Taking a moment to think about the shortness of life and human destiny after death can awaken a person so involved and infatuated with life’s glamor and shine to ponder and meditate.
One day someone asked Imam Hassan Askari (PBUH) for a short sermon. In response, the Imam read a few awakening poems:
“I see the world prepare to leave in all seriousness; it will not stay for any living thing, nor will any living being remain on earth; it is as if death and unpleasant happenings run like two contesting horses toward the young man1; so you, oh deceived man, ponder a little bit and take an earning from the world.”
Then he gazed towards the skies, raised his arms as drops of tears ran from his eyes, and addressed Allah, saying:
“Oh You whom they seek in grief; Oh You whom they depend upon; Oh You who does not disappoint any hopeful who puts his/her hopes in Him…”
The narrator continues:
When his prayer was finished, he fainted. I raised his head to my chest and wiped the dust from his face. To which he continued with the following poems:
I became neglectful, while the angel of death is after me; and even if I flee death today, there is ultimately no escape from the journey of death. I have ornamented my body with fine clothes, but finally decay will take over my body; it is as if I can see them putting my corpse in the grave, covering it with dirt, placing the final stone on top.
It is as if I see my beauties have vanished without a trace, and there no longer remains flesh or skin on my bones.
I see my life approaching its end, I have not reached my dreams, and have failed to prepare an earning for my journey…
Although, I feared Allah, I trusted His mercy and the fact that there is no merciful but He. Thus, all thanks pertain to Him.
(Even) if there was nothing but death and decay in the grave, and no consequence (of the Judgment Day) from God, just the mere thought on death and decay is enough to separate man from useless acts. Nonetheless, our thinking has diverged from the right path.
I am alone when I die and in the grave, and I will be resurrected alone on the Day of Judgment. So oh you, the one God, have mercy on me, the lonely me.”2
Selection from Qadetana Keyfa Na’refehum by Ayatullah Husseini Milaani3
The Roshd Website offers condolences to all Muslims, especially you dear friend, upon 8th of Rabee al-Awwal, the anniversary of the Martyrdom of the flag of guidance, the light of piety, the ore of wisdom and knowledge, the 11th Imam of the Shiites, Imam Hassan ibn Ali al-Askari (PBUH).
1. Irony of death and time passing too fast for mankind
2. Wasilat al-Maal, pg. 426 & summary of al-Sawaiq al-Muhariqa by Ibn Hajar, pg. 124 – al-mashudi fi Jawahir al-Aqdein pg. 355
3. Translation from original Arabic text titled ‘How much Do we know Imam Hassan Askari?’ By Muhammad Ali Jaberi