greek, I'm supposed to be European, but look DC and they're racist. And I was getting mad. I was getting all crazy is creating a big, huge drama. Then after I meet my line manager on the Greek we break pizza wedding. So I hit my hand on the table. I said you guys are racist, come back and go crazy. I swear I cry. I get
So I get fired. Right. So what happens after a few days?
After a few days, I receive an email from john paul right.
And john and Paul say
we just wanted to let you know that we're planning a birthday party.
Now there's no true story.
what a roller coaster of emotions, right. But it is a true story for all of our lives. And I want to give you something very personal after the funny side. My father right. Now this is very personal. And he makes you understand how death gives you spiritual solutions reflecting upon death. When I first converted, I converted to Islam, by the way, right? When I converted to Islam around 11 years ago,
I had a huge spiritual, social psychological dilemma. My dad was my hero. Okay, my dad never stepped on anybody's back to be successful. In actual fact, he was very unsuccessful because he didn't cheat. My dad would stay awake for other people to sleep. My father would be in debt for other people to have money. We used to eat potatoes for two weeks, just for his workers to feed their families. Right? This is my father and he's ever Muslim. Right? My dad would basically humiliate himself to honor others. Okay, this is my father. Okay. So he was my hero. The minute I adopt Islam as a tradition, and as a worldview, I'm thinking, Well, my dad can't be my hero anymore, because
he's supposed to be Muslim if he's so good, right? So I had these issues. So internally, what happened? I became arrogant. I became egotistical, I became nasty. So I spent six years making my dad feel small. I used to pick on all of his small points, because psychologically I had this kind of dilemma that you do these mistakes is all your fault. You do this, you do that you do this, I was like, in his face, right? arguing to the point where my dad almost couldn't take it anymore who run to the garden and say, Is this how is sometimes used to treat your father?
So one day I went on the psychological course, and they really make you feel like an absolute piece of poo, right?
And reflecting on my limited nature and death itself, that's what death does.
The penny dropped. And I realized for six years, I was making my dad for like an incompetent human being.
So in this psychological few days, you have to pick up the phone and actually express yourself and me. Ask my family, anyone close to me. I'm like a stranger to them. I don't express myself right.
I have this difficulty. I don't know why it's
it's an alpha male Greek thing God knows. Yeah.
So I picked up the phone I called my dad who was in Greece taking care of his father because he had to nurse him because his father was very unwell. And I picked up the phone, I said, Baba,
I just want to let you know something, I want to let you know that I know you love me.
And not only do I know that you love me, but you're still my hero. And I want to let you know that although we differ in some beliefs, that you'll always be my hero. Because the things that you do and have done is because you love me. And I want to let you know that I've used your mistakes, just to support my limited perspective and to enhance my own arrogance and ego.
And I want to let you know that your great grandfather, and that you're a great father.
And then he was crying.
He was crying for 15 minutes, and my dad, he doesn't cry.
And then he called my mother in the evening and said, he feels like a complete father. And now he's ready to die.
And after since that day, our relationship is fantastic to the point where he believes that the Prophet Mohammed Salalah, who it is a prophet, yeah, he doesn't believe in the shtick of Orthodox Greek Christianity, so it's very close. Please make dua for him.
The lesson here is is that death and reflecting upon it allows you to reflect on your own ego to think suppose I am going to die. I'm going to become a nobody. I'm going to face Allah. So I'm going to fix my relationships. And I guarantee you brothers and sisters, you all have problems in your family. I've been around. Okay, I'm married to a DC family. I know what's going on in your DC families, right?
Yeah, it's not all hunky dory rosy bollywood, right? It's no, it's, you know, Gabby, Khushi, kabhi, gham. Right. Sometimes sadness, sometimes happiness. So the point is, you I want you to go home, I want you to promise yourself that you're going to fix some relationships. You're going to say to Auntie Gee, you know what, RTG although you're harsh to me, you never give me gifts when you give them to somebody else. I know. You think you say I look ugly all the time. But you know what, I love you. I love you. I don't need you to love me. And I'm going to continue to love you. Even if you don't love me. If I've done anything wrong, I'm sorry. And you're better than me. I'm telling you,
you do that to your auntie. You change the power dynamics of the relationship. She'll break down. She'll tell you why it was going on, she'll cry, your relationship will change. You need to take power. You know, so many sisters used to come up to me and close and say my father doesn't love me. My mother doesn't love me. There's no love at home. There's no drama at home. You know what I say to her? When was the last time you told your parents you'd love them? Never. So it's your fault. We all have the power to change the dynamics of relations at home. And we just have to reflect on death who make us realize to take make that change. So who cares if they slandered you a big backbeat, you?
