"O you who
believe! Let not your properties, nor your children divert you from
the remembrance of Allah. Whosoever does that, then they are the
losers. So spend (in charity) of that with which We have provided
you, before death comes to one of you and he says: My Lord!
If only you would give me respite for a little while (i.e. return
to the worldly life), then I should give Sadaqah (I.e. Zakat - Obligatory
charity) of my wealth, and be among the righteous. But Allah
grants respite to none when his appointed time (death) comes. And
Allah is All-Aware of what you do."
The Messenger of Allah (saws) said:
"Remember much, that which cuts
off pleasure: Death, since no-one remembers it in times of difficulty,
except that things are made easy for him, nor mentions it at times
of ease, except that the affairs become constricted for him."
Saheehul-Jaamius Sagheer, no
Life in this World
Many humans live the life of this
world, seeking the best that it has to offer, while ignoring what
lies ahead of them upon death. This is a result of weak faith, for
such people live only for what is before their eyes. The adornment
of this world are but temptations to distract you from the true
purpose of life and the reminder that you will indeed be responsible
for all you do in this life.
Believing in death is part of belief
in the unseen and is an essential part of faith.
As Allah (swt) says in the Quran:
Meem. This is the Book without doubt, in it is guidance sure, for
those who fear Allah, those who believe in the Unseen, are steadfast
in prayer, and spend out of what we have provided."
help with patience and prayer. It is indeed hard, except for those
who are humble. Who bear in mind that they will meet their Lord
and that they are to return to Him."
Death is a harsh and fearful reality
faced by everyone who lives. No one has the power to avoid it, nor
does anyone around the dying person have the ability to prevent
It is something, which happens every
moment and is encountered by the old and the young, the rich and
the poor, the strong and the weak. They are all the same because
there is no plan or means of escaping it, no power, no means of
intercession, no way to prevent it, nor to delay it, which shows
that indeed it comes from One having tremendous power - so that
the human is helpless in this regard and can only submit to it.
So in Allahs hand alone is
the granting of life, and in His hand is the return of what He gave
at the appointed time, and after the allotted life span, whether
the people are in their houses amongst their families, or striving
to seek provision or striving for Aqeedah (correct belief).
Reward and recompense are with Him, and He has full knowledge and
So the return of all is to Allah,
and they will be raised up before Him, having no place of return
except that, and no destiny but this one.
The only difference between people
will be their deeds and intentions. But, with regard to their physical
death, then it is one, death at the appointed time after the decreed
span, and resurrection on the Day of Gathering of mankind when we
will all face Allah. Then Forgiveness and Mercy, or His displeasure
and punishment will be dealt out justly according to His will.
As Allah says in the Quran:
shall taste death. And only on the Day of Resurrection shall you
be paid your wages in full. And whoever is removed away from the
fire and admitted to Paradise, he indeed is successful. The life
of this world is only the enjoyment of deception (a deceiving thing)."
You must believe with absolute certainty
the reality that the life in this world is limited and has an appointed
beginning and an appointed end. Everyones soul will taste
it and will depart from this life. The difference between these
souls is their final destination: Paradise or Hell. We should exert
all effort in attaining Paradise and pay great attention to avoiding
prohibitions and deeds, which may inevitably lead us to Hell.
There are many ayahs in the
Quran that mention Death:
the death from which you flee will surely meet you, then you will
be sent back to (Allah), the All-Knower of the unseen and the seen,
and He will tell you what you used to do."
"And we granted
not to any human being immortality before you (O Muhammad), then
if you die, would they live forever? Everyone is going to taste
death, and We shall make a trial of you with evil and with good,
and to Us you will be returned."
created death and life, that He may test which of you is best in
deed. He is the All-Mighty, the Oft-Forgiving."
There are many Prophetic Ahadith
regarding death and the effect it should have on us.
