We are all in the hangover of Ramadan right now, that is to say, still in the habit of holding back words and glances out of the fear that Allah may not like it. But for how long? Will we be like the companions of our beloved Prophet (Peace be upon him) who spent six months after Ramadan in prayers so that their deeds during the scared month will be accepted by Allah, and the rest of the year in prayers so as to prepare for the next Ramadan? Or will we be among those who forget and return to whatever they were before Ramadan? Will we be among the ones who benefit out of Ramadan or among those who have the misfortune of Ramadan bearing witness against them? Will we be among those who turn to Allah in piety or will we be among those who wait till the last breath to repent?
For death is inevitable to all. Regardless of whether you are big or small, rich or poor, young or old, kind or cruel, good or bad, sound or sick, once born, you have to die. You have to return to your Lord one day. “Every soul shall have a taste of death," says Allah in the Holy Qur'an (3:185); "No soul knows what it shall earn tomorrow, and no soul knows in what land it shall die" (31:34). Even as I write this, I do not know if I am going to live long enough to type the next word, let alone to see another day. Upon our death, our family and friends will weep not knowing that we cry worse, for they return home and we face our Lord (from Ahmed Bukhatir's song "The Last Breath").
The topic of death reminds of the three groups into which we will be divided on the Day of Judgement. Allah the Almighty talks of these groups in Surah al Waqiah thus:
1. The elite, who excel over others in piety and Imaan. They will brought closest to Allah. They will have the best of Heaven. And most importantly, most of them will be from the older generations, mainly the prophets (Peace be upon them) of Allah, their companions, followers and their issues who believe. Unfortunately, very few of them will be of the later generations, that is to say, from our times. How fortunate are those who fall among the First group!
2. The people of the Right, who have led virtuous lives. They will be rewarded with Heaven and fortunately for us, there will be many form the older generations and many from the later generations in this group. How generous is our Lord!
3. The people of the Left, who have led luxurious lives regardless of Allah's commandments. They will be in Hell amid boiling waters and burning winds (56:42) . How terrible is the punishment that awaits the people of the Left!
Now let us look inward. Which group do we honestly think we will fall into? Have we done anything in our life, anything at all, to deserve the foremost place in Heaven? And even after knowing all these, will we ever try?