Living to Die or Dying to Live

Notes: Excerpts from this article have been taken from the books ‘Funerals’ (Pages 1-9) and ‘Life in al-Barzakh’ (Pages 1-4) by Muhammad al-Jibaly.

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. 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 in that they have no plan or means of eacaping 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. [‘Death’ (Pages 1-16) – By Sheikh ‘Alee Hasan ‘Alee ‘Abdul Hameed al-Halabee]

Allah the Exalted says:

“We granted not to any man before thee permanent life (here): if then thou shouldst die, would they live permanently? Every soul shall have a taste of death: and We test you by evil and by good by way of trial. to Us must ye return.” [Surah Al Anbiya 21:34-35]

No human being is spared the agonies of death – not even the prophets and messengers. A’isha reported that in his final illness Allah’s Messenger had near him a can of water; he put his hand into the water, wiped his face with it and said: “None has the right to be worshiped except Allah. Death has its agonies.” After repeating that a number of times, he stretched his hand and said: “O Allah! Forgive me, have mercy on me, and let me join the highest company.” Then he passed away, and his hand dropped down. [recorded by al-Bukhari (4129) – ‘The Book of Military Expeditions’]

At our appointed time, death will reach us regardless of where we are. Allah says:

“”Wherever ye are, death will find you out, even if ye are in towers built up strong and high!” If some good befalls them, they say, “This is from Allah”; but if evil, they say, “This is from thee” (O Prophet). Say: “All things are from Allah.” But what hath come to these people, that they fail to understand a single fact?” [Surah Al-Nisa’ 4:78]

Even if we try to run away from death, it will meet us head-on. Allah says:

“Say: “The Death from which ye flee will truly overtake you: then will ye be sent back to the Knower of things secret and open: and He will tell you (the truth of) the things that ye did!”” [Surah Al Jumu’ah 62:8]

A disbelievers declaration of faith at the time of Death will be rejected. Ibn ‘Abbas reported that Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa salam) said:

“When Allah drowned Pharaoh he said, “(Now) I believe that there is no (true) god except Him in Whom the children of Israel believe.” Jibril said, “O Muhammad, would you have seen me as I took black dirt from the sea and stuffed it into his mouth, fearing that the Mercy might reach him.” [Recorded by Ahmad and at-Tirmidhi; verified to be authentic by al-Albani (Sahih ul-Jami no. 5206)]

Are we prepared for that certain day? Are we busygetting ready for it as we would for an inescapable travel or an impinging test, or are we too engrowed in our worldly pleasures? Death should always remain a constant reminder for us, and a means of controlling our desires and restraining our greed. Remembering death maintains for a person a balanced view of life. He would not go to the extreme of despair in the face of afflictions, nor would he go to the extreme of arrogance and carelessness when favored by an easy life. So this – O noble reader – is the reality which must be firmly established in one’s heart; the reality that life in the world is limited and has an appointed end, and that this end will surely come…

Print Friendly, PDF & Email