Saturday, February 2, 2013



The stage which every person must go through after the life of this world is given a number of names, such as

       Al-Qiyamah As Sughra(the minor resurrection),
        al-Barzakh (interval),
       And al-Mawt (Death).
       Every one who dies goes through this resurection, when his appointed time comes.

Definition of Death:

    Medical Definition:

Death is the termination of the biological functions that  define a living organism. There is wide disagreement among doctors about the definition of death. No mention or concept of soul.

Islamic Definition:
 Death occurs when the soul leaves the body eternally (not during sleep) in this worldly life (since it comes back on day of judgement).

There is difference of opinion but this is the common definition.


    Sleeping is considered a “minor death” because the soul leaves the body while sleeping  and returns when waking up. Allaah swt says,
 “Allah takes the souls at the time of their death, and those that do not die  [He takes] during their sleep. Then He keeps those for which He has decreed  death and releases the others for a specified term.” (Al-Zumar 39:42)

Introduction on Death
All praise is due to Allah, who reminds his slaves that their lives have an appointed time and that the successful ones are those who are saved from the fire and entered into paradise, when He says:

"Everyone 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." (3:185)

And reminds them that death will reach them no matter where they are when he says:

""Wheresoever you may be, death will overtake you even if you are in fortresses built up strong and high!" (4:78) 

And reminds them that regardless of what their status in this world, they will face death. Even if they are from the greatest of warriors, or the most powerful of rulers, or even a Prophet. when He addressed His messenger (Salla Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam) saying:

"Verily, you will die and indeed they shall die as well" (39:30) 

And reminds them that they should take heed, because a time will come where they will ask for respite to do more deeds yet shall not be granted this request when He says:

"And spend 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. Zakât) of my wealth , and be among the righteous. And Allâh grants respite to none when his appointed time (death) comes. And Allâh is All-Aware of what you do." (63:10-11) 

Death is indeed a reality that we all have to face one day. For most of us we will have to go through mourned times over our lost loved ones before we actually face our own destiny. And at that time, even though we may not realize it, Allah is bestowing a great favor upon us by reminding us that we too will one day face such a fate, so it is indeed time to be reminded. 

The Importance of Remembering Death

Why did Allaah swt create death (and life)?

    Allaah said, “[He] who created death and life to test you [as to] which of you is  best in [doing] deeds.” (Al-Mulk 67:2)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said,
 “Remember the destroyer of pleasures  [frequently].”  (An-Nasaa’ee 258)

‘Ataa’ b. Abi Rabaah said, “Remembering death gives you 3 things:
            1.  It rushes you to repent to Allaah swt
           2.   It makes you content with what you have even if it is little
             3.   It discourages you from competing in worldly matters
  Therefore, forgetting about death gives you exactly the opposite!

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said,
 “It isn’t mentioned (death) at anything that is little except that it has increased it, and anything that is a lot except that it has decreased it.” (Musnad Shihaab 671)

To explain this further, imagine  if a person has a lot of money and then he remembers death. Suddenly all this money feels little; it doesn’t matter how much he has because he’s going to die. And if he is suffering from poverty, when he remembers death he feels like has more money than he actually  has. This also applies to deeds; if a person is engaged in a lot of sins, remembering death prompts them to decrease in sinning. And if a person remembers death and he only has a small amount of good deeds, it prompts him to increase in doing good.

What is required of the believer is to prepare for death at any time, by repenting to Allaah and doing righteous deeds.
It is narrated that Ibn ‘Umar said: I was with the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) when a man from among the Ansaar came to him and greeted the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) with salaam, then he said: “O Messenger of Allaah, which of the believers is best?” He said: “The one who is best in attitude.”

He said: “Which of the believers is most  wise?” He said: “The one who remembers death the most, and is best prepared for what comes after it. Those are the wise.” (Ibn Maajah 4259)
To keep himself in check, the Khaleefah Omar b. Abdul-Azeez would bring the scholars around him and ask them to tell a story about each stage of death!

