Admonition beside the Grave
945. `Ali (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: We were accompanying a funeral procession in Baqi` Al-Gharqad (graveyard in Al-Madinah) when the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) proceeded towards us and sat down. We sat around him. He had a small stick in his hand. He was bending down his head and scraping the ground with the stick. He said, "There is none among you but has a place assigned for him either in the Jannah or in the Hell.'' The Companions said: "O Messenger of Allah, should we not depend upon what has been written for us (and give up doing good deeds)?'' The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "Carry on doing good deeds. Every one will find it easy to do such deeds (as will lead him to his destined place) for which he has been created.''
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
Commentary: The subject of this chapter is exactly related to the Hadith accounting for reasons of giving a sermon speech beside the grave. As the dimension of the world's impermanent nature and a heart-moving scene directly confront a man's eyes on this occasion, any moral exhortation is most likely to touch the heart. Secondly, the good or bad deeds of man during his fixed life span in this world prefigure in Allah's Knowledge, and He has ordained the good or bad end of everybody. But this does not mean that man is simply helpless in doing what Allah has predetermined. Indeed, Allah already knows that such and such a person will adopt the righteous conduct and meet a good end; and such and such a person will take to the mischievous way and consequently meet a bad end. Unless man has access to Allah's Knowledge and the Preserved Tablet (which is impossible), he is not supposed to give up the right conduct by banking upon His Knowledge. When he is totally ignorant of the Sacred Writ on his ultimate end, he has no other choice but to continue endeavouring in good pursuits. Allah has given him the freedom of choice and will subject him to accountability on this count alone. Moreover, it is the Divine principle that He helps everybody do only that type of work - facilitating it to him as well - which is germane to his bent of mind. Then, there is no reason that man should lag behind in embarking upon the virtuous path and not try to seek the Grace of Allah.