Death is a reality from which none of us can escape. It draws nearer and nearer with each passing minute.
So I pondered: if I were to die today, have I already done all that is needed to ensure Allah’s Favor and Mercy? Unfortunately for me, the answer is ‘no’.
And I asked again: what good have I sent forth for the benefit of my soul? And again, the answer was negative.
Amidst all of this, time keeps moving faster than before, with days, weeks, months and years flying by. The question now is: are we prepared for death?
Allah says: 
Every soul will taste death, and you will only be given your (full) compensation on the Day of Resurrection. So he who is drawn away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise has attained (his desire). And what is the life of this world except the enjoyment of delusion!
Yet, we keep forgetting that we will not remain forever in this worldly life. We get distracted from our true aim and purpose. We forget that we are here to worship Allah.
We do not know the hour of our own death, and we should make the most of whatever time we have to seek Allah’s Infinite Mercy. After all, once we pass from this life to the next, there is no coming back.
Allah has offered us several ways to protect ourselves from the punishment of the grave, and one such way is by being righteous. Once, a man asked Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), “O Messenger of Allah! Why are all the believers tested in the graves except an innocent martyr?” The Prophet (PBUH) replied, ”The flashing of swords above his head was sufficient test for him.” 
In fact, even simple tasks such as recitation of Surah al-Mulk can help us overcome the tough trials of the grave.
Hz Abu Hurairah (RA) narrateed that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) once said: 
There is a Surah in the book of Allah it is but thirty passages which intercedes for a man on the Day of Judgement so that he be taken out of the fire and entered into paradise; it is Surah the Blessed. (Abu Dawud 1400, At-Tirmidhi 2891 and Ibn Majah 3876.)
He also added: 
When a human dies, all his deeds are terminated except for three types: an ongoing sadaqah, a knowledge of Islam from which others benefit and a righteous child who makes dua’a for him.
The life of this world is temporary, whereas the Hereafter is permanent. Our efforts in this world should, therefore, be such that we are able to earn Allah’s Mercy in the Hereafter.
- The Quran 03:185 (Surah al-Imran)
- Sunan an-Nasa’i Vol 03 Book 21 Hadith 2055
- Abi Dawood Book 06 Hadith 1395
- Sahih Muslim Book 13 Hadith 4005