From Al-Baraa ibn Aazib (ra),
"We went out with Allahs
Messenger (saws) with the funeral of a man of the Ansar and we came
to the grave and the niche in the side of the grave (al-Lahd), had
not been dug out yet, so Allahs Messenger (saws) sat and we
sat around him as if we had birds upon our heads, and in his hand
he had a stick with which he was striking the ground. Then he raised
his head and said: Seek Allahs refuge from the Punishment
of the Grave, two or three times. Then he said: When
the believing servant is leaving this world and going onto the Hereafter,
angels with white faces - as if their faces were in the Sun - descend
upon him. With them is a shroud from the shrouds of Paradise and
perfume for embalming from the perfume of Paradise, so they sit
away from him at the distance the eye can see and then the Angel
of Death (as) comes and sits by his head and says: "O good
soul, come out to forgiveness from Allah and His good pleasure."
He said: "So it comes out, just as a drop flows out from the
mouth of the drinking vessel, and he takes it but does not leave
it in his hand even for the blink of an eye until they take it and
places it in that shroud, and that perfume, and there comes out
from him a smell like that of the best musk found upon the face
of the earth." He said: "So they ascend with it, (i.e.
the persons soul) and they do not pass by any group of Angels except
that they say: Who is this good and pure soul? So they
reply: "So and so, the son of so and so." with the best
of his names which he used to be called by in this world, until
they come to the lowest Heaven, and ask that it should be opened
for him, so it is opened for him, they accompany him through every
Heaven until he is taken up to the seventh Heaven, and Allah the
Al-Mighty says: "Write the record of my slave in Illiyon
(signifying highness) and return him to earth to his body."
Then they say: "Who is your Lord?" So he will say: "My
Lord is Allah." So they will say: "What is your Deen?"
He will say: "My Deen is Islam." So they say: "Who
is the man who was sent amongst you?" So he will say: "He
is Allahs Messenger." So they say: "How did you
come to know that?" So he will say: "I read the Book of
Allah, and believed in it , and attested to it." So a caller
will call from Heaven: "Indeed My servant has spoken the Truth,
so spread a place for him in Paradise, and a open a door to Paradise
for him, so some of its fragrances and scents come to him and his
grave is extended as far as the eye can see." He said: "A
person with a Handsome face, and beautiful clothes and good smell
comes to him and says. Receive good news, which will please
you. This is the day which you were promised. So he says to
him: "Who are you?, since your face appears to signify good."
So he says: "I am your righteous actions." He therefore
says: "O Lord, establish the Last Hour. O Lord establish the
Last Hour - so that I may return to my family and wealth."
But when the unbelieving servant
is leaving this world and going into the Hereafter, angels with
black faces descend upon him as far as the eye can see. The Angel
of Death comes and sits by his head and says: "O foul soul,
come out to Allahs displeasure and anger." So the soul
spreads throughout the body, so he (the Angel of Death) drags it
out, just as a pronged roasting fork is pulled out of wool. So he
takes it, but does not leave it in his hand for the blink of an
eye until they put it in those coarse sack cloths. Then there comes
from him an offensive stench, like that of the foulest smelling
corpse rotting upon the face of the earth. So they ascend with it
(i.e. the soul), and they do not pass by any group of angels except
that they say: "what is that foul smell!" So they say:
"So and so, son of so and so," calling him with the ugliest
names which he used to be called with in this world, until they
come with him to the lowest heaven, and ask permission to enter,
and it is not opened for him." Then Allahs Messenger
the gates of heaven will not be opened, and they will not enter
Paradise until the camel goes through the eye of a needle (which
So Allah (swt) says: "write
his record in Sijjeen (a name signifying constriction) within the
lowest earth." Then his soul is flung down, and he recited:
assigns partners to Allah, it is as if he had fallen from the sky,
and the birds had snatched him, or the wind had thrown him to a
far off place."
So his soul is returned to his body
and two Angels come and make him sit up. Then they say to him: "Who
is your Lord?" So he will say: "Ah, ah, I dont know."
So they will say: "Who is this man who was sent amongst you?"
