Time to Remember
As many Muslims rush toward amusement on the first day of the Eid, others are more keen to keep the memory of their beloved ones. Malaysian Muslims usually visit the graves of their dead in the wee hours of the first `Eid day.
"I must come here every year to remember my forefathers and recite some verses from the Qur'aan," Arief Zain, a teenage boy, said as he laid some flowers on the grave of his great grandmother in the Sg. Pinang cemetery. Goodbye Opah.
They prepare scented water (from "Kayu Cendana" / sandalwood) and flowers, or buy from people who open small stalls or put their items on wooden tables by the graveyards especially for visiting relatives of the dead to lay them on the graves. Aieda Adrieana, the woman visiting her family's plot, believes that visiting the graves is as important as seeing her relatives and friends during the `Eid. "As the alive visit each other, they shouldn't forget the dead as well."
Perhaps this should lead us to ask another question: What is it that we can prepare for that Hour? In fact, the only thing that we can prepare for that Hour is true faith (iman) and good deeds. The Prophet (S.A.W.) has advised us and taught us that we must take advantage of our life before death comes. That is, we must use this life to prepare for the Hereafter before death comes to us and this life will no longer be of any avail to us. If we do not use this life to prepare for the Hereafter, then, in fact, we have simply wasted this life - no matter how much it seems that we have achieved in this worldly life.
Even if we have thirteen degrees, three mansions, thirty cars, three italiano rides, it has all been a waste if we did not stop, think and prepare for the Hour.
At the time of that Hour, three things will follow us to the grave. However, two of those three will leave us at the grave. Our wealth, family and deeds will accompany us to the grave. However, our wealth and family will return - they won't stay us with in the grave, we can't take them with us into our graves to use them in the Hereafter. We will be left with only one thing, as the Prophet (S.A.W.) told us. We will be left in our graves with our deeds only. Our deeds and nothing else will remain with us.
Dear brothers and sisters, we must think about our Hour and prepare for it before it comes. We must prepare for it before the "Grim Reaper" comes to us to take our souls. We should realise that if we prepare for that Hour, the angels will then come to us in a pleasing form, our souls will flow easily out of our bodies and the angels will be calling us to Allah's pleasure and forgiveness.
However, if we do not prepare for that Hour - if we are heedless and we are like those who are about to go on a long trip and don't prepare anything in advance for that trip - our situation will be completely different. The angels will come to the disbeliever or the evildoer in a completely different fashion. They will come in a form that is very displeasing to the person. They will call the soul to Allah's anger and His Punishment.
The soul will not want to leave the body and it will have to be dragged out of the body. The angels will have to tear the soul out of the body. Is this what we want to face? This is the result of not thinking about and preparing for our Hour.
This is the hour that each and every one of us will experience and must be aware of. This is the hour that is approaching us at every second of our lives. This will be the deciding time for us as our actions will come to an end. This is, in fact, OUR HOUR! It is the inevitable that every soul must taste. Allah says in the Qur'aan:
"Everyone shall taste death. And only on the Day of Resurrection shall you be paid your wages in full. And whoever is removed away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise, he indeed is successful. The life of this world is only the enjoyment of deception." (al-'Imraan, 185). This is when our deeds will come to an end. After that, we can just look towards our reckoning. Therefore, the question that we must ask ourselves and act upon before it is too late is: What have we prepared for our hour?
What have we prepared for that moment when this life comes to an end for us?