Channel: Saad Tasleem
A thoughtful reminder about death.
We all need reminders. And this is why Allah subhana wa tada told the prophets of Allah I send them in the Quran that kill for in the crottin for remote meaning that remind them, remind them because the reminders benefit the believers. And it's interesting because Allah Subhana Allah didn't say that the reminders benefit people. Allah subhanaw taala said the reminders benefit the believers, meaning those who are me noon, those who have submitted to Allah subhanho wa Taala even those people they need reminders from Allah azza wa jal and inshallah Tada This conference as a whole, but especially this topic in this session today, I'm hoping with the help of Alice pellet tiada that
this topic inshallah Tada, this session will serve as a reminder, like I said, not only for all of you, but for me as well. I want to start off inshallah out with a story, something that happened to me and this is a very, for me, it's a really odd story, something that happened to me and actually talked about this in my class as well, the film chillin, but I've thought important, I thought it'd be important to share with with all of you because there is a big lesson in this story. And this basically is this one time when I was traveling from DC, where I live in Washington, DC, Maryland, I was on a flight from DC to Minnesota.
And I believe it's a couple hour long flight. And during the flight, we started to experience some turbulence. And now because I fly a lot, usually turbulence doesn't faze me. Like it's no big deal. I'm used to it now. And I remember once I even talked to a pilot, and I asked him, I'm like, Listen, what's the deal with turbulence? Why should we be scared or it is something to worry about when you hit turbulence on the plane? And he said, he said, You know what, turbulence is nothing to worry about. You're just hitting pockets of air. And so that, you know, the plane gets a little bit shakes around and just as long as your seatbelt on, you'll be okay. And he said, You only have to worry if
you like, run into something, right? So like you run into a mountain or something like that's when you have to be scared. He's like, but most likely, that won't happen, like so far above the earth. And then he said that this topic, he said, you know, determines your experience right now, you never have to worry. And I was like, Okay, and so until that moment, when I'm on this flight, I, I was thinking about what this pilot had said, so we hit some turbulence. And I was like, no big deal. hamdulillah. It's just in pockets of air until the plane started to freefall. And when I mean freefall, I mean, it literally started to freefall. It was just dropping out of the sky. And it
started free fell for about, I think, is about three, maybe four seconds. And I know you're thinking, you know, that's not a long time, like three, four seconds. What's the big deal? Well, law II when you're falling out of the sky, three or four seconds is an incredibly long period of time. And I remembers panel law, as we were falling from the sky, I gripped my seat started saying my Shahada. And what I realized is that everyone around me is freaking out, like people are losing it. And then I hear people going, Lord Jesus, please save me.
And I'm like, yeah, Allah, don't let me die with these people calling out there.
But what I realized in that moment, right there was that Allah subhanho wa Taala, in our lives, continually gives us signs. And sometimes the signs are like big signs, like major signs, and for example, falling out of the sky. That's it, that's a major sign. And when we when we experienced death, or we experienced loss, and all that, those are major signs from Allah subhanaw taala. But in our daily lives, almost on a daily basis, we are given signs by the last panel of data to remind us of our mortality, to remind us that you know, what, we're not going to be here forever. And our life on this earth is going to be shorter than what what most people imagine. And I'll give you just
another analogy, another another nother thing that'll help you make real what I'm talking about. And that is the issue of I know, you may find a little bit strange, but the issue of paper cuts, how many of you have ever experienced a paper cut in your life? Okay, most of the room. Now, even in paper cuts have had a lot, there's a sign from the last time that I'll tell you what that is. First of all, paper cuts are very, very interesting. Because if you were to go to someone who has never heard of a paper cut, like they don't know that there's a such thing as a paper cutter, whatever. And you were to say to them, you know, I got a paper cut the other day, they'd be like, what, like
you got cut by a paper? Like how can a paper cut you and imagine like, they've never, ever experienced it before. So to them, it's like, you know, it's a piece of paper, like, I can tear it, it's so weak, like, what's the big deal? It's just a paper. But in a paper, Allah subhanaw taala has made us vulnerable, right to the point where we would never expect something so weak to harm us. But something so weak and as you know, can be incredibly painful. That's the first thing. The second thing is that every time you experience a papercut What do you tell yourself? Right? After some explicit as probably you say to yourself, never again, right? Like Oh, you got me this time.
