It is reported from a reliable source that Shaykh Abubakar Mahmud Gomi (of blessed memory) was once in a plane. The plane at one time suddenly started malfunctioning. Everyone became scared – death approaching, right in the face. The shahadah became the new sensational rhythm in no time
La ilaha illa lah
Ashahudu an laila ha ila laa wa ana Muhammad rasullu lah
Everyone, save just a person, Shaykh Abubakar Mahmud Gomi was said to maintain decorum. He sat in his seat calmly. The people yet didn’t even have time to question him either. The presence of death – knocking – took their minds away.
As Allah willed, the plane eventually landed safely. Thus, a man goes forward to meet the man who had been calm during the flight. The man asked how come he was calm during the flight and also added, “Thank God, we are safe now.” The Shaykh replied, “So The God that owned your life while you were in the plane, no longer does?.”
(Shaykh Umar Daida Paiko’s Ramadan Tafseer – Day 20).
In his Tafseer, Shaykh Umar Daida Paiko mentioned this story. He continued and stated that what Shaykh Mahmud Gomi points to is the fact that a person should constantly fear Allah and remember death. A sane person should at always be expectant of death and not just on particular occasions, as it is rampant these days. People tend to forget anything that has to do with death until during these occasions- a car nearing an accident, a building about to collapse, an attack carried out by some ruefully bloodthirsty individuals, a person’s retrogressive condition on a sickbed, a plane about to crash; and what have you. No, this should not be the case.
Death can come in at any time. He had earlier shared another real experience wherein it was narrated that a couple were peacefully discussing in their matrimonial bed before a bus lost control on a bridge and crash-landed into their house- ending their discussions and their lives. Of course, no one, not even the couple could have thought of such. Death does not necessarily have to come in in one way or the other. A sane man is the one that prepares nevertheless.
In the word of the best of mankind, Prophet Muhammad – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – said, whilst replying to a question
” . قَالَ فَأَىُّ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ أَكْيَسُ قَالَ : ” أَكْثَرُهُمْ لِلْمَوْتِ ذِكْرًا وَأَحْسَنُهُمْ لِمَا بَعْدَهُ اسْتِعْدَادًا أُولَئِكَ الأَكْيَاسُ ” .”
“Which of them is wisest?’ He said: “The one who remembers death the most and is best in preparing for it. Those are the wisest.'”