Imagine a person is in the last throes of life. Around him are his three brothers. One of the brothers says to him, "Dear Brother, I will be able to assist you only until you die, but after your death I will be able to do nothing for you."

Hearing this, the second brother says, "Dear Brother, I will serve you day and night until you die. When you die I will serve the guests who come to the funeral and I will praise you after your death."

The third brother then says, "Dear Brother, until your death I will be able to do nothing, but as soon as your eyes close I will be with you in the grave. I will keep you company in the dark and I will keep the snakes and scorpions away from you and ensure that you reach your destination safely."

Which brother will the dying man love and value the most? The Prophet sallallāhu 'alayhi wasallam has mentioned the same concept in a hadith that a person is followed to the grave by three things: his family, his wealth and his deeds. The family and wealth return and it is only the deeds that stay with a person. It is obvious that if the person had performed good deeds then these will be of great value to him and will ensure that he reaches his destination of Jannah with ease and peace.