The Stupor of Death

Death is a mystery and an illusion to all human beings and irrespective of color, nationality, ethnic, social, economic, or religious background. The Process of death that every person will go through is also a taboo, which is not really discussed on a normal basis, nor is it easy to write about, or even to go through. Since everyone is to taste death, its taste would be bitter, sour, or sweet, depending on the individuals relationship with Allah (The Creator).

The following is a summary of the verses revealed in the Qur’an about the process of death and the pain that a person has to go through.

In Surah or chapter Qaf, Allah (swt) informs us that the state of death is a state of unconsciousness. The Qur’an states the following:  And the stupor of death comes in truth. “This was the thing which you were trying to escape!” [50:19]

Yusuf Ali in his explanatory note to the above (#4955) says the following:

What is Stupor unconsciousness to this probationary life will be the Opening of the eyes to the next world: for Death is the Gateway between the two. Once through that Gateway man will realize how the things which he neglected or looked upon as remote are the intimate Realities, and the things which seemed to loom large in his eyes in this world were shadows that have fled. The things he wanted to avoid are the things that have really come to pass. Both Good and Evil will realize the Truth now in its intensity.

In Surah Al-An’am (The Cattle), Allah (swt) informs us about the agonies of death. The Qur’an states the following:

If you could but see how the wicked (do fare) in the agonies of death! -the angels stretch forth their hands; (Saying), “Yield up your souls: this day shall you receive your reward -a chastisement of disgrace for that you used to tell lies against Allah and scornfully to reject of His Signs!” [6:93]

In Surah Al-Waqi’ah (The Inevitable Event), Allah (swt) teaches us that when the soul reaches the throat, no one can bring life back. The Qur’an is explicit about this idea:

Then why do you not (intervene) when (the soul of the dying man) reaches the throat, -And you all the while (sit) looking on, -But We are nearer to him than you, and yet you see not -Then why do you not, -if you are exempt from (future) account -Call back the soul, if you are true (in your claim of independence)? [56:83-87]

In Surah Al-Qiyanlah (The Resurrection) Allah (swt) stresses the idea about the pain of death. The Qur’an states the following:

Yes, when (the soul) reaches to the collar-bone (in its exit) And there will be a cry, “Who is an enchanter (to restore him)?” And he will think that it was (the time) of Parting; And one leg will be joined with another: That day the drive will be (all) to your Lord!” [75:26-30]

EXPRESSIONS AT TIME OF DEATH

Death Experiences Of The Scholars

Abu Bakr

1. When the first Khalifa, Abu Bakr (R), was dying, his daughter, Aisha (R), recited a poem. He told her to recite a Verse from the Qur’an in Surah Qaf:

“And the stupor of death come in truth. “This was the thing which you were trying to escape!” [50:19]

He told her to pick up his two pieces of clothing (thawb), wash them, and then use them as his funereal attire. He said:

“It is more important for the living to have new clothing than the dead.”

When his relatives found out that he was very sick, they asked if they could bring a doctor to look at him.

He said that the Doctor (Allah (swt)) had already seen him, and had told him:

“You are to do what you want…”

Imam Al-Hussein

It was narrated by Muhammad the son of Imam Al-Hassan that:

When Imam Hussein recognized that people had already surrounded him, he recognized that surely he was going to be killed. He said to his companions:

“You have seen what is going on . . Life has changed.. People are full of ingratitude…Favors don’t exist. . My life is like someone on an unhealthy farm . . Don’t you see that Truth (Haqq) is not being practiced. . Falsehood is not corrected . . Therefore, a Mumin (Strong Believer) loves to meet Allah (swt). I see death as a happiness, and life with criminals as a crime.”

Imam Abu Hanifah

Imam Abu Hanifa refused to be a judge, but the government insisted and he refused. He was beaten with a whip several times. He was badly hurt and used to cry. One used to see the marks on his belly from the beating. When he continued to refuse, they imprisoned him and denied him food and water. He refused to accept the job of a judge. Then he was given poison, which he felt after eating the food.

Finally he made a Dua (Prayer): “O Allah, protect me from this mischief.”

When death approached him, he prayed, and died while he was making Sajda (Prostration in prayer). When they were washing his body before the burial, they found that he had become extremely thin… It was due to praying and fasting.

Imam Shafi’ee

Imam Shafi’ee had hemorrhoids for a long period of time. He had an acute case with blood flowing heavily till he became very weak. He died at an age of fifty-four years.

At the time of his death, one of his students by the name of Al-Mazni asked him about his health. He replied:

I am leaving this world … I am departing from my friends… I am to taste death… To Allah I am going …I don’t know whether my soul will go to Paradise and then I should congratulate it, or to hell so that I will console it.

Then he cried. A friend of his by the name of Yunus Ibn Abd Al-A’Iaa came  to him. Imam Shafi’ee requested him to read from Surah Al-Imran, Verse 120 and after, beginning with, “Don’t leave me, I am distressed…”

Imam Bukhari 

Imam Bukhari was born in 194 Hijra (Migration) and he died in 256 Hijra during the Abbasid dynasty in Baghdad. His name was Muhammad Ismail.. . He was ordered by the Amir of Bukhara to leave the city and live in exile. He went to the town of Khartank, close to the city of Samarqand, where some of his relatives were living. Some families wanted him to be the Khateeb (Minister) while others refused. While waiting for peaceful negotiations to conclude, he got uneasy. He prayed Tahajjud and made a Du’a':

“O Allah! The whole earth is like a jail. Please take me to you.”

