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Ultimate Reality of Material World - Old Sock Story

Ultimate Reality of Material World - Old Sock StoryA wise and saintly rich man, sensing his approaching death, called his son to his side and gave him these instructions:

'My son, I shall be leaving you very shortly. On the day when I die and they have washed my body and come to wrap it in the shroud, I want you to put one of my socks on my foot. This is my final request of you.'

Soon after this, the old man did indeed die, leaving behind his goods and property, his children and his dependents. Family, friends, acquaintances and neighbours attended his funeral. The body had been washed and was almost completely wrapped in the shroud, when the son remembered his father's wish. Finding one of his old socks, he handed it to the washer of the dead, saying, 'In accordance with my father's last request, please put this sock on his foot.'

'That is quite impossible:' Said the washer of the dead. 'Such a thing is utterly impermissible in Hindu religion. I cannot act against the Sacred Law.'

Despite this valid objection, the son insisted, 'That was my father's final request; it must certainly be carried out.'

The washer of the dead was unmoved. 'If you won't take my word for it,' he said, 'go and ask the elder men. They will confirm what I tell you, that it is not permissible.'

Holding up the funeral, they consulted the elder men, religious head and scholars, all of whom declared that this was not permissible in Hindu religion.

Just then, an aged friend of the deceased interrupted the debate with these words to the son: 'My boy, your late father entrusted me with a letter which I was to hand over to you after his departure. Here, this letter belongs to you.' So saying, he gave him an envelope.

Taken by surprise, the boy opened the envelope and read out the contents of his father's letter. 'My son, all this wealth and property I have left to you. Now you see: at the last moment, they won't even let you give me an old sock to wear. When you yourself come one day to be in my condition they will also refuse to let you keep anything. Naked body that, all you will be able to carry over from this fleeting world into the Hereafter. So pull yourself together and be prepared. Spend the fortune I have left you, not for the satisfaction of vain desires, but in ways pleasing to Almighty, that you may achieve honor in both worlds.'

Qullu Nafsin Za Iqatul Maut! Everything that lives shall taste Death! Noble Qur'an, Surah Al-Imran, Verse 185

Imam Ali (as) said: "Every creature who walks on the earth has to go inside one day."

Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (as) said: "Death is like sleep; the only difference is that while sleep is of a short duration, death continues till the Day of Resurrection."

Imam Muhammad at-Taqi (as) said: "Some of the faithful dislike the pangs of death, because they are not fully aware of the comfort after death. Just as children and the insane dislike to take bitter medicine and make a wry face, though the bitterness of the medicine is a forerunner of benefit (to health)."

What a beautiful advice and guidance for those who can understand! May the mercy of Almighty be upon us all.

Death: An Ultimate Reality

Death: An Ultimate RealityOnce Prophet Ibrahim / Abraham (pbuh) asked Malakul Maut, Hazrat Izrael (the angel of death) to show their form with which they appear in front of the one who is being departed, a believer and a sinner.

Malakul Maut asked Prophet Ibrahim / Abraham (pbuh) to turn around. And when Prophet Ibrahim / Abraham (pbuh) turned back and looked at Malakul Maut, he said, 'O Izrael! If a person saw you in this state, he will certainly faint.' indicating the horror of their appearance that they looked fierce and balls of fire were coming out from each of their hair.

Then, Malakul Maut asked Prophet Ibrahim / Abraham (pbuh) to turn around. And when he looked at Malakul Maut this time said, 'O Izrael! If a crying person saw you in this state, he will start smiling.'

Their former state is adopted when they head towards a sinner while the latter is adopted when they come to a believer.

Imam Zayn Al-Abidin (as) said: "The death of a faithful (Momin) may be described as if he has cast off his dirty garments and has put on clean and tidy ones; and they, with our love in their hearts, are called doers of good deeds. For a faithful death is like his being released from a dark and stuffy dungeon and entering a spacious and fertile garden; and for the infidel, going from this world is like being taken to a jail. For the faithful, the world is like a jail."

Imam Jafar As-Sadiq (as) said: "For the faithful death is like a sweet fragrance which bestows freshness and delight upon him and removes all worldly vexation and dejection. The pain at the time of death is as if all the parts of the body are being torn apart and nails are being hammered therein. In death the torture is as if a delicate silken cloth has been thrown on a thorny bush and dragged through it and its fibres are torn apart. But death for a faithful is not severe."

Imam Musa Kazim (as) said: "For the faithful the example of death is like a dirty cloth being beaten on a stone slab, in order to clean it. Similarly, at the time of the agony, the faithful is subjected to severity to purify him."

Bas Itna Karam Karna, Aey Chashm-e-Kareemana
Jab Jaan Labon Par Ho, Tum Saamnay Aajaana

Sakaratul Maut (Last Moments Before Death)

Sakaratul Maut (Last Moments Before Death)A police officer in a Muslim country wrote the following letter to a Shaykh (Religious leader) describing the events that led to his return to Allah (SWT). He recalls:

Seeing accidents and crash victims was a normal part of my day, but one incident was different.