It's never gonna happen, life's never gonna happen again. The next time, I'd be very, very careful. And what happens, you get a paper cut again. So you tell yourself, you remind yourself that I'm in control of the situation, that I next time I flip the page, I'm going to be very careful. And you do that for a while until you forget that a paper can harm you. And then lo and behold, you get another paper cut. And when you get a paper cut, so it's like this tiny little cut, but it bothers you. And it's painful, probably more painful than like someone punching you in the shoulder or something. And so a loss of how do I data in a paper cut reminds us that listen, you're not in control. The reality
is that you think you perceive to be in control, but the reality is that it is Allah subhana wa tiada, who controls every single aspect of our life. And when Allah Subhana, WA tada decides that we will go through some hardship, or we will go through some some some pain or a loss, Pantheon decides that our life is over. That's what's gonna happen. And there is nothing you can do to control that situation. And if you're ever in doubt about it, think about how you thought that the paper cut could never harm you. But indeed, the paper cut harmed you. And you've had a lot I remember, yesterday, I was trying to take a nap, I traveled here, and I'll try to take a nap, I was like, let
me get an hour nap in. And I laid in bed, it was here in this hotel. And I close my eyes and I tried really hard to fall asleep. And I was like, I really need to get just an hour's worth of sleep, and then shallow Tada, I'll be good to go for this late night session that we had, and I laid there and I could not fall asleep. And then once again, I start to think about it. And I thought to myself, Allah subhanaw taala is reminding me once again, that you're not in control. And the last part that we know in the Quran, and he talks about the last part data was hard data says Wolfie and fusi come that there are if there are signs within yourself, in your own self to proceed on, do not see do not
contemplate and think about what is happening here. And somehow like the difference between someone who is conscious of death and their mortality and how weak they actually are. And someone who isn't, is that the one who is conscious of it is simply just paying attention. Because all you have to do is just pay attention to everything that is around you. And somehow we live in a time now, where we see major world events on a daily basis. We see hundreds of people being killed, we see a storm common we see tsunami, we see all these things where technically these are things that are supposed to bring us back to Allah subhanho wa Taala. But we've become so desensitized to these things, we
see people being killed around the world and wars and this and that, and it doesn't even faze us. And the reality is that we're being disconnected from from what we know to be true. And the thing about death is the thing about dying, is that this is a fact that nobody will deny. It doesn't matter what faith you belong to, whether you're Muslim, or a Jew or Christian, even if you're an atheist, even if you deny the existence of God, right, like I don't believe in God, even you will acknowledge the fact that you will die. Not only that, you will acknowledge the fact that you will die and you don't know when you're going to die. And this is a reality for us. But it's simply a
matter of us reminding ourselves and taking heed and looking into and paying attention to the signs that are around us. So inshallah I have four points for you.
