What will they say about you after your death?

Death is a fascinating thing. A sister was telling me how a believer’s soul departs from their body and is taken away by the angels. They shroud the soul in a musk smelling cloth and take it up to the heavens. Every time the angels approach a level in the sky they are asked:  “What is this good and sweet-smelling soul?” the reply is given: “This is “such” the son of “such”; choosing the best of the names this person used to be called in this life. Subhanallah, a fragrant soul, in a musk shrouding and being called by the best of names; it is an amazing image.


I wonder how many of us will be called by their best names when the angles take our souls. How about the people we leave behind? Are we going to be remembered with our best names and character when the day comes and we leave this life?  Indeed, something to think about.


Once I was doing an exercise where I was to imagine that I was attending my own eulogy, one that is given by a friend, a work colleague or a family member. In Islamic tradition it is recommended that the dead is ritually cleansed, prayed upon and buried as soon as possible. There is no space or time for speeches. So I thought about when everyone had gone back to their homes and the next working day. Would these people make dua for me for I was a good daughter, friend, neighbour, cousin, workmate? For I had fulfilled my obligations towards them?   Would they miss my contribution or be secretly grateful for the absence of the difficulties I brought them “as a test from Allah!”. Something to ponder about.  


Someone achieved what we would hope for. A good name in this life and, by the will of Allah, a straight path to Paradise. It stemmed from a belief and proactiveness to protect himself, not out of pride but out of honour. When asked if he’d ever drank before Islam, he replied: “I used to protect my honour and dignity and whoever drinks loses his honour and dignity”


Ibn Al-Dughunna told him: “A man like you should not leave, nor should he turned out as you assist the poor, keep good relations with your kith and kin, help the disabled, honour your guests and stand up for justice”


The Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) testified to his knowledge: “Verily, he is the most knowledgeable of Quraish in genealogy”


Allah (swt) testified to his companionship: {If you help him (Muhammad pbuh) not (it does not matter), for Allah did indeed help him when the disbelievers drove him out, the second of two, when they (Muhammad pbuh and Abu Bakr) were in the cave, and he (pbuh) said to his companion (Abu Bakr): “Be not be sad, surely Allah is with us.” Then Allah sent down His tranquillity upon him, and strengthened him with forces (angels) which you saw not, and made the word of those who disbelieved the lowermost, while the Word of Allah that became the uppermost, and Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise} The Quran (At-Taubah (9):40) 


This is the companion Abu Bakr Assidique, may Allah be pleased with him.

The Prophet Mohammed (pbuh)  once asked:   “Who began this day fasting?”  Abu Bakr said: “I did.”  The Prophet (pbuh) then asked:  “Who participated in a funeral procession today?” Abu Bakr said: “I did.”  The Prophet (pbuh) asked:  “Who fed a needy person today?” Abu Bakr said: “I did.”   The Prophet (pbuh) asked:  Who visited a sick person today? Abu Bakr said: “I did.”  Then, the Prophet (pbuh) said:  “These things cannot all meet in a single person but that they will enter Paradise.” Recorded by Muslim  


Subhannallah, what names do you think the angels gave him when they were ascending the heavens with his blessed soul. With these testimonies there is no question about what his family, friends and us after them remember him with.


May Allah make us of the righteous who fulfil our obligation to him and treat others with goodness and kindness.




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