Download PDF: [S] The Pangs and Trauma of Death
Sayyiduna Rasoolullah Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam has stated that, “There is no doubt that the severity of death is very much.” (Bukhari Shareef, #4449)
One should be careful and ponder about one’s life. Always prepare for the long journey in the Hereafter. There are only a few days left in the world while the difficulties of death has already been prepared.
Sayyidah Ayesha Radi Allahu ‘Anha narrates that one day she heard Sayyiduna Rasoolullah Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam describe the reward for those who fought in the path of Allah azza wajal and also about the reward which was in store for them in the Hereafter and in Jannah. She asked him, “O Prophet of Allah! Besides the Mujaahideen, are there others in your Ummah who will also receive such reward (in the Hereafter)?” He replied, “Yes, that person who remembers death (at least) twenty times in a day, (he will also receive the same reward like that of the Mujaahideen.)” (Quwatul Qulub, 2/53)
Hadrat Sayyiduna Anas bin Maalik Radi Allahu ‘Anhu narrates that Sayyiduna Rasoolullah Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam has stated that, “There is no home in front of whose door Malakul Maut appears five times a day. When he finds (someone in that house) whose sustenance is complete and his age has come to an end, then he places on that person the sadness of death. His wife whose hair is then dishevelled, who hits her face, who cries out aloud and who complains that she is now destroyed, Malakul Maut says to her, ‘May you be destroyed! Why are you crying? I did not steal any sustenance from anyone and neither have I brought death closer to anyone. I have not appeared without the Divine Permission of Allah azza wajal nor do I take away the soul of any person without the Divine Command of Allah azza wajal. I will also continue to come to your people, until no one among you is alive.”
If you see the state of the deceased person!
Sayyiduna Rasoolullah Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam has stated that, “I swear by that Divine Being in Whose Power is the life of Muhammad! If people are able to see the state of the person who had died and are able to listen to their words, then they will forget about the deceased and start to weep about their own life. Until when the deceased is made to sit up, his soul cries out above him, ‘O my family! Let not the world play with you as it is has played with me. I have gathered Haraam and Halaal wealth and have left this wealth for others. The advantage of (this wealth) is for you and the damage is for me. Whatever has happened to me, you should be cautious (and it should be a lesson for you).’” (Al Futuhaat-e-Makkiyah, 8/465)
It is said that the pangs of death is only understood by that person who has experienced death and has suffered from its pain. It is said that death is worse than been attacked by a sword. It is also said that it is worse than being cut by a scissor or a saw. The pain of death is something which does not end and a person is also unable to call out. A person can scream and shout, yet, no one is there to listen to him.
Do not be oblivious of death!
It is reported that once Sayyiduna Rasoolullah Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam approached a sick person and stated, “Without doubt, I understand his pain, every vein is suffering from the pain of death.”
It is said that before Sayyiduna Rasoolullah Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam passed away, a bowl of water was placed near him. He placed his hands in this bowl of water and placed this on his blessed face and also stated, “There is no deity worthy of worship but Allah azza wajal and without doubt, the pangs of death is very severe.” (Sahih Bukhari, #4448)
In one narration, Sayyiduna Rasoolullah Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam made Du’a, “O Allah! Make the severity of death easy upon me.” (Ihya ul Uloom, 5/210)
Once, when Sayyidah Fatimah Radi Allahu ‘Anha saw the pain experienced by Sayyiduna Rasoolullah Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam near his passing away, she remarked, “O my father! Your pain has indeed made me very sad.” He replied, “After today, there will be no pain on your father.” (Ibn Maja, 1629)
Hadrat Sayyiduna Ali Radi Allahu ‘Anhu used to encourage Jihad by saying, “If you are not martyred, then you will die and I swear by that Divine Being in Whose Power is my life, a thousand blows from a sword is easier to me that dying in one’s bed.” (Ibn Abi Dunya)
Hadrat Sayyiduna Shaddaad bin Aus Radi Allahu ‘Anhu has stated that, “The dangers of death upon the Ahle Imaan is more frightening than all the dangers in both worlds. Death is even more severe than being cut with a scissor, being severed with a saw or being boiled in a pot. If a person who has passed away is able to reveal the difficulty of death to the people of the world, they would not be able to survive and the comfort of sleep will also disappear (from them). (Ibn Abi Dunya)
The experience of Nabi Moosa ‘Alayhis Salaam!
