How to safeguard one’s faith at the time of death
Friends! Do you know what is a faithless death is and what are its reasons? The following are the reasons for dying a faithless death (i.e. a death without Imaan):
The engagements of this world and the desires of the flesh keep stopping the heart from entering the Realm of Dominance (A’alam Malakoot). While sleeping, these reasons are reduced and thus the future happenings are unveiled to one. Similarly in the throes of death, when these reasons are reduced, everything appears in its real form. All those who held the wrong beliefs and would consider them as correct or committed (reprehensible) innovations and considered them as worthy of reward, all these things appear in their true form at the time of death. That person will regret those beliefs and actions of his (or her) whole life and will fall prey to hesitance and perplexity about all of their beliefs. If death comes in such a state then it will be a faithless death. For that reason, keep your beliefs as per the command of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) and save yourself from (reprehensible) innovations.
Anecdote: Maulana Fateh Muhammad Sahib (May Allah shower His Mercy on him) would say that a great scholar of Makkah told him that a Mullah passed away in Makkah. Some days after his burial, another person also passed away. That person was also to be buried in the same grave as it is the custom in Makkah that multiple persons are buried in the same grave. When that grave was re-dug, the body of the Mullah was not found. Instead the body of a girl was found. By her appearance, that girl seemed to be European. Everybody was astonished.
By chance a person had come from Europe. He recognized that girl and said: This girl is from France. She is the daughter of a Christian. She used to study Urdu from me and had embraced Islam. She would read booklets on Islamic sciences. She fell ill and died. I left my job and came here. The reason for this girl being transferred here was understood that it was because she was a Muslim and really pious. Everybody was still concerned about the body of that Mullah. Maybe that it was transferred to the grave of that girl. At last, forced by the circumstances, that person who had returned from Europe and someone who knew the Mullah were sent to France. On reaching France, they somehow persuaded the girl’s parents to exhume the body of that girl. There, in place of that girl’s body, the body of that Mullah was present. Thus, a report was sent back that the body of the Mullah is in the grave of that girl.
Now in Makkah people were surprised as to why the Mullah was rejected in such a manner. The real condition of someone is known only to the members of ones’ household. Thus, the wife of that Mullah was questioned about that Mullah that whether she found anything against Islam in her husband. She said that he was very pious. They asked her to think again. Then she said that every time after intercourse, her husband would grumble about the Purification Bath (Ghusl-e-Janaabat) and would say that the religion of the Christians is better in this regard as there is no such thing for them. This always disturbed me.
Friends! God knows what else was the reason that he was removed from the blessed city of Makkah and sent to the place of those people whom he loved.
A person loves somebody. That friend of his borrows a thousand rupees from him. After some days, this person comes to know that the borrower has no intention of returning the money. Now this person had love for the borrower, but it was less than his love for money. Thus, that lesser love evaporates and for the sake of that money, he harbors enmity against that person, claims it in a court of law and gets him imprisoned. In the same way, one has love for both, Allah Most High and for this material world. But the love for this world is great and love for Almighty Allah is less. For this reason, Almighty Allah keeps prohibiting things, but one can’t think of anything else in the face of some material gain. If someone tries to take it away, one is angered to no less extent.
Similarly, in the throes of death, when one learns that Almighty Allah is the One who is snatching away our beloved material world, the lesser love for Almighty Allah evaporates and one develops feelings of enmity towards Almighty Allah. When one dies in such a state, it is a faithless death. Then one is presented before Almighty Allah the way a runaway slave is presented, forcibly brought to the Master.
If the love of this material world was less and love of Almighty Allah was the dominant, then the way if doesn’t harbor enmity against one’s child if he/she loses some money, as the love of the son is dominant, similarly in the throes of death, when one learns that the world is being snatched away and the One snatching it is the Lord Almighty and the love for Almighty Allah is dominant, then no matter. One will die with the love of Almighty Allah. This is dying with one’s faith intact and one will go before Almighty Allah like an obedient slave comes gladly before the Master.
The rule of the thumb is that whatever one does when awake, one sees the same in dreams. Similarly, the way one lives, one will also die in the same state. If someone sins excessively, is steeped in the desires of the flesh, then at the time of death, the heart is engaged in the same sins and desires and will keep drawing pleasure from them. If one dies in such a state, then it is faithless death. Friends! Repent immediately so that the habit of sins wears off and one is not reminded of it in the throes of death.
Disrespecting and insulting the friends of Allah Most High also leads to a faithless death.
Claiming to be a saint and holy man also leads to a faithless death.
Preferring the customs and appearances of the non-believers and supporting and praising them also leads to a faithless death.
Oppressing and committing excesses against the creation also leads to a faithless death.
Not being apprehensive about one’s death also leads to a faithless death.
Not being thankful and grateful for one’s faith (Imaan) also leads one to a faithless death.
Friends! If you desire not to die a faithless death, then save yourself from the aforementioned things…
[Excerpted from Qiyaamatnaama of Hadhrat Muhaddith-e-Deccan]