Appreciating the Blessing of Life
Dawood bin Dinaar (rahimahullah) was a great Imaam in the field of Hadith and the teacher of renowned Muhadditheen, the likes of Imaam Shu’bah (rahimahullah) and Imaam Wakee’ (rahimahullah).
During his lifetime, a plague struck the region of Khuraasaan where he lived. There were many people who had fallen ill during the plague and many who lost their lives. Dawood bin Dinaar (rahimahullah) was among those who was afflicted by the plague and had fallen ill. However, since Allah Ta‘ala did not decree death for him at that time, Allah Ta‘ala blessed him with shifaa from the plague and made this sickness a means of his spiritual progress.
He reports that during the period of his illness, he had once fallen unconscious, and in this state, he was shown a vision in which the roof of his home split open and two angels descended upon him from the sky. One angel sat at his head side, while the other sat at his feet. The angel seated near his feet began to examine the soles of his feet, while the angel seated at his head side opened his mouth and examined his tongue as well as the inner portion of his mouth.
The angel examining his feet informed the angel seated at his head side, “I find that he frequently uses these feet to walk to the musjid for salaah.” In other words, the angel was indicating that he is among those who walk to the musjid for salaah and acquire the immense reward mentioned in the Ahaadith for those who walk to the musjid – that for every step they take, one virtue is recorded, one rank is raised and one sin is erased from their book of deeds.
The angel examining his tongue and mouth then informed the angel seated at his feet, “I find his tongue and mouth to be moist with tahmeed (reciting Alhamdulillah), tasbeeh (reciting Subhaanallah) and the zikr of Allah Ta‘ala. However, I find that his recitation of the Qur’aan Majeed is little.” In other words, the angel was indicating that despite Dawood bin Dinaar (rahimahullah) being among the high-ranking Muhadditheen of his time, and engaging in the service of the Mubaarak Hadith, the thing lacking in his life was the recitation of the Qur’aan Majeed. Hence, he was being apprised of his weakness via an angel.
Thereafter, the one angel said to the other, “His time to leave this world has not yet arrived.” Saying this, the roof of his home opened and the two angels departed, after which the roof closed once more.
Upon regaining consciousness, Dawood bin Dinaar (rahimahullah) realized that Allah Ta‘ala had blessed him with the chance of life to make amends for his weakness. He thus began reciting abundant Qur’aan Majeed and also engaged in acquiring the various sciences of knowledge that relate to the Qur’aan Majeed. (Tareekh Dimashq 17/129-131)
From this incident, we understand that when Allah Ta‘ala wishes to bless a servant, then in unique and mysterious ways, Allah Ta‘ala brings to his attention his weaknesses and grants him the tawfeeq to reform his life.
We are taught in the Mubaarak Hadith that upon awakening, we should recite the masnoon du‘aa:
اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّٰهِ الَّذِيْ أَحْيَانَا بَعْدَ مَا أَمَاتَنَا وَإِلَيْهِ النُّشُوْرْ
All praise is due to Allah who granted us life after death and to Him alone will we be returned. (Saheeh Bukhaari #6314)
In this du‘aa, we are reminded that with the dawning of every new day, Allah Ta‘ala is blessing us with another opportunity of life and a chance to reform our lives and set our affairs in order before our time in this world expires.
Hence, every day, a person should examine his life and identify his shortcomings and weaknesses. He should then make a concerted effort to rectify his life and fulfill the rights he owes to Allah Ta‘ala and the creation. After his five daily salaah, he should make du‘aa to Allah Ta‘ala to bless him with the tawfeeq to uphold deen in his entire life.
Among the masnoon du‘aas which Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) had taught the ummah to recite is the following du‘aa:
اَللّٰهُمَّ اجْعَلْ خَيْرَ عُمُرِيْ آخِرَهُ وَخَيْرَ عَمَلِيْ خَوَاتِيْمَهُ وَخَيْرَ أَيَّامِيْ يَوْمَ أَلْقَاكَ فِيْهِ
“O Allah! Make the best portion of my life the last portion, the best actions of life the last actions before I leave this world, and the best day of my life the day in which I meet You.” (Majma’uz Zawaa’id #17267)
May Allah Ta‘ala grant us the tawfeeq of reforming our lives and coming upon the complete sunnah of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), and may Allah Ta‘ala make the best day of our lives the day in which we meet Him.