Nabi Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam had once quoted an example of a person who had three brothers. As the time of his death drew close, he called his eldest Nabi brother and addressed him,
“You are my eldest brother and a substitute for our father. I always respected you and did my best to serve you. The time of my death has approached today. How will you be able to assist me?”
The brother replied, “I will remain with you until you breathe your last. I will then walk far away once you die after which I will not be able to assist you.”
On hearing this reply, the brother was filled with grief since all his life long efforts were wasted. He then called the middle brother and addressed him,
“O my brother! Though I did not regard you to be equal in rank to our eldest brother, but I always honoured you. My life has now come to an end. Of what assistance will you be to me?”
He replied, “I will remain at your side till your last breath after which I will bathe you and enshroud you in the kafn. Then I will bury you with my own hands.”
The brother asked him, “What will you do thereafter?”
He replied, “I will not be able to be of any benefit thereafter.”
After hearing this reply, he was disappointed. The dying brother now called the youngest brother and told him,
“I never respected you and always regarded you to be under my command. How will you now assist me?” The brother replied. “I will remain with you at your side in the grave, on the plains of resurrection, at the time your deeds will be weighed, and at the bridge of Siraat right until I ensure that you enter Jannah.” The dying brother was now extremely pleased.
Nabi Sallallahu alayhi wa sallam reviewing the entire example remarked, “The eldest brother was wealth after which man is continuously hankering. He loses possession of the wealth upon his death and it now belongs to his heirs. The wealth left behind in the world will be of no assistance.
However, towards the end of his life one has the choice of bequeathing only up to one third of it. No bequests can be made from the remaining two thirds. The middle brother was his family and friends. They attended to him during his illness and bathed him after his death. They will even bury him but none of them will remain with him in the grave. The youngest brother was the good deeds. Man never pays attention to them during his lifetime. If there was time available, then only were good deeds performed otherwise not. Good deeds were given a position below one’s desires and passion whereas it is these very same deeds that will assist one in the grave.
Punishment will befall the inmate of the grave from his left, his right, from the head side, and from his feet, but it will be his good deeds that will ward off the punishment. On the plains of resurrection, when the sun will be above the heads of mankind and their heads will be boiling like cauldrons, one’s good deeds will be a means of shelter for him. At that time, the scales will be made heavy because of one’s good deeds and this will be a means of one receiving salvation. It will then be one’s good deeds that will allow him to cross the bridge of Siraat with ease, either as fast as wind or as fast as a horse, according to the amount of good deeds.”
Therefore, one needs to spend his entire life doing pious actions. One should never break the commands of Allah Ta’ala on account of earning wealth or due to showing with regards to family members.
Malfoozaat Faqeehul Ummah- Mufti Mahmood Hasan Gangohi Rahmatullahi Alaihi