If a servant likes to meet Allah

The Messenger (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “Allah the Most Great said, ‘If My servant likes to meet me, then I like to meet him; and if he dislikes to meet Me, then I dislike to meet him.’”

[Sahih Al-Bukhari]

Commentary:

Meeting Allah occurs after death and on the Day of Judgement.

Concerning the meeting with Allah after death, Imam al-Bukhari (may Allah have mercy upon him) reported in his Sahih, in the chapter on “Whoever loves to meet Allah, Allah loves to meet him”:

From ‘Ubaadah ibn al-Saamit (radi Allahu anhu), from the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) who said: “Whoever loves to meet Allah, Allah will love to meet him, and whoever hates to meet Allah, Allah will hate to meet him.” ‘Aa’ishah (radi Allahu anha) or one of his wives said: “But we all dislike the idea of death.” He said, “It is not what you are thinking. When death approaches the believer and he is given the news of Allah’s pleasure and honour, nothing will be more dear to him than what lies ahead of him, so he will love to meet Allah and Allah will love to meet him. But when death approaches the disbeliever and he is given the news of Allah’s wrath and punishment, nothing will be more disliked by him than that what lies ahead of him, so he will hate to meet Allah and Allah will hate to meet him.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari]

The words “nothing will be more dear to him than what lies ahead of him” refer to what he will go through after death. Muslim and Al-Nisaa’i report that Shurayh ibn Haani’ said: “I said to ‘Aa’ishah (radi Allahu anha): ‘I have heard a Hadith which, if it is as I heard it, means that we are doomed. The Hadith says: “There is not one of us who does not dislike death.”’ She (radi Allahu anha) said: ‘It is not what you think. What it means is when a person’s eyes stare without blinking, when the death rattle is in his chest and his skin and muscles contract.’ This is the state of one who is dying.

Al-Khattaabi (may Allah have mercy upon him) said: “There are different types of meeting: it may mean seeing with one’s own eyes, or it may mean resurrection, as Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): ‘They indeed are losers who denied their meeting with Allaah…’ [Al-An’aam 6:31]

Or it may mean death, as Allah says: (interpretation of the meaning): ‘Whoever hopes for the Meeting with Allah, then Allah’s term is surely coming…’ [Al-‘Ankaboot 29:5]

And ‘Say (to them): Verily, the death from which you flee will surely meet you…’ [Al-Jumu’ah 62:8]”

The meeting with Allah (mentioned in the Hadith quoted above) refers to something other than death, because in another Hadith the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “Death is a barrier between us and the meeting with Allah.” But when death is the means of meeting Allah, it is described as the meeting with Allah.

Imaam Abu ‘Ubayd al-Qaasim ibn Salaam (may Allah have mercy upon him) said: “The Hadith does not refer to a dislike of death and the suffering involved, because everybody feels this way. What is being criticised here is a love and preference for this world and a dislike of the idea of moving on to Allah and the Hereafter. This is explained by the fact that Allah condemned people who love this life, and said (interpretation of the meaning): ‘… those who hope not for their meeting with Us, but are pleased and satisfied with the life of the present world…’ [Yunus 10:7].”

Imam Al-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy upon him) said: “The meaning of the Hadith is that the like and dislike referred to are those that occur at the time of death, at the stage when repentance is no longer acceptable, when the dying person is shown where he is headed.

There is also some discussion in the Hadith about the dislike of death. Whoever dislikes death because he prefers this life to the blessings of the Hereafter is condemned. Whoever dislikes death because he fears being brought to account for his shortcomings, lack of preparation and failure to carry out the commands of Allah properly, is not to blame in this case. The one who feels this way should hasten to prepare himself so that when death comes to him he will not dislike it but will love it because of the meeting with Allah which he is hoping for after death.”

We ask Allah to let us meet Him when He is pleased with us.

And Allah knows best!

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