Khutbas by Imam Habib
Khutba on Death
الحمد لله، الحمد لله الذي جعل لكل شيء أجلا مسمّى، وجعل فيه تذكرة لمن يخشى،نحمده تعالى ونستعينه، ونشكره تعالى ونستغفره ونستغيثه، نعوذ بالله من شرور أنفسنا ومن سيئات أعمالنا، من يهد الله فهو المهتد ومن يضلل فلن تجد له وليا مرشدا، ونشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له، له الملك و له الحمد، يحيي ويميت، بيده الخير، وهو على كل شيء قدير، ونشهد أن سيدنا و مولانا محمداً عبده ورسوله، وحبيبه وصفيه، بلغ الرسالة وأدى الأمانة ونصح الأمة، النبي الأمي الذي أرسله الله بالهدى والدين الحق، بشيرا ونذيرا بين يدي الساعة، صلى الله عليه وسلم وعلى آله وأصحابه ومن تبعهم بإحسان إلى يوم الدين.
أما بعد! فيا عباد الله اتقوا الله حق تقاته ولا تموتن إلا وأنتم مسلمون. يأيها الذين ءامنوا اتقوا الله وقولوا قولا سديدا يصلح لكم أعمالكم ويغفر لكم ذنوبكم. ومن يطع
الله ورسوله فقد فاز فوزا عظيما. اتقوا الله فيما أمر وانتهوا عما نها عنه وزجر. قال الله تعالى في كتابه الكريم: الَّذِينَ إِذَا أَصَابَتْهُمْ مُصِيبَةٌ قَالُوا إِنَّا لِلَّهِ وَإِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ
Allah says in His Noble Book, the translation of which is, “Those who, when disaster strikes them, say, ‘We belong to Allah and to Him we will return.’”
Muslims, a few days ago a young Muslim imam and the young Muslim woman whose marital problems he was attempting to resolve were killed, gunned down in the prime of their lives. May Allah have mercy on them both. This is a shocking and brutal incident, and an indictment of the violent, and at times lawless, society in which we live, especially in areas such as Mitchell's Plain, but at the same time, it is an important and timely reminder to every one of us. And that is that we are mortal - we are all going to die. Allah says,
كُلُّ نَفْسٍ ذَائِقَةُ الْمَوْتِ وَإِنَّمَا تُوَفَّوْنَ أُجُورَكُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ فَمَنْ زُحْزِحَ عَنِ النَّارِ وَأُدْخِلَ الْجَنَّةَ فَقَدْ فَازَ وَمَا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا إِلَّا مَتَاعُ الْغُرُور
the translation of which is, “Every self will taste death. You will be paid your wages in full on the Day of Rising. Anyone who is distanced from the Fire and admitted to the Garden has triumphed. The life of the dunya is just the enjoyment of delusion.” And none of us knows when or how that death will come to us, as Allah says,
وَمَا تَدْرِي نَفْسٌ مَاذَا تَكْسِبُ غَدًا وَمَا تَدْرِي نَفْسٌ بِأَيِّ أَرْضٍ تَمُوتُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ خَبِيرٌ
the translation of which is, “And no self knows what it will earn tomorrow and no self knows in what land it will die. Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware.” Far too many of us go through life, totally unaware that death could strike us at any time. We put things off and make plans for the morrow, certain that we will still be here then to do them. We are aware of death, of course, but for the vast majority of our lives it is always something that happens to someone else, somewhere else, and never to us. We have little appreciation of its immediacy and proximity, and remain complacent, thinking that our youth and good health will protect us and guarantee us more time on this planet. That is, until events such as this take place, for the death of this young imam shows, if your appointed time has come, then nothing will hold it back, no amount of vitamins, doctors or bodyguards. Allah says,
إِذَا جَاءَ أَجَلُهُمْ فَلا يَسْتَأْخِرُونَ سَاعَةً وَلا يَسْتَقْدِمُونَ
the translation of which is, “When their appointed time comes, they cannot delay it a single hour or bring it forward.” There is no escape. And no amount of attempts to hold it at bay will avail. You will not be able to fortify yourself against it, no matter how healthy, strong and powerful you are. Allah says,
أَيْنَمَا تَكُونُوا يُدْرِككُّمُ الْمَوْتُ وَلَوْ كُنْتُمْ فِي بُرُوجٍ مُشَيَّدَةٍ
the translation of which is, “Wherever you are, death will catch up with you, even if you are in impregnable fortresses.” And you will not be able to run away from it, no matter how clever you are or how much wealth you possess. Allah says,
قُلْ إِنَّ ٱلْمَوْتَ ٱلَّذِي تَفِرُّونَ مِنْهُ فَإِنَّهُ مُلاَقِيكُمْ ثُمَّ تُرَدُّونَ إِلَىٰ عَالِمِ ٱلْغَيْبِ وَٱلشَّهَادَةِ فَيُنَبِّئُكُم بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ
the translation of which is, “Say: ‘Death, from which you are fleeing, will certainly catch up with you. Then you will be returned to the Knower of the Unseen and the Visible and He will inform you about what you did.’”
