Abu Yahya al-Mazini came in upon al-Shafi’i (may God have mercy upon them both) in his final sickness, and asked him, ‘How are you faring this morning?’ ‘This morning I am travelling from this world,’ he said, ‘and departing from my brethren, and going to meet my evil works, quaffing the cup of death, and coming unto God (Exalted is He!) Yet I do not know whether my spirit is travelling to Heaven, that I might congratulate it, or to Hell, that I might console it.’ Then he recited:
When my heart was hardened and my courses
I made my hopes a stairway to Your
My sin burdened me heavily, but when I measured it
by Your forgiveness, Lord, Your forgiveness
was the greater.
Always are You forgiving of sin, and always
do You show generosity and forgiveness out of
munificence and bounty.
Still, were it not for You no worshipper would be
tempted by the devil;
How could that be, when he led astray Your
chosen one, Adam?
From Imam Al-Ghazali’s The Remebrance of Death And The Afterlife, Book XL of The Revival Of The Religious Sciences (Ihya Ulum Al-Din). Page 95 in the Islamic Texts Society edition.