How often do we Ponder upon the Narrow Pit we are all heading towards

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Cii Radio| Ayesha Ismail| 13 April 2017| 15 Rajab 1438

The shrouded corpse is gently lowered into the grave. Loving hands of sons and brothers receive the body of their loved one and place it in the narrow pit. The strips of plank are placed firmly next to each other. The last plank is placed leaving a dark and lonely grave under it. Spades are grabbed and heaps of earth comes crashing down from all directions. However, all around the grave, business goes on as usual.

While the starkest reminder of death is right in front of the eyes, the latest car on the market, the fate of the stock exchange and other gossip continues among many of those present. While they patiently wait for the “Fatihah” to commence, the time is passed by worldly talk and gossip. Carrying the janazah on our shoulders and witnessing the deceased being lowered into the grave seems to not remind us of our own death.

What then will remind us of that moment?

The Messenger of Allah (Allah’s peace be upon him) is reported to have said: “Remember excessively that which severs all pleasures — death.” (Sunan Tirmizi #2307)

The best reminder of death is the graveyard itself.

Hence the Messenger of Allah (Allah’s peace be upon him) has greatly encouraged that one should regularly visit the graveyard. While this sunnah of The Messenger of Allah (Allah’s peace be upon him) is unfortunately rarely practised, at least we get an opportunity to visit the graveyard when attending a funeral. However, this occasion of remembering death is also wasted gossiping.

The condition of The Messenger of Allah (Allah’s peace be upon him) when attending a funeral is clearly described in the following hadeeth of Bara’ (Allah be pleased with him). He says: “Once we went with The Messenger of Allah (Allah’s peace be upon him) to attend the funeral and burial of a person. When we reached there, The Messenger of Allah (Allah’s peace be upon him) sat by the side of a grave and wept so profusely that the ground became wet with his tears. He then said: ‘Prepare yourself for (your entry in) the grave.’” (Sunan Ibni Maajah #4195)

The Messenger of Allah (Allah’s peace be upon him) has also instructed us as to what we should be doing when attending a janaazah. The Messenger of Allah (Allah’s peace be upon him) once said to the Sahaabah (Allah be pleased with them) when they had buried a person: “Seek forgiveness for your brother and beseech Allah Most High to keep him firm for verily he will be questioned now” (Sunan Abi Dawud #3221)

Thus, the rare occasions when we visit the graveyard should serve as a reminder of our own death. Those few moments among the graves should not be wasted in idle gossip and worldly talk. While the burial is in progress, one should engage oneself in silently reciting whatever one is able to of the Qur’an Majid with the intention of passing the rewards to the deceased. This would be of immense benefit to oneself as well as the deceased.

May Allah Most High enable us to remember our death often, especially while in the graveyard. Ameen.

Source – Muslim village