Whenever you are taking notes, by the way, have you ever taken notes? Okay, Angela, I have four points for you, inshallah. Allah on how what death actually does for you, right, so four things that how death actually benefits you. And I know people tend to think about death and they they're like, you know, why are you being so morbid? Why are you always talking about death, inshallah to Allah, there's benefit for us in discussing this topic. So four things. Number one,
the first thing thinking about death, the first thing it does for you is that it helps you to worship Allah subhana wa Tada, and stay obedient to Allah subhanho wa Taala. And this is why the Prophet civili send them he said, a kittleman of victory has amended that he said, increase in remembering the destroyer of desires. And then he said, unmowed, he said death, he said, this is something that will immediately put a stop to any type of worldly desires or any type of desires that that are in the disobedience of Allah subhanho wa Taala, this will immediately put a stop to it. And this is actually a very, very powerful thing and the scholars of the past, talk about this
by him, for example, he talks about how, when you're in the moment, when you're about to commit a sin, there's an internal struggle that takes place, and the internal struggle is this. Do you value this desire that you're about to fulfill more? Or do you value your ask about your hair after more, what is more important to you, and if that doesn't mean wins out. And if you're if if in your mind and your heart that dunya is more important, you'll fall into that sin. And if the alpha is more important, and you think about the alpha and the alpha is real for you
You, then in this moment, you will stop from committing this sin. And so when the prophets ally send them says, increase in remembering the destroyer of desires, he's telling us that every single time that you are put in a position where you're about to commit a sin, all you have to do is think about your mortality. All you have to do is remind yourself and say, You know what, Allah Subhana, Allah may take my life before I'm ever given the ability to make Toba from this sin. And that is a very, very powerful thought. And the person who has given the trophy from Allah subhanho wa Taala, to think about that in the moment of sin. Indeed, Allah subhanho wa Taala has been incredibly merciful
to this person. Because the reality is a lot of us we kind of past that stage, we're almost in a state of love. And half lives basically, when you're heatless, when, when your heart in the state of Buffalo, your heart basically learns that every time that internal debate or discussion is taking place, you're always going to pick the dunya until your heart learns that and so the next time you're approached with a sin, that that struggle doesn't even take place, it doesn't happen. So it's just like, your heart knows that you're always going to pick the dunya anyway. And so you don't even have that, that discussion. Right. So going back and pulling yourself back to the to the concept of
you know what this may be the very last chances maybe the moment of sin that I have right here, maybe the very last moment that I have on Earth. Number two, it helps us remembering death helps us realize the purpose of life. And as the last panel it Allah says in the Quran, who will lead the hell up under the collar called moto will hire Talia Bella come up is the one who created life and death, to test you and to see who amongst you are best in their affairs are best in their deeds. And every time somehow, once again, every time we remind ourselves of death, we're reminded that you know what, my life is not only short, but it's unpredictable. It's incredibly unpredictable. And all
the loss we've had to Allah has asked of me is that we die in a state of submission to Allah subhanho wa Taala that I die in a state of submission to Allah Subhana tiada and every time you have that thought, it will push you to worship Allah subhana wa tada Maha colgin. Now an insert in an era boon as Allah subhanaw taala said, I haven't created men nor jinn, except for the purpose of my worship, meaning this is the most important thing that you can be doing in life, the worship of Allah subhanho wa Taala. And when you think about death, and you think about your mortality, when you start paying attention to the signs that are around you, in that moment, it will bring you back
to the purpose of your life. Number three,
it helps us realize the true value of of this life, the true value, and that my brothers and sisters, is that this life, that dunya, the worldly things are worth actually nothing.