It is said that after Nabi Moosa ‘Alayhis Salaam passed away, his soul presented itself in the Divine Court of Allah azza wajal. Allah azza wajal asked him, “O Moosa! How did you find death?” He replied, “I found myself like a bird when it is placed over a fire to be roasted. It cannot die so that it can gain peace and neither can it escape.” (Ihya ul Uloom)
In another narration, it is mentioned that Nabi Moosa ‘Alayhis Salaam stated, “I found myself like a live sheep whose skin was been peeled away (while still being alive).” (Ihya ul Uloom)
The opinion of Nabi Ebrahim ‘Alayhis Salaam!
It is reported that once, Nabi Ebrahim ‘Alayhis Salaam asked Malakul Maut to reveal to him his actual appearance as he appeared to a sinful people. However, Malakul Muat informed him that he would not be able to stand this sight. However, Nabi Ebrahim ‘Alayhis Salaam informed him that he will certainly be able to withstand this. Hadrat Malakul Maut then asked him to turn away and then asked him to look in his direction. When he looked, he saw a person with an extremely pitch black like face, his hair stood on ends, there was a foul smell coming from him and from his mouth and nostril, smoke and fire also appeared. This was so shocking that Nabi Ebrahim ‘Alayhis Salaam fell to the ground in a swoon. When he came back to consciousness, Hadrat Malakul Maut had come back to his original appearance. He then said, “O Malakul Maut! Merely looking at you in this state would be the greatest punishment for a sinner.” (Ihya ul Uloom).
Once Nabi Ebrahim ‘Alayhis Salaam was passing by a few people who were weeping for someone who had just died. When he saw this, he remarked, “If you people would desist from crying for this deceased person and start to cry for yourselves, it would be better for you. The deceased has also passed through three difficult stages. The first is that he had already seen Malakul Maut, the second is that he has already tasted death and thirdly, he has now no fear of an evil death.”
Therefore, an intelligent person should cry about himself as this is better for him and he should never ever forget that death is always following him.
Death is the best preacher!
O Muslims! There is no better preacher than death. However, you are unable to learn a lesson from this. It is in search of you and you are oblivious of it. Are you under the impression that you will live forever in this world? Everyone will have to face death. Therefore, it is only intelligent that you take some provision for the journey because the caravan, which is death, is already prepared. Do not be deceived by the wonderful colours of the world, this is only temporary. Save yourself from false promises in this world because it is a dangerous poison. How long will you continue to wear the shawl of ignorance? How long will you be deceived by wealth and family? How long will you continue to ignore the Hereafter for this mundane world? How long will you continue to ignore those who have died before you? How long will you continue to ignore the lessons and advice which is given to you?
In Surah Takaathur, the Qur’an declares that:
اَلْہٰىکُمُ التَّکَاثُرُ ۙ﴿۱﴾ حَتّٰی زُرْتُمُ الْمَقَابِرَ ؕ﴿۲﴾ کَلَّا سَوْفَ تَعْلَمُوۡنَ ۙ﴿۳﴾ ثُمَّ کَلَّا سَوْفَ تَعْلَمُوۡنَ ؕ﴿۴﴾
“Piling of more wealth has kept you heedless. Till you saw your graves. Yes, soon you will come to know. Again, yes, soon you will come to know.”
This is the reason that Sayyiduna Rasoolullah Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam has given us advice that we should seek protection in Allah azza wajal from the punishment of the grave. People will only come to know the folly of their lives when they see the insides of the grave and are able to see the Munkar and Nakeer.
The soul of the believer and the disbeliever
Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Umar Radi Allahu ‘Anhu states that, “When a believer is placed in the grave, then his grave is expanded seventy lengths in length and breadth. A cool and scented breeze appears in his grave. He is adorned with silk clothing. If in his Book of Deeds, there is some recital of the Qur’an, then this Nur fills his grave. He is a like a bride and is only awakened by someone he is waiting for and he awakes is such a state while he is half asleep. As for the Faajir and sinner and a Kaafir, his grave is constrained. His ribs are broken. Large snakes with necks as long as camels are let loose in his grave. They consume his flesh and nothing is left but his bones. Then blind and deaf Angels are left to punish him with rods of iron. They are unable to hear the screams of the person, hence they do not feel any sympathy. Every morning and evening, he is dipped in the fire.” (May Allah azza wajal protect us from this, Ameen) (Musannaf Abdur Razak)
Sayyiduna Rasoolullah Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam has stated that when a person is lowered into the grave, then the grave addresses him. ‘O man! May you be destroyed. Why did you ignore me? Did you not realise that I am a house of fitnah, I am a house of darkness. What therefore was the reason that you walked upon me in pride and boast?’ If the person was a good person, an Unseen Voice informs the grave, ‘If this person was that person who commanded good and prohibited evil, then what will be your affair with him?’ The grave replies, ‘If this is the case, I will become a garden for him.’ That person’s body then becomes Nur and his soul travels to the Divine Court of the Allah azza wajal.” (Al Mo’jum Kabeer, #942)
The call of the grave and Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Uthman Ghani Radi Allahu ‘Anhu
Hadrat Sayyiduna Ka’ab states that, “The grave calls out five times a day, ‘O man! You walk upon me and yet, my stomach will be your ultimate destination. O man! You walk upon me laughing and joyous, yet, inside me, you will weep. O man! Above me, you consume Haraam, very soon, inside me, you will be consumed by worms. O man! Above me, you are celebrate in happiness, yet, very soon you will be full of sorry inside me.’”
