Friday, 3 July 2009

Death in Islam part 1

With the unexpected demise of Michael Jackson, it makes one ponder about one's own lifespan. Was MJ's death really premature? All of us were born with our time of death fixed.

"Nor can a soul die except by Allah’s leave, the term being fixed by writing..." (Qur'an Al-Imran 3:145)

You have asked from Allah about durations of life already set, and the length of days already allotted and the sustenance the share of which has been fixed. Allah would not do anything earlier before its due time, or He would not delay anything beyond its due time. (Muslim)

People die everyday. No one is certain of when his/her time will come. The only thing one is certain of is that every one will die.

"Every soul shall taste death. And We test you by evil and by good by way of trial. To Us must you return." (al-Anbiyaa 21:36)

"Wherever you are, death will find you out. Even if you are in towers built up strong and high." (al-Nisaa 4:78)

'Abdullah bin 'Umar said, "Allah's Apostle took hold of my shoulder and said, 'Be in this world as if you were a stranger or a traveler." The sub-narrator added: Ibn 'Umar used to say, "If you survive till the evening, do not expect to be alive in the morning, and if you survive till the morning, do not expect to be alive in the evening, and take from your health for your sickness, and (take) from your lifefor your death."

Allah explains to us that our life is a trial and our purpose is to worship Allah (swt) and to enjoin good.

"O you who believe fear Allah as He should be feared and die not except in the state of Islam" (al-Imran 3:102)

Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) recommended that we remember death often:

“Make mention of the destroyer of desires (i.e. death) very often.” (Tirmidhi)

However we should never wish for death:

Allah's Apostle said, "None of you should long for death, for if he is a good man, he may increase his good deeds, and if he is an evil-doer, he may stop the evil deeds and repent." (Bukhari)

Allah's Apostle said," None of you should long for death because of a calamity that had befallen him, and if he cannot, but long for death, then he should say, 'O Allah! Let me live as long as life is better for me, and take my life if death is better for me.' "