Who cares? Who are you anyway, with just a small piece of rearrangement of carbon in this immense universe? Who are you? Come on when massimi was supposed to be humble, was supposed to be humble? Who cares if they slandered me? Who cares? Who cares? You don't do mistakes before you don't want Allah to forgive you. You don't want not to forgive others supposed to be pivotal Rama, overlook and forgive. Reflecting on death facilitates the process of diminishing the ego. So you could experience that awareness. Do it brothers and sisters so worth your father's never said he's loved you? You think he doesn't love you? He's stupid. You think you'd be around for that long? You think you'd be
working so hard? It may be an expression problem. Well, I appreciate that. Just talk to him say Bubba. I know you love me. Give him a kiss. He might hate you for a while but trust me, it'll work. You know, there's one sister right? once they got married to this brother. And her father wasn't happy with the marriage, but he later happened. And her father had huge issues with it. And he was a typical kind of mountain Dacey from Kashmir. big beard, you know, loves his sons, ignores his daughters they invisible almost right, unfortunate cultural experience. And what happened was, is I gave advice assistant said write a father a letter. Tell him was good about him. Tell him Why you
respect him on him and love him all these things. So she was out pouring continuously. I'm telling you, he read the letter. He was crying for three days. Three days, he took it back into the house that is Rock City. He blessed the marriage everything was fine. She took powers to control reflect on death, diminish your ego take power, change relationships. So homework.
Every single one of you write a letter to someone that you hate.
And you tell them why you should love them and tell them why they're good and great. I tell them your folks, I'm telling you. I'm telling you. Bus Chica. Listen, listen. I'm telling you this is a serious this is serious moment. You need to take
The power of your relationships brothers and sisters, and this is all based on Quran When the angels thought that Allah was going to send someone down someone that's going to create calamity and chaos and bloodshed. So please this death will live reflect on you properly gives you so many spiritual insights. The next reflection sisters, please. Oh, sorry, yes of course.
He is obviously not a sister.
Okay, good. So what was the other reflection?
Right. The other reflection is brothers and sisters, is
take the Hadith of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam, when he told us to reflect on death, narrated by Alfredo rhodiola, which can be found in telemovie. He said, Remember frequently the thing that cuts off pleasures, and this thing is death itself. So as we just discussed, reflecting on death is a spiritual mechanism to diminish the ego, which facilitates a conscious awareness of who you really are, how you should should interact with others interact with yourself and interact with your whole life brothers and sisters, the other reflection on death brothers and sisters, that makes you realize the purpose in life. Allah subhanho wa Taala says in the Quran in chapter 67,
Allah is He Who created death and life to test you as to which view is best indeed. And also panel what other says, Did you think that we created you in play without any purpose, and that you will not be brought back to us? So from this perspective, it makes us realize our real purpose, it gives a priority in our own life. Because when you reflect on death, you know that it's not just the end, it's actually a transition the beginning to an eternity. And brothers and sisters, what is eternity? Sometimes we think of it like a the symbol for the infinite or we think it's a very long time. No, let me tell you what Eternity is. Imagine I'm on a desert island. And all around me is an infinite
ocean. I have a bucket and a spoon. I dip my spoon into the ocean, and I empty into the bucket, and then I wait 1000 years, then I get the spoon again, dip into the ocean, empty into the bucket, then I'll wait another 1000 years, I take my spoon, dip into the ocean, empty into the bucket. And then I wait another 1000 years. That depends. Do you see the point
this makes brings it home. It makes you realize that this life itself is so ephemeral and empty. It should it should create a launching pad in your soul, where your spirit projects itself into the reflection of what is really a priority in life. And that priority is to fulfill your ultimate purpose. So don't be like the one who was told by the king to collect some weeds. But when the king checked off the year, you were devouring honey. Don't be like the pen whose purpose to write it has no ink and therefore you just become discarded and thrown away. Don't be like the most expensive car in the world. The Bugatti Veyron, 2 million pounds, but yet it has no engine. Don't be like people
playing soccer. And there are no goals.
Don't be like the roar, the soul and knowing and worshipping his Lord. Don't make a mockery of your soul brothers and sisters to the point where our law says that those who forget Allah, Allah will make them forget their own selves. So this itself is like a window of opportunity, when we reflect upon it to make us realize what is our ultimate purpose? Brothers and Sisters our ultimate purpose not to make money. Well, like you guys are the richest people in the planet. We are the most ungrateful people in the planet. I'm telling you in the top 5% in the world, you know, before I turned Muslim, I was so embarrassed to ask Allah for anything will lie. I was embarrassed. I could
not make a dua and say Allah give me this. I know that's wrong because Allah is bountiful. He has infinite bounty He loves you to ask, but that was my state of being because that's how I was brought up. Because I realized the minute you have this food, shelter and clothing, you're a king, you know to be defined as kingly at the time of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam. It was that you had honey on the table and access to running water. That was defined as kingly so Pinilla know you have running water? You have what hot water. You have some Jacuzzis, you have not only honey, but you have different types of food being the gosht Yeah, it's my favorite by the way.
You have different types of lamb curries meats upon like if you don't have meat in a day at home one evening. There's probably divorce
home. I'm telling you this it has made over no meat no marriage. Yeah.
But I'm saying is for you to reflect very carefully brothers and sisters because we need to realize that we need to be in a constant state of gratitude to Allah subhanho wa Taala of thankfulness, because we are so blessed. In the moment you even have a car, the moment you have more than one hijab. The moment you have more than one t shirt is the moment you're in the top 5% of the world. And I'm telling you brothers and sisters, will lay reflect on the life of our beloved Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam in a hadith in Shama. tirmidhi The Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said all what a wonderful curry vinegar is supposed to dip his bread in vinegar.
