Article: Al-Qiyaamah as-Sughra (the Minor Resurrection, i.e., Death)

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    Death and the Grave

    Assalaamu'Alaykum wa'Rahmatullaahi wa'Barakatuh,

    I had a thread named 'Remember Death' (I have removed this thread now because what was contained in there is now in here) which is similar to this but this will be more comprehensive. The stuff posted in there will be posted in here when the time comes (in the right order), Insha'Allah.

    Insha'Allah, I hope this is beneficial to us all.

    Taken from The Minor Resurrection Volume 5 by Umar Sulaymaan Abdullaah al-Ashqaar.

    The sections are broken down below for ease:
    May Allah forgive me for any mistakes and may He give us all beneficial knowledge. Ameen.
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    Al-Qiyaamah as-Sughra (the Minor Resurrection, i.e., Death)

    The stage which every person must go through after the life of this world is given a number of names, such al-Qiyaamah as-Sughra (the minor resurrection), al-Barzakh (interval) and al-Mawt (death).

    Definition of al-Qiyaamah as-Sughra

    Al-Qiyaamah as-Sughra (the minor resurrection) is death. Everyone who dies goes through this “resurrection” when his appointed time comes. Both Bukhari and Muslim narrated that ‘Aa’ishah (radhiyAllahu anha) said:

    “Bedouin men used to come to the Prophet :saw: and ask him about the Hour, and he would look at the youngest of them and say,

    ‘If this man lives, he will not reach old age until your hour comes.’”

    (Mishkaat al-Masaabeeh, 3/48)

    Ibn Katheer said:

    “It meant the end of their generation and their entrance into the Hereafter. For everyone who dies is considered to have passed into the Hereafter. Some people say that the one who dies has embarked upon his resurrection. In this sense these words are correct.”

    (An-Nihaayah by Ibn Katheer, 1/24)

    Ibn Katheer indicated that this view is also held by the philosophers, but they meant something that is invalid and unacceptable. The atheists mean that death is the end and that there is no resurrection after that. Ibn Katheer said:

    “Some of the atheists and the heretics may believe in that, but they mean something else and that is false. As far the Great Hour is concerned, it is the time when the first and the last (of the people on earth) will be gathered together in one arena, and the time of this is something which is known only to Allah.”

    (Opt. cit)

    Al-Qiyaamah as-Sughra is also called al-ma’aad al-awwal (the first appointed time) and al-Barzakh (interval).

    Ibn al-Qayyim said:

    “Death is a resurrection and a first appointed time.”

    Allah has made two appointed times and two resurrections for the son of Adam, in which those who did evil will be required for what they did, and those who did good will be rewarded with good. The first resurrection is when the soul leaves the body, and travels to the realm of the first requital (reward or punishment).”

    (Ar-Rooh by Ibn al-Qayyim, p. 103)
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    Al-Barzakh (Interval)

    In Arabic, barzakh means a barrier between two things. Allah (the Mighty and Majestic) says:

    ...And He has set a barrier (barzakh) between them...

    (Qur’aan 25: 53)

    In shari’ah, barzakh refers to the period from death until the Resurrection. Allah (the Mighty and Majestic) says:

    ...And behind them is barzakh (a barrier) until the Day when they will be resurrected.

    (Qur’aan 23: 100)

    Mujaahid said: this is what is between death and the resurrection. Ash-Shaa’bu was told that, So and so has died. He said, He is not in this world or in the Hereafter?

    (Tadhkirat al-Qurtubi, 177)

    Ibn al-Qayyim said:

    “The torment and blessing of the grave is another name for the torment or blessing of barzakh, that is, what is between this life and the Hereafter.

    Allah (the Mighty and Majestic) says:

    ...And behind them is Barzakh (a barrier) until the Day when they will be resurrected.

    (Qur’aan 23: 100)

    - and the people of this barzakh can see into this world and the Hereafter.”
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    Al-Mawt (Death)

    (1) Al-Mawt from the semantic point of view

    Life and death are opposites, as are light and darkness, cold and heat. Hence, the Arabic language dictionaries define each of them in terms of opposites. The definitions of al-Hayaat (life) is: “Al-Hayaat (life) is the opposite of al-Mawt (death); hayy (alive) is opposite to mawt (dead); the plural of hayy is ahyaa’.”

    (Lisaan al-‘Arab by Ibn Manzoor, 1/774)

    The definition of death it:

    “Al-Mawt (death) is the opposite of al-Hayaat (life).”

    (Ibid, 3/547)

    The root meaning of mawt in Arabic is stillness; everything that has come to a standstill is dead.

    (Ibid)

    So you may hear them say,

    “Maatat an-naar mawtan (the fire has died)” when its ashes turn cold and there are no embers left.