Someone once asked a pious person, “How are you?” He replied, “How is the condition of that person who undertakes a journey without any provision? Tomorrow when Malakul Maut approaches, I will have no proof against him as for that person who lives alone in the grave without any helpers, what is his condition?”
It is reported that whenever Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Uthman Ghani Radi Allahu ‘Anhu used to stand near any grave, he used to weep so much that his beard became wet. It was told to him, “You do not weep so much when mention is made of Jannah and Hell and yet when you stand near the grave of anyone, you weep in excess. What is the reason for this?” Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Uthman Ghani Radi Allahu ‘Anhu replied, “I have heard Sayyiduna Rasoolullah Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam mention that, ‘Without doubt the first stage to the Hereafter is the grave. If a person acquires success, then the affairs after this would be easy. If he does not attain salvation from this, then the affairs after this would be extremely difficult.” (Tirmidhi Shareef, #2307)
O Muslims! Protect yourselves from being misled from the right path or that you forget the promise of making Taubah for your sins. As quick as possible, create sincerity in your heart. In every action, remember its consequences. Continue to make Shukr to Allah azza wajal and continue to worship Him. Be careful that while those who are obedient are been rewarded, you are not left behind.
When the soul leaves the body!
It is mentioned that when the soul leaves the body, then seven days passes. It then calls out in the Divine Court of Allah azza wajal, “O My Creator! Please allow me to see the state of my body.” It is then given permission. It looks at its body from a distance whether it has changed and whether water is appearing from its nose, its mouth and from its eyes. It then says to the body, “After being so handsome and good looking, this is now your state?” It then leaves that place.
After another seven days, after getting permission, it again visits the body. It looks at the body from a distance. It sees that water is coming from the mouth of the body his blood is filled with pus, the water appearing from the eyes is pus and the water appearing from the nose is nothing but blood. It then says to the body, “This is now your state?” After saying this, it leaves the place.
After another seven days, after receiving permission, it again visits the body and looks at it from a distance. It notices that the eyes have sunk into the face, the flesh have turned to worms and worms appear from its nose and enter its nostrils. It then says to the body, “After swimming in enjoyment, this is now your state?”
O Muslims! Look carefully at your present state! What will happen to you after death? You will also not be able to come back to the earth. Yet, sadly, many people are unaware of this. People keep long hopes and ambitions and the ears of many people refuse to seek advice. By Allah! Piety and good deeds have always been of immense benefit in the grave.
The advice of Nabi Ebrahim ‘Alayhis Salaam
Once it was asked of Nabi Ebrahim ‘Alayhis Salaam that he give people some advice and from which people would be able to gain benefit.
“When you see people busy in the affairs of the world, then you should become busy in the affairs of the Hereafter. When you see them busy beautifying their outer self, then you should busy yourself beautifying your inner self. When you see people building their mansions and bungalows, then you should busy yourself building your grave. When you see people searching for the faults of others, then you should busy yourself by looking for your own faults. When you see people serving people, then you should busy yourself serving the Lord of all creation.”
Sayyiduna Rasoolullah Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam has stated that, “A person becomes old but there are two things which remain young. They are greed and long hopes (and ambition).” (Sahih Muslim, #1047)
The greed of Bani Adam
Sayyiduna Rasoolullah Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam has stated that, “If the son of Adam has two valleys of gold, still too, he will long for a third. The stomach of the ibn Adam will only be filled with the sand of the grave.” (Sahih Muslim, #1048)
Hadrat Sayyiduna ibn ‘Umar Radi Allahu ‘Anhuma narrates that once Sayyiduna Rasoolullah Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam held a certain part of his clothing and said to him, “Live in the world like a stranger and live a traveller and include yourself among the people of the grave.” (ibn Maja, #4114)