In vinegar. Sometimes it was no smoke coming out of the house of Ayesha rajala Anna for six months.
The prophetic diet would be water and dates.
Brothers and sisters, I'm telling you, you guys are kingly, you have everything. We have everything. So don't think life is about building on everything that you have. Life is about realizing how grateful you should be. how close you must come to Allah Subhana water Allah, Allah has created a hole in a metaphorical way in everybody's heart, everyone's heart. And we think brothers and sisters, that we should fill that hole with maybe a wife, or a car, or a new job,
or a new hobby, or an ideology, or friends, or money or materialism. But every time we try and fill that hole in our heart with those things, there's always going to be another hole. Well, I take it from my life, I converted some 11 years ago, the only Sakina I get is when I'm in such debt.
I'm telling you, anytime I'm in a constant state of anxiety.
Honestly, brothers and sisters wake up, because the only thing that could fill that hole in your heart is the love of Allah subhanho wa Taala because your whole was created for that purpose. That is the raison d'etre is his reason for existence. fill that hole with a lion will lay once you have a lie here, you'd have the dunya in your hand. But once you have the dune in your heart, you have nothing in your hands.
Be content. The Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said, true richness is not having wealth is the richness of the soul.
So don't make a mockery of yourself reflect on your purpose in life and also, death allows you to do.
Also, brothers and sisters take a beautiful story from a pious generation.
And this especially for the sisters,
It is reported that Ayesha rajala, who
spoke to her co wife
and this is the story
on Habiba, quote for me on her deathbed and she said, they used to occur between us the kinds of things that happen between co wives, so May Allah forgive me and knew those things. I said, May Allah forgive you all those things and release you from all liability for that? She replied, You have made me happy, may Allah make you happy, and she sent for him, Salama, has said the same things to her brothers and sisters on her deathbed. On our deathbeds, we realize
the ego must be diminished in order for us to connect with others in a way that Allah wants to connect with others. And take this as a metaphor. We don't have to be in our despots because when we imaginatively reflect upon death, we can imagine our deathbed every day. And once we do that, we'd be in a conscious state of experience, where our egos would be slowly diminishing. And we realized that the things that were so upset about and the things that we were so sad about and the things that were angry with others about actually are meaningless in the grand scheme of things.
So brothers and sisters, I'm going to finally end with some Hadees and some statements of the mentality of our pious generation.
Raja Lohan used to say, in the evening, do not anticipate the morning and in the morning, do not anticipate the evening. Take from your health, for your illness and from your life for your death. It is reported by
hassanal bursary Allah have mercy on him. He said, How strange is it that people whose departure from this world to the next has been announced, because we know our depth is already set, and whose previous has already departed, but yet they still play around
Two final things.
Actually one final thing.
I want to basically read to you brothers and sisters,
the last sermon of the Calif Omar Ibn Abdul Aziz.
And it's quite a moving statement. And I'm going to end with this because we've spoken about how reflecting on death makes you realize your purpose in life. Reflecting on death diminishes the ego and helps you solve spiritual and social problems in your life understands, makes you understand the relationship you must have with others and with the last panel, water Allah, and also your priority and golden life which is to worship Allah. So let's end with the words of Ahmed Abdul Aziz. He praised Allah and said,
You will not create it in vain, nor will you be left without purpose. Verily, you have an appointed time which allowed the Most High will come down to judge you, wretched and ruined will be he who leaves the mercy of Allah, as and is denied a garden, whose width is that of the heavens and the earth? No, you know, that no one will be safe tomorrow.
Save except one who's wary of today in physics. And so the transitionary for what will remain, and the literal for the plenty and fair in exchange for security in the hereafter. See, you note that you are in the loins of the dead, to be taken by those who remain after you until all matters return to the best of inheritors. Every day in the funerals you accompany those returned to Allah, the mighty and sublime, having spent their time in to hide them in a crevice in the ground, in the belly of a bear and unfurnished hole, having parted from the loved ones, stroking the debt and facing the accounts. Now, they are dependent on the deeds free of what they left behind, in need of the deeds
they put before them. So be conscious of Allah, Allah before the time he appointed is upon you, and death descends upon you. This is all I have to say. He then lifted the edge of his government over his face, and he wept profusely and made everyone around him weak. Brothers and sisters and friends. Sometimes we say what is the love loving and merciful Lord, send some people to hell. And I think brothers and sisters, that's an ill founded question. I think the question should be, why do we choose hell over loving and merciful Lord, and hopefully death will make you appreciate that may Allah subhana wa Taala bless you and be of those who reflect on death and allow it to be a means to
consciously create an awareness within you to diminish that ego that knifes which always wants to be right and never wants to be wrong and always wants to impose itself on others. Once we get that right inshallah relations will change. Our relationship with ourselves would change and our relation with Allah subhanho wa Taala will change and will prioritize our life effectively. And don't forget your homework. write that letter. Salam aleikum wa Taala who briquette