Bismillah. We discussed death and dying already, now we will talk about evil endings and what leads to evil endings.
There are many people who appear to be Mulsim and who act in accordance with Islam, but they came to a bad end. We seek refuge in Allah from that, and we ask Allah to make us die upon Islam. Siddeeq Hasan Khan mentioned some reasons for having a bad end. We will be discussing these reasons today and relating some stories about them so that we can protect ourselves from that inshaAllah.
Corruption in One’s Belief
Even if a person is perfect in his asceticism and conduct, but there is something incorrect in his belief which he is convinced is right and he clings to that belief without thinking that he is mistaken, that false belief may become apparent when he is dying. As we mentioned before, death is a very difficult state. If there are any faults in our beliefs, that will very possibly surface at death. We have to train ourselves for that moment of death so that we can say La ilaaha illallah.
Allah says: “Say [O Muhammad]: ‘Shall we tell you the greatest losers in respect of [their] deeds? Those whose efforts have been wasted in this life while they thought that they were acquiring good by their deeds.” (18:103-104)
Everything that a man becomes accustomed to will come back to him at death.
Often we see people who think that they will sin and enjoy now, but make tawbah at the time of death. What do they think will come to them in that difficult moments of death – something that is strange to them or their usual habits? If a person was inclined towards worship, then inshaAllah he will remember those acts of worship at death. If the person was more inclined towards sin, then that is what they would think of at death. It may preoccupy the person so much that they forget to repent, and it would form a barrier between him and his Lord, causing him to be doomed at the end of his life.
The Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “Sin is the harbinger of kufr.”
There was a man who used to play chess so much that when he was dying and it was said to him, “Say La ilaaha illallah,” he said, “Checkmate!”
I remember hearing a story at a halaqa about police men (in a Muslim country). They came to a man at the site of a car accident. The accident was very severe, and it was obvious that the man in the crash was about to die. They told him to say La ilaaha illallah, and all that came to his mouth were the lyrics of a song. Another time, at another crash, there was a similar scene. Except, the man in this car used to drive to a far town to deliver books to children. On the way, he would always play Qur’an. When they found him, about to die, he very easily pointed his finger towards the sky and uttered his last words: “La ilaaha illallah.”
Let us look at our analogy of death as being similar to sleeping – look at what you dream of. That shows what your mind is preoccupied with.
Turning away from righteousness is another reason people ruin their akhirah in the last moments. One of the most obvious illustrations of taking a turn for the worse is that of Iblees – he was the leader and teacher of the angels, he strove the hardest in worship, but he refused to prostrate before Adam when Allah told him to. And that act of disobedience and arrogance took him to disbelief.
There is another story, which I’m sure many of us have heard – the story of Barsisa, the worshipper. But we will relate it here again, because Allah says that reminders are good for the believers 🙂 He was a man from children of Israel was a famous worshipper. He had his temple and devoted himself to worship. Three men from the children of Israel wanted to go for jihaad. They didn’t know where to leave their sister. They couldn’t leave her alone; they looked around and found that the best place to leave her was with the worshipper.
They went to Barsisa and told him the situation and said, “Can you please take care of our sister?” He replied, “I seek refuge in Allah from you.” Shaytaan came to Barsisa and said, “Who are you going to leave her with? If you don’t take care of her, an evil person may take care of her, and you know what will happen. How can you let this good slip out of your hands?” Look at the long sight of shaytaan – he starts out encouraging him to do good.
Barsisa calls the brothers back and agrees to take care of her, given that she will stay in a house away from the temple and he will be in the temple. So she comes under his care, and she would stay in that house and Barsisa would bring food and leave it on the doorstep. Barsisa didn’t even want to see her. She would come out and get the food.
Shaytaan came to him and said, “What are you doing? Don’t you know that if she walks out from her room and comes to your temple, people can see her? You have to deliver the food to her doorstep.” Barsisa said, “Yes, that’s true.” Shaytaan is not speaking to him face to face; this is was wasa (evil inspiration). Barsisa started to take the food and leave it on her doorstep. That continued for awhile.
And then shaytaan told him, “She’s coming out to get the plate and somebody can still see her. You have to deliver the plate into her own room.” Barsisa would take the food in the room and leave it there. This continued for awhile.
The three brothers were late. This expedition took awhile. So shaytaan came to him and said, “Are you going to leave her alone? There’s nobody to take care of her. She’s been in there so long, it’s like she’s in prison, speaking to no one. Why don’t you take that responsibility and speak to her a little? She can go out and speak to another man and have a relationship with him.” So Barsisa would go outside of her room and speak to her from there.
Barsisa would talk from outside and she would talk from inside her room and they would be screaming to hear one another. Shaytaan told him, “Why don’t you make it a little convenient for each other? Don’t scream to each other. Sit in the same room.” So Barsisa would go inside the room and slowly they spent more and more time with each other.
And they started getting closer and closer until the great worshipper committed zina. 😦
She became pregnant. She delivered a child. Shaytaan came to him and said, “What have you done? Do you know what the brothers will do when they come back? They’re going to kill you. Even if you say ‘This is not my son’, they’re going to say that you were was supposed to take care of her. The only solution is that you murder the child and bury it.” The worshipper chopped off the head of the infant and buried him.
Shaytaan came to him and said, “Do you think the mother will keep the secret after you have killed her son? You’re a fool if you think so. You should kill her too.” And so Barsisa killed her and buried them both in that room.
The brothers came back and said, “Where is our sister?” Barsisa said, “Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi ra ji’oon. She was ill and she died. She is buried in that place.” And he went and showed them a fictitious grave. They said, “Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi ra ji’oon” and they made du’aa` for her.
