Praise be to Allah with all the hymns by which He is praised by the Angels who are nearest to Him, by His creatures who are most honorable in His sight, and by those adorers who are best approved by Him. A praise that excels all praise in the same way as the Lord excels all His creatures. And blessings be on His Messenger, the Prophet of Mercy, and on His Progeny who are lanterns in darkness and brilliant minarets of Religion and high standards of greatness.
Whatever comes into existence must traverse a path leading to death, it makes no difference whether it be a man or one of the other countless forms of life. Allah says in the Qur’an:
“Every one on it shall perish, but will remain for ever the Face of thy Lord, the Glorious, the Gracious” (Surah al-Rahman, 55: 25-26).
Allah has created man for a purpose, but unfortunately, many people do not seem to realize this fact and even if they do, they cannot be bothered. In fact, they appear to have been convinced that this life is nothing but a place to have fun and enjoyment as much as possible because once you die, that is the end of it. But they fail to understand that life begins not in this world but after death. The few years of life in this world, is nothing but a preparation for the eternal life. However, we need to bear in mind that our whole life depends on how well we prepare ourselves during the few years here, to submit or reject, to believe or deny, to obey or refuse.
The Commander of the Faithful (Amirul Mo’meneen) Ali (a.s.) says, If you could see what has been seen by those of you who have died, you would be puzzled and troubled. Then you would have listened and obeyed, but what they have seen is yet curtained from you. Shortly, the curtain would be thrown off. You have been shown, provided you see and you have been made to listen provided you listen, and you have been guided if you accept guidance.” (Nahjul Balagha: Sermon 20).
Man’s heart never ceases to desire as long as he is in this world. Nonetheless, belief in the Hereafter will permit him to realize that the opportunities offered by this world are limited, that the gain to be had from it is very slight, that even the portion which lies within reach cannot be retained for ever, and that delight and pleasure are not restricted to the brief days here on earth. He will not be overcome every instant then, by an endless surge of desire, causing him to form countless attachments and ultimately to lose himself, nor will he be excessively troubled if he does not acquire an excessive amount of bounties of this world and the pleasures they yield. Today we clearly observe that material gains have taken priority over virtue.
Man has abandoned religion and is fast advancing towards vice and evil. That man has forgotten death and the day of Resurrection (Qayamat) is the sole reason that has made him unmindful about his deeds (A’amal). On the other hand, remembrance of death and the Day of Resurrection (Qayamat) frees man from the absolute attachment to the perishable values of this world. The elevating tranquility that results from such an orientation of the spirit gives man the ability to resist firmly the attractions of the world and the demands of the passionate self (nafs.)
The Commander of the faithful Ali (a.s.) says,
“O people what I fear most about you are 2 things: acting according to desires and extending of hopes. As regards acting according to desires, this prevents from truth: and as regards extending of hopes, it makes one forget the next world. You should know this world is moving rapidly and nothing has remained out of it except last particles like the remnants of a vessel, which has been emptied by someone. Beware, the next world is advancing. Today is the day of action and there is no reckoning, while tomorrow is the day of reckoning but there would be no (opportunity for) action.”
Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (a.s.) says about the effects of remembering death and the Resurrection Day:
(1) It’s remembrance suppresses the inordinate desires,
(2) It uproots the very foundation of negligence and apathy,
(3) With the reminding of Allah’s promise, it strengthens man’s heart,
(4) It softens the hard mentality of man,
(5) It demolishes the banners of inordinate desires and transgression,
(6) It suppresses the evil of greediness and makes the world humble before one’s eyes.
The visit to the graves is therefore recommended so that we would be reminded of our death. We all know that we recite the following Quranic Verse (Ayah) several times in our daily Prayers (Namaz) during day and night, so that we are reminded of the Resurrection Day
“Master of the day of Resurrection (Surah al-Hamd, 1: 4).
A unique and valuable advantage enjoyed by the one who accepts the principle of an afterlife is that his attitude to material enjoyments will never be the same as that of the hasty person who is in a state of constant anxiety and agitation lest his possessions do not last him until death. It is only for those who worship this world that material possessions count as a goal in themselves. Those who are advancing towards the abode of eternity use the bounties of this world as a means for attaining lofty goal.
Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (a.s.) says,
“The life of man does not amount to more than an instant. What is passed is now non-existent, you do not fell its pleasure or pain. As for what is yet to come, you do not know what it is. The true and precious capitals of your life are those few instants you presently enjoy. Master then, your soul, and strive to redeem yourself and attain salvation, be steadfast in enduring the rigor of worshipping Allah and obeying His commandments, and preserve yourself from the pollution of sin and disobedience to Allah” (al Kafi).
Those traders, who think of their future debts and liabilities, start saving something from the beginning. Similarly those people who are concerned about death and Qayamat from today give up their bad deeds and start performing noble deeds so as to present them on the Resurrection Day.
The book “Manazile Akherah” is written by the great Traditionist, (Muhaddith) Shaikh Abbas Bin Muhammad Ridha Qummi, who was the student of the Celebrated Scholar Mirza Husain Noorie. He was born in Qum in the year 1294 A.H. Many great Ulama like Aqa Buzurgh Tehrani, Ayatullah Shaikh Muhammad Hassan Aale Kashifal Ghita, Sayyed Abdul Husain Sharafudeen Musawi etc. were his fellow students. Being a zealous and an enthusiastic seeker of knowledge, he was held dear by his teacher Mirza Husain Noori, who loved him more than any of his other students. Shaikh Qummi has authored many useful and important books viz “Safeenatul Bihar,” “Muntahal Aamal,” “Mafateehul Jinan” the famous book of supplications (dua’s) etc.
He was an expert in the knowledge of Traditions (Ahadees), Biographies (Rijaal), History (Tareekh) and lives of Aimmah (a.s.) (Seerate Masoomeen). Muhaddith Qummi left for the eternal abode in the year 1359 A.H.
The present book is translated from the 2nd Edition of the Urdu translation by Maulana Ghulam Husain Mazhar, in which the translator has added some quotes taken from books like Ma’ad by Ayatullah Dastaghaib Shirazi, Khazeenatul Jawaher, Ehsanul Fawaed, Tafseere Umdatul Bayan, Biharul Anwar, Tafseere Anware Najaf etc. which I too have included in my present translation for further explanation of the subject.
I have taken up the translation of the above book with the sole intention of enjoining good (Amr bil Ma’roof) and warning against evil (Nahi anil Munkar). I hope the readers will gain benefit from it and prepare themselves, and collect provisions for the last journey - eternal and perpetual.
Last and foremost, may Allah shower upon Muhammad (s) and his Progeny His Blessings befitting their distinction as reward for their actions and suitable to the chastity of their lineage. And his Special Blessings on His Last Deputy and His Remaining Emissary, the Expected Mahdi (May Allah hasten his glad advent.)
Aejaz Ali Turab Husain Bhujwala (Husainee)
15 Zilqada 1418 /15 March 1998