If Today Was Your Last
This week, I received the news that a friend’s husband passed away in his sleep. This friend of mine was married to her love for less than a year. I really admire her because so far, she has remained as patient and accepting as the circumstances allow her to be which is not an easy task. Navigating through grief is like being in a war zone, sometimes you don’t know if you’ll survive it.
Imagine going about your day expecting everything to go about like you normally would. You take your shower. Have your coffee. Go to work. And in the middle of doing your usual everyday task, someone comes in to tell you “your *insert whoever you love* just passed away.” Just like that your whole world is turned upside down.
Just a minute before then everything was alright.
Just a few string of sentences and there goes your heart: torn into pieces.
The pain you experience from losing someone you love is not reversible—it changes you for the rest of your life.
When I learned about the death of my friend’s husband, I immediately texted my mother to tell her I love her and I didn’t want to die suddenly without her knowing. My father was with me so I could tell him personally. I also messaged my best friend to tell her I love her.
Death is NEAR to all of us and it can come whenever—old age is not guaranteed to anyone.
And yet, how many of us live as if tomorrow is promised? How many of us live as if meeting our Creator and answering for our deeds is but a distant reality?
What If You Died Today?
Death is the best wake-up call because there’s really no telling when you will go. Thinking of death forces us to leave the inessential behind and to focus on what’s real.
I looked back on my life thus far and wondered if I died today, would I be happy with the life I have led or could I do better? Would I leave this world with unfinished business?
If I died today, I’m content with the life I’ve led so far. I don’t care if I don’t have a typical ‘success story’ to leave behind, I’m perfectly happy with my relationship with God and that’s my most prized gift in life. At the end of the day, is there really anything else that matters as much?
It’s not your wealth that will attain Allāh’s Mercy. It’s not your job positions or titles that will bring you to Jannah. It’s the state of your heart that determines your final resting place in the akhirah and the condition of your heart is determined by your relationship with Allāh subḥānahu wa Taʿālā.
Prioritising Allāh doesn’t mean I choose to live in a bubble while ignoring the realities of this world. On the contrary, if I honour my relationship with the Almighty, it means I also honour my relationship with all His creations. I place importance in being kind to ALL human beings. It means I honour the ground I walk on and am good to the environment. It also means I don’t neglect my body and soul; I’m fair to both because my whole existence is an amanah from Allāh.
No Day Is As Important As Today
Neither your past nor future share the same significance as today. Whatever you’ve done in the past, you can learn or repent from it. Whatever is in your future is out of your control so there is no use obsessing over it because there is no guarantee you’ll live to see that day you’re anxiously anticipating for.
But TODAY is still here. This very moment you’re in is still here. While you’re here, still breathing, there’s a chance to do good or fix what isn’t. What you’re doing in this moment will determine how the next few minutes or hours will unfold. Whatever you do today, do it well and with good intentions.
(Besides your solat) Do one thing everyday That Will Benefit you In The akhirah.
Give away any amount you can (sincerely) with the intention of sadaqah
Spend time with your parents
Be kind to someone who needs it
Perform taubah (repent)
Make salawat on Rasulullah ﷺ
Recite a few pages of the Quran or listen to the recitation of the Quran
Let go of all ill feelings in your heart
Forgive those who wronged you and ask for forgiveness from those you’ve wronged
The State Of Your Heart
إِلَّا مَنْ أَتَى اللَّهَ بِقَلْبٍ سَلِيمٍ
“When the only one who will be saved is the one who comes before God with a sound heart (qalbun saleem).” [26:88]
I can never forget the words of Shaykh Muhammad Al-Ninowy during my first class with him. Before he would begin teaching, he would ask the class: “How’s your heart with Allāh today?”
Sometimes we forget that when we are praying, it’s not simply the movement of the limbs but it’s the work of the heart. It’s the heart that is telling our bodies to bow and prostrate before Him and it’s our heart that Allāh is inspecting as we stand present before Him.
If you can be very honest with yourself right now: how is the condition of your heart? Is it harbouring ill feelings towards someone? Does it have envy towards the blessings of someone? Does it have anger towards someone? Is it ungrateful? Is it swimming in ignorance?
All of us are work in progress but if we were to start and end our days by checking how our hearts are, we could really improve the condition of our hearts from the moment we begin our day to the moment we end it. If we inspect our heart nearly as much as we checked on how our outfit or face looks like throughout the day, imagine how beautiful it could be.
If we strive to keep our hearts in the best condition possible at all times, we can live in peace knowing that if death were to greet us, we would be meeting God with a heart that is at peace.