Road to the Day of Reckoning

Abu Dharr al-Ghafaari is one of the most interesting personalities from among the Sahaaba. He was known for his asceticism and admonitions. It is narrated in Abu Na`im's al-Hilyah that someone asked Abu Dharr, radhiallahu `anhu, "O Abu Dharr, why do people leave your company upset every time they visit you?" He replied, "They leave upset because I admonish them against hoarding the treasures of this world."

The following is one of his admonitions narrated by Sufyaan ath-Thawree, raHimahullaah, as related in al-Hilyah of Abu Na`im:

"O people, I am Jandab'ul Ghafaari. Come here and hearken to the good advice of your compassionate older brother. "Immediately, people hastened and stood around him to hear what he had to say. Abu Dharr then said, "Do you see, when one of you plans to travel, doesn't he prepare himself and takes with him the needed provisions that will suffice him until he reaches his destination?" The people replied, "Indeed, he does." Abu Dharr continued, "In this regard, the road to the Day of Reckoning is the furthest of your ultimate destinations. Take with you what benefit you most." The people asked, "And what do you consider as most beneficial for such a journey?"

Abu Dharr replied:

1) Make a pilgrimage to Mecca for your dire needs;

2) Fast in the hottest day in contemplation of the horrific age-old standing of the Day of Resurrection;

3) Pray two rak`at in the darkness of the night in contemplation of one's bewilderment, loneliness, and darkness of his grave;

4) Either say something good, or remain silent pondering on awesome age-long standing in the grim silence of the Day of Resurrection;

5) Spend your money in charity, so perhaps you can escape its trials;

6) Make this world a setting for two types of conferences: One to seek the benefits of the hereafter, and the other to seek what is permissible. Should there be a third criteria of meetings, they will be of harm and of no benefit to you; and finally,

7) Look to your money and divide it in two categories: One dirham you spend on your family, the second you spend for your benefits in the hereafter, and should there be left a third dirham, it will be of harm and of no benefit to you."

Abu Dharr then shouted at the top of his voice: "O people! Your craving to accumulate what is beyond your reach will surely destroy you."

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