At the end of the Ziyarat of Lady Fatima Masooma b. Musa al-Kadhim (peace be upon them) we address Allah and pray: "O God, I ask you for a noble end (to my life) and do not take away (the true faith, security and Your consciousness) which I possess."
Based on this line, we would like to discuss a tradition which speaks about having a noble end to this life, as this is a very important issue.
Sometimes, a person may live a very prosperous life, traversing the path of the truth; however, something may happen, and the end of his life would be filled with disbelief, sins, and open rebellion! It is also possible that a person lives a life of sin; however, he is then given the opportunity to change before his life ends and turn into a person such as Hurr ibn Yazid ar-Riyahi (peace be upon him)! He may become such a person that within the course of a few hours, he changes and becomes one whom people stand in front of and proclaim: "May my father and mother be sacrificed for you!"
It is not only us; rather, even the Infallibles (peace be upon them) stand in front of the graves of such martyrs and say this line!
Having a good end to this life can be accomplished in various ways, and there is a tradition in Mizan al-Hikmah that has been narrated from 'Uyun al-Akhbar al-Ridha in which this issue has been alluded to:
Imam Ja'far b. Muhammad as-Sadiq (peace be upon him) has said, "If you wish to have a good ending (from the life of this world) and that your soul is taken from you (while you are) in the best of states, then do not use the blessings of Allah to commit transgressions. If you have performed a sin and Allah has not yet punished you for it, then do not be proud at His forbearance. Consider any one who narrates our (the Ahlul Bayt's) words as being a noble person, and one who accepts us and has intense love for us."
In this tradition, the Imam has stated, "You should perform three tasks so that your end (in this life) will be a righteous one. First off, whatever blessings Allah has given to you must not be used to transgress His laws."
In reality, this part of the tradition points to the issue we are told that, "O' you who are incessantly transgressing - wake up! Why are you taking the blessings of Allah and using them in disobedience? Your life, wealth, all of the organs of your body, etc. are all blessings from Allah, and yet you use them to perform sins! Truly this is something despicable!"
The second point mentioned is, "When you commit a sin and Allah, through His patience and forbearance, gives you the opportunity to repent and turn back to Him, do not use that occasion to feel proud and arrogant and think to yourself that you have done something good!"
The third point mentioned is, "Those who have a strong affection for the Ahlul Bayt, those who are their true followers, and those who are continuously speaking about them must be respected."
Definitely, it is through observing these commandments that one will have a righteous end.
A person does not know when he will leave this world, and thus how good it would be were he to die while performing righteous deeds within Masjid al-Haram or one of the sanctuaries of the Infallibles! Conversely, how bad it would be if he were to leave the world in a state of open disobedience to God.
All of the great scholars feared their end and the actions that they would be performing at the time of death, and thus, they always asked Allah for a good end to come to them when they die. The reason for this being so crucial is that the most important thing must be the final page of our deed of records and what is written on it.
Thus, we must always entrust ourselves to Allah, and if we fall prey to sins, we must immediately ask forgiveness for them!