    And they say,

    “Maat al harr wal-bard (the heat and cold have died) when they ease off, and “Maatat ar-reeh (the wind has died)” when it stops blowing, and “Maatat al-khamr (the wine has died)” when it goes flat. Al-mawt (death) is that in which there is no soul.

    (Lisaan al-‘Arab, 3/547)

    If the root meaning of al-Mawt (death) in our language (Arabic) is stillness, then movement is the root meaning of al-Hayaat (life). In Lisaan al-‘Arab it says:

    “Al-Hayy (living, alive) is everything that speaks and utters. With reference to plants, al-hayy is everything that is fresh and growing.”

    (Lisaan al-‘Arab, 1/773)

    Human life comes about when the soul is breathed into the body of the foetus in his mother’s womb, and death “is the severing of the bond between the body and the soul, the change of situation whereby the soul is separated from the body and moves from one realm to another.”

    (Tadhkirat al-Qurtubi, 4)
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    (2) Greater death and lesser death

    Sleep is akin to death, hence our scholars called it the lesser death. Sleep is a death, and waking from sleep is a resurrection.

    Is is He, Who takes your souls by night (when you are asleep), and has knowledge of all that you have done by day, then He raises (wakes) you up again...

    (Qur’aan 6: 60)

    During sleep, people’s souls are taken, then if Allah wishes to keep a person’s soul whilst he is asleep, He does so, and if He wills that a person should remain alive, He returns his soul until the appointed time which He has decreed. Allah (the Mighty and Majestic) says:

    It is Allah Who takes away souls at the time of their death, and those that die not during their sleep. He keeps those (souls) for which He has ordained death and sends the rest for a term appointed...

    (Qur’aan 39: 42)

    Here Allah tells us that both souls, the one which He keeps and the one which He sends back, die the death of sleep, but those which die in reality (i.e., their life in this world comes to an end) form a third group. This group is referred to at the beginning of the aayah: It is Allah Who takes away the souls at the time of their death... (Qur’aan 39: 42)

    Allah mentions two deaths, the death which signals the end of life, and the death of sleep; He mentions that He keeps the souls of those who are to die and He sends back the others.

    It is known that He takes the soul of everyone who die, whether they die in their sleep or before that, and He sends back the souls who do not die. The verse – It is Allah Who takes away the souls at the time of their death...(Qur’aan 39: 42) – includes both those who die whilst awake and those who die in their sleep. When He mentions the two souls who die, He says that He takes the one and sends back the other. This is the apparent meaning, and there is no need for further discussion.”

    (Majmoo’ Fataawa Shaykh al-Islaam, 5/452)
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    (3) Death is inevitable

    Death is inevitable for every living creature; there is no escape from it, as Allah (the Mighty and Majestic) says:

    ...Everything will perish save His Face. His is the Decision, and to Him you (all) shall be returned.

    (Qur’aan 28: 88)

    Whatsoever is on it (the earth) will perish. And the Face of your Lord full of Majesty and Honour will remain forever.

    (Qur’aan 55: 26-27)

    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 (a deceiving thing).

    (Qur’aan 3: 185)

    If anyone were to have been saved from death, the best of Allah’s creation – Muhammad :saw: - would have been saved from it:

    Verily, you (O’ Muhammad) will die, and verily, they (too) will die.

    (Qur’aan 39: 30)

    Allah consoled His Messenger with the news that death was His law decreed for His creation:

    And We granted not to any human being immortality before you (O’ Muhammad): then if you die, would they live forever?

    (Qur’aan 21: 34)

    Daeth is inevitable for humans and jinn. In As-Saheeh it is narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas (radhiyAllahu anh) that the Prophet :saw: said:

    “A’oodhu bi ‘izzatika alladhi laa ilaaha illa anta allaadhi laa yamoot, wal-ins wal-jinn yamootoon

    I seek refuge in Your Glory, besides Whom there is no other god and Who never die, whereas men and jinn will die.”
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    (4) There is an appointed time for death

    There is a destined time for death. It will come in time. No one can go beyond the appointed time which has been set by Allah. Allah has decreed the life spans of His slaves. It is written with the Pen in Al-Lawh al-Mahfooz. The angels write (and have written) whilst a person is (and was) still in his mother’s womb. No man can delay or bring forward what has been written for him. Every person who dies, or is killed, or drowns, or falls from an airplane or car, or is burned to death, or dies for any other cause, dies (and has died) at the appointed time decreed by Allah. Many texts indicate this, Allah (the Mighty and Majestic) says:

    And no person can ever die except by Allah’s Leave and at an appointed term...

    (Qur’aan 3: 145)

    Wheresoever you may be, death will overtake you even if you are in fortresses built up strong and high...!

