Hakeemul Ummat Mujaddidul-Millat Moulana Ashraf Ali Saheb Thanwi ( ) the author of Bahishti Zewar and a very great Aalim (scholar of Deen) has mentioned, that whoever’s heart has become hard, and instead of engaging in the remembrance of Allah Ta’ala, he is troubled by the desire to sin i.e. hardness has settled into his heart, which is termed as Qasa’wat in Arabic, then for the reformation of such a heart, a prescription has been mentioned in the Hadith Shareef.
Hazrat Sayyidah Taahirah Ummul-Mumineen A’isha Siddiqa ( ), the mother of the believers, the noble wife of Rasulullah ( ) and the daughter of Hazrat Siddiq Akbar ( ) was once asked by a woman, “O my mother! Nowadays my heart is not inclined to performing Salaah and reciting the Quraan Shareef. My heart has become hard. What should I do? Ummul- Mumineen A’isha Siddiqa ( ) replied, “Do just one thing. Reflect over death daily, that the time of my death has come. My family, my elegant clothing and my beautiful home have all left me.” After a few days, the same woman came back and said, “O my mother Ummul-Mumineen A’isha Siddiqa May Allah Ta’ala reward you abundantly. My heart has established a connection with Allah Ta’ala, and the hardness of my heart has been removed. Now, I am getting enjoyment in my Salaah and I am also getting enjoyment in my recitation of the Qur’aan Shareef.”
In the light of this Hadith Shareef, Hakeemul Ummat Mujaddidul Millat Moulana Ashraf Ali Saheb Thanwi ( ) has mentioned that whose heart has become hard, he is unable to discard sins, he does not possess the fear of Allah Ta’ala, and whenever the desire to sins arises, he hastens towards sin like a lunatic, he does not have the slightest perception of servitude and obedience to Allha Ta’ala, that he is the creation and slave of some Great Being, and that he belongs to a Supreme Master, for such foolish and hard-hearted people, Hazrat ( ) has mentioned an amazing and wonderful cure, which has proven to be one hundred percent beneficial. If Allah Ta’ala wills, any person, be it male or female practices upon this preception, then his/her relationship with Nafs and Shaytaan will be severed. What is this cure? On the daily basis, just before sleeping meditate for five minutes that Allah Ta’ala has called me and the time of death has come. My soul has departed from my body. People have gathered and are now bathing me. After bathing me, they are wrapping me in my burial shroud.
Thereafter, they are taking me to the graveyard. My parents, my wife and children, my business, my beautiful carpets, my elegant clothing, my gold and silver jewellery are all being left behind. The people have taken me to the graveyard and placed me into the pit of the grave and heaps of sand have been thrown over me. All of them have left and it is as if I am saying the following couplet:
“O you have brought us to the grave, Heartfelt thanks and gratitide to you! From this stage on, I will be travelling alone.”
It is as though the person who passes away always reads this poem;
This world is a place of trial. We have come here for a few days.
I was saying that for the purpose one’s reformation, one should think about the graveyard daily. Think that how a young girl of seventeen, who was not even married as yet passed away in an accident. Like this, how many countless other girls are asleep in their graves? Therefore, do not think that when we become old, then we will become Allah’s Walis (the friends of Allah Ta’ala), and then we will prepare for Jannah. This is completely foolishness, because Allah Ta’ala also gives death during childhood, and Allah Ta’ala also gives death during youth. Whomsoever Allah Ta’ala desires, at whichever time He desires, Allah Ta’ala calls to Himself.
Whilst I was studying in Tibiyyah (Medical) College in Ilahabad (India), I had an eighteen year old companion who used to come with me to college. He suddenly fell sick, and after a week he passed away. At that time, I had gone home to my village for holidays. When I returned, I went to his house and knocked at the door. His mother came out. I then enquired, “Where is my classmate, where is my friend?” She replied, “He is lying in the graveyard.” So from this we learn, that there is no reliance in life.
Madrasah Sawlatiya is situated in the vicinity of the Haram Shareef (of Makkah Mukarramah). The principal’s brother was forty five years old and was perfectly healthy. He suffered from no apparent sickness. One day, whilst drinking a cup of tea, the cup fell from his hands and he passed away. Therefore, one should be concious of death at all times. Our Buzurgs (pious elders) always read this poem for the sake of our guidance:
“No one knows at which time our Beloved will call us,You will be left standing in shock, staring in amazement.”