The Final Exam

Note: Religious and spiritual contemplation is without a doubt highly beneficial to the spiritual states of believers, as evidenced by numerous hadith and Qur’anic ayats. Authorities rank the various types of contemplation and knowledge (‘ilm) according to their levels of spiritual benefit.

The following poem revolves around contemplation on the Day of Judgement. Regarding this type of contemplation there is a debatable hadith which can be found from amongst the Shia tradition and also apparently the Barelvis ( a Sunni group). The hadith incorporates an ayat from the Qur’an and mirrors a more sound hadith (quoted by Imam Ibn Hanbal, RA). Its meaning (matn), in my opinion, is beneficial. Regardless of its actual authenticity, it is a hadith whose meaning I find my heart ambraces.

It states as follows:

The Noble Prophet (sa) asked Abu Hurairah: “How do you contemplate?”

“As stated by Allah in the Qur’an: ‘(Men of understanding) reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earth.’[40]. I too reflect upon the wonders of the heavens and the earth,” he replied.

The Noble Prophet (sa) remarked, “One hour of your contemplation is better than one year of worship.” Then turning to Ibn Abbas, he asked, “How do you contemplate?”

“I reflect upon death and the horrors of the Day of Judgment,” replied Ibn Abbas.

The Noble Prophet (sa) said, “One hour of your contemplation is better than seven years of worship.” Then, he asked the other companion, “In what manner do you contemplate?”

The companion answered, “I reflect upon the fire of Hell and its dreadfulness and severity.”

“One hour of your contemplation is better than seventy years of worship,” the Noble Prophet (sa) stated.


Without further ado, the poem:

Final Exam

All men are rushing
Forward toward that day
When there is no shade
No shade, but the Shade of Allah
Reserved for the pious ones

That day men will hasten
Some raving mad
at the stain in their skin, unwashed
Some serenely, pure,
with eyes only on their Lord
Some blindly-driven, hordes chasing
After their own desires

And in these poor, dead souls,
What should have matured into a niched-lamp
Reflecting a Light, a Mercy, from neither the East nor the West,
Has instead become a driving slave master,
A Demanding Fire
In their breast,
Riding its donkey after all things created

Beware this world, oh son!

Watch over your heart
Root out its weeds

Be not like those who,
On the Final Day have as friends
nothing but the ugly twins of:
Anguish and Self-Loathing

That day those who are the losers
Will feel the sweat of their crawling skins
Layered up to their necks.


Ya Allah remove not Your Guidance,
Ya Allah forever shower Your Mercy on us,
Ya Allah guide us to Your sincere friends,
SubhanAllahi, wal Hamdulillahi, wa la illaha ilAllahu, Allahu Akbar wa la hawla wa la quwwata illa billa hil ‘alii-al ‘adheem
(Glory be to God and all Praise is for God, and there is no god but God, and God is the Greatest and there is no Might or Power except with God)
Amin Oh Lord of the Worlds, Amin


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