    (Qur’aan 4: 78)

    And every nation has its appointed term; when their term comes, neither can delay it nor can they advance it an hour (or a moment).

    (Qur’aan 7: 34)

    Say (to them): ‘Verily, the death from which you flee will surely meet you...’

    (Qur’aan 62: 8)

    We have decreed death to you all, and We are not outstripped.

    (Qur’aan 56: 60)

    In Muslim it is narrated that ‘Abdullaah ibn Mas’ood said: ‘Umm Habeebah (radhiyAllahu anha), the wife of the Prophet, said:

    “O ‘ Allah, let me enjoy my husband the Messenger of Allah, my father Abu Sufyaan and my brother Mu’aawiyah (i.e., do not let them die before me).”

    The Prophet :saw: said:

    “You have asked about Allah about a time which is appointed and days which are numbered, and provision which is already shared out. Allah does not hasten to do anything before its appointed time, and He does not delay anything until after its appointed time. If you had asked Allah to protect you from the torment of Hell and the punishment of the grave, that would have been better.”

    (Muslim: Kitaab al-Qadr; Ahmad; 1/390, 413, 445)
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    (5) The time of death is not known to us

    People have no knowledge of the time when death will come to them. That knowledge belongs to Allah Alone, and it is one of the keys of the unseen, the knowledge of which Allah has kept to Himself. Allah (the Mighty and Majestic) says:

    And with Him are the keys of the Ghayb (the all that is hidden), none knows them but He...

    (Qur’aan 6: 59)

    Verily, Allah, with Him (Alone) is the knowledge of the Hour, He sends down the rain, and knows that which is in the wombs. No person knows what he will earn tomorrow, and no person knows in what land he will die. Verily, Allah is All-Knower, All-Aware (of things).

    (Qur’aan 31: 34)

    Bukhari narrated in his Saheeh that Ibn ‘Umar reported: The Messenger of Allah :saw: said:

    “The keys of the unseen are five, and no one knows them except Allah.

    Verily, Allah, with Him (Alone) is the knowledge of the Hour, He sends down the rain, and knows that which is in the wombs. No person knows what he will earn tomorrow, and no person knows in what land he will die. Verily, Allah is All-Knower, All-Aware (of things).

    (Qur’aan 31: 34)

    (Bukhari: Kitaab al-Istisqaa’ and Kitaab at-Tafseer)

    Ahmad, Tirmidhi and others narrated that a group of the Sahaabah reported: The Messenger of Allah :saw: said:

    “When Allah wants to take the soul of a person in a certain land, He causes him to have a need there.”
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    The Moment of Death

    1 – The Coming of the Angels of Death

    When the appointed time comes and a person’s life is drawing to a close, Allah sends the messengers of death to bring forth the soul which is controlling and moving the body.

    He is the Irresistible (Supreme), over His slaves, and He sends guardians (angels guarding and writing all of one's good and bad deeds) over you, until when death approaches one of you, Our messengers (angel of death and his assistants) take his soul, and they never neglect their duty.

    (Qur'aan 6:61)

    The angels of death come to the believer in a beautiful form, and they come to the kaafir and the hypocrite in a frightening form. According to the hadeeth of Al-Baraa' ibn 'Aazib, the Messenger :saw: said,

    "When the believing slave is about to depart this world and move to the Hereafter, angels come down to him from the heavens, with white faces like the sun. They bring with them a shroud from Paradise and aromatics (for embalming) from Paradise, and they sit in front of him as far as the eye can see. Then the Angel of Death (peace be upon him) comes and sits at his head, and says, 'O' good soul (according to one report, 'O' peaceful soul), come to forgiveness from Allah and His pleasure.'

    Then it comes out like a drop of water from the mouth of a jug, and they take it...

    But when the disbelieving slave (according to one report, immoral slave), is about to depart this world and move to the Hereafter, angels come down to him from the heavens, (harsh and severe) with black faces, bringing sackcloth - (refers to cloth woven of hair which is worn for purposes of mortification of the flesh) - (from Hell). They sit in front of him as far as the eye can see. Then the Angel of Death comes and sits at his head, and says, 'O' evil soul, come out to the anger of Allah and His wrath. Then it cowers within his body and is dragged out like a (many-hooked) iron skewer passing through wet wool (with which veins and nerves are cut)'"


    We cannot see what happens to the dying person at the point of death, although we may see its effects. Allah has told us about the state of the dying person:

    Then why do you not (intervene) when (the soul of a dying person) reaches the throat? And you at the moment are looking on, But We (i.e. Our Angels who take the soul) are nearer to him than you, but you see not.