At night time, one of the brothers saw a dream. Who came to him in that dream? Shaytaan. He said, “Did you believe Barsisa? He’s lying! He committed zina with your sister and then he killed her and her son. The evidence is that she is not buried in the place that he showed you, but she is buried in her room, under the rock.” So he woke up and he told his brothers about the dream. They said, “We saw the same dream. It must be true.” So they went to the fictitious grave and dug it up, of course finding Barsisa to be lying. Then, they went to her room and uncovered the earth. They found their sister buried with an infant.
They grabbed Barsisa and told him, “You Liar! This is what you have done!” They began to take him to the king. While they were taking him, Shaytaan came to Barsisa. Now he didn’t come in the form of inspiration; he came in human form. He said, “Do you know who I am, Barsisa? I am shaytaan. I caused you all of that mess. And I am the only one who can deliver you out of it. If you want me to save you, I can.” Barsisa said, “Please save me!” Shaytaan said, “Make sujood to me.” Barsisa made sujood for shaytaan. What did shaytaan say? He said, Thank you very much, it was a pleasure meeting you. And then Barsisa never saw him again.
Barsisa made sujood for shaytaan! And that was the last thing he did in his life because shortly afterwards, he was executed. The last thing he did in his life was make sujood for shaytaan. This was a great worshipper on the straight path. He took a small turn – in the name of benefit – look at where he ended. That is the danger of following desire. Sometimes we feel confident because of our knowledge or the Qur’aan that we know or the ‘ibaadah that we do, but we should always remember to keep ourselves from even what leads to evil and always seek protection from shaytaan.
We should always be afraid and never be over confident. That is the true knowledge – “The ones that have khashiy (fear) of Allah are the scholars.” Otherwise, it is just memorization of words.
Now, if you look at this story, what did shaytaan do? Did he come to Barsisa and say “prostrate before me” straight off the bat? Of course not, he slowly, gradually, persistently worked on Barsisa. And his persistence paid off – he achieved what he wanted; he made a great worshipper of Allah have a very bad ending. May Allah always keep us steadfast, ameen.
This is why we should not feel safe with our deeds; we should not feel like we are doing enough; and we should not think of small sins as small. Those small sins build up. I really love this story, even though it’s so sad, because there are so many lessons we can extract from it.
There is a hadith in Bukhari and Muslim in which the Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “I swear by Allah, other than Whom there is no God, certainly, one of you will definitely perform the deeds of the people of Paradise until there is not between him and Paradise except an arm’s length and then what has been recorded will overtake him and he shall perform the deeds of the people of Hell and enter it. And, certainly, one of you will definitely perform the acts of the people of Hell until there is not between him and Hell except an arm’s length and then what has been recorded will overtake him and he shall perform the deeds of the people of Paradise and enter it.” (see full hadith here.)
If there is some weakness in a person’s faith, that weakens his love for Allah. The love for this world becomes strong in his heart and there is no room left for Allah 😦 When a person indulges their desires and commits sin, the sin piles up in his heart and the darkness of it covers up the weak light that is left.
The Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “The people will soon summon one another to attack you as people when eating invite others to share their dish.” Someone asked: “Will that be because of our small numbers at that time?” He replied: “No, you will be numerous at that time: but you will be scum and rubbish like that carried down by a torrent, and Allah will take fear of you from the breasts of your enemy and last wahn into your hearts.” Someone asked: “What is wahn (enervation)?” RasulAllah replied: “Love of the world and dislike of death.” (Abu Dawood)
Ibn AlJowzee says that (in the year 270 Hijra) there was a man named ‘Abdu ibn ‘AbdurRahim. He was a mujaahid of the Muslim armies that were fighting the Roman Empire. He fought for a long time. During a battle, they were surrounding a Roman fortress. While they were surrounding, this man saw a Roman woman. He started corresponding with her. He asked her, “How can I get in?” She told him, “Become a Christian and I’ll let you in.” So he became a Christian, and the next day, suddenly, the Muslims saw this mujaahid inside with the Romans. This thing depressed them a lot. This man was a warrior, he knew a lot of Qur’aan, he had a lot of knowledge, and suddenly he left the religion and became a Christian to run after a woman.
Ten years passed and some Muslims who knew that man, passed that roman village again. They saw him and they told him, “Come with us.” He said, “No, I cannot come with you. I am settled and married, and I have children and a business.” So they told him, “Where did your jihad go? What happened to your knowledge? What happened to your Qur’aan?” He said, “I forgot all of that. I forgot all of Qur’aan except for one verse: Perhaps those who disbelieve will wish that they had been Muslim. Let them eat and enjoy themselves and be diverted by [false] hope, for they are going to know.” (15:2-3)
This is probably what affects most of us. It is not a big, sudden change, but rather a small, persistent one. It is the love of this world and being content with it and rejoicing in it, while also having weakness of faith.
It is narrated that when Sulaymaan ibn ‘Abd al-Malik entered Madeenah as a pilgrim, he said, “Is there any man here who met a number of the sahaabah?” They said, “Yes, Abu Haazim.” So he sent for him, and when he came, he said to him: “O Abu Haazim, why do we dislike death?” He said,
“All your effort has been for the sake of this world and you have neglected the Hereafter, and you hate to leave that for which you have striven to go to that for which you have made no preperations.”
With the Highest Companions
‘Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) said:
The Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam used to say, and it is true: “No Prophet ever died until he had been shown his place in Paradise, then given the choice.” When it was revealed to him, and his head was on my thigh, he fell unconscious for a while, then he woke up. He started at the ceiling, then he said, “O Allah, with the highest companions.” I said, “He is not choosing us,” and I knew that this was what he had told us about.” She said, “Those were the last words that the Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam spoke, when he said, “O Allah, with the highest companions.” [Bukhari]
inshaAllah we will discuss the Grave in the next post of our akhirah series.