Sayyidina Abu Al Darda’ رضى الله عنه
Sayyidina Abu Al Darda’ رضى الله عنه is a Companion of the Messenger of Allah Ta’aala صلى الله عليه وسلم who served as a judge in Damascus. He is known as حكم هذه الامة و سيّد القرّاء the ‘Judge of this Ummah’ and the ‘Leader of the Qur’an Reciters.’ He was made responsible for the Damascus’ seat of qira’ah during the caliphate of Sayyiduna ‘Uthman al Ghani رضى الله عنه . He is amongst the select few Companions who took part in the codification of the Qur’an text. He taught the Quran in Damascus and as many as over one thousand people would attend his gathering.
Sayyidina Abu Al Darda رضى الله عنه once visited someone who was close to dying. He found him uttering الحمد لله ‘All praise is due to Allah.’ He remarked, ‘You have engaged in something very ideal because Allah, after giving a command, hopes that people praise him for it.’
He would sit by the graves. When asked about it, he replied, ‘I sit by those who remind me of the hereafter, and they do not backbite me if I do not visit them.’
In 32AH, as death dawned upon him, he began to weep and lament. Sayyidah Umm al-Darda’ رضى الله عنها remarked, ‘O Abu al-Darda’, you used to say to us that death is beloved to you!’
He said, ‘By the dignity of my Lord, why not? It was like that.’ Then he wept, saying ‘This is my last moment in leaving this world. Urge me to utter لا اله الا الله ‘There is not diety but Allah.’ He repeatedly recited لا اله الا الله until he breathed his last.
Sayyiduna Mu’awiyah ibn al-Qarah رضى الله عنه says, “Sayyiduna Abu al-Darda رضى الله عنه owned a camel named Damun. He would instruct anyone who took it from him on rent, ‘You are only allowed to load this much load on it, as it is not strong enough to carry more than that!’ He turned to it at the time of his death and addressed it:
… يا دمون! لا تخاصمنى غدا عند ربّى
‘O Damun! Don’t bring a case against me on The Day of Judgement before my Lord as I always only loaded on you that which you could manage and had the strength for!’
As the death throes grew, he advised his respected wife, Umm al-Darda رضى الله عنها to prepare for this moment in her life. He then called his son Bilal and said, ‘My son, prepare for this moment and remember this moment of mine for the rest of your life.’
He also said: I relate to you a hadith I heard from the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه و سلم, who was saying, ’Worship Allah as though you see Him and, if you do not see Him, He sees you. Prepare your soul for death! Beware of the cry of the oppressed, for it is accepted! And whoever amongst you has the strength to attend the Isha and Fajr prayer even by crawling, he should do so.’
Abu al Muslim says, ‘I visited Abu al-Darda رضى الله عنه when he was living his last moments and saying, “Is there anyone willing to undertake good deeds for the hereafter? Is there anyone willing to prepare for these final moments of mine?” As he was saying this, his soul was extracted.
Extracted from: Final Moments of the Pious
Moulana Yusuf Motala