By Dr. Shadee Elmasry
"Remember much the destroyer of pleasures."
Death doesn't just destroy pleasures. It destroys sadness too. "The trials of this world fade upon the remembrance of death," said the Tabi'i, Ka'b.
If there was no second life, then there would be no justice for people who get away with their crimes, or for whom being killed isn't enough. There would also be no hope for people given a lesser lot in this world.
It's where we're going for sure 100% no doubt. Nobody's ever escaped it. So might as well prepare for it and make its arrival a plus, not a minus.
Some attribute the saying to Sayyidna Ali that you should prepare for life with your actions as if you will live forever, but be in your state be as if you will transcend this world tomorrow. Others have likened this world to a rest stop: you wouldn't care too much about anything except getting onto the next plane on time. Namely, how you leave it.
Death brings a lot of other secrets too. By answering what you would die for, you've answered what you would live for.
The process of death is a great motivator, as the soul's attachment to this world has been likened to the attachment of cotton to its bud. When the angel removes an attached soul, he's forced to pull and tug, which causes unspeakable pain. But for the penitent who lived preparing for this moment, the soul comes out smoothly and painlessly. After the questioning, the grave either constricts into an unseen pit of misery like Hell or opens up into a garden, like Paradise.