On the authority of Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, who said that the Messenger of Allah - صلى الله عليه وسلم - said:
“Frequently remember the destroyer of life’s pleasures; death.”
[Collected by at Tirmidhi and an Nasaa-ee and declared authentic by Ibn Hibbaan]
The author began this chapter with this Hadeeth to remind the living to take admonishment from death. This is because every person, however easy and pleasure-full his life is, if he is at the top of the world, if he is the wealthiest of the wealthy, the strongest of the strong, the most content of the content…when he remembers death, every pleasure before him would be defeated. If the groom on his wedding night remembers death, he would not engage in sexual activities with his bride.
So remembering the destroyer of life’s pleasures, which is death, is the greatest of admonishments, the greatest of deterrents [from sins] and the greatest encouragement to practice righteous deeds.
[Sharh Bulugh al Maraam by Shaykh ‘Ateeyah ibn Muhammad Saalim: 2/112]
This is because remembering death is a deterrent from sinning and an encouragement to practice obedience, and remembering it is an established Sunnah.
[At Tayseer bi Sharh al Jaami’ as Sagheer: by al Haafidh al Manawi: 1/142]
This Hadeeth is evidence that it is not befitting for a person to be heedless of the greatest of admonishments, which is death. Mentioned at the end of the Hadeeth is the benefit of remembering death. The statement:
“You will not remember it at times of abundance except that it would make it seem little” and in ad Daylamee’s narration on the authority of Abu Hurayrah; “Abundantly remember death, for there is not a servant who abundantly remembers death except that Allah would liven his heart and make death seem easy to him.” And in another narration with ibn Hibbaan and al Bayhaqee in Shu’ab al Iman; “Constantly remember the destroyer of life’s pleasures, for there is not a servant who remembers it at times of hardship except that it would make things easy, and no servant remembers it at times of ease except that it would make things difficult.”
[Subul as Salaam by as San’aani: 2/288]
“Sufficient is death as an admonisher, sufficient is sure faith for contentment, and sufficient is worship to keep one busy.”
It is inauthentic on the authority of ‘Ammaar that the Messenger of Allaah said it.
However, al Imaam Ahmad collected it in Az Zuhd: P.176, Ibn Abee ad Dunya in Kitaab al Yaqeen: #31 with an authentic chain of narration on the authority of Ja’far ibn Sulayman who said, one who heard ‘Ammaar ibn Yaasir narrated to me that he said it [i.e. it is authentic as an athar of ‘Ammaar and not a Hadeeth].
It was also collected by Nu’aym ibn Hammad in Zawaa-id Zuhd ibn al Mubarak: #148 on the authority of Ibn Mas’ood that he said it and it is correct In Shaa Allaah.
[Silsilat al Ahadeeth adh Da’eefah: #502]
The print on ‘Umar ibn al Khataab’s ring was: “Sufficient is death as an admonisher O ‘Umar.”
[Al Isti’aab fee Ma’rifat al As-haab by ibn ‘Abdil Bar.]
This print on his ring was to remind him of death whenever he looked at it, and it would deter him from whatever he wanted to do, for indeed a person constantly looks at his hand, so by having it there he would continuously remember death…
[Mahd as Sawaab by Yusuf ibn Hasan ibn ‘Abdul Haadee]
Abu Bakr ibn ‘Ubayd stated…Swayd ibn ‘Amr al Kalbi said:
There was a righteous woman who performed a lot of worship wasn’t in need of anyone, she only used to sleep for a small portion of the night. She was reprimanded for that and responded; “Sufficient is death, and the long period of time laying in the grave as rest for a believer.”
[Sifat as Safwah by ibnul Jawzee]