Ar-Rabee’ b. Khuthaym also dug a grave inside his house to remind him of death. And when he feels that his heart has hardened a bit, he would lie inside the grave and imagine the terrifying events after death... And then he’d get up and admonish himself saying, “Work righteous deeds O Rabee’ before a day comes and you won’t be given a  second chance...”                                                                                           
     Contrast that with the fact that we die everyday in our sleep!

The Relationship between this life and the after life
Some scholars said, “The relationship between life and the afterlife is like the east and the west, the closer you come to one side, the further away you are from the other.” 

    The day of judgement will be 50,000 years. If you live for 70 years, your life compared to that day will be equivalent to 2 minutes!
     Prepare yourself for the 50,000 years, not the 2 minutes if the Dunya.

The golden rule:
     “But seek, through that which Allah has given you, the home of the Hereafter; 

     and [yet], do not forget your share of the world.” (Al-Qasas 28:77)

There is nothing wrong with being rich. 6 of the 10 sahaabah who were promised paradise were rich. But what is crucial is that we keep money in our hands (spending for the right causes), not in our hearts.

Additionally, money doesn’t buy happiness. Scholars  of psychology have said that in order for a person to achieve happiness, they need to realize theirphysical, social, mental, financial, spiritual, and career goals.
We as muslims already know this; the prophet (peace be upon him) approved the statement of Salmaan when he told Abu Ad-Dardaa’,
Your Lord has a right over you, your soul has a right over you and your wife has a right over you, so give each one his due. (Bukhaari 1867)
 Then how should we live our lives then?
“Be in this life as if you are a stranger or a passerby.”
 Ibn Omar used to say, “If the night time comes, do not wait for the morning, and if the morning comes, do not wait for the night time.”
(Al-Bukhaari 6053)

The Time & Place of Death
Most imporant rule:

Death has no rules!
 Causes of Death

“The son of Adam has 99 (causes of) death. If all of them miss him, he would fall
    into (dying of) aging.” (Al-Tirmidhi 2150)

The number 99 here is not to be taken literally. Like the number 70 in the Arabic language; it is used to indicate an abundance. Statistically, causes of death can be classified into 6 categories:

 1.   External factors like wars, accidents, and murder

2.   Disease or sickness

 3.   Natural disasters like volcanoes and earthquakes

4.   Suicide (Side note: Sweden enjoys the highest standard of living yet has the  highest suicide rate!)

5.   Aging

 6.   No apparent reason (known to us)

Our death only happens when Allaah swt decrees it. There might be near-death situations that we go through but Allaah swt protected us because are time didn’t come yet.

“And He is the subjugator over His servants, and He sends over you guardian- angels until, when death comes to one of you, Our messengers take him, and they do not fail [in their duties].” (Al-An’aam 6:61)

The Time of Death:
The time of death is decreed  for everyone by Allaah swt. No one dies except with His permission.

“And it is not [possible] for one to die except by permission of Allah at a decree determined...” (Aal-Imraan 3:145)
 The time of death will never change. 
 Allaah swt does not favor anyone at the time of death. Look at the example of the scholars who died without completing many of their renowned books.

An-Nawawi died before having completed Al-Majmoo’ (an encyclopedic  book on comparative fiqh).
Even Khaalid b. Al-Waleed who was a great warrior didn’t die on the battlefield as he wished; he died on his bed.

“And for every nation is a [specified] term. So when their time has come, they will not remain behind an hour, nor will they precede [it].” (Al-A’raaf 7:34)

No one will be given a second chance to do good deeds after their time has come. One should realize that whatever possessions we have belong to Allaah swt and therefore we have to spend and utilize them in the best way to earn His mercy and pleasure before a day comes when we can’t give anymore.

“And spend [in the way of Allah ] from what We have provided you before death approaches one of you and he says, ‘My Lord, if only You would delay me for a brief term so I would give charity and be among the righteous.’ But never will  Allah delay a soul when its time has come. And Allah is Acquainted with what you do.” (Al-Munafiqoon 63:10-11)

And we should not delay the sadaqah until the time of death. That is just plain selfish.

  The prophet pbuh said,

“The person who only donates close to his time of death is just (as bad as) a host  who would only feed his guest after he himself is full.” 

