Death may come upon us at any time, and it is our last deed that counts most. Put together, these two realities make it clear that we must continually repent for our sins and that it is utter foolishness to put off repentance for another day. In relation to this point, there is an interesting story related about two brothers. One of them, who lived on the top floor of a house they shared together, was a pious worshipper; the other, who lived on the ground floor, was a prolific doer of evil deeds. The former was confident in fact, a little too confident and self-complacent for his own good. He actually desired that Shaytaan should try to tempt him, so that he could resist temptation and soar to higher levels of righteousness.
One day, Iblees did appear before him, perhaps in the form of a man [it is not mentioned in the narration]. Shaytaan said, "So very sad that you have spent 40 years inhibiting the satisfaction of your desires and tiring your body in worship. You have 40 more years left to live, why don't you enjoy yourself and follow your lusts for a while. Then you can always repent and return to worship later on. After all, Allah is Most-Forgiving, Most-Merciful." The worshipper thought to himself, "I will go down to my brother on the first floor, and I will join him in the pursuit of pleasure for 20 years. Then, in the last 20 years of my life, I will repent to Allah and worship Him." He then began to descend the stairs to the first floor. Meanwhile, his brother was going through a transformation of his own. He thought to himself, "I wasted away my entire life in sin. My brother, the worshipper, will enter Paradise, while I will enter the Hell-fire. By Allah, I will indeed repent, go up to my brother and join him for as long as I live, in the worship of Allah. Perhaps Allah will then forgive me." He ascended the stairs, with the intention of repenting to Allah, while his brother was descending with the intention of leading a life of sin. The latter slipped on one of the stairs, tumbled down, and knocked down his brother. Both of them died. It is, of course, the last deed that counts most.
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