So he will say: Ah, ah, I dont know." So a caller will
call from heaven: "You have lied so spread a place for him
in the Fire, and open a door to the Fire for him." So some
of its heat and scorching air comes upon him, and his grave is constricted
to the extent that his ribs interlace, and a man with an ugly face,
unsightly clothes and smelling offensively comes to him and says:
"Receive news of that which will grieve you, this is the day
which you were promised." So he will say: "Who are you?"
He will answer: "I am your evil actions." So the unbeliever
will say: "O Lord, Do not establish the Last Hour."
Saheehul-Jaami, reported by Ahmed
Death is Pre-Established
Death will occur at a fixed time.
The time is, of course, unknown to us. The place, the time, the
way in which each of us will die is known only to Allah. The death
of each of us has been pre-recorded in a book by Allah. It cannot
be brought about or avoided:
you are death will find you out, even if you are in the towers built
up strong and high..."
"It is He
who gives Life and causes Death: and when He decides upon an affair,
He says to it, Be - and it is."
Death cannot be caused by anyone
or anything, nor can it be stopped or delayed unless such is in
agreement with what has been pre-written. Allah (swt) tells us:
"Nor can a
soul die except by Allahs leave, the term being fixed by writing..."
This is where belief in Al-Ghayb
(unseen) plays a big role. As humans we are deficient in
our knowledge and as such we grasp that which is before us, comprehend
it very well and use it for our benefit. We see the signs of Allah
throughout the world before our eyes... the sun, the moon, day and
night. etc., and it is these that we use to our advantage. However,
the unseen, that which we have been asked to believe in without
being able to see, is also an area of knowledge that we must grasp
and use to benefit us as it contains much concerning our life in
The demise of a person contains a
number of occurrences that we cannot see and perhaps are unaware
of when they take place. When a person dies we cannot see what he
sees, nor hear what he hears, nor feel what he feels. We dont
know what happens and of course no one has lived to tell of that
experience. There are certain things we do not know that occur.
The stupors of death, called Sakaraatul
Mawt, will be painfully felt by all. This fact is related in the
Hadith concerning the death of the Prophet (saws). Aa-ishah (ra)
related about the events before his death:
"There was a leather or wood
container full of water in front of the Messenger (saws). He put
his hand into the water and rubbed his face with it, saying: "Laa
illaaha illallaah !" No doubt death has its stupors."
Then he raised his hand and started saying: "O Allah, with
the highest companions!" (and kept on saying this) until his
Related by Al-Bukhari
The Prophet (saws) was shown his
place in Paradise and given the choice of living or dying and joining
those "Highest Companions". Refer to Surah Nisa: 4 Ayah
69 and Al-Bukhari - Volume 1, Hadith Number 516.
The best way to explain "The
stupors of Death" is as follows: When a person is dying, they
come in and out of consciousness, even when they appear conscious,
they may be dazed and incoherent - thats why it is so important,
at this time to remind the person of Allah, always remembering,
that (though you cant see whats happening), it is a very trying
and sometimes a confusing time for the dying person.
Repentance and Request To Return
Another inevitable occurrence at
death is the desire to return back to life just to do one more good
deed. This is especially true for the Kaffir (unbeliever),
and the transgressor. They will regret their lives and wish to return
to put aright their deeds. It must be a frightening thing for them
death comes to one of them (those who join partners with Allah),
he says: "O my Lord! Send me back in order that I may work
righteousness in the things I have neglected..."
Once Sakaraatul Mawt approaches there
is no turning back. When the rattling of death is heard in the throat,
nothing can be reversed:
do you not intervene when it (the soul of the dying person), reaches
the throat...Call back the soul if you are true."
It is then that the dying person
sees the angels and he realizes Death is at hand. Once the angels
are seen, man can grasp the reality of Al-Ghayb (the unseen), for
he has witnessed the truth of it. Declaration of faith is of no
avail at that time for it is no longer "Unseen". Any repentance
at this stage is rejected.
the repentance of those who do evil in ignorance and repent afterwards;
to them will Allah turn in mercy, for Allah is full of knowledge
and wisdom. Of no effect is the repentance of those who continue
to do evil until death faces one of them and he says: Now
have I repented indeed, Nor of those who die rejecting faith;
for them We have prepared a punishment most grievous."
