Never Forget That Death May Come Upon You At Any Moment
All those you see around you, your friends, relatives, basically, every one living on this planet, will certainly one day die, as did billions of others who lived before them. This fact is related in a verse that reads, "Every self will taste death..." (Surat al-Anbiya': 35). To forget this certainty marks a great lack of conscientiousness. Man, who is incapable of avoiding death, will most certainly die, for one reason or another, at a time and place unknown to him.
Keep in mind that, neither beauty, fame, status, wealth, nor youth could have ever prevented their death.
Even though most people are well aware of these realities, they avoid thinking about death, and even strive to forget about it. However, this is nothing but self-deception. Whether one thinks about this inevitable event or not, death will certainly meet him:
The throes of death come revealing the truth. That is what you were trying to evade! (Surah Qaf, 19)
These lines must have reminded you of the closeness of death. Still, try to ponder this issue more deeply; who knows, death may come upon you before you have a chance to finish this book. Therefore, never forget that death is very close to you, as it is close to all.
Contrary to the popular perception, death is not the final stage of a logical sequence of events. Once it is time, Allah sends His angel to whom death is ordained, and takes his soul suddenly, at some quite unexpected moment. It may happen right at this instant, before you have a chance to rise from your chair. The Angel of Death may appear before you, all of a sudden. That you may be surrounded by your friends or your family would not alter this possibility; they can in no way protect you from death. So, never forget that every soul will be taken by the Angel of Death appointed by Allah to the task, and will thus be returned to his Lord.
Still, the idea that you may die at any moment may seem difficult to fathom. The thought of those things you still need to accomplish gives you the feeling that it is too early for you to die. The fact is, however, it is only Allah Who determines the time of death. Not a minute longer or less can a person live, other than the time determined for him. Death meets the soul of a man at the best time predetermined in his destiny:
Allah will not give anyone more time, once their time has come. Allah is aware of what you do. (Surat al-Munafiqun, 11)
Have you ever thought what your body will experience in death?
No matter whether you are beautiful or rich, your stiffened body will rest in a room or morgue. Wrapped in a shroud, your body will be put in a narrow coffin. The hearse will take your body to the graveyard where your corpse will be placed in the pit. Soil will cover you all over. Your body, merely a heap of bones and flesh, will soon start to decay and putrefy. Ultimately, nothing will remain of you except for a pile of bones. Never forget that you will surely meet such a day; eventually, your body will remain alone, under the ground.
A dead human body is an object from which we are to draw lessons. A corpse is hard to tolerate even for a few minutes. Have you ever wondered why a human body, which is able to maintain its robustness for the duration of a lifetime becomes unbearable after death? This is certainly something to ponder, since the thought of your decaying body—as the bodies of all your loved–ones—will assist you in not forgetting the hereafter and becoming attached to this world.
Despite these facts, however, the majority of people absorb themselves in the trivialities of their every day life while they turn their back to this inevitable event. Yet, this is definite error; their failure to prepare themselves for the afterlife ultimately leads them only to an eternal torment. Therefore, remaining aware that death will certainly one day meet him, man should strive to do good deeds in order to earn Allah's consent. Our Lord, the Almighty and the Just, grants sufficient time to every one in which to heed His warning. This period, though, is confined to the life of this world. That is, one can only sincerely repent for his mistakes in this world. Once death takes him, there will no longer be any opportunity to correct his errors. Instead, he will feel regret for all eternity:
They will shout out in it (the Fire of Hell), "Our Lord! Take us out! We will act rightly, differently from the way we used to act!" Did We not let you live long enough for anyone who was going to pay heed to pay heed? And did not the warner come to you? Taste it then! There is no helper for the wrongdoers. (Surah Fatir, 37)
Never forget that death is not the end; contrary to the common notions, death does not bring everything to an end. Nor is it an everlasting peaceful sleep, as many ignorantly assume. Death is the beginning of one's real and eternal life; this is a life determined according to how one conducts himself in this world, and it is unlikely to be changed once death comes upon him. Death is a gate to bliss and salvation, if that person has spent his life to earn Allah's good pleasure. For those who turned away from Allah, however, it is the beginning of an eternal torment.
In this world, Allah causes man to experience many incidents that serve as reminders of death and the hereafter. For those inclined to take the warning, these reminders make them seriously reflect upon their lives and reconsider their outlook on it. Those who disregard these warnings, however, are in great loss. Never forget that those who have already died had not been expecting death either, just like people who are still alive now, and death probably came upon them at a very unexpected moment, such as at the dinner table or while they were making plans for the weekend.
So, never forget to work for your afterlife, before death comes to you after which you won't have the chance to perform a further good deed.
In the Qur'an, Allah relates the fact that death is not an event that can in any way be put off, and describes the deep regret suffered by those for whom death was ordained:
Give from what We have provided for you before death comes to one of you and he says, "My Lord, if only you would give me a little more time so that I can give alms and be one of the righteous!" Allah will not give anyone more time, once their time has come. Allah is aware of what you do. (Surat al-Munafiqun, 10-11)