Death -A Gift for a
Student of Darul Uloom, Bury
What Is Death?
How Did Death Come About?
Remembrance Of Death
How Much Do We Remember Death?
Prepare For Death!
Prepare For Death And Die A Muslim!
No Escape From Death!
The Description Of The Throes Of Death
Multitudes of men have walked on the surface of this Earth. They all belonged
to different nations and cultures. A few of them made history for which they
were remembered, whereas others, were never to be mentioned again. Although
each one was personally different from another - their habits, thinking and
tastes differed - they all had two things in common, first, they were all
delivered from their mothers womb and second, they all tasted death. Who claims
he has lived a thousand years?
We all admit the honourable rank of the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam
and his position in the eyes of Allah Ta’ala. It is also undisputed that he is
the last Messenger of Allah whose message will survive until the Day of
Judgement. We also place his companions’ radiyallahu anhum superior to others.
The day the Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam passed away it was hard for his
companions to believe such a thing could happen to such a highly ranked Prophet
who remained active until his last breath. Umar radiyallahu anhu ascended the
pulpit and addressed that anyone who says that the Prophet sallallahu alaihe
wasallam has passed away I will slit his throat. It was not a strange thing to
address; for the Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam held an honourable rank
before him. He was a Prophet whose miracles were numerous. Of which one is the
living miracle, the Holy Qur’aan. How can the Messenger of Allah sallallahu
alaihe wasallam leave his friends behind. Suddenly Abu Bakr radiyallahu anhu,
the first nominated khalifah, ordered Umar radiyallahu anhu to descend the
pulpit but Umar radiyallahu anhu remained on it, fully convinced that he was
right in what he was saying. Abu Bakr radiyallahu anhu read the khutbah and recited
the following aayat:
"Muhammad is no more than a Messenger, and indeed (many) Messengers have
passed away before him. If he dies or is killed, will you then turn back on
your heels (as disbelievers)? And he who turns his back on his heels, not the
least harm will he do to Allah, and Allah Ta’ala will give reward to those who
On hearing this, Umar radiyallahu anhu and other companions were astonished
that they had recited this verse many a time but on this occasion it did not
come in their mind. They felt as is the aayat was being revealed to Abu Bakr
radiyallahu anhu and all agreed that Muhammad sallallahu alaihe wasallam had
Such a great personality experienced death, should we be unmindful of it as if
we will never experience it?
Allah states, "Every soul shall have a taste of death. And only on the Day
of Judgement shall you be paid your full recompense."
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What is Death?
Sheikh Jalaluddin Suyuti rahmatullahi alaihe has recorded the verdict of the
Ulama that death is not mere annihilation but a type of metamorphosis where the
soul (rooh) is separated from the body like the movement from one dwelling to
another. (Sharhus-sudoor). A believer’s death has been explained analogously by
some Ulama as the transference from a world of hardship to that of peace and
luxury. (May Allah grant us such death! Aameen).
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How did Death come about?
In Kitaab-ul-Zuhd, Imaam Ahmad has included the narration’s of Hazrat Hasan
Basri rahmatullahi alaihe that, when Allah created Hazrat Aadam alaihis salaam
and his progeny the angels expressed much concern about the world being
insufficient to accommodate all of them but Allah assured them by declaring,
"I shall create death!"
(Ibn Abi Shaybah)
Hearing this, the angels became disturbed and when they remarked that it would
instil fear and remove the pleasure of life, Allah explains, "I shall
create hope and ambitions."
According to Hazrat Mujahid rahmatullahi alaihe, when Hazrat Adam alaihis
salaam was sent to Earth, his Sustainer said, "O Adam! Construct buildings
destined for destruction and ruination; and beget for death."
O dweller of lofty mansions, very soon you will be buried in the sand (a lowly
Allah has an angel calling daily: Beget for death and create buildings for
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Remembrance of Death
We are so engrossed in our worldly pursuits that the remembrance of death does
not occur to us. The Holy Prophet of Allah sallallahu alaihe wasallam has said,
"The most intelligent person is the one who often remembers death.