Many people dont repent or
seek refuge in Allah, until they face difficulty. Then when they
are in trouble and feel the need they have for Allah, they turn
to Him and beg for His help and His mercy.
touches man he cries unto Us - lying down on his side, or sitting
or standing. But, when We have removed his affliction he passes
on his way as if he had never cried to Us for the affliction that
had touched him. Thus do the deeds of transgressors seem fair in
(Qur'an Yunus 10:12)
Incredibly, many people today feel
no need for Allah at all. Repentance never occurs to them. They
feel self-sufficient. As sincere Muslims, we should turn to Allah
at all times, not just at times of trouble. Consider the stories
of Prophet Yunus (as) and Firawn. They were in similar places
and trouble. They both sought refuge in Allah in the same manner.
Yet they were dealt with in different ways. Firawn was drowning
at sea. When he realized his plight, he turned to Allah saying:
believe that there is no God but Him whom the Children of Israel
believe in. I am of those who submit (to Allah in Islam)."
(Qur'an Yunus 10:90)
At his moment of death he declared
his belief in Tawheed, which is the key to Paradise. Yet his repentance
was rejected. When he supplicated to Allah, Jibreel (as) threw mud
in his mouth so that the angels could not hear him.
Prophet Yunus (as) was in three dark
places: way out to sea, in the dark of night, in the stomach of
a whale. He supplicated:
Jonah, when he went off in anger, and imagined that We shall not
punish him (i.e. the calamities that had befallen him!) But he cried
La illaha illa Anta (none has the right to be worshipped but You,
(O Allah), Glorified (and Exalted) be You above all the (evil) they
associate with You. Truly, I have been of the wrongdoers."
Prophet Yunus (as) also sought refuge
in Allah through his belief in Tawheed and was saved. Why Yunus
(as) and not Firawn? Allah (swt) said:
"So, We answered
his call, and delivered him from the distress. And thus We do deliver
the believers (who believe in the Oneness of Allah, abstain from
evil and work righteousness)."
Firawn was not of true faith,
therefore his repentance was rejected by Allah. True faith is always
present, not simply in times of distress. Remember the mud thrown
in the mouth of Firawn when he cried out. When Yunus (as)
supplicated to Allah the angels responded saying: "A familiar
voice from a well known slave." A very important lesson from
this is that we should try to remember Allah, at all times and asks
Him for help even when we are in comfort and free of problems. By
remembering Allah in easy times He will remember you in difficult
times just as He did Yunus (as).
Presence of Shaytan
Just as the angels will be present,
Shaytan will be too. It is his last chance to try to turn man to
evil. He will do what he can to cause him to die upon Shirk
(Polytheism), or at least commit sin.
"Indeed Shaytan is present in
all of your affairs, even at the time of eating. Therefore, if a
morsel of food falls to the ground, one should remove any harmful
thing from it, and eat it. Dont leave it for Shaytan to eat.
And when one finishes, he should lick his fingers, for no one knows
where the blessing in the food might be."
Related by Al-Bukhari
Shaytan can assume any form he desires
in order to deceive man. He can come to you when you are dying in
the form of your deceased Mother or Father or close friend saying:
"I come to you from the other
life and I have found that Christianity is the truth."
Related by Dr. Umar Al-Ashqar Al-Yawn
Al-Aakhir - Al-Quyaam As-Sughraa p.29
This is the time when the weak in
faith may fail. Never consider yourself to be of firm, unshakable
faith. Allah holds our hearts between His fingers.
Even those of great knowledge never
consider themselves of unwavering faith. They fear that they may
lose the gift of Islam. The Quran tells us of such people:
firmly grounded in knowledge say: We believe in it, the whole
of it is from our Lord. And none will grasp the message but men
of understanding. O Lord let not our hearts deviate now after You
have guided us, but grant us mercy from You, for You are the Granter
of bounties without measure."