(Classified as Hasan by Ibn Hajar. Al-Albaani said it is unconfirmed)

The Place of Death:
No one can choose the place of their death. One person was diagnosed with a terminal

    disease and decided that he wanted to die in Madeenah. He packed his bags and took his

    family to live there. He came back for a regular medical follow-up and died here instead!

On the other hand, a scholar named Ihsaan Elaahi Zaheer was debating deviant sects in India when a bomb exploded and killed many people but he survived. Shaykh Ibn Baaz sent him an invitation to be treated in Saudi Arabia. He died there and was buried in Al- Baqee’.

 “If Allaah decrees for a slave to die in a certain land, He would make a need for  him to go there.”  (Al-Tirmidhi 2146. Authentic)

Only Allaah swt knows the place of death.

“Indeed, Allah [alone] has knowledge of the Hour and sends down the rain and knows what is in the wombs. And no soul perceives what it will earn tomorrow, and no soul perceives in what land it will die. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.” (Luqmaan 31:34)

Even if you try to protect yourself from death by living in high towers surrounded by security forces, there is no escaping death.

 “Wherever you may be, death will overtake you, even if you should be within towers of lofty construction...” (An-Nisaa’ 4:78)

What is the wisdom behind hiding the place and time of death?

Ø  If you knew, your obedience to Allaah will suffer

Ø  You will most probably delay your tawbah until right before

Ø  When the time comes, a person will be preoccupied with it all the time trying to escape it

Ø  This life is actually a test. Not knowing the time and place of death will prompt you to do the best you can all the time

Ø  Not knowing will lead you to fear having a bad ending

Ø  In reality, this is actually a mercy from Allaah swt

Ø   Fear and love are the two wings of ibadah if you knew the time of your death then fear will prevail over love and take the sweetness of ibadah out.

 Causes of Age Increase
Allaah swt knows exactly when our time will be. He also legislated certain actions certain that we can do to increase our lifespan. Some scholars said that this increase is by Allaah swt placing barakah in our lives and being able to do a lot of good deeds in a short period of time. Other scholars said that this increase is real in relation to the

tablets that the angels who record the deeds hold. However, in al-LawH al-Mahfoodh that’s with Allaah in the heavens, the total age is written there. Allaah swt says,
We need to take the means to keep ourselves alive. If a person is sick and doesn’t take medicine, Allaah swt knows he’s not going to take medicine and that it is written for him to die at a set time. And if he decides to take the medicine, Allaah swt knows that he’s going to take the medicine and that he’s going to live further for a set number of 20 years.

Ibn taymiyyah explained in his explanation of qada wal qadr – Allah gives angels certain time and if the person does so and so then give him this time, if he does so and so then do not give him this time. You are not forced to do certain things

because its written in your book, but Allah knew you will do those deeds therefore its written.

Tie your camel and put trust in Allah. So take precautions, medicines, and your armour in battle too. ( Khalid ibn walid – died on bed and not in battlefield) hadith –

if a person desired to die as shaheed, he will be granted that reward even if he dies

on his bed.
So what are the causes of age increase?

 1.  Islaamic causes

 The Rule On Wishing for Death

Who wishes for death?

  Someone suffering from despair or depression

  Someone facing a physical or psychological problem

  Someone who is ignorant of what comes after death thinking that suicide will

make them “rest in peace”

Is it Permissible to wish for death?

We find narrations where some have wished for death. Maryam, the morther of

prophet Eesa, before giving birth to him said,

So what is the ruling on wishing for death?

Impermissible except if a person is fearing a fitnah in his religion.

Other than that, no matter how much pain, one is not allowed to pray that their life is taken away,

because that goes against being pleased with the decree of Allah.

From ‘Ubaadah ibn al-Saamit, from the Prophet (Peace & Blessings of Allaah be upon Him) who said:

 "Whoever loves to meet Allaah, Allaah will love to meet him, and whoever hates to meet Allaah, Allaah will hate to meet him."