    (Qur’aan 56: 83-85)

    What is referred to here is when the soul reaches the throat as a person is dying, and the people around him can see what is his suffering of the stupor of death, even though they cannot see the angels of the Most Merciful who are pulling out his soul – But We (i.e. Our Angels who take the soul) are nearer to him than you, but you see not. (Qur’aan 56: 85)

    And Allah (the Mighty and Majestic) says:

    He is the Irresistible (Supreme), over His slaves, and He sends guardians (angels guarding and writing all of one's good and bad deeds) over you, until when death approaches one of you, Our messengers (angel of death and his assistants) take his soul, and they never neglect their duty.

    Elsewhere, Allah (the Mighty and Majestic) says:


    Nay, when (the soul) reaches to the collarbone (i.e. up to the throat in its exit), And it will be said: ‘Who can cure him (and save him from death)?’ And he (the dying person) will conclude that it was (the time) of parting (death); And one leg will be joined with another leg (shrouded). The drive will be on that Day to your Lord (Allah)!

    (Qur’aan 75: 26-30)

    What reaches to the collarbone is the soul.

    The hadeeth clearly states that the Angel of Death gives the believer glad tidings of forgiveness from Allah and His pleasure, and tells the kaafir or evildoer of the anger and wrath of Allah. This is also clearly stated in many texts of the Qur’aan. Allah (the Mighty and Majestic) says:

    Verily, those who say: ‘Our Lord is Allah (Alone),’ and then they stand firm, on them the angels will descend (at the time of their death) (saying): ‘Fear not, nor grieve! But receive the glad tidings of Paradise which you have been promised! We have been your friends in the life of this world and are (so) in the Hereafter. Therein you shall have (all) that your inner-selves desire, and therein you shall have (all) for which you ask. An entertainment from (Allah), the Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

    (Qur’aan 41: 30 – 32)

    This descent (of the angels) – according to a group of leading mufassireen, including Mujaahid and As-Suddi – happens at the time of death.

    (Tafseer ibn Katheer, 6/174)

    Undoubtedly at the point of death, man is in a difficult state in which he fears what lies ahead of him and he fears for those whom he is leaving behind. So the angels come to reassure him concerning what he is anxious about and to put his mind at rest. They tell him, do not worry about the future in al-Barzakh and in the Hereafter, and do not grieve for those whom you are leaving behind, your family and children, or debts. Rejoice in the greatest glad tidings,

    ...But receive the glad tidings of Paradise which you have been promised!

    (Qur’aan 41: 30)

    ...Therein you shall have (all) that your inner-selves desire, and there you shall have (all) for which you ask.

    (Qur’aan 41: 31)

    So long as a person is devoted to Allah Alone, Allah will always take care of him, especially at times of difficulty, one of the hardest of which is this situation (i.e., dying)

    We have been your friends in the life of this world and are (so) in the Hereafter.

    (Qur’aan 41: 31)

    But for the kaafir and evildoer, the angels come with the opposite news:

    Verily, as for those whom the angels take (in death) while they are wronging themselves (as they stayed among the disbelievers even though emigration was obligatory for them), they (angels) say (to them): ‘In (what condition) were you?’ They reply: ‘We were weak and oppressed on the earth.’ They (angels) say: ‘Was not the earth of Allah spacious enough for you to emigrate therein?’ Such men will find their abode in Hell – what an evil destination!

    (Qur’aan 4: 97)

    As narrated by Bukhari from Ibn ‘Abbaas, this aayah was revealed concerning a group of people who had become Muslim, but they did not migrate (hijrah), then death caught them, or they were killed in the ranks of the enemy.

    (Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 2/369)

    So the angels rebuked them as they were dying, and gave them tidings of Hellfire.

    Allah (the Mighty and Majestic) tells us how the angels brought about the deaths of the kuffaar (disbelievers) in the battle of Badr:

    And if you could see when the angels take away the souls of those who disbelieve (at death); they smite their faces and their backs, (saying): ‘Taste the punishment of the blazing Fire. This is because of that which your hands had forwarded. And verily, Allah is not unjust to His slaves’

    (Qur’aan 8: 50-51)

    Ibn Katheer said in his Tafseer of these aayaat:

    “(This means) if only you could see, O’ Muhammad, when the angels take the souls of the kuffaar, you would see something tremendously disturbing, when they strike their faces and backs and say, ‘Taste the punishment of the blazing Fire.’”

    (Ibid 3/335)

    The great mufassir ‘Allaamah Ibn Katheer pointed out that this aayah referred to the battle of Badr, but it also applies to every kaafir. Hence Allah did not specifically mention the people who died at Badr, rather He said: ‘And if you could see when the angels take away the souls of those who disbelieve...”

