Umar bin al-Khattaab (may Allaah be pleased with him) passed by some boys who were playing. When they saw him, they all ran away in different directions except for (Abdullah) Ibn az-Zubayr (may Allaah be pleased with him) who stood still.
So Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) asked him
“Why didn’t you step aside?”
Ibn az-Zubayr (may Allaah be pleased with him) said,
“The road is not narrow, so I don’t need to make way for you, and I didn’t make a mistake, so I have no reason to fear you.”
[‘Awaking from The Sleep of Heedlesness’ page 24]
[Translation of Ibn al-Jawzi’s ‘Tanbih al-Na’im al-gamr ‘ala Mawasim al-‘Umar’ Translated by Ayman Ibn Khalid, Published by Dar as-Sunnah Publishers]
It is a duty upon every sane person to be prepared for his departure (from this world), for one does not know when he will be served by his Lord’s commands (to take away his soul) nor does he know how long it is going to be before he will be summoned (for the Day of Judgment).
I have seen so many people enchanted by their youth. They have forgotten that their peers no longer exist, yet they are preoccupied with prolonged hopes (to stay alive).
A person in the process of acquiring knowledge may tell himself; ‘I will acquire knowledge today and will adopt it the following day.’ Such (postponement) may leave him in his deviation whilst giving himself a break (for the day)! Delaying his readiness to achieve repentance, whilst exposing himself to be indulged in (sins, such as) backbiting or listening to such (backbiting) or getting involved in a Shubhah (suspected, Halaal or Haraam) matters. He hopes to cancel it out (i.e. the bad deed/s) through his would be observance, the following day, forgetting that death may be sudden.
The wise one is he who values each and every moment of his life, observing one’s due duties. Then, if death was to come suddenly, one would be ready (to face The Judge, Allaah subhanahu wata’aala). However, if one is granted his wish (in his life being prolonged) that would mean the increasing of (one’s scale of) good deeds.