An example of Shaytans work
at the time of death is seen in the story of Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal,
the great scholar and founder of the Hanbali school of thought.
At his death, his son was beside
him telling him: "Say Laa illaaha illallaah." Imam Ahmad
replied: "No! No!" The son was horrified and repeated
to his father: "Laa illaaha illallaah." And again Imam
Ahmad said: "No! No!" He then lost consciousness. When
he came to he told his son: "I see my devil saying: Ahmad!
I was not able to deviate you!" The devil had come to him and
tried to get him to admire himself for his righteous life by insisting
that before he die, he say he was of the people of Paradise. Imam
Ahmad reply was: "No!, No!, not until I die."
Husnul Khaatimah (A Good Ending)
Life in this world is of many types
yet death is only two. Just as there is only Paradise and Hell,
there is only a good ending and a bad one. A good ending is known
as Husnul Khaatimah. We know that a person who dies with
Husnul Khaatimah is reassured by the angels that good awaits him.
He has died with faith in Islam and his good deeds will benefit
him all the more.
Of course there are stories of those
who, Insh Allah died with Husnul Khaatimah:
** A young man helped a stranded
elderly couple repair their car, which had broken down on
the freeway. His friends left him with them and continued
on their way Makkah. The young man stayed with the couple
until their car was fixed and then went to Makkah. When he
arrived, he went to the Haram (mosque), he prayed, and stayed
in sujood for a long time until finally his friends became
worried. When they touched him he fell over. He had died in
** A young man was changing
a tire and while doing so, his car was hit from behind which
then hit him. He was severely injured and kept mumbling
the entire time. The ambulance came to take him to hospital,
the medic noticed his constant mumbling, and tried to hear
what he was saying, as he leaned over to listen, he realized
that the young man was reciting Quran.
Suu-ul Khaatimah (A Bad Ending)
As for a bad ending - Suu-ul Khaatimah
- there are a few causes:
1) Corrupt Beliefs
Even though this person may perform
good deeds, may even renounce the world in piety, some of his beliefs
are false. He is convinced that his beliefs are true and correct.
It doesnt cross his mind that he may be in error. This discovery
is only made when Sakaraatul Mawt reaches him.
And, though he may be upon the truth in some of his beliefs,
his falsehood will delete him.
we tell you of those who lose most in respect of their deeds? Those
whose efforts have been wasted in this life, while they thought
that they were acquiring good by their works."
Whether such beliefs are held due
to ones opinions or are taken from others, the person falls
into this danger. His good deeds are of no benefit to him. Without
correct belief, which is based upon the teachings of the Quran
and Sunnah, nothing will benefit him.
2) Persistence in Acts of Disobedience
The person who persists in sin will
accustom his heart to sinful acts. They will become natural to him.
All such deeds that become typical aspects of our lives will come
to us at the time of death. If we are accustomed to righteousness
and obedience and the doing of good deeds, it will be in this frame
of mind that we die. And, if we have accustomed ourselves to a life
of sin or persisted in certain sinful acts, these acts will fill
our minds at death. If this occurs, if these acts of disobedience
overcome our thoughts due to the active role they played in our
lives, we will end our lives with Suu-ul Khaatimah.
We know from the Sunnah that a person
should be encouraged to say La illaaha illaallah when he is dying,
but some of us will be unable to say this due to such acts of disobedience
that preoccupied us in our lives.
A few examples are:
** A person who was very fond
of alcohol was dying. He was encouraged to say La illaaha
illaallah, but all he could say was: "Pour another glass
** Two young men were driving
around the city listening to music. They were in a very
bad accident. One of them escaped with little harm, while
the other one was badly hurt. When the friend who was not
hurt realized that his friend was dying he encouraged him
to say: La illaaha illallaah, all he could do was to sing
the verses of the song he had been listening to in the car.
