The Shaikh Zayd b. Muhammaad b. Haadee al-Madkhalee (rahimahullaah):
حَدَّثَنَا إِسْمَاعِيلُ حَدَّثَنِي مَالِكٌ عَنْ أَبِي الزِّنَادِ عَنْ الْأَعْرَجِ عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ قَالَ اللَّهُ تَبَارَكَ وَتَعَالَى
إِذَا أَحَبَّ عَبْدِي لِقَائِي أَحْبَبْتُ لِقَاءَهُ وَإِذَا كَرِهَ لِقَائِي كَرِهْتُ لِقَاءَهُ
Narrated Abu Zinaad from al-A’raj from Abu Hurairah that Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu `alaihi wassallam) said: Allaah, the Most Blessed and Most High, said:
If a servant loves to meet me, then I love to meet him, and if he hates to meet me, then I hate to meet Him.
(Reported by al-Bukhaaree in Kitaabut-Tawheed.)
This is something that is specifically related to the time of the summoning of the soul, and when one is close to the end. So the believer is happy at that stage – the Angels give him glad tidings, they descend upon him and give him glad tidings. So then he loves to meet Allaah – and the intent here is not whilst one is in good health, and has choice. The mother of the believers, `Aa’ishah (radiyallaahu `anhaa) said, upon hearing this hadeeth: “We all hate death!” So the Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) said:
“This is not what it means. Rather it refers to the time when death comes. So whoever loves to meet Allaah at that time, then Allaah loves to meet him.”
So the believer loves to meet Allaah at that time, due to what sees of goodness and receives from glad tidings, regarding which Allaah (the Mighty and Majestic) stated:
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ قَالُوا رَبُّنَا اللَّهُ ثُمَّ اسْتَقَامُوا تَتَنَزَّلُ عَلَيْهِمُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ أَلَّا تَخَافُوا وَلَا تَحْزَنُوا وَأَبْشِرُوا بِالْجَنَّةِ الَّتِي كُنتُمْ تُوعَدُونَ [٤١:٣٠]
Indeed, those who have said, “Our Lord is Allah” and then remained steadfast – the angels will descend upon them, [saying], “Do not fear and do not grieve but receive good tidings of Paradise, which you were promised.
نَحْنُ أَوْلِيَاؤُكُمْ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَفِي الْآخِرَةِ ۖ وَلَكُمْ فِيهَا مَا تَشْتَهِي أَنفُسُكُمْ وَلَكُمْ فِيهَا مَا تَدَّعُونَ [٤١:٣١]
We [angels] were your allies in worldly life and [are so] in the Hereafter. And you will have therein whatever your souls desire, and you will have therein whatever you request [or wish]
This is for the one who loves to meet Allaah. And as for the criminals, then these people whilst they are in that state [of dying], they do not love to meet Allaah because they are given tidings of punishments and painful retribution, both in the barzakh (i.e. the grave) and in the Hereafter. So he does not love to meet Allaah, rather he hates to meet Him – And Allaah hates to meet him. And also alongside this, because the recompense with Allaah is in accordance to one’s deeds.
So the one who increases in righteous deeds and continues upon them, then Allaah makes him steadfast – and the Angels descend upon him at all times – and the time of most critical need is at the point of death. So this hadeeth refers to this moment of time.
End of the speech of Ash-Shaikh, al-‘Allaamah, al-Faqeeh: Zayd b. Muhammad b. Haadee al-Madkhalee – born 1938CE, died Thursday 14th March 2014CE (born 1357H, died 1435H). May Allaah forgive us and him, may He, the Most Merciful, shower His Mercy upon him, give him security in the grave and enter him into the Firdaws of Paradise, its highest part.
Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim report from `Aa’ishah (radiyallaahu `anhaa) regarding this hadeeth:
“Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu `alaihi wassallam) indeed said this, but it does not mean what you think. Rather it means that when the gaze becomes fixed, and the chest rattles, the skin tightens, and the fingers tremble – then at that point, ‘Whoever loves to meet Allaah, Allaah loves to meet him. And whoever hates to meet Allaah, Allaah hates to meet him.’”
In another narration, also collected by al-Bukhaaree and Muslim, `Aa’ishah (radiyallaah `anhaa) asked the Messenger (salallaahu `alaihi wassallam): “Do you mean death? But we all hate death!” The Messenger (salallaahu `alaihi wassallaam) responded:
“It is not like that, rather it is when death comes to a believer, he is given glad tidings of Allaah’s Mercy, His good Pleasure and His acceptance. There is nothing more beloved to him than that which is before him. So he loves to meet Allaah, and Allaah loves to meet him.
And as for the unbeliever, when death comes to him, he is given tidings of the impending punishment of Allaah, His anger and His painful retribution – and for there is nothing more hated than what is before him. So he hates to meet Allaah, and Allaah hates to meet him.”