Saturday, February 26, 2011

Death~Part II

Why do we fear Death?

The fear of death, for most of the people, is not a matter which requires any evidence because it is totally obvious and we also see that a lot of people manifest extra-ordinary sensitivity with respect to the term ‘death’ and its reality. Thus the actual matter is self-evident. That which requires proof and an answer is the reason for this fear and alarm as to why we fear death?

Reasons for the Fear of Death:

In answer to this question, it is possible to mention some reasons, which have also appeared in our traditions, and which are as follows:

1. Not having a correct insight

In the previous discussions, we had mentioned that a lot of people considered death to be an eternal destruction of themselves. Consequently, it is but natural that they fear death and visualize it dark and gloomy, because the love for permanence and eternity is one of the natural instincts of people and each one in his own way, tries to protect himself from calamities and diseases and ensure his own permanence, and death, in his view, is greater and more pain-inflicting than any disease or calamity, because it is the start of his everlasting extinction. Nevertheless, if the alarm and fear of death is as a result of non-recognition of the reality of death, then for the removal of this fear, it is vital that its reality, which is found in the Islamic insight, be understood and with regard to it, a strong conviction be developed. If a person bases his views regarding death on correct foundations, many of his fears regarding death will cease to exist because, once he comprehends that with death, he shall enter into a world, more extensive and eternal and also that he shall be liberated from the material, natural and corporeal shackles, how then would he consider it to be abominable and hateful.

2. A new and an unfamiliar path

One of the causes due to which man tends to fear death is that man, after death, steps onto an entirely new path and embarks upon an entirely new journey. Man, usually tends to travel on frightful paths, over which he has traveled a number of times and has not encountered any trouble, better than paths which are comparatively safer, but which are totally new. Since, the path being new and unfamiliar, it becomes reason for hesitation and anxiety, especially since no one, who has traveled this path, has brought any news about it, for the others. Anyway, if the fear of death is due to the place and path being unfamiliar, then it is necessary that the reality of death be completely comprehended and one’s conviction strengthened. In addition to this, it is necessary to obtain the necessary information by means of the Revelation and the traditions of the Infallible Imams (pbut) and the righteous people, regarding the stages, places of danger and the other particularities of death and after it, then believe in them and prepare oneself to encounter them. Just like a person, who during the course of a journey, finds himself lonely and unaware of his whereabouts, manages to lessen his perplexity with the help of necessary information, maps and equipment’s, we too must obtain the map of the way and the necessary information from authentic and reliable sources. In a tradition from Imam Ali ibn Muhammed (pbuh), it is narrated that he (pbuh) approached one of his companions who was sick and in a state of crying and grieving and complaining due to fear of death. The Imam (pbuh) then addressed him saying: “O servant of God, you fear death because you do not comprehend it.” Then the Imam (pbuh) presented an example and said: “If you had become dirty, and due to the excess of dirt and dirtiness you were in suffering and inconvenience, and you knew that the cure for all this lay in your taking a shower, would you wish to go to a bath and clean yourself or would you wish to remain in the same state of dirtiness and as a result continue to undergo the suffering.” The sick man said, “Yes, I would wish to take the shower.” Then the Imam (pbuh) replied: “death (for you) is the very same shower.” The point to be considered in the above tradition is that, the sick person was one of the companions of the Imam (pbuh) and was aware of the Islamic insight regarding death, but in spite of this, was intensely fearful of death. And so, the Imam (pbuh) by presenting an example explained to him the states and circumstances after death and thus calmed him.

3. Lack of preparation

Some of the people have comprehended the reality of death and are also aware of the Islamic insight regarding death. On the other hand, they have also obtained some information regarding the stations and the journey after death, however, in spite of all this, they still fear death. This fear is not due to the two reasons previously mentioned but because they have not made available for themselves the tools and things necessary for this journey of theirs, while, on the contrary they have been paying more than-necessary importance to their present lives; like a person who knows that he would have to spend the rest of his life in another country, but has not collected any money for his journey. Instead, all that he has gathered is in the form of house, shop, land or other things which, presently, are neither capable of being changed, nor transferred. In other words, he has strives and worked and collected a capital, but the capital is such that it cannot be transferred and there is also nobody who will buy it. In short, it is not useful in any way for the objective, which he had in mind. Someone asked Imam Hassan (pbuh): “Why are we reluctant to die, why don’t we like death?” “Because”, replied Imam Hassan (pbuh), “You ruined your next world and developed this one; naturally, you do not like to be transferred from flourishing to decline.” This kind of fear of death, which results from the lack of preparedness and the absence of the provisions of the journey usually occurs with the believers, which in reality is not fear of death but instead, fear of not possessing the sufficient provisions necessary for this journey. Another point is that such a fear is usually mixed with eagerness. Because, on the one hand, a believer is eager for the Divine meeting and also for the companionship of the Righteous people. On the other hand, due to lack of sufficient piety and the necessary provisions, finds himself in a state of anxiety and fear, whereas the unbelievers do not possess such a fear and eagerness. They fear the actual death, because they consider it to be a complete annihilation. Of course, it could be said that the fear of the unbelievers could have a universal meaning, and the causes of it could be those mentioned and also those not mentioned. Nevertheless, death or transfer into another world is a universal law, acceptance of which or fear of which shall create no change in the law itself, and finally sooner or later, everyone shall taste the nectar or the poison of death. That, which is more important than death, is the preparation for it, and God willingly (Insha Allah); Almighty God shall bestow such a success upon us as in the next story.