    (Opt. cit)

    What Ibn Katheer said is correct and is indicated by more than one verse in the Qur’aan, such as:

    Who is more unjust that the one who invents a lie against Allah or rejects His Aayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc)? For such their appointed portion (good things of this worldly life and their period of stay therein) will reach them from the Book (of Decrees) until when Our messengers (the angel of death and his assistants) come to them to take their souls, they (the angels will say: ‘Where are those whom you used to invoke and worship besides Allah,’ they will reply, ‘They have vanished and deserted us.’ And they will bear witness against themselves, that they were disbelievers.

    (Qur’aan 7: 37)

    Those whose lives the angels take while they are doing wrong to themselves (by disbelief and by associating partners in worship with Allah and by committing all kinds of crimes and evil deeds). Then, they will make (false) submission (saying): ‘We used not to do any evil.’ (The angels will reply): ‘Yes! Truly, Allah is All-Knower of what you used to do’

    (Qur’aan 16: 28)

    Verily, those who have turned back (have apostatised) as disbelievers after the guidance has been manifested to them – Shaytaan (Satan) has beautified for them (their false hopes), and (Allah) prolonged their term (age). This is because they said to those who hate what Allah has sent down: ‘We will obey you in part of the matter.’ But Allah knows their secrets. Then how (will it be) when the angels will take their souls at death, smiting their faces and their backs?

    (Qur’aan 47: 25-27)
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    2 - The Stupor of Death

    Death involves a kind of stupor or intoxication which every person will face when the time of death comes. Allah (subhaanahu wa'taala) says:

    And the stupor of death will come in truth: 'This is what you have been avoiding!'

    (Qur'aan 50: 19)


    This stupor or intoxication is the distress and hardship of death. Ar-Raaghib said in his book Al-Mufradaat:

    "This stupor (sukr) is the state when a person loses his mind; this word is used mostly in connection with intoxicant drinks. It is also used to describe such things as anger, love, pain, slumber, and the delirium caused by intense pain. This is what is meant by this aayah."

    (Fath al-Baari, 11/362)

    The Messenger :saw: also suffered from this stupor. During his final illness there was a pot or jug of water in front of him, and he kept putting his hand in it then wiping his face, and saying, "Laa ilaaha illAllah, indeed death has stupors".

    (Hadith narrated by Bukhari from Aa'ishah (radhiyAllahy anha) in Kitaab ar-Riqaaq)

    Aa'ishah said describing the final illness of the Messenger of Allah
    saw:.

    'I never saw pain more severe than that of the Messenger of Allah
    :saw:."

    (Bukhari, Muslim and Tirmidhi. See Jaami' al-Usool, 11/69)

    Aa'ishah (radhiyAllah anha) visited her father Abu Bakr (radhiyAllah anh) during his final illness, and when death was approaching, she quoted the words of the poet, "Certainly wealth does not help a man when the death rattle sounds in his throat."

    He uncovered his face and said,

    "Do not say that. Rather say:

    And the stupor of death will come in truth: "This is what you have been avoiding!'"


    (Qur'aan 50: 19)

    (Ibn Abi'd Dunya. Ibn Katheer said in his Tafseer (6/401), after quoting this, this report has many isnads.)
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    Undoubtedly the kaafir and the evildoer suffer more in death than does the believer. We have already quoted part of the hadeeth Al-Baraa’ ibn ‘Aazib, in which it says that the soul of the evildoer and the kaafir cower in his body when the Angel of Death says to them,

    “O’ evil soul, come out to the anger of Allah and His wrath,”

    - and pulls out his soul like a (many-hooked) iron skewer passing through wet wool with which veins and nerves are cut. The Qur’aan describes the agony which the kuffaar suffer:

    And who can be more unjust than he who invents a lie against Allah, or says: ‘A revealation has come to me’ whereas no Revelation has come to him in anything; and who says, ‘I will reveal the like of what Allah has revealed.’ And if you could but see when Zaalimoon (polytheists and wrongdoers) are in the agonies of death, while the angels are stretching forth their hands (saying): ‘Deliver your souls! This day you shall be recompensed with the torment of degradation because of what you used to utter against Allah other than the truth. And you used to reject His Aayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) with disrespect!’”

    (Qur’aan 6: 93)

    What is described in this aayah – as Ibn Katheer says – when the angels of punishment give the kaafir the tidings of ange, punishment, chains, fetters, Hell, heat and the wrath of the Most Merciful. So his soul cowers in his body and does not want to come out, then the angels beat them until their souls come out of their bodies, saying,

    ...Deliver your souls! This day you shall be recompensed with the torment of degradation because of what you used to utter against Allah other than the truth...

