Remembering Death and the Afterlife...
Said 'Umar ibn 'Abdul 'Aziz (radhi Allahu 'anh), the pious caliph,in one of his sermons:
"For every voyage there must be provisions, therefore adopt the fear of God (taqwa) as provisions for your voyage from this World (dunya) into the Afterlife (akhira). Be as though you had seen the reward and punishment which God has prepared: harbour longing and fear! Do not suffer your time to grow long for you lest your hearts become hard and you grow submissive before your enemy (the devil), for by God, the person who does not know whether he will awaken at the end of the night, or live through the morning to the evening, can have no high hopes, for it may be that between these times lie the hooks of fate.
How many men have I seen, and have you all seen, who were beguiled by this world; yet contentment is the lot only of she who is certain of deliverance from the punishment of God (exalted is He!). Only the man who is safe from the terrors of the Day of Arising can be content. As for the person who dresses his or her wound only to be afflicted by another coming from a different direction, how can he be cheerful? I ask God's protection from enjoining upon you something which I forbid myself, for then my transaction (with God) would be in loss, and my fault would stand revealed, and my indigence would be plain on that Day when wealth and poverty shall stand forth, and when the Scales are erected.
You have been burdened with something which would cause the very stars to fall were they to be charged likewise, and the mountains to melt down and the earth to be riven asunder. Know you not that there exists no degree between Heaven and Hell, and that you are voyaging either to one or the other?"
[selections from "Kitab Dhikr al-Mawt wa ma Ba'dahu" by Imam al-Ghazzali (rahimahullah).
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