 ‘Aa’ishah or one of his wives said: "But we all dislike the idea of death." He said, "It is not what you are thinking. When death approaches the believer and he is given the news of Allaah’s pleasure and honour, nothing will be more dear to him than what lies ahead of him, so he will love to meet Allaah and Allaah will love to meet him. But when death approaches the disbeliever and he is given the news of Allaah’s wrath and punishment, nothing will be more disliked by him that what lies ahead of him, so he will hate to meet Allaah and Allaah will hate to meet him." 

(Saheeh al-Bukhaari, 6026)

There are things that help us in times of sadness:

One: During times of sadness, Allah wants us to come back and reflect upon the Qurâan. That is what He revealed it for, contemplation. In it, the believer will find tranquility for his or her heart.

Two: Whatever happens, when someone is patient and says the dua that the Prophet - sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam - taught us, that person will be blessed with something better.

The Dua is as follows:

Inna lillaahi wa inna Ilayhi raajiâoon. Allaahumma âjurnee fee museebatee, wakhluf lee khayrun minhâ
However, we have picked up things from the culture of the non-Muslims, things that we do not find in the tradition dictated to us by the Lord of the worlds. For example:

a. To wear black specifically to honor the deceased.

b. Institutionalizing the placing of flowers at the site of the grave.

c. To lower a national flag in honor of the deceased.

d. There is no mention of a moment-of-silence in our Deen.

e. There is no mention of Qurâan Khanis (gathering people to recite Qurâan for the deceased) in the Sunnah of Muhammad - sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam. All goodness is in following the guidance of our Prophet.

f. There is no mention of gathering people 40 days after the death to recite Qurâan for the deceased.

g. There is no mention of having an annual gathering where guests recite the Qurâan for the deceased.

h. There is no mention in the Sunnah of collectively reciting surat al-Fatiha for the deceased.

So then what should we do?

1. We should hasten to pay off the debts of the deceased

2. We should give our condolences to the family of the deceased. This could be done in the Masjid, at the gravesite, at their homes, etc. But excessively long gatherings at the deceaseds home should not be encouraged.

3. We should make food for the family of the deceased and not burden them with having to make food for the entire community.

4. We should all attend the funeral prayer and, for men, follow the funeral to the gravesite. The women should not follow, as Umm Salamah said, We were forbidden from following the funeral processions.

5. We may give Sadaqah on behalf of the deceased, and we may perform Hajj on their behalf.

6. And above all, we should make Dua, and lots of it, for the deceased. This is how the Prophet - sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam - taught us, as in the funeral prayer and the hadith of the servants actions being cut off except from three things - he mentioned,  a pious child that makes dua for (the deceased).

Some Reminders, in accordance to the statement of Allah -the most high- : 

 "And remind, for indeed the reminder benefits the believer" (51:55)

Firstly: Never take your Islaam for granted by not sharing it with your family and friends. When Allah blessed you with Islaam, He placed upon you a responsibility to convey its message to all of mankind. And from the crux of the message of Islaam is worshipping Allah alone. Fore it is indeed this very crucial element that is the criterion between entering paradise or not. As Allah -the most high- says: 

"Verily, Allâh does not forgive that partners should be set up with him in worship, but He forgives all except that to whom He pleases, and who so ever sets up rivals with Allâh in worship, has indeed committed a tremendous sin." (4:48)

So which one of us, with the slightest bit of faith and true love, would want to see one of our beloved prevented from paradise? 

Secondly: Know, that by having come into this world Allah created a bond between you and your parents that no one can ever take away. And has placed upon you a responsibility that should not be taken lightly at the very least. 

As for those of you who have your parents alive and close by, I advise you as a well wisher to be as righteous towards them as possible, lest that you are ever away from them in a time of need, you will not be burdened with the guilt that you did not do your best while you were able to. 

"And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honour. And lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy, and say: 'My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was small.' " (17:23-24)

Lastly: Do not be insensitive or inconsiderate of people. I know that the statement is very vague and ambiguous, but I believe it is its ambiguity and vagueness that makes it all the more powerful. 