    (Qur’aan 6: 93)

    Ibn Katheer interpreted the “angels stretching forth their hands” as meaning striking. The meaning of this aayah is like the meaning of the aayah,

    If you do stretch your hand against me to kill me...

    (Qur’aan 5: 28)

    And,

    ...and (they would) stretch forth their hands and their tongues against you with evil...

    (Qur’aan 60: 2)
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    Some wise people may speak of the hardship and stupor that they are suffering at the time of death. For example, when 'Amr ibn al'-Aas was on his deathbed, his son said to him,

    "O' my father! You used to say, would that I could meet a wise, intelligent man when he is dying, so that he describe what he sees. You are that man, so describe it to me."

    He said,

    "O' my son, by Allah, it is as if I am lying in a box and breathing through the eye of a needle, and as if there is a throny piercing branch being pulled from the bottom of my feet through to the top of my head."

    (Tadhkirat al-Qurtubi, p. 19)
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    Those for whom the agony of death is reduced

    The Messenger :saw: told us that the shaheed (martyr) who falls in battle will have the agony of death reduced. Abu Hurayrah (radhiyAllahu anh) narrated that the Messenger of Allah :saw: said:

    “The shaheed does not feel the pain of death except as one of you feels the pain of a nip or pinch.”

    This has been narrated by Tirmidhi, Nasaa’i and Ad-Daarimi. Tirmidhi said: this is a ghareeb hasan hadeeth.

    (Mishkaat al-Masaabeeh, 2/358, hadeeth no. 3836. The editor of Al-Mishkaat said, its isnad is hasan)
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    3 - At the Time of Death, a Person Wishes to go Back

    When death comes, a person will wish to go back to this world, so that if he was a kaafir he might become Muslim, and if he was a sinner he might repent.

    Until, when death comes to one of them (those who join partners with Allah), he says: 'My Lord! Send me back So that I may do good in that which I have left behind!' No! It is but a word that he speaks; and behind them is a Barzakh (a barrier) until the Day when they will be resurrected.

    (Qur'aan 23: 99-100)

    Faith will not be accepted when death comes, and repentance will be of no avail once the death rattle sounds in the throat.

    Allah accepts only the repentance of those who do evil in ignorance and foolishness and repent soon afterwards; it is they whom Allah will forgive and Allah is Ever All-Knower, All-Wise. And of no effect is the repentace of those who continue to do evil deeds until death faces one of them and he says: 'Now I repent;' nor of those who die while they are disbelievers. For them We have prepared a painful torment.

    (Qur'aan 4: 17-18)


    Al-Haafiz Ibn Katheer quotes several ahaadeeth which indicate that Allah will accept a person's repentance when death is approaching, so long as the stage of the death rattle has not yet been reached.

    "Allah will accept the slave's repentance so long as the death rattle has not yet sounded."

    This is narrated by Tirmidhi and Ibn Maajah.


    (Tafseer Ibn Katheer 3/224)


    Everyone who repents before he dies has repented soon afterwards, but the condition of repentance is truthful sincerity, and a person may not be able to repent properly when he is going through this agony and terror. So man must hasten to repent before the appointed time comes.
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    4 – The Believer’s Joy at Meeting His Lord

    [FONT=&quot]When the angels of the Most Merciful come to the believing slave with glad tidings from Allah, his joy and happiness are apparent. But in the case of the kaafir and evildoer, his distress, grief and exhaustion are obvious. Therefore, when the believing slave is dying, he longs to meet Allah, but the disbeliever or evildoer does not want to meet Allah. Anas bin Maalik narrated from ‘Ubaadah ibn as-Saamit that the Prophet [/FONT][FONT=&quot][/FONT][FONT=&quot]said:[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]“Whoever loves to meet Allah, Allah loves to meet him, and whoever hates to meet Allah, Allah hates to meet him.”[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]‘Aa’ishah or one of his wives said,[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]“We do not like death.”[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]He said,[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]“That is not what I meant. But when the believer is dying, he is given glad tidings of the pleasure and honouring of Allah, so there is nothing dearer to him than what lies ahead of him. So he loves to meet Allah and Allah loves to meet him. But when the kaafir is dying, he is given glad tidings of Allah’s punishment and torment, so that nothing is more hated by him that what lies ahead of him. So he hates to meet Allah and Allah hates to meet him.”[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot](Bukhari, Kitaab ar-Riqaaq, Baab man ahabba liqaa’ Allah ahabba Allah liqaa’ahu. See Fath al-Baari, 11/357)[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Hence the righteous person asks the people who are carrying him to hasten in bringing him to his grave, because he is longing for the blessings, whilst the sinner cries out bewailing the fate to which he is going. In Bukhari and Sunan an-Nasaa’i it is narrated that Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri (radhiyAllahu anh) related:[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]“The Messenger of Allah [/FONT][FONT=&quot][/FONT][FONT=&quot]said:[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]“When the men carry the deceased on their shoulders, if he was righteous, he says, ‘Take me quickly!’ But if he was not righteous, he says, ‘O’ woe! Where are they taking me?’ Everything hears his voice except for man, and if man were to hear it, he would fall unconscious.”[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot](Bukhari, Kitaab al-Jazaa’iz, Qawl al-Mayyit wa huwa ‘alal-Janaazah Qaddimooni. Fath al-Baari, 3/184. Also narrated by Nasaa’i in Kitaab al-Janaa’iz, Bab as-Sur’ah fil Janaazah, 4/41)[/FONT]
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    5 - The Presence of Shaytaan at the Time of Death