And you want to know the true value of life, as someone who is on their deathbed, as someone who has been given the news that you don't have too much longer to live. And I know a lot of us we have people in our lives who are were were suffering from cancer, for example, or any life threatening disease, or a terminal illness, and you go talk to them, and you ask them how they feel, and what is going on. And they will tell you really panela this life that I had went by so fast, and everything that I was chasing in my life, everything that I thought was important, all of a sudden is not important anymore. The things that I thought were so important to me, whether it be material things,
or this is the things that I my priorities that were completely different before I was given the news of death. Alright, so once again, when we when we when we think about death, it'll make the reality of the dounia come to light, it will make us realize what dystonia is truly worth. And as we know the process send them when giving an analogy for this dunya. He said the worth of this dunya is like when one of you takes your finger and they dip it into the ocean. And if you've never been to the beach fair up into the ocean, you go there, you look out as far as your eye can see there's water everywhere. And you begin to realize how vast this ocean is the parts that I'm saying, dip
your finger into this ocean and take it out and the wetness or the dampness that you have on your fingers or your finger. This is the value of the dunya compared to the meaning the earth is like that ocean. Paradise is like that huge ocean and all that you've taken out of it is pretty much nothing. It says this is the true value of this life are the things that we chase after in this life. Number four, it ensures that we die in a state of submission. It ensures that we die in a state of submission. Like I said, if we are thinking about death, then we will be in a submission state of submission to the last panel Indiana and I don't want you to think by the way that just
being in a state of submission just means that you're worshipping Allah subhanaw taala what I mean by
state of submission is that you're living your life in a way which is pleasing to Allah subhana wa tada every conscious moment that you have in your life where you make the conscious decision that I'm living my life in a manner which is pleasing to Allah subhanaw taala. This is a state of submission to Allah subhanho wa Taala. And as the last 100 to Allah says, what are they moving on to sunny moon, that do not let death come upon you, except that you are in a state of submission. And I know some people may think of that and say, you know, I guess I should be praying when death comes to me, that's not the case. What Allah subhanho wa Taala intends here when Allah subhanaw taala
means here is that make sure you're living your life in a way which is pleasing to Allah subhanaw taala when death comes upon you, lastly, brothers and sisters, and I know time is a little short. But I wanted to leave you with four things that you can do that will remind you of death or help you think of death. Number one,
attend the funeral prayers. And I know every single community, every single machine out there, there are genocides that are happening constantly. And I visited many different communities. And oftentimes I see that it is quite often that there is a janazah that is taking place in the community. And oftentimes panela I've witnessed these prayers, where people stand there and they pray, and it's just like, like any other salaat. And it's really interesting because when the companions describe how the the Genesis the funeral prayers used to be at their times, they would say that when we would pray janazah upon someone, there would be this type of eerie silence. And
that silence was there because each and every person who was attending the janaza prayer, they would be thinking about their own death and their own mortality in that state. And that is that that is one of the reasons why we attend the janaza prayer, not just yeah, of course we want to send we want to make the offer the person who's deceased, and give our condolences to the family and all that that is great at 100 in LA but for you as an individual that is another sign from Allah subhanho wa Taala for you to come back to Allah subhana wa tada that is another sign from Allah subhanaw taala for you to think and realize that in the law, he will in you here on your own, that certainly we all
came from Allah subhana wa tada we belong to Allah subhanaw taala. And we will all certainly return to Allah subhanaw taala number to
visit the graves, the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said, couldn't turn the heat to coumarins era to COBOL. He said I used I had forbidden you from visiting the graves. He said well ah qinzhou ha for in her to the Quito Colombian mouth. He said, however, visit the graves because the graves remind you of death. And so it's not just about the janaza prayer. And that is good at hamdulillah. But the moment when you're standing there, and you're pouring dirt upon someone who you were talking to just a day ago, or just moments ago, for some people, that is a very, very powerful spiritual experience. And you've had a lot even in those type of situations. If you have someone who is
talking about worldly things, you need to take it upon yourself and remind this brother and remind the system and say you know what, this is a moment in our life, where we're supposed to hot when we're supposed to be going through a intense spiritual experience when we are actually physically reminded of our own death because we are physically putting this person into the ground. And we're thinking about the fact that one day this will be me and people will be burying me and one day I will have to be accountable for everything that I did in life. And that one day, Allah subhana wa tada will raise me back up and Allah subhana wa tada will question me about how I spent my life.
take time to contemplate. And this is why I started this talk today with the issue of simply paying attention to all the IOD all the signs of Allah subhanho wa Taala. And what I mean by take time to contemplate his take moments out of your day, where you're doing nothing but contemplating life and contemplating death and thinking about your own mortality. Well lucky if you were to sit for just a couple minutes and look at yourself and look at your own bodies and look at how weak you actually are, and how you're not in control that would remind you of Allah subhanho wa Taala that would remind you of how weak you actually are, and how in the end of the day, you're actually not in
control. And you've had a lot you know, I know we there's certain amount of vicco certain amount remembers that we all do. Most of us at least we sit after prayer and we remember Allah subhanaw taala or even during the prayer and all that. If you can take out those moments of your day to contemplate death. At least contemplate death when you're making the kind of a loss.
