Abdullah bin Mas‘ood (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) explained the nature of life and man’s journey in a beautiful manner. He said:
إنكم في ممر الليل والنهار في آجال منقوصة وأعمال محفوظة والموت يأتي بغتة
“As the days and nights are passing (and the second’s needle is ticking on the clock), your life is getting shorter, your deeds are being recorded, and death will come all of a sudden.”
The angel of death doesn’t make any announcements or ‘final boarding calls’.
فمن يزرع خيرا يوشك أن يحصد رغبة ، ومن يزرع شرا يوشك أن يحصد ندامة
“The one who plants good will reap with happiness, and the one who plants evil will reap with regret.” (Hilyatul Awliyaa vol. 1, pg. 183)
He explains the nature of this world and the hereafter through the example of a farmer. If the farmer sows the right seeds at the right time, i.e. he planted that which was in demand, then he will ‘make a killing’ at the time of harvest. But in the same manner, if he sows the wrong seeds, i.e. he plants something with which the market is flooded, then he will regret and suffer great losses at the time of harvest.
This is exactly the situation with regards to the Hereafter. The one who does good actions in this world is like the farmer who sows the right seeds. He will be overjoyed at harvest time, which is the Day of Qiyaamah, and he will announce:
هَاؤُمُ اقْرَءُوا كِتَابِيَهْ
“Come to read my book of deeds.”
But the one who does bad actions is like the farmer who sows the wrong seeds. He will regret so greatly on the Day of Qiyaamah that he will say:
يَا لَيْتَنِي لَمْ أُوتَ كِتَابِيَهْ ﴿٢٥﴾ وَلَمْ أَدْرِ مَا حِسَابِيَهْ ﴿٢٦﴾ يَا لَيْتَهَا كَانَتِ الْقَاضِيَةَ
“Oh, If only I didn’t receive my book of deeds, and I didn’t come to know my account! Oh, If only death could be the end!”
[Extracted from our detailed book on the life of ‘Abdullah bin Mas’ood (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), The Classic Resemblance of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam)]