There once lived in Basrah a prolific and profoundly spiritual worshipper whose fear of the Hereafter caused him to become physically weak, and whose constant crying made him skinny and sick. When he was on his deathbed, his family gathered around him, and they all began to cry.
“Help me sit up.” He said. He addressed his father first: “O my father, what is making you cry?”
“My son,” began his father, “I remembered that I will lose you, and that I will be alone after you die.”
The worshipper then turned his gaze towards his mother and said, “O my Mother, what is making you cry?”
“I am crying because I will soon have to taste the bitterness of losing you,” she said.
He then turned to his sister and asked, “what is making you cry?”
“Because I will soon lose out on your kindness and will consequently have to depend on others for help,” she said.
Finally, he looked at his children and asked, “what is making you cry?”
“The prospect of hard and humiliating life of being orphans after you die,” they said. Now it was his trun to cry. “And what is making you cry?” everyone asked.
“I am crying because I saw that each one of you cried for his or her own self, and not for me, he said. Is there none among you who cries for the long, hard journey I am about to embark upon, and the few supplies (i.e. good deeds) that I have for it? Is there none among you who cries because I will be lying down in dirt? Is there none among you who cries because I will be held accountable (and might have to endure punishment)? Is there none among you who cries because of when I will stand before the Lord of all that exists (for judgement)?” He then rolled over onto his face, when they tried to move him, they realised that he had just died.
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