Saturday, 9 August 2008

‘O People, Prepare for Departure!’

Habib al-’Abid reports: Once, when I arrived in al-Basrah, I was surprised to see that the markets were closed, and the streets empty.
I called out, “O people of Basrah, is this some kind of holiday of yours that I am unaware of?”
Someone answered, “No, but al-Hasan al-Basri is in the main gathering place (of basrah), giving a khutbah to the people.”
I hurried to his gathering , and when I arrived there, I saw him sitting down on some high ground .
He was saying:
O people, prepare for departure, for very little time remains from this world.
Prepare to move (to the akhirah), for there is no way to stay here.
Do you not know that you will soon be surrendered to the place of trial?
Do you not know that each one of you will soon be alone with his deeds and that you will be presented (with your deeds) to Allah on the day of judgment?
He forbade you from sinning, but you have not stopped sinning.
He (threatened) you with the hell-fire, but you are neither afraid nor terrified of it.
He has encouraged you to seek our Jannah, but you do not (seem to) desire it or long for it.
Your white hairs are warning you of approaching death, so what are you waiting for?
O white-haired one, you are able to perform good deeds , so what is your excuse.
O one who obeys his mouth and his desires, who wastes his share of the akhirah by taking his entire share in this world, who persists in committing sins and evil deeds , if only I knew : what your excuse will be before him?
What argument will you put forth when you go to him? You are lost and misguided, so ask Allah, the All-Mighty, to forgive both me and you.”

(al-Mawa’idh wal-Majalis’ , pg 181)