“What is going to happen to me the first night in my grave? What have I prepared for that moment? That moment that is absolutely guaranteed to all of creation. What have we prepared for death? Will I be in heaven or will I be in hell fire? How often do I remember death? Think of the moment the angel of death comes to take your soul.”

These life changing words were spoken by a beloved member of our community, Lena Tleib, at the Orland Park Prayer Center’s GPS Program in August.  Lena gave us some reminders about the inevitable, something that is guaranteed for each and every one of us. The reality is that we should be preparing for “The Destroyer of Pleasures” (Prophet Mohammad PBUH) every day, every minute, and every second of the day. As when it happens, there is no escape, no room for regrets, just judgment, a personal kind of just judgment from your Creator to you. Remember the destroyer of pleasures. If we can do that, none of us would be sinning like we do now. None of us would be slipping off the straight path.

Many of us think of death as our end, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. All death is, is a discontinuation between our body and our soul. As sister Lena said, our body is just a vehicle for our soul. Once our soul is called back to its Creator, its transportation, our body, goes to waste. For our true selves, our soul, death is the beginning of another life: a permanent life. Allah SWT says “I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.” (Quran 51:56). We were created to worship, love, and trust Allah SWT, to aim to please Him and gain His ultimate reward. That does not mean that you should not want success in this life too. Even our Prophet Mohammad PBUH asked for success in this life and the next. However, if you had to choose, without a second thought, you should be choosing Allah SWT and the success in your next life: a life that will never end. That should always be our main concern: where our soul is going, what kind of life it is going to be. Death is not a bad thing if we have that. Humankind clings on to this life, being ignorant of the fact that a life with Allah SWT is the one we truly need and want. This life is a testing zone, and if we pass this test, this life will seem like nothing in comparison to what He SWT has in store for us. On the other hand, we are also supposed to fear Allah SWT too, something that we sometimes ignore. Just because He SWT is merciful, does not mean we can forget that He is also the most severe in punishment. We must recognize when we do something wrong, feel bad and even disgusted at our actions, and we must repent sincerely. Heaven is definitely an option, and I pray that we are among those people, but we cannot forget there is a Hellfire too. With that, while we should crave to meet our Creator SWT, we should never feel as if we have done enough to deserve paradise. There is always more that could be done. Whether you are young or old, there is no guarantee that the angel of death will not be knocking on your door soon; be prepared.

G.P.S is a monthly program for college students and young adults held at the Orland Park Prayer Center the third Saturday of every month. Thank you Sister Lena Tleib for the amazing reminders about this very relevant topic. May Allah SWT reward you. And may He SWT give every one of us the ability to implement your reminders before the destroyer of pleasures hits us.

By Aydah Nofal