Once when he was seated near a grave, the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Every grave proclaims in the most horrific voice, ‘O progeny of Adam! Have you forgotten me? I am the house of loneliness. I am a strange land of wilderness! I am a hole of mites and worms. I am a place of hardship and trial, save those fortunate ones for whom Allah makes me commodious and wide. I am for all other human beings a tortuous place.’” In addition, the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “The grave is either one of the pits of Hell or a small flower garden out of the gardens of Paradise.” [Tabarani]
Given that a less rewarded person’s property in Jannah will be much more than all of the land on earth, a small flower garden might be as big as a small country such as Switzerland. This could be your grave. Alternatively, it could be one of the trenches from Hell filled with scorpions, snakes and fire. May Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) save us all from a bad end.
Take heed from the sight of the grave and concentrate your thoughts and imaginative powers on meditating life after death.
Zeynep Fadillioglu has quietly pulled off a coup: She’s the first woman in Turkey to design a mosque. An interior designer known for jet setting ways, she nonetheless won a commission to redesign the religious structure in Istanbul. She even recruited women to help in the construction. Begun last year, the project was just recently completed. It’s a fairly impressive building, subtly blending modern techniques and materials into what might be the world’s most conservative design vernacular. Check it out:
The quibla wall, which faces Mecca. The archway you see is the mihrab–an essential feature of a mosque’s quibla wall. To the right is the minbar–the pulpit for the Imam:
The view from the balcony. Women and men are separated in mosques; men worship on the main floor. The spaces occupied by women are frequently cramped, but Fadillioglu made a point of giving women a space equal to the main floor, in size and beauty:
Verily a devil meets another devil so he says to him, “Why is it that I see you looking sickly? (Meaning the change is weight)” The (other) devil replies, verily I am with a man that if he eats he remembers the name of Allah so I can not eat with him. And if he drinks he remembers the name of Allah so I can not drink with him. And if he enters into his home he remembers the name of Allaah so I am rejected outside of the house.
The other devil says, but as for me then I am with a man if he eats he does not remember Allah so he and I eat together, and if he drinks he does not remember Allah so I drink with him, and when he enters his home he does not remember Allah so I enter with him.
[Shaikh al-Albaani reported it in As-Saheehah, no. 2586.]
Allah has full knowledge of the truths beyond the reach of perception both in the heavens and the earth;
and the coming of the Hour will take no more than the twinkling of an eye; it may take even less.
Indeed Allah has power over everything.[16:77]