    When death comes, the Shaytaan is keen not to let the person escape from him. Muslim narrated from Jaabir ibn 'Abdullah that the Messenger of Allah said:

    "The Shaytaan is present with anyone of you in all his affairs. He is present even when he is eating, so if any one of you drops a piece of food, let him clean off any dirt that may be on it and eat it, and not leave it for the Shaytaan. When he has finished eating, let him lick his fingers, for he does not know in which part of the good the barakah (blessing) his."

    Our scholars mentioned that during those critical moments (of death), the Shaytaan comes to a person in the form of his father or mother, or some other loved one who sincerely care for him, advising him and calling him to follow Juadaism or Christianity or some other principles that go against Islam. Then those for whom Allah has decreed doom deviate (from the truth).

    [FONT=&quot](Tadhkirat al-Qurtubi, 33)[/FONT]


    This is what is meant in the aayah:

    Our Lord! Let not our hearts deviate (from the truth) after You have guided us, and grant us mercy from You. Truly, You are the Bestower.

    [FONT=&quot](Qur'aan 3: 8)[/FONT]

    'Abdullah, the son of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal said:

    "My father was dying, and I had in my hand a piece of cloth with which to bind his beard. He was drifting in and out of consciousness, and gesturing with his hand to say 'No, no.' He did this several times, and I said to him, 'O' my father, what was that?'

    He said,

    'The Shaytaan was standing near me, biting his fingertips (i.e. trying hard) and saying, 'Come on, Ahmad!' and I was saying 'No, no,' - until he died."

    [FONT=&quot](Ibid, 34)[/FONT]

    Qurturbi said:

    "I heard our shaykh, Imam Abul-'Abbaas Ahmad ibn 'Umar al-Qurturbi, saying, 'I visited a brother of our shaykh, Abu Ja'far Ahmad ibn Muhammad al-Qurturbi in Qurtubah (Cordova), when he was dying. It was said to him, "Say Laa ilaaha illallah," and he was saying "No, no." When he came to consciousness, we mentioned that to him.

    He said,


    "Two devils came to me on my right and my left. One of them was saying, 'Die as a Jew, for it is the best of religions,' and the other was saying, 'Die as a Christian, for it is the best of religions,' and I was saying to them, 'No, no'''...''''

    But this does not necessarily happen in every case, as Ibn Taymiyyah said. Some people may be tempted to follow other religions before they die, and others may not be tempted in this manner. This happend to some people. All of these are among the trails of life and death which we are commanded to seek refuge from in our prayer.

    [FONT=&quot](Majmoo' al-Fataawa, 4/255)[/FONT]


    Shaykh Ibn Taymiyyah mentioned that the Shaytaan is at his most keen to mislead a person at the time of death, because it is such a critical time. In support of this view he quoted the hadeeth which is narrated in As-Saheeh:

    "It is man's final deed (before death) that counts."

    And he said:

    [FONT=&quot]
    "A person may do the deed of the people of Paradise until there is no more than a cubit between him and it, then the decree overtakes him and he does an action of the people of Hell and thus enters it (Hell). Or a person may do the deeds of the people of Hell until there is no more than a cubit between him and it, then the decree overtakes him and he does an action of the people of Paradise and thus he enters it (Paradise)."

    Hence it is narrated that "the Shaytaan tries his hardest to tempt the son of Adam at the time of death, and he says to his helpers,

    [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]'Try to catch this one, for if he gets away you will never catch him'"[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

    [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot](Ibid 256)[/FONT]
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    6 - Causes of a Bad End

    Some of those who appear to be Muslims and act in accordance with Islaam come to a bad end - we seek refuge in Allah from that. This bad end may be apparent in the case of some when they are dying. Siddeeq Hasan Khan discussed the issue of a bad end, and said: "There are reasons for this of which the believer must remain very cautious."