On a more pertinent note, when people lose loved ones they need the love and support of people around them to get over it. One of the best ways to do this is to just be there to talk to them in the initial stages of the shock, and as time goes on try to get them to re-adjust to their regular routines and daily lives. One of the biggest mistakes that people, who want to do good, can make is to bring up the topic of a lost one when the family of the deceased have just begun to get over them. A loss of a loved one is like an open wound, it needs time and care to heal, so do be careful not to pour salt where it will only harm. 

Indeed, the reminders found in death are many and thus some of our predecessors would suffice by just saying the word "death" in their Friday sermons.

As like all other reminders if there is no physical implementation in regards to what is said, then its presence is just as good as its absence, and I pray to Allah that this is not the case. 

May Allah have mercy upon all of the deceased of the Muslims.May He grant them firmness in answering. May He widen their graves and fill them with light and many pleasures. May he protect them from any punishment and harm in the grave or in the hellfire. May He enter them into the highest of paradise in the companionship of the prophets, martyrs, truthful ones, and the righteous. May He make the deaths of deceased a lesson for those they have left behind. May He grant comfort, solace, and firmness to those they have left behind, and may He replace all of their sorrows and dismays with unlimited pleasure and joy in this life and the next. Aameen. Aameen. Aameen. 

"Their call therein will be, 'Exalted are You, O Allah' and their greeting therein will be, 'Peace.' And the last of their call will be, 'Praise to Allah, Lord of the worlds!' " (10:10)


Allaah the Exalted said:

O you who believe, have taqwaa of Allaah and do not die except in while you are Muslims (in a state of submission to Him).

In every Muslims mind a question should arise upon reciting or reading this verse. This verse should make everyone think:


Will we die for example:

1. Bankrupt, devoid of any actions, never having done any good, or tried to do good or even had a desire to do good?

Until when death comes to one of them he says: "O my Lord, send me back so that I may do good in that which I neglected." But no! It is only a word that he utters and between them is a partition (barzakh) until the day that they are raised up.

2. Or will we die having gathered riches, wealth, status, power yet finding ourselves in the situation which Allaah has described:

The sinner would desire to ransom himself from the punishment of that Day by his children. And his wife and his brother. And his kindred who sheltered him. And all that are on the earth, so that it might save him. By no means, verily it will be the Fire of Hell!
and also:
But as for the one who is given his record in his left hand, he will say: "I wish that I had not been given my record! And that I had never known, how my account is? I wish that it would have been my end (death). My wealth has not availed me. My power and arguments (to defend myself) have gone from me! It will be said: "Seize him and fetter him. Then throw him in the Blazing Fire. Then fasten him with a chain whereof the length is seventy cubits. Verily he used not to believe in Allaah the Mighty, and urged not the feeding of the poor. So no friend has he here this Day, nor any food except filth from the washing of wounds, (which) none will eat except the khaati'oon (sinners, those who fall into the wrong disbelievers etc...)  

3. Or will we die in a state of negligence. Having been neglectful of our duty to Allaah and at the same time finding fault with and mocking other Muslims? Mocking at them for sticking to the commands of Allaah, the Sunnah of His Messenger, laughing at their appearance and so on...Allaah said:

Or that the soul may say: Alas, my grief that I was undutiful to Allaah (i.e. I have not done what Allaah has ordered me to do) and I was indeed among those who mocked (at the truth)

4. Or will we die in the midst of the kuffar, having become like them, adopted their habits, customs and ways of behaving, having nurtured our children upon their ways and customs?
And you dwelt in the dwellings of men who wronged themselves and it was clear to you how We dealt them. And we put forth many parables for you.
And Umar (ra) said: "Whoever lives in the land of the pagans and disbelievers and celebrates their festivals and behaves like them until he dies, he will be resurrected with them on the Day of Judgement"

5. Or will we die in a state of kufr, disbelief, or doubt?
Verily those who believe, then disbelieve then believe, then disbelieve then increase in disbelief, never will Allaah forgive them and nor guide them to a (correct) way.

This is a great danger and many Muslims have already fallen into it. Some have actually been led to and fallen into disbelief.

