When we remember that the end may come at any minute and we remember that we are suspended in air (one word related to nafs is nafas, meaning breath), we become more human. The Prophet, ṣalla- llāhu ‘alayhi wa ālihi wa sallam, said, “People are asleep, and when they die they wake up.” True seekers want to die while being awake — they want to enter a state of total silence. All the practices of the men of Allah from time immemorial lead man, the seeker, to inner death while still alive. If, while we are conscious, aware, and scintillating with life, we can enter a state of self-abandonment, then we will understand what inner death is. If we cannot reach this state, then we will remain in the turmoil of sa‘y, that is, running between Ṣafā and Marwah in Mecca.
By Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri from the book “Beams of Illumination from the Divine Revelation – A Commentary on the Last Section of the Qur’an”