    (Yaqzah Ooli al-I'tibaar, 211)

    Then he mentioned these reasons as follows:
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    (1) Corruption in one's belief. (Aqeedah)

    Even if a person is perfect in his asceticism and conduct, but there is something incorrect in his belief which he is convinced is right and he clings to that belief without thinking that he is mistaken, that false belief may become apparent when he is dying. This incorrect belief may have the effect of destroying the rest of his beliefs at the time of death. If his soul departs before he realises and is able to come back to true faith, then this will be a bad end for him, and he will depart from this world not as a believer. Thus he will be one of those of whom Allah (subhaanahu wa ta'aala) says:

    ...And there will become apparent to them from Allah what they had been reckoning.

    (Qur'aan 39: 47)

    Say (O' Muhammad): 'Shall We tell you the greatest losers in respect of (their) deeds? Those whose efforts have been wasted in this life while they thought that they were acquiring good by their deeds.

    (Qur'aan 18: 103-104)


    Everyone who believes in something incorrectly, whether it is the matter of personal opinion or the matter of following other people who believe it in that way, is in great danger, and his asceticism and righteousness will be of no benefit to him. The only thing that will benefit him is correct belief which is in accordance with the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger, because the only religious beliefs which count are those which are taken from these sources.
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    (2) Persisting in sin

    Whoever persists in sin gets used to it, and everything that a man gets used to in his life will come back to him at the time of his death. If he was more inclined towards acts of worship, then what he will remember most at the time of death is those acts of worship. If he was more inclined towards sin, then what he will remember most at the time of death is his sin. It may preoccupy him so much at the time of death that it may prevent him from repenting, so he is chained by it and it forms a barrier between him and his Lord, and it becomes a cause of his being doomed at the end of his life.

    The Prophet :saw: said,

    "Sin is the harbinger of kufr."

    The one who does not commit a sin at all, or who commits sin but then repents, is far removed from this danger. But the one who commits many sins, until they outnumber his acts of obedience, and does not repent from them, but rather persists in sin, is in great danger, because his being so used to sin may become the cause of the image of those sins appearing in his mind and his being inclined towards them. So his soul is taken when he is in that state, so that it becomes the cause of his bad end.

    This may be understood by means of an analogy. Undoubtedly, what man sees in his dreams are things that he is used to in his life. Hence the one who has spent his life in the pursuit of knowledge sees in his deams things that have to do with knowledge and scholars. The one who has spent his life as a tailor sees things that have to do with sewing and tailors. In his deams, one only sees the things that one is used to because one has dealt with them for a long time. Death is more intense than sleep, but its stupor with its associated unconsciousness is akin to sleep. If a person has been to committing sin for a long time, this means that he will remember it at the time of death; it will come back to his mind and he will feel an inclination towards it. If his soul is taken at that point, his end will be a bad one.


    Ad-Dhahabi said in Al-Kabaa'ir:

    "Mujaahid said: there is no one who dies, but his companions with whom he used to sit appear to him. One of those people who used to play chess was dying, and it was said to him, 'Say Laa ilaaha illAllah.'


    He said,

    'Checkmate!'


    Then he died. The words that he used to say in his life whilst playing chess came to his tongue, instead of uttering the word of Tawheed, he said

    'Checkmate!'"


    It is narrated that another man used to sit with wine-drinkers. When he was dying, a man came and urged him to say the shahaadah. He said to him,

    'Drink and pour me some,' then he died.

    There is no power and no strength except with Allah, the Exalted, the Almighty.

    (Al-Kabaa'ir by Ad-Dhahabi, p. 91)
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    (3) Turning away from righteousness

    (Yaqzah Ooli al-I'tibaar, p. 212)

    If a man was righteous in the beginning, then he changed and turned away from that, this will be a cause of his having a bad end, like Iblees who at first was the leader and teacher of the angels, and strove the hardest in worship, then when he was commanded to prostrate to Adam he refused and was arrogant, and become one of the disbelievers. And Bal'aam ibn Baa'oor to whom Allah gave His signs but he threw them away and preferred this world, and followed his own whims and desires, so he was one of those who went astray.

    And Barseesa the worshipper, to whom the Shaytaan said,


    "Disbelieve", and when he disbelieved, the Shaytaan said,

    "I have nothing to do with you; I fear Allah, the Lord of the Worlds."


    The Shaytaan led him astray and caused him to disbelieve, but when he disbelieved, he declared that he had nothing to do with him, lest he share in the punishment. But that was of no avail, because Allah (subhaanahu wa'ta aa'la) says:


    So the end of both will be that they will be in the Fire, abiding therein. Such is the recompense of the Zaalimoon (i.e. polytheists, wrongdoers, disbelievers in Allah and in His Oneness).

    (Qur'aan 59: 17)

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