3) Deviation From The Straight
He who possesses correct belief and
is upon the straight path, but then leaves it will cause himself
Suu-ul Khaatimah. Man may know the truth and live in accordance
with it for some time. Yet he follows Shaytan when he commands him
to reject faith.
Shaytan when he says to man: "Disbelieve!" But when man
disbelieves, Shaytan says: "I am free of you, I do fear Allah,
Lord of the Worlds." The end of both will be that they will
go into the fire, dwelling therein forever. Such is the reward of
the Unjust and the Wrongdoers."
4) Deterioration of Faith
Deterioration of faith begins in
this way. A Muslim feels himself sufficient in his knowledge and
fails to see his weaknesses. Slowly he loses even the knowledge
that he has because he fails to put it into practice. He neglects
the Sunnah and perhaps feels the spiritual path of faith is sufficient
for him. Practical affairs, for which we take guidance from the
Sunnah, such as; how to eat and sleep, how to pay Zakat, become
unimportant to him. Though spiritual worship is rewarded, often
the practical deeds are of more benefit to a Muslim in life and
may even be of greater reward.
For example: Scholars are of the
opinion that recitation of the Quran is rewarded, although
seeking knowledge is of greater reward. Recitation without knowledge
and practical application is fruitless.
of those who were entrusted with the Taurat (torah), but who subsequently
failed in those (obligations) is that of a donkey which carries
books (but understands them not). Evil is the similitude of a people
who falsify the signs of Allah; And Allah guides not those who do
5) Weakness in Faith
Faith to many people is a matter
of the heart, an inner belief. However, Islamic faith is much more.
The definition of faith in Islam
is: A belief in the heart supported by words from the tongue and
actions of the body. Faith in Islam cannot simply be an inner belief,
nor words from the tongue, it must be backed up by deeds. This is
where many Muslims fail in faith.
You cannot simply hope for Paradise,
you must work for it. We must consequently pass many trials and
tests in order to obtain it. If our actions do not convey what we
carry in our hearts and voice from our mouths, our faith is weak,
and therefore deficient. Often times, such weaknesses in faith are
caused by ones love for Dunya, the worldly life. The love
of Dunya can become excessive causing faith to become so weak that
one lives for this world only, dreading death, as it represents
the end of worldly life, that he loves so much. If Sakaraatul Mawt
reaches him whilst in this state, he will find himself doubtful
in faith and can end with Suu-ul Khaatimah.
Often we are impressed with people
particularly non-Muslims, who are well mannered and of impeccable
behaviour. Yet they posses little or no faith. Such people will
have their deeds rejected by Allah and will be those with Suu-ul
The manners and behaviour with which
they impressed people so much in this life will be of no help to
them when they face Allah. Muslims may die with Minor and Major
Perhaps, they were believing practicing
Muslims, but fell into innovation in religion. Some may have fallen
into one of the sects, whose followers claim to be Muslim. Whether
or not they fall into the minor or major category depends upon the
seriousness of that which they involve themselves in. Of course
the most serious is that which concerns ones Aqeedah, definitely
casting one into the Major Suu-ul Kaatimah.
An example is found in the Sufis.
Some of their beliefs are Kufr, while others, though they are contrary
to Islamic teachings, do not cast them out of the fold of Islam.
Such things show all the more reason to seek Islamic knowledge so
that we may avoid falling into such falsehood, thinking that we
are on the right path.
We tell you of those who lose most in respect to their deeds? Those
whose efforts have been wasted in this life while they thought they
were acquiring good by their works."
Those of the Minor category are those
who have faith yet die upon sin. On the Day of Judgment, the Scale
will weigh their deeds, good and bad. This will determine whether
they are the people of Hell or the people of Paradise.
We Should All Ask
If I Die in the
State I Am Today, Will I Die with;
Or Husnul Khaatimah??
References: Death by Shaikh
Alee Hasan Alee Abdul Hameed
Mysteries of The Soul by Abu Bilal
Lecture Eight on "Death and
Dying" by an unknown Muslim (May Allah Accredit Him With His
Efforts - Ameen)