In the same month he got sick. The night of Eid ul Fitr he got really sick and started to sweat profusely -this state continued until he died. When he was buried, a very good smell, like Musk perfume, came from his grave.


“These parables are reminders to the believers in God to prepare our souls for the ultimate moment of our journey back to God, and to help us cope with the realities of death for our loved ones. “Death is the ultimate alarm clock; It wakes you up.”

Source: Death & Dying by Ahmad H. Sakr, Ph.D. Dr. Sakr is an Islamic Scholar and Clergymen who conducts services for Muslim Americans in the Anaheim, California area. He has authored many books on the Islamic concepts of life and living.

Death and Dying
271 pgs. – by Dr. Ahmad Hussein Sakr
Price: $10
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This book covers various topics such as Human Life Cycle, Funeral Practice, Death of Prophet Muhammad, Life in the Grave, Death Inquiries, etc.


By: ahmad h. sakr | Source: IslamiCity | Category: Americas, Articles, Faith, Featured, Society | Topic: death | Views: 20,810 | Comments: 16

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16 Comments

  1. Yeah, we all are afraid to die and thats why I do not see any comments in this section. Thanks for the reminder brother. Muslims are always trying to avoid death, and that is the reason we are constantly bombed/killed and ridiculed by the infidels.

    Interestingly, I do not see a comment from Mr. Ramesh Chander…who is always first when it comes to defend isralel and US. Is he free from death? …..

  2. Great article, it makes you not so afraid to die. To know that the

    great leaders of the past were not afraid either. With Allah in our

    hearts and minds there is never anything to fear about dying.

  3. Salam,

    Sometimes it’s gd tt we need to read tis kind of articles/ book ..just as reminder for us cas life in tis world is just a temporary..remind us are we ready ? how is our preparations in tis world as a khalifah in tis world..wat re we going to bring? to face HIM..

    Wasssalam

    Nor

  4. Death is interesting because at least i know im on my way to see Allah…….but im happy to be alive too at least i can try my best to do good deeds and when i die i hope i got something to show Allah …….what a good servant i am.

    I cant wait to see how heaven looks like…….god willing i hope my journey will take me there.

  5. Assalamu’alaikum,

    This was certainly a reminder for me; I know death is near somewhere in a distance in my mind, but reminders like this draw it much closer.

  6. Assalam Aleakum,

    Death is unavoidable, death is reality, death is the end of the story of life.

    I try to read duas all the time who knows when my time come and I won’t get chance to praise my Allah.

    I can’t wait to meet AllMighty Allah…… because He is the One we all have to turn…

    Allah hafiz,

  7. yes u r absolutely right,our eyes are closed even if they are open, but death is something we all have to taste sooner or later we should all beg for forgiveness from Allah swt every second of our lives, May Allah forgive us

  8. Blessed is the Being in whose control is all Kingdom (everything in the Universe) and has power over everything. He has created death and life to test (and find out)who is of the best of conduct.We are therefore here for a test.Those who pass their exams would be entitled to get the pleasure of Allah which is Paradise while unfortunately those who fail would be condemned to eternal damnation in hell. So being rich does not make you successfull or being poor does not make you a failure.We are only being examined by our Creator through the creation of death and life which we all go through.We must make effort for our exams in this world and get result after death The Companions clearly understood the message and they prepared before their death welcomming the Angel of death with open arms. Muaz Bin Jabal (R.A)who prepared for his death welcomed the Angel of death at the doorstep of his house appologising saying that he was sorry as there was nothing to eat although he was a top government official.They made the life hereafter their purpose preparing to die unlike us who hate to hear or discuss about this Creation death.Every one will taste this death including the Angel of death himself.The only one and THE ONLY who would never taste death is the Creator of death itself Allah (S.W.T).

    It is so unfortunate to see human worshipping idols or other creations made by him that would neither benefit nor harm him.Due to superstition and unfounded fear the humanity has sank to the lowest abyss of ignorence.Not talk of worshipping idols or other creations even worshipping the best of creation would not be tolerated by the Creator simply because such a person is not Allah Himself the Creator.If he is a human being he has the necessity which other human beings have such needs such as food sleep and eventually dies.Therefore is not worthy of worship eventhough he may be a Prophet or an Angel a Jinn or any of the Creations of Allah (Taala)who the Creator of all including death.

  9. assalamu’alaikum..I say jazakillah.it can remind me something must i face in the future.absolutely right,that death is about mistery.no body knows,then we must prepare to get it.by “taqwallah” we will always get a victory.prepare your self guys, and Allah always loves us..amien

  10. alsalam alikoum and greetings, death is the end, but there is another begin, is it hell or paradise? what are u waiting for? lets strive to get allah’s forgiveness.

  11. Great article Mashallah. Just wanted to point out a little typo , in 7 th paragraph

    author meant Surah Qiyamah, ( resurrection ) surah # 75. Not Surah Qiyanla( no

    such surah exist in the Quran.

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