My partner and I had parked on the shoulder of the highway and began to chat. In a random second, the scene shattered to the hideous sound of metal bodies becoming one. We threw our heads back to see what had happened. It was a head-on collision, the result of a vehicle slipping into the lane of the oncoming traffic.

We couldn't describe the carnage. Two young men sprawled in the first car, both in critical condition. We carried them gently away from the car and rested them on the ground.

Quickly we returned to assist the owner of the second car. He was dead. Back we went to the two young men lying side by side on the pavement.

My partner began dictating the Shahadah to them. Say "Ash Hadu an La Ilaha Illallah (I bear witness that there is no god but Allah) ..."

Their tongues wouldn't acknowledge it. They started humming the hypnotic lyrics of some song. I was terrified. My partner had experience however, and he kept repeating his instruction.

I stood up watching, no movement, eyes locked. Never in my life had I seen anything similar to what was going on before me. In fact, I've never actually seen someone die, and never, in such a satanic way.

My partner continued to instruct them to say the Shahadah but there was no use. The hum of their song came to a slow silence, slowly. The first one stopped and then the other. Not a stir but Dead.

We carried them to our patrol car; my partner made no effort to speak. Not a whisper between us two as we carried the corpses to the nearest hospital.

The police officer fell back into routine, as he narrates, and started to drift away from Allah (SWT). But another event happened to him that sealed the return. He continues:

What an odd world. After some time, about six months, a strange accident took place. A young man was moving along the highway normally, but within one of the tunnels leading to the city, he got a flat tire.

To the side of the tunnel he parked and stepped to the back to remove the spare tire. The whistle of a speeding car could be heard from behind. In a second, it collided with the crippled car, with the young man in-between. He fell to the ground with critical injuries.

I rushed to the scene, myself and another partner other than the first. Together we carried the young man's body into our patrol car and phoned the hospital to prepare for his arrival.

He was a young adult in his blossom years. Religious, as you could tell from his appearance. He was mumbling when we carried him, but in our rush, we had not paid attention to what he was saying.

However, when we placed him on his back in the patrol car, we could make it out. Through the pain, his heart was reciting Noble Qur'an! He was so immersed in the recitation. Subhan Allah, you would have never said that this person was in intense pain.

Blood had soaked his clothes crimson red, his bones had clearly snapped in several places. To tell the truth, he looked like he was staring into the eyes of death.

He continued to read in his unique, tender voice, reciting each verse in proper rhythm. In my entire life, I had never heard any recitations like it. I said to myself, "I'm going to instruct him to say the Shahadah just like I saw my friend doing," especially since I had previous experience."

My partner and I listened intently to that soft voice. I felt a shiver shock my back and up my arm the hair stood.

Suddenly, the hymn ceased. I watched silently as his hand rose softly. He had his index finger pointed upward to the Heaven, saying the Shahadah (Ash Hadu an La Ilaha Illallah - I bear witness that there is no god but Allah). Then, his head slumped.

I jumped to the back seat, felt his hand, his heart, his breathing. He was dead!

I couldn't stop staring at him. A tear fell but I hid it in shame. I turned back to my partner and told him that the boy's life had ceased. He burst out loud crying. Seeing a man cry like that, I could not control myself and my partner faded away behind the fall of my own tears. The patrol car fogged from the emotions.

We arrived at the hospital. As we rushed through the corridors, we told all the doctors, nurses, and onlookers what had happened. So many people were affected by what we said, some stood there speechless and tearful.

No one wanted to lose sight of the boy, until they had been assured of the time and place he would be buried.

One of the hospital staffs phoned the boy's home. His brother picked it up and was told of the accident. His brother told us about him:

He used to go out every Monday to visit his only grandmother outside of town. Whenever he visited her, he made sure to spend time with the poor children idling on the streets, and the orphans. The town knew him; he was the one that would bring them the Islamic books and tapes. His dusty Mazda would be filled with rice and sugar and even candies - couldn't forget the candies - for those families who were in need.

He would not stand for anyone to discourage him from the long journey to that town. He would always politely reply that the long drive gave him time to review his Noble Qur'an and to listen to Islamic lectures on his cassette deck and that with every step to the town, he hoped for the reward he would find with Allah (SWT).

Rasool Allah - Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam gave the example of a man who loses his camel in the desert and in that wasteland loses hope of life. In that state, he sits down awaiting death to come. Then, he opens his eyes and finds his camel standing beside him with all the provisions to take him home. In his extreme happiness he cries out, "O Allah, You are my servant and I am your Lord!" He says it wrong from the bliss of happiness.

Rasool Allah - Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam said that verily Allah (SWT) is more pleased with the repentance of His servant than this man is upon finding his camel!

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Islamic Moral Stories is designed by Akramulla Syed Last Updated: Thursday, November 17, 2016