Death~Part I

‘Death’- according to the Holy Qur’an:

In the Holy Qur’an, interesting and varied interpretations have been made, regarding death, the study of all the aspects of which, shall become very elaborate, hence we suffice by mentioning a few of the beautiful and expressive interpretations, which have appeared in some of the verses.

1. Meeting with Almighty God

The Holy Qur’an, in the last verse of the Surah Kahf, has expressed death as a meeting with Almighty

God and says:

“So whoever desires to meet his Lord, he should do good deeds and not associate anyone

in the worship of his Lord.” (Qur’an 18:110)

2. Return to Almighty God

Another interpretation which the Holy Qur’an has and which makes clear the reality of death, is “return to Almighty God”. However, the Islamic philosophers, regarding the manner of the creation of the entities (and amongst them, man) by Almighty God and after then, their return towards Almighty God, have subtle, profound and interesting theories. The Holy Qur’an says:

“Verily, we are Almighty God’s and verily to Him shall we return.” (Qur’an 2:156)

3. Seizing of the Soul

One of the beautiful interpretations of the Holy Qur’an in the matter of death is. This word means seizing a thing in its entirety. Hence, according to the verse under consideration, the reality of death is that the angels commissioned to take the soul, seize the entire personality of man at the time of death, and remove it from the captivity of the body. They, then carry it to the Divine Presence:

“Say: the Angel of Death who is given charge of you shall cause you to die, and then to your Lord you shall be brought back.” (Qur’an 32:11)

‘Death’ - according to the Traditions:

The traditions also contain beautiful, subtle, instructive and interesting interpretations regarding death, some which are mentioned.

1. The bridge of crossing

In some of the traditions, death has been referred to as a bridge, over which people, at the time of transfer from this world to the other world, shall cross and reach their goal, which is the other world. For example, Imam Husayn (pbuh) on the day of ‘Ashura’, speaking to his loyal companions said:

“Remain firm, O sons of noble people, because death is just a bridge which will cross you and transfer you from discomforts and troubles, into the extensive gardens of paradise. So which of you does not desire his freedom from prison and entering into a castle. Of course, death for your enemies is like their being transferred from a palace and a castle into prison and torture.”

Concerning this Prophet Jesus (Hazrat Esa) (pbuh) has said: “This world is like a bridge, cross it and do not build on it.”

2. Removal of clothes

In some of the traditions, death has been compared to clothes, which of course differs, with respect to a believer and an unbeliever. Death, for a believer is like dirty clothes, which he removes and frees himself from its dirtiness and unpleasant odor, whereas, death with respect to an unbeliever is also like clothes, but beautiful, costly and pleasant-smelling, which he must remove from his body at the time of transfer to the other world.

3. Sleep

In some other traditions, death has been compared to sleep, in which the soul goes out of the body. The only fundamental difference between sleep and death is that the coming out of the soul from the body, at the time of sleep, is only for a short period of time. In addition, the connection between the body and the soul is not completely severed. On the other hand, researches pertaining to the soul have proved that the soul maintains a connection with the body in a very special manner. While, at the time of death and after that, the severance of this connection is more complete than that during sleep, although, after death too, a weak connection does exist for a certain period. Another point is that the coming out of the soul at the time of death continues up to the Universal Resurrection. This tradition says: Imam Muhammad Baqir (pbuh) was questioned as to what is death? The Holy Imam (pbuh) replied:

“Death is the very same sleep that comes to you every night. However this is a sleep, which is very long, and man shall not wake up from it until the Day of Judgment. Thus one who sees different types of pleasure and happiness in his sleep over which he, (in his wakefulness) has no power and similarly he sees the different types of fear-instilling things, while he has no power over them. Thus, how is the state of happiness and fear in the sleep? (The affairs shall be similarly so in the state of death too). This is death. So be ready and prepared for it.”

2. One who gains the love and grace of Almighty Allah (swt), always death (Ajal) will be before his eyes and he will be always worried about his death. But the one who take Satan (Shaitan) as friend and becomes evil doer (Bad-Bakht). Satan overpowers him and indulge (Giraftaar) him in long long desires and then he never remembers death.

3. Somebody asked Holy Prophet (pbuh): How to gain reward of Shahid (Martyr of Jang-e-Ohad). He replied, by remembering death twenty (20) times in the day and night.

