DYING BEFORE DEATH
At the time of death, the dying man possesses certain attributes, the inculcation of which is exhorted by the Hadith: "Die before your death." These attributes which are in the perfect state in the dying man are:
Taubah (repentance), zuhd, (abstention), Qanaaat (contentment), tawakkul (trust in Allah), Azlat (solitude), Tawajju Ilallaah (attention directed to Allah Ta'ala), sabr (patience), Ridhaa (pleased with Allah), Zikr (remembrance of Allah) and muraaqabah (meditation).
Among the Shataariyah the salient feature is Muraaqabah.
One has to inculcate the above qualities which overtake a dying person to a high degree. Taubah, i.e. repentance to emerge from all evil as is the position at the time of maut; Zuhd, i.e. to shun the world and everything in it as is the case at maut; Tawakkul, i.e. to shun all abnormal worldly agencies as is the case at maut; Azlat, i.e. to sever all ties with creation as is the case at maut; Qanaa'at, i.e. abstention from lowly desires-- to be contented-as is the case at maut; Tawajju Ilallaah, i.e. to rivet one's attention towards only Allah Ta'ala as is the case at maut; Sabr, i.e. to shun pleasures as is the case at maut; Ridhaa, i.e. to abstain from pleasing the nafs, and to be pleased with Allah and to submit in entirety to Allah Ta'ala as is the case at maut. This is the conception of "Die before your death."
One has to transform one's condition so as to be imbued with the conception of "death before death". In this earthly life, the body is on earth, but the rooh should be directed to the Aakhirah, and be in communion with Allah Ta'ala. Possession of even the kingdom of the earth should not affect one's heart. The heart at all times should be empty of the world. The sign of this lofty state having settled over one is total abstention from everything branded as evil by the Shari'ah. The mind, tongue and the whole body have to be sealed from evil. The heart is to be emptied of all things other than Allah Ta'ala. It has to be adorned with Akhlaaq-e-Hameedah.
A man dwelling in this lofty state of purity and communion with Allah Ta'ala is always aloof from gatherings of futility. Whatever diverts the mind of the Seeker of Allah from the remembrance of Allah is futility and nonsensical. The Seeker refrains from association with men of Baatil (falsehood and corruption). One who does not pursue the Path in quest of Allah, is in fact a man of Baatil.
O beloved one! This then is the meaning of "die before your death" stated by Rasulullah Sallallahu alayhi wasallam. This is the way of Rasulullah Sallallahu alayhi wasallam. This is the life which Rasulullah Sallallahu alayhi wasallam desired for his Ummah.
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