In a story narrated by Khuthayma, the angel of death appeared in the court of Sulayman and sat there gazing at one particular person for a long time, then he went away. So the man approached Sulayman and asked him who that person was. He replied that it was the angel of death, whereupon the man became perturbed and said, 'He was looking at me as if he wanted to take my soul.' So Sulayman asked him what he wanted to do. The man replied that he wanted to be taken a long way away to India, so Sulayman commanded the wind and it took him there. Then, later, the angel of death again came into the presence of Sulayman, so he asked him, 'Why did you gaze at that man?' The angel replied, "I was wondering how he came to be there in your presence when Allah had commanded me to take his soul in India.” Death is close, closer than any of us realise. And every moment that we live, it gets closer and closer to us. We are only here on this earth for a short span of time - that is the reality of the human condition. Death even comes to those whom Allah loves the most, for Allah says, addressing the Prophet,
إِنَّكَ مَيِّتٌ وَإِنَّهُمْ مَيِّتُونَ
the translation of which is, “You will die and they too will die.” Muslims, there is nothing more destructive than heedlessness of this reality, for it gives us the illusion that we have plenty of time and that we do not need to act in the now. And there is nothing more beneficial than keeping death in the forefront of your mind and reminding yourself of it on a constant basis. And that is why the Prophet said, when asked who the wisest person was,
أكثرهم ذكرا للموت , وأحسنهم له استعدادا أولئك الأكياس ذهبوا بشرف الدنيا وكرم الآخرة
“The one who remembers death most often and the one who is well-prepared to meet it; these are the wise; honorable in this life and dignified in the Hereafter.”
And Abu Ali ad-Daqqaq said,
من أكثر من ذكر الموت أكرم بثلاث أكرم بتعجيل التوبة ونشاط في العبادة وقناعة في القلب، ومن نسي الموت عوقب بثلاث تسويف في التوبة وكسل في العبادة وعدم القناعة في القلب
So make your preparations now, while you still have a chance to. Use every moment of your life to prepare yourself for what comes after death. for you will be asked about that on the Day of Rising,
عن معاذ بن جبل رضي الله عنه قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم “لن تزول قدما عبد يوم القيامة حتى يسأل عن أربع: عن عمره فيما أفناه وعن شبابه فيما أبلاه وعن ماله من أين اكتسبه وفيما أنفقه وعن علمه ماذا عمل به؟”
Mu‘adh ibn Jabal narrated that the Messenger of Allah said, “A slave of Allah will remain standing on the Day of Rising until he is asked about four things: his lifetime and how he spent it; his youth and how he used it up; his wealth and how he acquired and spent it; and his knowledge and how he made use of it.” And live in this world for the next world as if you were going to die at any moment,
عن ابن عمر رضي الله عنهما كان يقول: إذا أمسيتَ فلا تنتظرُ الصباح، وإذا أصبحتَ فلا تنتظرُ المساء، وخذ من صحتِك لمرضِك، ومن حياتِك لموتك
Ibn Umar is narrated as having said, “When it is evening, do not await the morning, and when it is morning, do not await the evening. Take from your health for when you will be ill, and take from your life for when you will be dead.’”
