The silent narrow pathways of graveyards help you to understand the brevity of life. There is very little noise there – perhaps just the wind rustling through some lone trees and the faraway chatter of gravediggers that have taken a break from their work. Perhaps the muffled cries of the deceased’s child or wife. Perhaps your own nervous heartbeat that thuds loudly in your chest and ears.
The graves are full of people who were great conversationalists, talented writers, illustrious cooks and fashion idols. They all met the same end.
Somehow what shade of lipstick matches your outfit doesn’t seem to matter when you walk those lone pathways. Somehow your sharp mind that often wins word-wars with others doesn’t seem to be able to bring itself to say a word as you touch the soil beneath your feet, the soil above their heads. Somehow the expensive shoes that are covered with the dust of that hushed graveyard don’t seem so valuable anymore.
Everyone who existed died. Everyone who exists will die. The breath in your chest as it rises and falls is an indication that time is passing. Every moment gone is a piece of your one chance, gone.
At death you will not wonder – what would my life have been like if I had more things? You will not wish to have made more money or been more fashionable. You will not wish you had more degrees to your name.
You will only wish that you had worshiped Him better. Only that, nothing else.
The angel of death stands by unbeknownst to you as your time nears its end. The angel of death makes mourners of merry people. He obeys the orders of God without fail, without choice in the matter.
One day it will be me under soil. One day it will be my loved ones wiping their tears and walking with hushed words away from where I am. One day I will wish that I had worshiped Him better. I will only wish that, nothing else.
That day it will be just me and my deeds. And perhaps I will not have done enough. Perhaps the angel of death will take me before I am ready to meet my Lord, before I have given away my money to those who had a right to it…before I had decided to give up everything that leads me away from The Path of Truth.
And so restlessness is what I seek. Tired eyes and worked hands. I seek until the day I am deposited into the graveyard, to never rest until I have given everything I can, worshiped God with every limb of my body and carried others through their difficulties.
Restlessness in this life is what I seek. The time for rest will come soon.
1) The stranger is not the stranger to Yemen or Shaam
But the stranger is the stranger to the grave and the coffin
2) Verily the stranger has rights for his absence
Over the residents of the dwellings & homelands.
3) Don’t chase away the outlander in his state of unfamiliarity
For time is also chasing him with hardship & distress
4) My travels are far and my provisions will not suffice me
My strength has weakened and death is calling unto me.
5) I still have sins which I know not of
Allah knows of them; those made in secret & in manifest
6) How merciful has Allah been to me by giving me respite
And I have increased in sins but Allah has always shielded me
7) The hours of my days pass by without regret
No crying, no fear, no sadness
8) I am the one who closes the doors with fatigue
on disobedience, & The Eye of Allah watches over me..
9) O’ that which was written in a moment of heedlessness
O’ the sorrow which remains in my heart is burning me.
10) Leave me to bewail myself and weep
and pass the time in sadness and remembrance.
11) Leave off your Blaming of me O’ Ye who do so..
If you were but to know my situation you would have excused me…
12) Let me cry out tears that have no ending to them
for there will be no lesson that will set me free
13) It is As though I am with that family, laying..
Upon the mattress with their hands turning me over.
14) And they came to me with a doctor that he may cure me..
But of today I think not that medicine will benefit me..
15) My sufferings increased and death began to pull at me ..
From every vein, without ease or comfort..
16) My soul was then removed from me with a gurgle..
And my saliva became bitter at that point..
17) They then shut my eyes and left me…
after a long moment of despair,…. they hurried to the purchase of the shroud
18) And he who was dearest to me got up in a hurry..
To summon the person who was to wash me..
19) He said: O’ my people we have attained a Washer who is skillful, clever, bright & intelligent..
20) So then one of the men came and removed my clothing..
He undressed me and denuded me…
21) They then placed me on top of a board
And the sound of water above me began to clean me
22) He poured the water on top of me and washed me..
Three times, before calling out to the people for the Shroud..
23) They shrouded me in a sleeveless garment..
And my provisions became the embalmment in which they embalmed me
24) They Bore me towards my journey Out of this World, Oh How Sorrowful!!
Will be this journey for which I have no provisions to take along with me.
25) Upon their shoulders, they carried me, Four….
Men, and behind me are those who come to bid me farewell
26) They set me before the mihraab then turned away from me
Behind the Imaam they went and he prayed on me then bade me farewell
27) They prayed over me a prayer consisting of neither Rukoo’ nor Sujood
Asking that Allah may have Mercy upon me.
28) They lowered me into my grave slowly
And one of them came forward to place me in the Lahd
29) He raised the garment from my face to gaze upon me
And the tears spilt from his eyes awashing me
30) Then he stood, honoring me, firm and resolute
And lined the bricks on my body then left me
31) And he said “Throw the dirt upon him and reap
The great rewards from Ar-Rahmaan, The Most Gracious”
32) In the darkness of the grave, no mother is there nor,
Is there an affectionate father, or a brother to comfort me
33) Alone….The only inhabitant of the Grave Oh how Sorrowful!!
Am I on parting the world bearing no Deeds to provision me.
34) And a sight which beheld my eye struck terror into me.
From a place of terror it came and startled me..”
35) Munkar and Nakeer, what shall I say to them?
The thought of them strikes terror into me, it causes me fear
36) And they made me to sit and put forth their questions
I have none other Than You now O Lord to deliver me!!.
37) So bestow upon me from your Mercy O Lord, How I hope in You!!
For verily I am fettered in my sins, I am confined by them
38) The relatives have divided my wealth amongst them after leaving me.
And my sins are now upon my back, burdening me
39) My wife has taken another husband in my place
And she has appointed him as overseer over my wealth and my home
40) She has made my children into servants to bid unto her needs
And my wealth has become to them a worthless means of enjoyment
41) So let not this World and its adornments deceive you.
And look at its (evil) effects in your family and homeland
42) And look at the one who collects the wealth of this Dunya in abundance
Will he depart from this world bearing other than the death shroud and embalmment?
43) Take from the dunya that which suffices you and be contented with that
Even if you were to have naught but good health
44) O ye who sow good, you will reap the fruit of your efforts.
O ye who sow evil you will find yourselves overcome with grief
45) O soul of mine, abstain from sinning and attain instead
Deeds which are Beautiful, for which Allah may be merciful towards me
46) O soul of mine, Woe upon you! Turn towards your lord in Repentance, and do that which is good
So that you will be recompensed after your death with that which is delightful
47) Lastly sending prayers upon the Chosen one, Our Sayyid (leader)
48) All praise is unto Allah, May he fill our days and nights with that which is Good, with forgiveness
With Ihsaan and Grace.