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The Importance of Working for the Next Life

A Friday Sermon by


The Great Scholar


Sheikh Muhammad Saalih Al-Uthaimeen

 (رحمه اللّه)

All praise is for Allah who created the Sun and the moon as lights and fixed them in their positions in order that you may tell the time and know (when) the reckoning (is). All praise is for the one who made the night and day different for the one who wants to be mindful or thankful.  I bear witness that there is no deity worshipped in truth other than Allah who is alone and without partner, owner of the dominion and all praise, from Him is the beginning and to Him is the end.  I also bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger, the best and most virtuous of those who worship Allah and repent to Him, may peace and blessings be upon him, his family, companions, and all that follow him in perfection.

Fear Allah the Most High and reflect over these days and nights which are only a phase you are passing through to the next life where you will end your journey.  Every day, every hour, every minute that passes draws you further away from this world and closer to the next.  These days and nights contain your actions like a chest, preserved for you as a witness to what you did of good and evil.  So blessed is he who took advantage of the opportunity to get closer to Allah. Blessed is he who was busy with obedience and refraining from sin.  Blessed is he who took a lesson from the differing and changing affairs and situations using it as an evidence for what Allah possess of great wisdom and hidden treasure, Allah the Mighty and Majestic says;

Allah causes the night and the day to succeed each other (i.e. if the day is gone, the night comes, and if the night is gone, the day comes, and so on). Truly, in these things is indeed a lesson for those who have insight.  (An-Nur 24:44) 

Do you not see the sun as it rises every day from the east and sets in the west?  This contains the greatest of lessons.  It’s rising and setting is an indication that this life is not permanent rather it is rising and setting and will fade away.  Do you not see the moon and how it appears as a small crescent at the beginning of the month just like a baby is born and gradually develops and just as the body develops until it reaches maturity and then gradually degrades and decays so does life, so take a lesson from this.  Allah the Mighty and Majestic says;

Allah is He Who created you in (a state of) weakness, then gave you strength after weakness, then after strength gave (you) weakness and grey hair. He creates what He wills. And it is He Who is the All­Knowing, the All­Powerful (i.e. Able to do all things).  (Ar-Rum 30:54) 

Look at the years and how they come year after year.  I new year comes and you look at it like something long and the days begin to pass by quickly in the blink of an eye and before you know it you reach the end of the year.  This is how life is.  You see death as something far away looking at your life as something long and before you know it time has caught up with you;

And the stupor of death will come in truth: “This is what you have been avoiding!”  (Qaf 50:19) 

It is possible that someone go through his life in hope and taking delight in being secure and all of a sudden that hope is lost and the security is gone. 

Today you are leaving behind you the previous year which was a witness and entering a bright new year.  If only I would be aware of what I left behind me in the previous year and with what I was entering the new year with, so let everyone take himself to account and look into his own affair and if he fell behind in some of his obligations then let him repent to Allah and make up that which he missed out on.  If he oppressed his own self by committing sin then let him remove it from his habits before it is too late and then his time comes.  If he was of those whom Allah blessed with uprightness within his ability then he is too praise Allah for that and ask Him to make him firm upon it until he meets his end.  Faith is not by hopes and embellishment rather it is that which is revered by the heart and attested for by action.  Repentance is not just words but it is remorse for what was done of sin, leaving those actions, and looking to Allah for aid in rectifying actions and supervision.  So realize and actualize true faith and sincerely repent to the Most Merciful while you are still able.  The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم admonished a man and said, “Take advantage of five things before five things; your youth before your old age, your health before sickness, your wealth before poverty, your free time before you are busy, and your life before your death.”  In youth there is determination and strength and when old age sets in determination wears thin and strength becomes weakness and one is not able to overcome that aging.  With good health there is happiness and energy and when you become sick you become weak and performing deeds is difficult.  With wealth comes ease and free time and if you become poor you are worried and become busy providing a life for yourself and family.  Life has vast opportunity for deeds and action and when you die all of that is cut off.  Thus you should take a lesson from this sermon and measure what remains of your life as it will pass by very quickly just as that which has already passed did.  Do what you can of righteous action for everything that is coming is close and all that is in this life will perish.  Allah the Most High said;

The Day they see it, (it will be) as if they had not tarried (in this world) except an afternoon or a morning.  (An-Nazi’at 79:46) 

Remember your brothers who were with you in days like these bidding farewell to the previous year and they moved from “the good life” to the graves and they bid their farewells to time before it bid them farewell, rather time bid them farewell before the were able to bid it farewell and were from the people of the graves before they could make it to “the good life”.  They left their family and wealth going to the recompense of deeds and actions becoming dependent on them and hoping for one extra good deed but they cannot obtain it, hoping to repent from their evil actions but they cannot repent after death.  It was reported that in a dream some dead said that they faced a great affair, we know and are not able to act and you act but you do not know what has happened to the one who squanders and wastes deeds for by Allah, to glorify Allah once or twice, to pray one or two units of prayer that will be written in the book of records would be more beloved to us than the world and all that it contains.  So rush to repentance and know the worth of your time and what you will soon face.  The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said, “Your whip or lash in the paradise is better than the world and all that it contains” It is better than the world from the beginning to the end, just whip or lash in paradise is better than all of that.  Allah the Mighty and Majestic said;

  See how We prefer one above another (in this world) and verily, the Hereafter will be greater in degrees and greater in preference.  (Al-Isra 17:21)

  Nay, you prefer the life of this world; Although the Hereafter is better and more lasting. (Al-A’la 87:16-17)

Tell Me, if We do let them enjoy for years, And afterwards comes to them that (punishment) which they had been promised! All that with which they used to enjoy shall not avail them.  (Ash-Shu’ara 26:205-207) 

Take a lesson from the past and make it an opportunity for righteous actions. Read what Allah says;

Surely, your Lord is Allah Who created the heavens and the earth in six Days and then Istawâ (rose over) the Throne (really in a manner that suits His Majesty), disposing the affair of all things. No intercessor (can plead with Him) except after His Leave. That is Allah, your Lord; so worship Him (Alone).  Then, will you not remember? To Him is the return of all of you. The Promise of Allah is true. It is He Who begins the creation and then will repeat it, that He may reward with justice those who believed (in the Oneness of Allah – Islamic Monotheism) and did deeds of righteousness. But those who disbelieved will have a drink of boiling fluids and painful torment because they used to disbelieve.  It is He Who made the sun a shining thing and the moon as a light and measured out its (their) stages, that you might know the number of years and the reckoning. Allah did not create this but in truth. He explains the Ayât (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) in detail for people who have knowledge. Verily, in the alternation of the night and the day and in all that Allah has created in the heavens and the earth are Ayât (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) for those people who keep their duty to Allah, and fear Him much. (Yunus 10:3-6) 

So those of wisdom, take a lesson and prepare with deeds and actions for a day when the hearts and eyes will be fixed. Know that this life is quickly coming to its end and there is no real life except that which is spent in great obedience. 

We ask Allah to protect us from heedlessness and to grant us success in our repentance.  We ask you to give us from your virtue and mercy and to make us of those who have wisdom, those who take lessons, and from the intelligent who have insight.  Forgive us, our parents, and all of the Muslims by your mercy for You are the Most Merciful. May your peace and blessings be upon you servant and messenger Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم , upon his family, and companions.

Translated by Eesa John Starling 


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