Depart with A Clean Heart

Mufti Abdul Rahman Waheed
May 22, 2024

As servants of Allah, ultimately, our aim is to earn the pleasure and mercy of our Master, and therefore, we must ensure we restore what is broken within ourselves, persevere and spiritually strive to retain ourselves on His path, before we become one with the soil.


The Companions set the benchmark as exemplary role models of the Prophet’s ummah — their piety, sacrifice and servitude to the Deen, was distinct, and their devotion to Allah, was unmatched. 

In spite of their superior rank among commonfolk, they were profoundly invaded by the fear of failing to please Allah. Their sense of deep vulnerability left them vigilant over every single action demonstrated in their lifetime, as well as wholly condemnatory over their state of being, until their very last breath.

On Their Deathbed

As he perched on the precipice of martyrdom, Umar ibn al-Khattab, a Caliph of the ummah, thought himself to be insufficient. While the people were consoling him with praises of his high caliber and restating his degree of standing with the Prophet ﷺ, Umar was instead ruminating on his shortcomings. He was insistent on lying on the dirt, expressing mere hope his account of deeds will be balanced in the court of Allah.

In a state of inconceivable pain, Umar beseeched Allah with utmost humility, “O my Lord! I do not ask for any compensation for my services and I do not seek any reward. Instead, I only seek your mercy. If I have done any wrong in discharging the responsibilities that were assigned to me, I seek your forgiveness.”

Similarly, at the throes of death, Abdullah ibn Mas’ud, who earned a lofty status as a man of the Qur’an, attested to fearing Allah greatly. Despite being an embodiment of light and piety, he portrayed the spirit of a true believer who was always conscious of his own faults — refuting any form of praise from the people.

In good health, the God-fearing Abdullah would stand before dawn in repentance, beseeching Allah with these words, “O Allah…This is the blessed time, and I ask you to forgive me.” In his illness during the Caliphate of Uthman ibn Affan, when Uthman visited Abdullah on his deathbed and inquired: 

مَا تَشتَکِی ؟

“What do you complain about?”

Abdullah replied, 

! ذُنُوبِی

“My sins.”  

Seeing his pain, Uthman offered support and comforted him by asking: 

 مَا تَشتَھِی ؟

“Do you desire anything?”

Abdullah refused any medical aid and monetary support for his family offered by Uthman, and announced that he preferred, 

رَحمَۃَ رَبِّی 

“The mercy of my Lord.” He also declared that he had imparted his daughters with the knowledge of reciting the precious verses of Surah al-Waqi’ah every night, so they will never be afflicted by poverty. That very night, Abdullah passed away with his tongue moist with the remembrance of Allah while reciting verses of the Qur’an.

The Companions understood the severity of standing before Allah and struggled earnestly to win His mercy, because they recognized that no one is entitled to it. Mercy is in Allah’s hands, and our lives should be anchored in its constant pursuit, by firmly gripping to the Qur’an and Sunnah. 

In Our Lifetime

Throughout our lives and leading up to our own death, there should be nothing except for Allah in our minds and in our hearts. If what we find within ourselves is something unpleasant, it is necessary to hasten to the path of repentance, deal with the unpleasantries that need to be dealt with, and work on reforming ourselves.

In hoping for Allah’s mercy upon us, we need to be accountable for every action we carry out in our lifetime and preoccupy ourselves with thoughts  of our meeting with Allah in our final abode. Our final actions before the end of this life, significantly determines the consequences to our state in the next life. The Prophet ﷺ has made us aware of this, when he ﷺ told us:

وَإِنَّمَا الأَعْمَالُ بِالْخَوَاتِيمِ

“Verily, (the rewards of) the deeds are decided by the last actions (deeds)” (Sahih al-Bukhari)

And in a Hadith Qudsi, he ﷺ relayed, Allah said:

إِنَّمَا هِيَ أَعْمَالُكُمْ أُحْصِيهَا لَكُمْ، ثُمَّ أُوَفِّيكُمْ إِيَّاهَا، فَمَنْ وَجَدَ خَيْرًا فَلْيَحْمَدْ اللَّهَ، وَمَنْ وَجَدَ غَيْرَ ذَلِكَ فَلَا يَلُومَنَّ إِلَّا نَفْسَهُ".

It is but your deeds that I reckon up for you and then recompense you for, so let him who finds good, praise Allah, and let him who finds other than that, blame no one but himself.

Reflecting on the distinguished lives of the virtuous Companions; the forerunners of Islam, who despite their demise, continue to be the stars that illuminate countless lives across the epochs, we should be inspired by their noble traits to live exclusively being devoted to Allah and excelling as followers of the Prophet ﷺ, in our limited time here — so we can leave in a humbling manner that is pleasing to Him.

Obedience to Allah and adhering to His Messenger ﷺ wholeheartedly, is an elemental component of faith that pleases Allah and distinguishes our success in the next life, inasmuch as it was dubbed an ultimate triumph for the cream of the crop, the Muhajirun and Ansar, who were the first responders of Islam. 

وَٱلسَّـٰبِقُونَ ٱلْأَوَّلُونَ مِنَ ٱلْمُهَـٰجِرِينَ وَٱلْأَنصَارِ وَٱلَّذِينَ ٱتَّبَعُوهُم بِإِحْسَـٰنٍۢ رَّضِىَ ٱللَّهُ عَنْهُمْ وَرَضُوا۟ عَنْهُ وَأَعَدَّ لَهُمْ جَنَّـٰتٍۢ تَجْرِى تَحْتَهَا ٱلْأَنْهَـٰرُ خَـٰلِدِينَ فِيهَآ أَبَدًۭا ۚ ذَٰلِكَ ٱلْفَوْزُ ٱلْعَظِيمُ

As for the foremost—the first of the Emigrants and the Helpers—and those who follow them in goodness, Allah is pleased with them and they are pleased with Him. And He has prepared for them Gardens under which rivers flow, to stay there forever and ever. That is the ultimate triumph. (9:100)

Allah has acknowledged the outstanding merit of this elite group as an incentive for us. Hence, it is no secret that if we fulfill Allah’s covenant, hold tightly to the Qur’an and Sunnah, and struggle for His cause with great fervor, it is the surest pathway to being honored with His gift of mercy. 

لَّقَد تَّابَ ٱللَّهُ عَلَى ٱلنَّبِىِّ وَٱلْمُهَـٰجِرِينَ وَٱلْأَنصَارِ ٱلَّذِينَ ٱتَّبَعُوهُ فِى سَاعَةِ ٱلْعُسْرَةِ مِنۢ بَعْدِ مَا كَادَ يَزِيغُ قُلُوبُ فَرِيقٍۢ مِّنْهُمْ ثُمَّ تَابَ عَلَيْهِمْ ۚ إِنَّهُۥ بِهِمْ رَءُوفٌۭ رَّحِيمٌۭ

Allah has certainly turned in mercy to the Prophet as well as the Emigrants and the Helpers who stood by him in the time of hardship, after the hearts of a group of them had almost faltered. He then accepted their repentance. Surely He is Ever Gracious and Most Merciful to them. (9:117)

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