It is related that once Umar Ibne Abdul Aziz رحمه الله accompanied a bier to the funeral but, on reaching the graveyard, he went over to a solitary place and sat silent, lost in thoughts.
Someone asked, “O Ameerul-Ul-Mo’mineen, you are the guardian of this funeral and you are sitting here alone?”
He replied, ” I heard a grave calling me and it said, ” O Umar Ibne Abdul Aziz, do you not ask me how I treat those who come to me?”
I said, ” Do tell me” and it said, ” I tear their shrouds, I crush their bodies to pieces, I suck all their joints! Oh I dis-join their arms from their shoulders and the wrists from their arms! I disjoin the hips from their bodies, the thighs from their hips, the knees from their thighs, the calves from their knees and the feet from their calves
Saying this, Umar Ibne Abdul Aziz began to weep and at length he added:
O brief is our stay in this world, great is its illusion! Those who are proud in this life will be humbled in Akhirah; those who are rich will be made poor and destitute. The young will soon grow old and the living shall meet death.
Let not the smiles (favours) of the world beguile you! Don’t you see how soon it turns away from its admirers? Oh, where are the great admirers of the world, who built great cities, dug big canals, planted beautiful gardens? They stayed here but little and were gone, leaving everything behind!
Their sound health and the strength of their bodies deceived them, breeding in them a zeal for lustful life, and induced them to sinning. By Allah Ta’laa, Most High, they were envied in the world for their abundant wealth and people were jealous of them. But, in spite of obstacles, they earned big fortunes unmindful of the hindrances that stood in their way to affluence and prosperity and they bore with pleasure the hardships that they had to face for amassing wealth.
But see now what the earth has done to their bodies, what worms have made of their joints and their bones! They used to recline on rich couches and rested on soft fluffy beds raised above the ground, surrounded by servants and attendants, with their kinsmen and neighbours to keep them pleasant company. But what is happening now! Just call them and ask them: ‘How are you faring in your graves?’
RICH OR POOR
Everybody, rich or poor, is lying under the same ground. Ask the rich among them, What use was your riches to you? Ask the poor, ‘What harm did the poverty do to you?’ Ask them what about your tongues that chirped and chattered pleasantly? What happened to your eyes that kept looking in all directions? What happened to your smooth skins; and your beautiful, charming faces, and your tender, delicate bodies?
Ask them what worms have made of them all! They have made their complexion black, eaten up their flesh, covered their faces with dust, dis-joined their limbs, broken their joints to pieces
“O You must inevitably pass on to the grave tomorrow, what has beguiled you about this world? Do you think this wretched world will not betray you? Do you hope to live in the world forever, where men come and go and no one ever stays?
Oh, No! You will have to depart from this world! Take heed, when the malak-ul-maut (Angel of Death) comes and gains control over your body, none can send him away! Then you will perspire profusely!
Umar Bin Abdul Aziz رحمه الله continued to discourse this vein for quite some time and then recited two couplets, the purport of which is as follows,
“Man takes joy in things which vanish very soon and beguiles himself with worldly hopes and inordinate longing about the future”