Matters concerning death!
‘I told him not to go there but he went. If he had heeded to my advice, he would have been alive now’.
‘If they had been with us, they would not have been killed’.
These are the talks of unbelievers, and it is kufr to talk like that.
As a Muslim we have to firmly believe that Allah is the Giver of Life (Al-Muh’yee) and the Causer of Death, Al Mumeet. That death happens at its appointed time and place, and no man has any business to meddle with the affairs of Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’aala. The next ayah, dear brothers and sisters, with the lovely address Yaaa Ayyahul Lazeena Aamanu is about death and its reality.
“O you who have believed, do not be like those who disbelieved and said about their brothers when they traveled through the land or went out to fight, “If they had been with us, they would not have died or have been killed,” so Allah makes that [misconception] a regret within their hearts. And it is Allah who gives life and causes death, and Allah is Seeing of what you do.” (Surah Aali Imran 3: 156)
Some Points to Think and Act Upon:
1. We are commanded not utter statements as uttered by disbelievers when it comes to matters concerning life and death.
In the following hadeeth, the glorious Messenger of Allah, sal-lal-laahu-alaihi-wa-sallam, has given a beautiful advice to his followers in his own inimitable style:
Abu Hurairah reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying:
A strong believer is better and is more lovable to Allah than a weak believer, and there is good in everyone, (but) cherish that which gives you benefit (in the Hereafter) and seek help from Allah and do not lose heart, and if anything (in the form of trouble) comes to you, don’t say: If I had not done that, it would not have happened so and so, but say: Allah did that what He had ordained to do and your” if” opens the (gate) for the Satan.” Read Arabic Text Here
2. The time of death is destined by Allah, the Giver of life, and the Taker of life. Neither the time of death can be advanced, nor can it be postponed.
وَلَوْ يُؤَاخِذُ اللَّهُ النَّاسَ بِظُلْمِهِمْ مَا تَرَكَ عَلَيْهَا مِنْ دَابَّةٍ وَلَٰكِنْ يُؤَخِّرُهُمْ إِلَىٰ أَجَلٍ مُسَمًّى ۖ فَإِذَا جَاءَ أَجَلُهُمْ لَا يَسْتَأْخِرُونَ سَاعَةً ۖ وَلَا يَسْتَقْدِمُون
“Were Allah to take people to task for their wrong-doing, He would not have spared even a single living creature on the face of the earth. But He grants them respite until an appointed term. And when that term arrives, they have no power to delay it by a single moment, nor to hasten it.” (Surah an-Nahl 16: 61)
3. The Place where one will die is already decided by Allah. None except Allah knows the place of every man’s death.
…وَمَا تَدْرِي نَفْسٌ بِأَيِّ أَرْضٍ تَمُوتُ …
“…No soul knows in which land he will die…” (Surah Luqmaan 31:34)
We must realise and understand very well that Allah drives a person out of his house and takes him to a place where he is destined to die, and he dies there.
… قُلْ لَوْ كُنْتُمْ فِي بُيُوتِكُمْ لَبَرَزَ الَّذِينَ كُتِبَ عَلَيْهِمُ الْقَتْلُ إِلَىٰ مَضَاجِعِهِمْ ۖ ….
“….Say: ‘Even if you had been in your houses, those for whom slaying had been appointed would have gone forth to the places where they were to be slain….’ (Surah Aali Imran 3: 154)
4. Death is certain. None can escape death. So I and you must be wise enough to prepare for the life after death.
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَلْتَنْظُرْ نَفْسٌ مَا قَدَّمَتْ لِغَدٍ ۖ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ
“O Believers! fear Allah and let every person look and consider what he sent for tomorrow (i.e. Day of Judgement) Fear Allah; Allah is well aware of all that you do.” (Surah al Hashr 59: 18)
5. Most important thing for a Muslim is to die in the state of Imaan.
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ وَلَا تَمُوتُنَّ إِلَّا وَأَنْتُمْ مُسْلِمُونَ
“Believers! Fear Allah as He should be feared, and see that you do not die save in the state of submission to Allah.” (Surah Aali Imran 3: 102)
This ayah, along with other verses, is recited during Nikkah, marriage sermon. Brides and bridegrooms are reminded of death even during the happiest occasion of their life: Your happiness is not permanent. Nor is your life! Prefer that which is permanent over that which is transitory.
بَلْ تُؤْثِرُونَ الْحَيَاةَ الدُّنْيَا
وَالْآخِرَةُ خَيْرٌ وَأَبْقَىٰ
“Nay! but you prefer the present life, whereas the Hereafter is better and longer lasting.” (Surah al Alaa 87: 16-17)
6. a. We Muslims must offer the following supplication every now and then, not necessarily only during Janazah prayer!
اللَّهُمَّ مَنْ أَحْيَيْتَهُ مِنَّا فَأَحْيِهِ عَلَى الإِسْلامِ ، وَمَنْ تَوَفَّيْتَهُ مِنَّا فَتَوَفَّهُ عَلَى الإِيمَانِ
O Allah! Whoever amongst us lives, let him live in the shade of Islam and whoever amongst us dies, let him die in the state of Imaan.
b. I love this du’aa of Yousuf (alaihis salam). We need to often supplicate to Allah:
فَاطِرَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ أَنْتَ وَلِيِّي فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةِ ۖ تَوَفَّنِي مُسْلِمًا وَأَلْحِقْنِي بِالصَّالِحِينَ
“O Creator of heavens and earth! You are my Guardian in this world and in the Hereafter. Cause me to die in submission to You, and join me, in the end, with the righteous.” (Surah Yusuf 12: 101)
7. Next two verses are so beautiful that they bring the concept of death and going back to Allah in an amazing way:
“And if you are killed in the cause of Allah or die – then forgiveness from Allah and mercy are better than whatever they accumulate [in this world].” (Surah Aali Imran 3: 157)
“And whether you die or are killed, unto Allah you will be gathered.” (Surah Aali Imran 3: 158)
It does not matter whether you are killed or die, either way your return finally is unto Allah. Subhanallah!
May Allah give us the Tawfeeq and Hidayah to live by His guidance and when death strikes us, O Allah! take our soul in the state of Imaan and raise us among the Saliheen in the Hereafter. Aameen.