Dear brothers and sisters, fear Allah for that which He is worthy and seek His pleasure from what is narrated from the advice of the Prophet (SAW). He said: “O People, be certain that this life is vanishing and the hereafter is everlasting and work for what is after death when the life will feel like it never existed and the hereafter will feel as though it has always been there.”
Whoever is in this life is nothing but a guest and whatever he has possessed in his hands is nothing but a loan, and a guest is always expected to leave and a loan is always expected to be paid back. May Allah have mercy on the one who prepares for his burial while he is alive and takes this opportunity before his time is up and his deeds are finished.
Our life rapidly passes by and is frequently changing. We need to be careful of this weakness of possessing it because shortly we will feel the bitterness of losing it. We need to stay away from the sweetness of life that finishes very fast and favor the sweetness of the hereafter that is everlasting.
Do not make the purpose of your life seeking wealth and material possessions, which are only temporary and do not stay with us in the hereafter. Allah has decreed that they will be destroyed. Instead, focus on developing your hereafter and work hard to perfect it and beautify it before you move into it. Remember, the mansions and castles of paradise and its gardens are being prepared according to how you behave in this life — from righteous deeds you do and righteous words you say.
Whoever loses his dwelling in paradise will have no other place but the dwelling of the people of humiliation, grief and hellfire. On the Day of Resurrection ultimately there will be only two groups, the group of paradise, and the group of the hellfire.
In another incident the prophet (SAW) said: “Let the servant take for himself (meaning work and deeds) to benefit himself and from this world to the hereafter, and utilize his young age before he grows old and take advantage of life before death. By him in whose hand the soul of Muhammad is in, there will be no chance after death to ask forgiveness, and there is no dwelling after this life except for paradise or the hellfire.”
Dear brothers and sisters, Allah SW mentions often in the Qur’an the different kinds of good deeds that lead us to paradise. Allah SW also mentions the reward for those who do these good deeds, such as beautiful dwellings and castles, the tasty fruits, springs and running rivers, sweet drinks and the greatest favor of all is the acceptance and pleasure of Allah SW and being close to Him.
All of this encourages us to do righteous deeds and take advantage of opportunities to profit in the hereafter; as Allah SW says which translates as:
“The believing men and the believing women are allies of one another. They enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and establish prayers, and give Zakah and obey Allah and his messenger.” (At-Tauba: 71-72)
Allah will have mercy upon them; indeed Allah is Exalted and Wise. Allah has promised the believing men and the believing women gardens beneath which rivers flow wherein they abide eternally in pleasant dwellings, in gardens of perpetual residence; but the approval and pleasure from Allah is even greater.
Allah SW also says: “Certainly will the believers have succeeded, they who are during their prayers humbly, submissive and they who turn away from ill speech and they who pay the Zakah and they who guard their private parts except from their wives or those whom their right hands possess, for indeed they would not be blamed, but whoever seeks beyond that then those are the transgressors and they who are to their trusts and their promises attentive and they who carefully maintain their prayers. Those are the inheritors who will inherit Al Firdaus (which is the highest level of paradise). They will abide therein eternally.” (Al-Mu’minun: 1-11)
Allah says which translates as: “O you who have believed shall I guide you to a transaction that will save you from a painful punishment? It is that you believe in Allah and his messenger and strive in the cause of Allah with your wealth and your lives. That is best for you if you should know; he will forgive you, your sins and admit you to gardens beneath which rivers flow and pleasant dwellings and gardens of perpetual residence. That is the great attainment and you will obtain another favor that you love, victory from Allah and an eminent conquest and give good tidings to the believers.”(As-Saff: 10-13)
Therefore, Allah SW will base his generous reward on the good consequences of performing righteous deeds and refraining from prohibitions and evil deeds. So, prepare your place in the hereafter for yourselves and strive for your eternal dwellings. Make your minds busy and concentrate your efforts on how to build your dwellings and what to plant in your gardens of paradise.
It is reported that the Prophet (SWA) met Ibrahim Alaihi SWA in the night of Al Israa. So, Ibrahim said to him: “O Muhammad, salute your nation on my behalf and say Salam and tell them that paradise has good soil and sweet water and its land is fertile and its plants are Subhanahu Allah Wa Hamdulillah Wa La ilaha ill Allah Wallahu Akbar”.
It is narrated that the angels build castles for the believers in paradise. Sometimes they pause, and when asked why they have paused, they reply: “Until the expenses are paid or have arrived.” So your good deeds in this life are for building your castles and planting your gardens in paradise, so do not become lazy and do not become miserly.
Dear brothers and sisters, the Prophet (SWA) often mentions in his Sunnah minor deeds or actions for which Allah grants people many rewards and dwellings in Jannah. It is reported by Uthman Radhiyallahu Anhu that he heard the messenger of Allah (SWA) saying: “He who builds a mosque for Allah SW as little as a dwelling of a small bird, Allah will build a home for him in paradise.”
Also, our mother Umu Habiba Radhiyallahu Anha said that she heard the messenger of Allah (SWA) say: “Any Muslim slaves praying for the sake of Allah twelve rakaat voluntarily, not obligated upon him, Allah will build for him a home in paradise.”
Anas Radhiyallahu Anhu said that the messenger (SWA) said: “He who prays Ad-Duha, which is the prayer after sun rise, twelve Rakaat, Allah will build a castle of gold for him in paradise.”
In the virtue of patience during a death of a child or a close one and thanking the Lord and saying “Inna lilahi wa inna ilayhi Raji’un” which means we belong to Allah and to Him we shall return; Allah says to His angels build a house for My slave in paradise and name it as the house of praise (Baitul hamd).
At Tirmidhi narrated in the book of Al Imam Abu Dawood that the prophet (SWA) said: “I guarantee a house at the lower level of paradise for he who gives up arguing even if he was correct, and a house in the middle of paradise for he who gives up lying even when joking, and a house at the top of paradise for he who has good manners.”.
Therefore, we servants of Allah should rush and compete in doing these good deeds. It is an honorable competition and we should do it before it is too late. We shall take provisions from this short, temporary life what suits our eternal life, and set ourselves on following the book of Allah, the way of His messenger (SWA) and the way of our righteous Salaf of this Ummah.
I ask Allah to bless us with the guidance of the Qur’an and the sunnah of His blessed prophet and messenger Muhammed (SWA).