Right when you say Subhan Allah, remember that Allah Subhana Allah Allah is you you're praising Allah subhanaw taala and you're praising him because it is only Allah subhanho wa Taala who can give you life and it is only Allah subhana wa tada who will take your life away. When you say I hadn't done enough
You are praising Allah subhanaw taala for example, you're saying thanks to us, how are you praising Allah subhanho wa Taala because you know that Allah Subhana Allah has given you the ability in this moment to remember Allah subhanho wa Taala for how many people are out there at this single moment making Vicar and thinking of completely different things. Lastly, you say Allahu Akbar, you realize that Allah subhanho wa Taala is greater than anything you have in your life, any type of attachment you have to this dunya Allah Subhana Allah is greater than that. And your submission to Allah subhana wa tada is worth more than anything that your heart may be attached to. Lastly, my brothers
and sister, brother and sisters,
and this is a piece of practical piece of advice I have for everyone inshallah Allah.
Make a list of reminders, make a list of reminders, and I believe every single Muslim should have in their life, if not moments of contemplation, they should have a personal journal, where when they experience things in their life, when they look around, and they're in there, and they're seeing the signs of lost data, that they write them down, and they contemplate this. And this Mandala. This was the this was the way the scholars of our password as well. Many of our scholars, they had their own personal journals, where every time they experienced a sign from Allah subhanaw taala, every time they came across something that they thought was amazing, or spiritually uplifting, they would write
it down. And so when a time comes, when you're just sitting there, and you can't think of anything, you open up your journal and you open up your diary and you begin to once again, you have a tool to return to Allah subhanaw taala. Last thing my brothers and sisters, I'll leave you with this one thing, and that is that you know what, as Muslims, I know, sometimes people as I said before, people will accuse us of being morbid people who will say You guys are so morbid. You're always talking about death. What's the deal here? I remember panela when I was in college, and I was trying to come close to a lowest penalty out I was I was started starting to practice Islam. I was speaking to my
friends one day who are non Muslims. They were not they're not close to Islam in any way. And because this is an issue that I was struggling with, I posed it to my friends. And I said, Do you guys ever think about death?
Because this is something that I was struggling when I was in, I was thinking about death now, for the first time in my life is something which I actually started to contemplate. And I asked them, I said, Do you guys think about death? And they said to me, they said, No, not at all. And I said, Why? Why do you not think like, Don't you believe that you're going to die and lose that? Of course, of course we believe we're gonna die. And they said, it's just such a morbid thought, though. It's such a depressing thing to think about death, why not just enjoy the life you have, and have fun until you die. And then that moment, I realized how to love that. The reason why people think this
way about death is that they don't understand death properly. As a Muslim, our view of death is that that that our death is not the end. And is how a lot of people tend to think about death where the death your death is the end. It's the end of the journey is the end of your story and all that for us as Muslims. Our death is a transition to a better life. And for us, it's a beginning the birth of an even better life a life unlike we can ever imagine. A life unlike we can ever think about the type of pleasures that we can never even imagine. That is what death is for us and death. So when we when we look at death, and we think about death, it's not only the fact that yes, it keeps us
detached from the dunya and it helps us get closer to Allah subhanaw taala death also encourages us to think of the earth and for us to remind ourselves and say you know what, there is an amazing life waiting for me in the end everything that I'm going through in my life, all the trials and the struggles and the problems and this and that everything that is happening will pass by in the blink of an eye and I have waiting for me inshallah without a life which is absolutely amazing. So I want to leave you with that inshallah. Tada don't think that death is a morbid thing or a negative thing for us as Muslims it is sound something which actually opens our hearts and makes us free and Allah
subhana wa tada knows best out there. awana Alhamdulillah horrible alameen wa Salaam Alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh