The Prophet of Islam compared death to sleep and life to the state of wakefulness after sleep. When he awakened in the morning, he would say: “All praise and thanks are due to God who gave us life after death.”
Going to sleep is like dying and waking up in the morning is like rising from the grave. Our inevitable awakening after sleeping foreshadows with certainty how we shall arise after death to be accountable for our deeds.
Man has to pass his life in this world in such a way that every happening becomes for him a reminder of his return to the creator. His sleeping and rising should also serve as reminders of life after death.
The most delicate aspect of man’s life is that his existence does not come to an end after death. He has to be reborn in another world. The present world is the world of action, while the world to come will be one in which he reaps his reward. That will be the beginning of a new and eternal life.
Man is reminded daily of this most important reality when he goes to sleep and when he rises from sleep. In this way, the actions of this world come to remind man of the hereafter.
The Prophet of Islam used to lead a very simple life and laid great stress on believers doing likewise. Once he said, “0 people, don’t you hear me, 0 people, don’t you hear me, 0' people, don’t you hear me, ‘Simplicity is undoubtedly a part of faith.’ ‘Simplicity is undoubtedly a part of faith.’
When a man has discovered the greatness of God, his own-existence in comparison appears quite insignificant. This feeling makes him into a truly modest person. His whole being is colored in the hue of service to God and His creation. His manner ceases to be aggressive and his voice becomes compassionate. Even his conduct expresses his modesty. His whole attitude comes to reflect a new seriousness.
All this inevitably results in his preferring simplicity in everything, in food, drink, living arrangements, and so on. He avoids luxuries, pomp and show. His soul finds pleasure and contentment in leading a life of modesty instead of indulgence.
True faith leads man away from artificial things to nature, where simplicity is the rule. He develops a liking for a simple way of life which is more natural. This naturalness behooves the believer. Naturalness is in accordance with his virtue and humility in the eyes of God.
Adapted from the book Simple Wisdom by Maulana Wahiduddin Khan.