So do not let this death pass without reflecting upon your own mortality and the imminence of your own impending death, and take it as your cue to stop putting off till tomorrow what you can do today. We ask Allah to show mercy to this young imam and woman who were killed, and to show mercy to all the Muslims who have passed away. We ask Him to put light and expanse in their graves and raise them up in the best of company on the Day of Rising. And we ask Him to give us all the best of seals and protect us from falling into kufr. And we ask Him to make us people who take full advantage of every moment that He has allotted us.
أقول قولي هذا وأستغفر الله العظيم لي ولكم ولسائر المسلمين من كل ذنب فاستغفروه إنه هو التوّابُ الرَّحيمالحمد لله الحمد لله رب العالمين، وأشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له وأشهد أن محمداً عبده ورسوله، صلى الله وسلم وبارك عليه وعلى آله وصحبه، والتابعين وتابعي التابعين ومن تبعهم بإحسان إلى يوم الدين.
أما بعد! فيأيها الذين ءامنوا اتقوا الله ما استطعتم واسمعوا وأطيعوا وأنفقوا خيرا لأنفسكم. يا عباد الله أوصيكم وإياي بتقوى الله وطاعته وأحذركم وإياي عن معصيته ومخالفته
Muslims, just as every one of us is going to taste death, so too is everything in what we know of as existence. Allah says,
كُلُّ شَيْءٍ هَالِكٌ إِلَّا وَجْهَهُ
the translation of which is, “All things are passing except for His face.” In other words, everything perishes except for Allah. He is the Living who does not die. And so nothing remains except for what is with Him - all else fades into dust. Allah says,
مَا عِنْدَكُمْ يَنْفَدُ وَمَا عِنْدَ اللَّهِ بَاقٍ
the translation of which is, “What is with you runs out but what is with Allah goes on for ever.” And what is with Allah is the Hereafter.
إنما هذه الحياة الدنيا متاع وإن الآخرة هي دار القرار
the translation of which is, “the life of the dunya is only fleeting enjoyment. It is the akhira which is the abode of permanence.” Everything in this world fades and none of it accompanies you to the Next World or benefits you there the slightest bit. No amount of wealth you have stockpiled nor children you have spawned will benefit you when you are standing alone before your Lord, being held to account for the time you spent here. The only thing that will benefit you is a sound heart, as Allah says,
يوم لا ينفع مال ولا بنون إلا من أتى الله بقلب سليم
the translation of which is, “the Day when neither wealth nor sons will be of any use – except those who come to Allah with sound and flawless hearts.” And a heart is only sound when it contains what is permanent and lasting, and not what is transient and passing - it is only sound when it contains Allah, and Allah alone. And that can only be when one’s intention is pure and one’s actions are done desiring the face of Allah.
كُلُّ شَيْءٍ هَالِكٌ إِلَّا وَجْهَهُ
the translation of which is, “All things are passing except for His face.” i.e. every action is worthless unless it is done for the face of Allah.
We enter this world and we leave in the blinking of an eye. It is not an abode of permanence, it is merely a hotel or waystation along the way. And just like in any hotel, nothing here belongs to us. The dunya is merely stuff we enjoy and make use of while we are here, and then leave for the next person to use. We can’t take it with us, and we can’t ever get it back, and so there is no point in attaching oneself to it. Once we are gone, it is gone, and once it is gone, we are gone. And that is why the Prophet said, instructing us how to conduct ourselves in this world,
كن في الدنيا كأنك غريبٌ أو عابرُ سبيل
“Be in this world as if you are a stranger or a passing traveller.” The dunya is simply a phase on our journey to Allah, but what we do here has a tremendous effect upon where we eventually end up. If we fuel up with the right fuel and pack the right provisions, we will be able to continue along the straight path to Allah, but if we forget the journey that lies ahead and neglect to make provision for it, we will swiftly become lost and go astray.
