An-Nazi’aat (the 2nd surah of the 30th Juz) begins by taking us directly to the end of life, in which we will face either one of these two scenarios… either the angels of mercy will come to take our life and be soft and kind in extracting our soul from the body… or the angels of punishment will come to ruthlessly pull out the soul…
Each and every one of us has to go through this experience so shouldn’t I be worrying about how it’s going to be for me? Really if death was on our minds then we would not be spending so much time reading and listening to what other people are doing… we wouldn’t be making fun of others, or criticizing, or backbiting, or blaming anyone because in the final moment of my life it will be only and only my deeds that will matter to me… only the consequences of my deeds will come before me… so shouldn’t my own standing with Allah be my main concern even now, when I am alive and can put things right…?
Well the question arises why do we not obey Allah and live up to the standards of a true believer? Even though we know very well that one day we will get exactly what we earned in this life… yet we keep on doing what we “feel like” doing…
In other words our desires are the main obstruction in achieving true success… that is why at the end of the surah Allah says:
“So for the one who transgressed the limits and gave preference to the life of this world… then surely the hell will be his abode…And as for him who fears to stand in the presence of his Lord and forbids the soul from low desires… then surely the paradise will be his home.”
Therefore Jannah is only two steps away:
Strengthen your faith and knowledge by doing tadabbur in Quran
Free your mind and life from distractions of desires so that you can focus on implementing the lessons of Quran.
It reminds me of a quote I heard from a scholar… Paradise is only two feet away: if you put one foot on your desires then your next foot will land in Jannah…
But it is easier said than done… no wonder it is said that the most difficult jihaad is with one’s own self… and also it is an ongoing jihaad because even if you succeed in breaking a bad habit, you don’t have any guarantee that it will not come back again…
So being careful and cautious about where our time is going and daily keeping a check on yourself is a good way to avoid distractions.
In one talk that I heard, I learned that a good way to discipline yourself is to get patience through salah… pray two rakah every time you have the urge to do something harmful… and surely Allah will give you the energy to fight yourself.
May Allah help us to remember the great rewards of self control and not let us be forgetful about our end, even for the blink of an eye… ameen