Bismillah wa assalaamu alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.
There are no coincidences. Everything in life is precisely and perfectly orchestrated by our Creator, Allah subhaana wa ta'ala. I was given a book many years ago entitled, “Divine Will and Predestination in light of the Qur'an and Sunnah'” by 'Umar S.al-Ashqar, which I have been re-reading this past few days. An extremely beneficial book, I intend to make it part of our Islamic studies curriculum this year inshaa Allah. There is a very important hadith quoted therein, that we need to open our eyes and minds to.
In Saheeh Al-Bukhari it is narrated from Abu Haazim from Sahl ibn Sa'd that during one of the military campaigns of the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) there was a man who was excelling in fighting. The Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) looked at him and said,” Whoever wants to see a man from among the people of Hell, let him look at that man.”
One of the people followed him, and at that point he was one of the fiercest fighters against the mushrikeen (polytheists), until he was wounded. Then he hastened his own death by driving his sword into his chest until the point emerged between his shoulders. The man (who had seen this) rushed back to the Messenger (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) and said, “I bear witness that you are the Messenger of Allah!” He said, “What happened?” He said, “You said to so and so, 'Whosoever wants to se a man from among the people of Hell, let them look at this man,' He was one of the greatest among us at fighting in defense of the Muslims, but I knew that he would not die like that. When he was wounded, he hastened his own death and killed himself.” At this, the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) said:
“A slave may do the deeds of the people of Hell, but he is one of the people of Paradise, or he may do the deeds of the people of Paradise, but he is one of the people of Hell. But it is the final deed that counts.”
Upon reflection, what is the most important thing we can learn from this? That regardless of what we have done in the past, whether it be years or seconds ago, what we have to put all our energy into is what we are doing right now.
Consider the crane accident at Masjid Al Haraam in Makkah; what a powerful reminder that Allah can take our worldly lives at any time, in any place, in any way He decrees. So with every action, every reaction, every decision about how to use our time, money, energy, skills, talents, and emotions remember that it may be the last thing we do. STOP and think that it IS the last thing we will do. How do we want to end? As a summation to our life, do we want to die while losing our temper shouting or screaming, doing, watching, or listening to something haraam, backbiting, being selfish and stingy, with severed ties of kinship or brotherhood/sisterhood, being lazy or skipping a prayer, or choosing our desires over Allah?
There is no point planning to do better later, tomorrow, or next time because Allah doesn't promise us that there will be a later, tomorrow, or next time. We don't know which act will be our last. So be aware, conscious, that it is all about NOW, this moment, and making the best decision to please Allah at each and every stage of our day so that we can end as the people of paradise.
May Allah unite us all upon the ultimate success of His Pleasure – ameen.
Subhaanak Allahumma wa bihamdik laa ilaaha ilaa ant, astaghfiruka wa atoobu ilayk.