Constant remembrance of it prevents one from evil and sin and motivates him
towards good morals. The Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam said,
"The remembrance of death defeats joy."
The above narration clearly indicates that we are in this world for a purpose
and not just for pleasure and entertainment. The Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihe
wasallam says, "Live in the world as though you are a wayfarer."
Concerning this Hazrat Esa alaihis salaam has said, "This world is like a
bridge, cross it and do not build on it."
Life in this world is very short which everyone has to surpass, until he meets
his death. Allah says, "For every ‘Ummah’ (community or nation) there is a
term appointed, when their term is reached, not an hour (nor a moment) can they
cause to delay, nor (an hour nor a moment) can they advance (it)."
(10:49 Tafseer Al-Qurtubi)
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How much do we remember Death?
Nowadays, when a person dies, the family and close relatives grieve over the
deceased. After some time all is forgotten and much attention is given to the
inheritance, so much so they begin to have disputes over it. The wealth of the
deceased is valued more than the lessons to be taken from his death. If we
remembered it frequently, we would certainly prepare for it.
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Prepare for Death!
Intelligent students always prepare for exams. It is also a matter of
intelligence to prepare for the account to be given after death. The Holy Prophet
sallallahu alaihe wasallam has mentioned in a Hadith, "Clever is the one
who prepares for life after death." The Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihe
wasallam has also said, "Take importance of life before death."
Once, the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam came to the Masjid for
salaah, when he noticed some people laughing and giggling. He remarked,
"If you remembered death, I would not see you like this. Think of your
death often. Not a single day passes when the grave does not call out: ‘I am a
wilderness, I am a place of dust, I am a place of worms.’ When a believer is
placed in the grave, it says; ‘Welcome, it is good of you to have come to me.
Of all the people walking on the Earth, I liked you the best. Now you have come
in to me, you will see how I entertain you.’ It then expands as far as the
occupant can see. A door from Paradise is opened for him in the grave and
through this door he gets fresh and fragrant air of Paradise. However, when a
evil man is laid in the grave it says; ‘You are not welcome here. Your coming
into me is very bad for you. Of all the people walking on the Earth, I disliked
you the most. Now that you have been put into me, you will see how I treat
you!’ It then closes upon him so much that his ribs of one side penetrate into
the ribs of the other. As many as seventy serpents are then set upon him, to
keep biting him until the day of resurrection. These serpents are so venomous
that if one of them happened to spurt its venom upon the earth, not a single blade
of grass would ever grow."
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Prepare for Death and Die a Muslim!
It is stated in a Hadith that a person will be raised in the state he dies.
Hazrat Yusuf alaihis salaam who had been given the Leadership of Egypt, prayed
to Allah that He gives him death in the state of a Muslim and be raised amongst
the righteous. Although being a Prophet of Allah, yet Hazrat Yusuf alaihis
salaam feared that Allah would raise him amongst the leaders, as he was the
Leader of Egypt. What extreme humbleness Yusuf alaihis salaam expressed!
How lucky are those souls who after finding out about the signs of their death,
turn towards Allah, ask His repentance for any previous sins and prepare for it
by doing good deeds. Such people are the ones who are truly gifted with the
kalimah or a good outcome before departing from this world. This tends to be
the sign of their being fortunate and people witness a sign of their salvation
from the punishment of the Hereafter.
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No Escape from Death!
There is no doubt that there is a cure for every disease. If anyone is infected
with a disease then it may be cured through medicine. His life may prolong to
some extent but one day the same person will experience something with no cure
at all. That is death. Allah states, "Wherever you may be, death will
overtake you even if you are in fortresses built up strong and high."
The Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam said, "When Allah decides for
a person to pass away at a certain place, he makes a need for that person at
It is in another tradition narrated on the authority of Kuthaima radiyallahu
anhu that once the angel of death (Hazrat Izraeel alaihis salaam) appeared in
the form of a human being in the court of Hazrat Sulaiman alaihis salaam and
gazed continuously at a person present there for some time. That person asked
Hazrat Sulaiman alaihis salaam, "Who was that person?" He told him
that, that was the angel of death. He remarked: The angel of death had gazed at
me in such a manner as if he had determined to take my life." Hazrat
Sulaiman alaihis salaam asked him, "What do you want?" He requested
him to take him to India. He commanded the cloud to pick him up and drop him in
India. Consequently the cloud carried him to India. The angel of death came to
Hazrat Sulaiman alaihis salaam. He asked him, "Why did you fix your gaze
at that person?" He said, "I wondered that the Almighty Allah had
commanded me to take the life of this person in India whereas he was sitting hear
in your presence."
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The Description of the Throes of Death
There is a bind between the body and the soul. This can be explained by
portraying the attraction between two magnets. It is hard to pull them apart,
likewise, the attraction of the soul to the material body is more due to the
love of the materialistic world. In other words, the more the magnetic field in
both the magnets, the greater the attraction will be. Similarly, the more the
love towards the worldly life, the greater the pain of pulling apart of the
soul from the body will be.
Imaam Ghazzi rahmatullahi alaihe explains, that the soul is removed from the
body in stages (as mentioned in the Holy Qur’aan): it is first taken out from
the feet followed by the shin and then the thighs after which the chest is
affected and at that moment the power of speech is lost. When the soul is taken
from the throat, the faculties of sight and hearing are exterminated.
There are two things here. Firstly, the pain felt at the introduction of death.
Secondly, the pain felt at the extraction of the soul. Here the latter is
The severity of death varies from person to person. a believer feels the pain
similar to the hair that is taken out from flour by a finger. Whereas, the
disbeliever feels so much pain that it is impossible to describe.
The severity of death has been mentioned in numerous Ahaadith, some of which
are as follows:
1. Hazrat Anas Ibn Malik radiyallahu anhu has reported that Rasoolullah
sallallahu alaihe wasallam had mentioned that the grasp of Malikul Maut is more
severe than one thousand hacks (cuts) with a sword.
2. There is a narration regarding Hazrat Moosa alaihis salaam that he was
questioned by Allah after death about how he had undergone the experience of
dying and he replied that it could be described as the case of a live bird
being put in to a hot boiling pot of bubbling oil.
3. In another narration, Hazrat Moosa alaihis salaam is reported to have
replied that the experience was like that of a goat being skinned alive by a
4. It is narrated from Shaddad Ibn Aus radiyallahu anhu that there is not as
much pain, torture in being spilt by a saw, shredded by scissors or scalded by
fiercely boiling water than in experiencing death.
5. Hazrat Abu Qatadah radiyallahu anhu reports that Rasoolullah sallallahu
alaihe wasallam said that all distress, displeasure and agony at the time of
death can be likened to that of an ant-bite.
6. Hazrat Ibrahim alaihis salaam asked the angel of death to show him in which
form he visits an evil person. Angel of death replied, "You will not be
able to tolerate the sight." Hazrat Ibrahim alaihis salaam insisted, the
angel of death told him to turn around, while he transformed himself. After
which he told Hazrat Ibrahim alaihis salaam to look. Upon seeing him he fell
unconsciousness due to the pitiful sight. Thereafter, Hazrat Ibrahim alaihis
salaam remarked that the sight was so horrifying that just looking at him was
enough punishment for the evildoer.
It is a pity for us today that we are inattentive enough to remember all other
worldly matters and forget the main purpose of our creation. How unfortunate
will anyone of us be not to take heed after knowing one’s reality - what one is
made of, where one came from and where one will return. May Allah Ta’ala give
us the ability to remember death and grant us the kalimah, Laailaaha illallah
on our lips at the time of death, Aameen.
"I am the son of Al Walid ! Will anyone duel" ?
"And here I am, dying in my bed, like cattle die. May the eyes of cowards
"By Allah, I shall destroy the Romans and the friends of Satan with Khalid
bin Al Walid". Caliph Abu Bakr.