Death is a reality which many of us like to push aside. We know that it will visit us one day but we think it is far away when in reality it could be just at our doorstep. We hear stories of those who have passed away- young and old, good and bad. But the biggest death that afflicted this ummah was the death of our beloved, Muhammad .
As the Prophet stood on the Uranah Valley to deliver his final sermon he asked his companions:
“What will you say about me?” They replied: “We will bear witness that you have indeed conveyed, fulfilled your duty and sincerely advised us”. Then, raising his finger to the sky the Prophet said, “O Allah, bear witness. O Allah, bear witness. O Allah, bear witness”. [1. Muslim]
This was one such indication that the Prophet gave to his companions of his imminent death.
At another time, the Prophet, when delivering a sermon said:
“Verily, Allah gave a servant of His a choice between this world and what He has with him and that servant chose what is with Allah” [2. Bukhari]
Once saying this Abu Bakr began to cry whilst the rest of the sahabah watched on, not recognizing the fact that the Prophet was referring to himself- he had chosen death.
As the time to the prophet’s death neared, he too suffered from its pain and afflictions. Aisha related:
“I have never seen a man who is in as much pain as the Messenger of Allah”.
When asked by Abdullah ibn Masood about his pain, the Prophet said “I am made to suffer as much pain as two men among you are made to suffer” [3. Bukhari]
Despite this agony the Prophet continued advising his ummah:
“Let no one among you die except while he is having good thoughts about Allah, the Possessor of Might and Majesty” [4. Muslim]
His emphasis on salah is a stark reminder of a fard (obligatory) act that many of us neglect or underestimate today.
As his head lay on Aisha chest the Prophet uttered:
“There is no God but Allah. Death is full of agonies” and as he raised his finger up and looked upwards, Aisha heard him say: “O Allah, forgive me, have mercy on me, and admit me into the company of the most exalted companionship on high” [5. Muslim]
until his soul was taken.
This was a death that shook the ummah, after all who can really replace the Prophet Muhammad ? The day of his death was the darkest day the Muslims had witnessed and as Anas ibn Malik aptly put it:
“On the day the Messenger of Allah arrived in Madinah, all things in it became illuminated. And on the day he died, all things in it became dark”.
Hardships, trials and tribulations are a calamity of this dunya. How else are we to make it to jannah? As Allah says:
“Do the people think that they will be left alone on saying ‘we believe’ and that they will not be tested? We did test those before them. Allah has to see who are the truthful and who are the liars” Surah Ankaboot verses 2-3
But whilst we may go through various trials, we should realize that no trial afflicted us more than the Prophet’s death- for indeed revelation ceased, our link between Allah through revelation was severed forever.
Finally, as this is the last article on the seerah that I will be writing I want us to remember to cherish the Prophet . He suffered and endured so much so, that we know how to deal with these things when we experience it ourselves. He went through every persecution imaginable both on his reputation and physically. He saw his beloved Khadijah die, he buried his daughters and sons, he was pelted with stones till his sandals were filled with blood. He saw his uncle mutilated at the battle of Uhud, adulterous rumours spread about his wife and yet he retained his title of Al Amin and As Sadiq.
He now awaits us at his Al-Hawd(Basin) in Jannah- what will you do to meet him there?
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