As for the actual time of departure, that is not something that any of us need to concern ourselves with, for it is something written over which none of us have control. When the Prophet was asked when the Final Hour would be, he replied,
مَا أَعْدَدْتَ لَهَا
“What have you prepared for it?” If we have prepared ourselves fully and set aside the best of provisions, which, as the Quran tells us, is taqwa, then it matters not to us whether the Final Hour or our death comes today or many years in the future, it will find us ready. So we must endeavour to be in a permanent state of readiness, like Hammad ibn Salamah, about whom AbdarRahman ibn al-Mahdi said,
لو قيل لحماد بن سلمة إنك تموت غدًا ما قدر أن يزيد في العمل شيئًا
“If Hammad ibn Salamah were to have been told that he was going to die the next day, he would not have been able to do anything more.” Because his days were already spent in constant remembrance of His Lord and in eager anticipation of the meeting with Him, and he knew that death was simply a doorway through which he had to pass in order to encounter his Lord. So we ask Allah to increase us in taqwa, and increase in dhikr, fikr and himma, so that when our death or the Final Hour comes, it does not take us unawares and unprepared, but instead finds us ready and eager for the meeting with our Lord. And as the Prophet said,
من أحب لقاء الله أحب الله لقاءه،
“Whoever loves to meet Allah, Allah loves to meet him.”
إِنَّ اللهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ، يَا أَيُهَا الذِينَ آمَنُواْ صَلُّواْ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُواْ تَسْلِيماً. اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ وَسَلِّمْ وَبَارِكْ عَلَيْهِ وَعَلَى آلِهِ وَصَحْبِهِ أَجْمَعِينَ.
وَارْضَ اللَّهُمَّ عَنِ الْخُلَفَاءِ الرَّاشِدِينَ أَبِي بَكْرٍ وَعُمَرَ وَعُثْمَانَ وَعَلِيٍّ، وَعَنْ سَائِرِ الصَّحَابَةِ أَجْمَعِينَ، خُصُوصاً اِلأَنْصَارَ مِنْهُمْ وَالمُهَاجِرِينَ، وَعَنِ التَّابِعِينَ وَتَابِعِي التَّابِعِينَ وَمَنْ تَبِعَهُمْ بِإِحْسَانٍ إِلَى يَوْمِ الدِّينِ.
اللَّهُمَّ اهْدِ وُلَاةَ أُمُورِ المُسْلِمِينَ لِمَا يُرْضِيكَ وَلِاتِّبَاعِ سُنَّةِ نَبِيِّكَ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، وَثَبِّتْ أَقْدَامَهُمْ عَلَى الصِّرَاطِ المُسْتَقِيمِ، وَأَصْلِحْهُمْ يَا رَبَّ الْعَالَمِينَ.
اللَّهُمَّ بَارِكْ عَلَى شَيْخِنَا، وَعَلَى أَمِيرِنَا، وَعَلَى جَمِيعِ أُمَرَاءِ وَزُعَمَاءِ المُسْلِمِينَ.
اللَّهُمَّ بَارِكْ عَلَى المُسْلِمِينَ فِي هَذِهِ المَدِينَةِ، وَوَفِّقْهُمْ لِمَا تُحِبُّهُ وَتَرْضَاهُ يَا أَكْرَمَ الأَكْرَمِينَ.
اللَّهُمَّ أَعِزَّ الإِسْلَامَ وَالمُسِْلمِينَ (3) وَاخْذُلِ الْكُفْرَ وَالْكَافِرِينَ، وَانْصُرِ المُجَاهِدِينَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللهِ. وَاجْعَلْ كَلِمََتَكَ هِيَ العُلْيَا وَكَلِمَةَ الْكُفْرِ هِيَ السُّفْلَى.
اللهم لا تجعل الدنيا أكبر همنا ولا مبلغ علمنا ولا تسلط علينا بذنوبنا من لا يخافك ولا يرحمنا
اللهم أصلح لنا ديننا الذي هو عصمة امرنا وأصلح لنا دنيانا التي فيها معاشنا وأصلح لنا آخرتنا التي إليها معادنا واجعل الحياة زيادة لنا في كل خير واجعل الموت راحة لنا من كل شر
رَبَّنَا ءَاتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقَِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ.
إِنَّ اللهَ يَامُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالإِحْسَانِ وَإِيتَاءِ ذِي الْقُرْبَى، وَيَنْهَى عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالمُنكَرِ وَالْبَغْيِ، يَعِظُكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَّكَّرُونَ، وَلَذِكْرُ اللهِ أَكْبَرُ وَاللهُ يَعْلَمُ مَا تَصْنَعُونَ. وَقُومُواْ إِلَى صَلاتِكُمْ يَرْحَمُكُمُ اللهُ.