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Preparing for the Afterlife

ImageThe Infallibles are our best examples in this world to prepare ourselves for the next. They have shown us through their teachings that we must be in a constant state of worship. Imam Baqir once said, "I would indeed fear if death came to me while I was in the state of committing a sin."

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Return to Allah

How often does our mind come across death, the hereafter, heaven, or hell? Do you ever wonder what the next world is like? There are so many questions left unanswered because we do not give ourselves the time to reflect and comprehend the next world. In today's society, some people will say, "Allah is All-Merciful; He will forgive the wrongdoings I have committed in this world. Therefore, I have no worries but to live as I please." Even though Allah is All-Merciful, we cannot keep thinking this way, because one of the greater sins is being heedless of His wrath and punishment. There needs to be a balance between mercy and justice.

"Work for this world as if you are to live forever and work for the hereafter as if you are to die tomorrow," said Imam Musa al-Kadhim (peace be upon him). The Imam gives us a clear understanding of how important the next world is and the importance of the preparation for it. We need to be in constant remembrance of the hereafter. Every action we do in this world is helping in building the next world. I've always been told, "You build your hereafter."

After pondering over this statement, I began to understand its true meaning. Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (peace be upon him) once said, "The best help for the hereafter is this world." Through His infinite mercy towards His creation, Allah has given us the ability to differentiate between good and evil in this world. Without that ability, we would not be able to go about doing the good and refraining from evil, which ends up in a misunderstood and disastrous hereafter. But Allah has clearly shown us Siraat al-Mustaqeem (the Right Path) through the Holy Qur'an, the Prophets, and the Ahlul Bayt (peace be upon them).

I recently came across something that grabbed my attention until this day. In one of my Islamic Advancement sessions, I learned about the covenant we all made with Allah. We all testified to His Oneness. But yet when I look around and see all the corruption taking place because of the lack in the remembrance of Allah, I think to myself, "How can these people not realize all the signs Allah has given us as a reminder everywhere we go?"

I personally think everyone is aware of Allah's existence, but laziness has controlled and put a barrier between some people and worshipping their Creator. Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (peace be upon him) once said, "I strongly dislike the person who is lazy in his worldly affairs, because one who is lazy in the affairs of this world is lazier in the affairs of his hereafter."

The Infallibles are our best examples in this world to prepare ourselves for the next. They have shown us through their teachings that we must be in a constant state of worship. Imam Baqir once said, "I would indeed fear if death came to me while I was in the state of committing a sin."

We must get ourselves in the constant state of worship. Before every action we make, and every word which comes out of our mouth, we must first remember Allah and the effect it will have on our hereafter. When we hear the word 'worship', our mind quickly turns to the physical worship. But what about the tongue and the heart, and the worship which comes from them? Imam Khomeini mentions in his book The Disciplines of the Prayer, "You must take the heart at the beginning, as a child not yet able to speak, and is wanted to be taught. Should a fact of knowledge or a secret of worship be exposed to him, he is to inform it to his heart carefully and strictly. The result of such information is that, after a period of perseverance, the tongue of the heart will be open to speaking and will become an invoker and a reminder. At the beginning, the heart is a learner and the tongue a teacher. Whenever the tongue invokes, the heart also becomes an invoker, and so the heart is a follower of the tongue. But after the heart's tongue learns to speak, the contrary happens: the heart becomes the invoker and the tongue follows it in invocation and in movement."

And that is the level towards which we need to aim.

About Duaa Al-Ziyadi

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