Believing there is a better way than Islam is disbelief
Practicing magic is disbelief
Not treating the Jews and Christians or pagans as disbelievers, or doubting in their concepts is disbelief
Acting on Islam but out of dislike in the heart is disbelief
Thinking that Islam or the Sunnah is outmoded, outdated, of no relevance to the modern times is disbelief

And there are many other such matters which constitute or lead to disbelief

Allaah said:

Verily, those who disbelieve and die while they are disbelievers (in the state of disbelief), upon them is the curse of Allaah, the angels and the whole of mankind.

6. Or will we die for example in a state of HEEDLESSNESS, oblivion, like the animals?

The Exalted said:

And who is more unjust than the one is reminded of the signs of His Lord and then turns away from them.

And do not be like those who forgot Allaah so Allaah made them forget their own souls.

Closer and closer to mankind comes their reckoning, yet they turn away in heedlessness.

Those amongst us who couldn't care less, never bother about learning about the deen, or even reflecting upon the creation so that the possibility of the resurrection becomes vividly clear and certain and which in turn moves and excites the heart to Allaah's worship. There are some Muslims who we have heard saying, upon receiving advice and admonition: "Please leave us alone , as for us we will settle our matter with Allaah when the time comes on the Day of Judgement, give us a break."!!! Such ignorance and arrogance!!

So these are some of the ways and states in which people will die, amongst many others which have been mentioned in Allaah's Book, and we seek refuge in Allaah from such a situation.

And worthy of contemplation is the saying: The most contemptible of people is the one who went astray in the final part of his journey, having approached his destination [Al-Fawaa'id of Ibn al-Qayyim]

We finish with a hadeeth of the Messenger (as):

"One of you continues doing the actions of the People of Paradise until there is but an arms length between him and it and then what is written for him overtakes him so he does the actions of the people of Hellfire and enters it"

Therefore O Muslims:

Walaa tamootunna illaa wa antum muslimoon not die except while you are Muslims (in a state of submission to Him)

Rabbanaa afrigh alainaa sabran watawaffanaa muslimeen

The Wasiyyah (Will) of Imaam Muhammad Naasirud-Deen Al-Albaanee

In the Name of Allaah, the All-Merciful, the Most Merciful...

Firstly, I advise my wife, children, friends, and all of my beloved ones, when the news of my death reaches them, to supplicate to Allaah, asking His Forgiveness and Mercy for me. I ask that they do not wail over me nor cry with a raised voice.

Secondly, I ask that they hurry my burial. I ask them also not to inform any of my close relatives or brothers (at the exclusion of others), except that which is necessary to prepare me for burial. Also I ask that they allow my body to be washed by my neighbor and sincere friend, 'Izzat Khidr Aboo 'Abdir-Rahmaan, and whoever he asks to help him with it.

Thirdly, I choose to be buried in the closest place available, so those who carry me will not place me in a car, nor will the followers of the janaazah(funeral) ride in their cars. I also ask that the graveyard be an old one, to ensure that its graves will not be exhumed...

...And for those living in the land that I die in, I ask that you do not make it a priority to inform my children from other lands until after I am buried. This is to prevent the emotions from overwhelming you, and as a result myjanaazah becomes delayed.

I ask Al-Mawlaa (Allaah) that I meet him and that he has forgiven my past sins, and those I have yet to commit (at the time of writing this)...

...I bequeath my entire library, every printed book, copy, and manuscript (by my handwriting or someone else's) to the library of the Islaamic University of Al-Madeenah. That is because of my many fond memories of that place, the da'wah to the Book and the Sunnah upon the way of the righteous Salaf that I remember from the years I used to teach there

I hope that Allaah will cause it to benefit the leaders of the da'wah there, as its owner used to benefit the students there in days gone by. And I ask that Allaah benefits me by them, from their sincerity and their work in theda'wah.

( O my Lord! Make me thankful for Your Favor that You bestowed upon me, and upon both my parents, and make me one that does righteous deeds that you love. And correct my offspring for me. Surely I repent to You, and surely I am from amongst the Muslims. )[1]

Muhammad Naasirud-Deen Al-Albaanee 
The 27th of Jumaadaa Al-'Oolaa, 1410 

1 comment:

  1. May Allah help us to act upon wat we learnt..... n giv al of us a death of la ilaaha illallah..