My brothers in Islam,

I call upon myself and each and every one of you to be conscious of God. Be conscious of the Creator of the Universe. Worship Him before death comes to you. For death is something all of us cannot run away from. Whether we are rich or poor, old or young, healthy or sick, all of us will have a taste of death. So, be devoted to Allah. Devote yourself to Him by doing whatever He commands and leave behind all He forbids.

Maasyiral Muslimin rahimakumullah,

Each day someone will die. Each day someone will be buried in the grave. And each day a new baby is born. This is the way of life in this world. What leaves us will be replaced by the new. The living will surely die. All of us in this world are like travellers who stop to rest for a while in a town. And very soon we shall continue on our journey to the life after death in the grave. Let us ask ourselves â??what preparations have we made to face life in the graveâ?? Have we made preparations to continue our journey to the Hereafter?

My fellow Muslimin, Allah s.w.t has told us in surah Ali-Imran, ayat 185:

Meaning: Every soul shall have a taste of death. And only on the Day of Judgment shall you be repaid for all your actions. Only he who is saved far from the Fire and admitted to the Garden will have succeeded. For wealth and possessions of this world that offer comfort are only deceptions.

This is Allahâ??s promise. Each of us will taste death. Each second, each minute, each hour, each day, we move closer and closer to the life in the grave. But do we know the exact moment we will die? Is is a short while from now? Is it tomorrow? Is it the day after tomorrow? Will our death be sudden and immediate? Or will we die only after we have suffered pain? We do not know. And there is no way we can find out. There is no way we can do anything about it. For death is the business of Allah s.w.t.

The only thing we can do is make preparations for our death. If we were told our water supply in our homes would be cut off at any time, what would we do? Would we just leave things as they are until the water supply is cut off? Or would we immediately store water in as many pails as we can find? We make preparations because we know the water supply would be cut off any time.

My Muslim brothers, such is life in this world. Death can come for us at any moment. We do not know when. Do we do nothing until it comes? Or do we immediately make preparations to face death?

And do we know what the state of the grave or alam barzakh will be like?

Know my brothers that the grave is a place that is dark and narrow. Disbelievers and those who committed many sins will receive graves that are dark and unlit. But the pious who have done many good deeds will receive a grave that is brightly lit. Their graves will be expanded as far as they can see. Even so, their graves will not be as bright as day, but as as bright as night lighted by the full moon.

And know my brothers that every man who enters the grave will be squeezed by the grave. Rasulullah s.a.w used to explain how the grave would contract against the dead body and squeeze it until the bones are crushed. Rasulullah s.a.w was reported to have prayed that Allah lessen the torment of the grave on his daughter Zainab. My dear brothers, if the daughter of Rasulullah, Zainab, could not escape from being crushed by the contracting grave, what about the rest of us who are guilty of sins? Do we think we are able to escape from the torment of the grave? Let us repent this instance. Leave behind all that is sinful. Do acts of charity to rid ourselves of our sins. Let us do this before our death comes all of a sudden. Let us do this before we find ourselves crushed by our graves in the darkness. When this has happened, all our regrets are totally useless.

My brothers in Islam,

The grave can be a garden of paradise for those who are pious. But the grave can also be a hole of Hell for the sinful. Those who committed many sins and little good deeds will find their graves narrowed, their bones crushed and be surrounded by pure darkness. Their only company will be worms, scorpions and insects that sting. The angel of the grave will come with his iron rod and strike their dead bodies until the cries of pain and sorrow are heard by all living things except for humans and jinn. This torment will continue until the Day of Resurrection when all souls will be brought to life for judgement.

My Muslim brothers, life in this world is short. We rarely hear of those who live to be a hundred. But life in the grave is very long – much too long. Imagine – those who died 1000 years ago are still being tormented in the grave because the Day of Resurrection has not yet come.

Do not be fooled by the temporary pleasure of sin that can cause us to suffer in our graves for a thousand years or more. This is not even close to what we will face on the Day of Judgment. So when we feel tired in doing worship, when we find it difficult to pray and fast, remember that the tiredness lasts only a short while. Remember that the acts of worship that we do now will allow us rest peacefully in our graves for a thousand years, or even more. And remember too the rewards of Paradise that we will receive on Judgment Day.

So, do not be lazy or restless when performing acts of worship. And do not be distracted by temporary sinful pleasures. Remember, we are only travellers passing by in this world.

Allah s.w.t says again in surah Al-Anâ??am, ayat 94:
Meaning: â??And behold! You come to us bare and alone as We created you for the first time. And you have left behind you (in the world) all that We have given to you. We see not with you those who speak on your behalf whom you thought to be partners in your affairs. So now all relations between you have been cut off and your pet fancies have left you in sudden difficulty.