4. Remember the destroyer of pleasures. When asked what that was, he (pbuh) replied, ‘Death’. Imam Ali (pbuh) Says:

1. How poor is the son of Adam, he knows not his length of days nor understands his sickness. The sting of a flea will make him suffer, he smelts of sweat and dies of cough.

2. Every breath is a step towards death.

3. It is truly surprising that someone forget death even as they watch other dies.

4. The result of long life is disease and weakness.

5. Who leaves long will mourn (cries) on his friend.

Imam Hussain (pbuh) Says: “The children of Adam carry the

mark of death like necklaces that adorn the neck of a bride.”


Khas untuk manusia yang diselubungi nikmat

Nikmat-mahu dikecap, mahu dirasai di hujung lidah, mahu dilihat dan mahu dimiliki. Nikmat berada di mana-mana, bahkan kehidupan itu sendiri adalah suatu nikmat yang tiada tolok bandingannya. Nikmat adalah hiasan hidup, bagaikan bunga-bungaan menjadi hiasan kepada alam. Tidak salah memburu nikmat asalkan ia boleh menjadi penyebab kepada bertambahnya rasa kehambaan kepada Yang Maha Pencipta. Nikmat bermula dalam diri kita sendiri. Lihatlah pada diri sendiri kerana pada diri kita ada:

  1. Mata-syukurilah nikmat ini dengan tidak mempergunakannya untuk melihat hal-hal yang maksiat.
  2. Telinga-syukurilah nikmat ini dengan hanya mendengar hal-hal yang baik.
  3. Lidah-syukurilah nikmat ini dengan banyak mengucapkan zikir, puji-pujian kepada Allah dan mengungkapkan nikmat-nikmat yang diberikan Allah.
  4. Tangan-Syukurilah nikmat ini dengan melakukan kebaikan untuk diri sendiri ataupun untuk orang lain dan tidak mempergunakannya untuk hal-hal yang haram.
  5. Perut-syukurilah nikmat ini dengan memakan makanan yang halaldan tidak berlebih-lebihan. Makanlah sekadar untuk menguatkan tubuh terutama untuk beribadah kepada Allah.
  6. Kemaluan-syukurilah nikmat ini pada jalan yang diredhai Allah.
  7. Kaki-syukurilah nikmat ini untuk berjalan ke tempat-tempat yang baik dan untuk menolong sesama manusia.
Firman Allah:

"Dia mengetahui (pandangan) mata yang khianat dan apa yang disembunyikan di dalam hati"

"Dan terhadap nikmat Tuhanmu, maka hendaklah kamu menyebut-nyebutnya (dengan bersyukur)"
Ad-Duha: 11

"Sesungguhnya, jika kamu bersyukur, pasti Kami akan menambah (nikmat) kepadamu dan jika kamu mengingkari (nikmat-Ku), maka sesungguhnya azab-Ku sangat pedih"

Sumber: Bitaqah Yaumiyah-Karya Bestari 1998 &

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Virtues of Hijab

1. An Act of Obedience

"And tell the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things) and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts, etc.) and not to show off their adornment except what must (ordinarily) appear thereof, that they should draw their veils over their Juyubihinna" (Qur'an 24:31).

2. The Hijab Is Iffah (Modesty)

"O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) over their bodies (when outdoors). That is most convenient that they should be known and not molested." (Qur'an 33: 59)

3. The Hijab Is Tahara (Purity)

"And when you ask them (the Prophet's wives) for anything you want, ask them from behind a screen, that is purer for your hearts and their hearts." (Qur'an 33:53)

4. The Hijab Is A Shield

The Prophet (SAAW) said: "Allah, Most High, is Ha'yeii, Sit'teer, He loves Haya' (Bashfulness) and Sitr (Shielding; Covering)" (Abu Dawoud, An-Nissa'ee, AI-Baihaqee, Ahmed, and in Saheeh An-Nissa'ee)

5. The Hijab Is Taqwah (Righteousness)

"O Children of Adam! We have bestowed raiment upon you to cover yourselves (screen your private parts, etc.) and as an adornment. But the raiment of righteousness, that is
better." (Qur'an 7:26)

6. The Hijab Is Eeman (Belief Or Faith)

"And say (O Muhammad (SAAW) to the believing women." (Qur'an 24: 31)
In another Ayah Allah (SW) also says:
"And the believing women" (Qur'an 33: 59).

7. The Hijab Is Haya'(Bashfulness)

The Prophet (SAAW) said: "Each religion has a morality and the morality of Islam is haya' (bashfulness)." Imam Malik

8. The Hijab Is Gheerah

The Hijab fits the natural feeling of Gheerah which is intrinsic in the straight man who does not like people to look at his wife or daughters. Gheerah is a driving emotion that drives the straight man to safeguard women who are related to him from strangers. The straight Muslim man has Gheerah for allMuslim women.

The Hijab .. Why? by Dr: Muhammad Ismail
Translation & Comments by Dr: Saleh As-Saleh

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