Pearl of Wisdom

'We do not accept the gift of a polytheist.'

Prophet Muhammad al-Mustafa [sawa]
Kanz al-'Ummal, nos. 14475,14479

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Library » Death & The Hereafter » Death According to Deeds
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Appearance of Israel According To The Deeds Of The Dying Person

A matter pertaining to the angel of death is that when he comes to take the soul of any person he assumes a face fitting with the deeds of the dying person.

It is mentioned in narrations that once Ibrahim (a.s.) asked, the angel of death: What shape do you assume while fetching the soul of a Kafir (unbeliever denier)? The angel replied: You will not be able to look at that frightening shape. The friend of God repeated: I intend to see it. Then he saw that that angel appeared him in the form of a black man. His hair was standing on its end all over his body. Very foul smell was emanating from that frightening figure. His clothes were dark and flames were leaping out from his mouth and nose and so also smoke. Ibrahim (a.s.) became unconscious. When he came to sense he said: Even if the Kafir is not at all given any punishment only seeing you in this form is enough torture for him. Contrary to it the shape in which the angel of death appears before a believer has been mentioned in a number of hadiths. (Biharul Anwaar, Vol: 3, Chapter: Malak-ul-Maut).

Arrival Of Angels And Satans At The Time Of Death

During the last moments of man's life, angles arrive and stand on his right side. Likewise the Satans (devils) also approach him and stand on the left side of the deathbed (Ibid). The job of Satans is to deceive and betray, particularly at the time of death so that, if that person has any faith, it could be destroyed. The scale of man's luck or misfortune is his last word and deed. The way in which he passes his life is the same manner and the state in which he has died, will be his state when he will be made to rise in Qiyamat. (Kamaa…Tub a Soon). His wish at the time of his death will be what it was during his life and so he will die with the same ambitions. If in your heart there was an aspiration to see the handsomeness of Hazrat Amirul Momineen (a.s.) you will be able to observe that beauty at the last moment. But if, God forbid your wish throughout your life was only the fulfillment of desire and passion then that lust of yours will become more intense at the time of death. But the one who had full faith has been given a promise by God that He will protect him and Satan will not be able to gain control over him. (Yusabbitullaah…Aakhirah, S. Ibrahim, V: 27).

When Abu Zakaria Raazi was about to die, those sitting around him asked him to recites: Laa Ilaah Illallaah. He replied: I will not recite. Then he became unconscious. When he gained sense he said: Just now a man had come to me who said: If you wish to be lucky and fortunate then say: “Isa is the son of God.” I said: I will not say. After a number of requests and denials that fellow said: Okay then say: There is no God but Allah. Yet I said: Since you are asking me to say so I will not. Suddenly there appeared a weapon which killed that fellow. Now I am conscious and am reciting the Kalimah. Then he recited Shahaadatain and passed away from this world.

Verily, how Satan can subdue a man who had the believed that there is only one God at the time of his death? Of course the man who had been the follower of devil throughout his life will be a companion of devil on his deathbed also.

Comfort And Discomfort At The Time Of Death

Much has been mentioned in narrations about comfort and discomfort at the time of death. In some, it (the trouble or pain) has been compared with the pain experienced when one's skin is dragged out. In some it is said that the death time pain is much less compared to the revolving of a large stony door of a castle having nails, in one's eyes. In yet another narration it is said that the death time pain is like that experienced when one's body is cut into pieces by scissors or torn with a saw. So it has come to notice that some dying persons have suffered pains beyond description which make the observers tremble.

But, on the other hand, for some persons dying has been as pleasing as of smelling a fragrant glower. (Al La Zee Na…Ta'Maloon, S. Nahl: 32).

In some traditions it is mentioned by the impeccable that, for some people, death is like taking off dirty clothes and putting on clean dress. In some other narrations it is compared with liberating the body from chains and yokes, as if death is like being freed from the jail of this material world.

Sometimes Discomfort At The Time Of Death Redeems Sins

The death time discomforts or comforts mentioned above do not represent a hard and fast rule. It is not that a righteous person never experiences death time trouble. There are many a faithful whose soul departs easily. Also there are some good and faithful people who get God's mercy whereby their sins are wiped out through the death time pains and discomforts. This is because though one is faithful, he must also leave the world in a clean state (after removal of the dots of sins) so that he may be clean in the Hereafter also and many become eligible for divine grace right from the first stage of grave. In the case of Kafirs the death time pain is the starting point of his postmortem punishment and tortures. (Fa Kai Ka…Adbaarahum S. Muhammad V: 27).

Comfort On Deathbed, Reward Of Good Deeds Of The Dying Disbeliever (Kafir)

It is also seen sometimes that Kafirs and sinners die easily. It is because they had some good deeds in his life. His soul despairs comfortably so that this account may be cleared in this world (he never believed in the postmortem accounting). So he gets reward here instead of the Hereafter. For example, a man spent his money for some good cause or helped a poor oppressed person. As a reward of this good deed he is given ease at death so that he may get the reward of this good deed in this very world and may have no claim in the Hereafter. It is like the trouble faced by Momin at death time which makes him clean from the impurities of sinning in lifetime. Anyway the fact of the matter is that, for a denier, death is the beginning of his misfortune, be it comfortable or painful. For a faithful both pain as well as ease is the start of bounties and comforts of everlasting nature. So the deathbed condition indicates no fixed rule.

Confiscating A Kafir’s Soul Through Torture

There is a hadith in Biharul Anwaar volume three. According to it once the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) went to visit his cousin brother Ali bin Abi Talib (a.s.). The latter was suffering from an illness of eyes. He was sighing and groaning due to acute pain despite the fact that he was a mountain of patience in bearing troubles. At that time the Holy Prophet gave Ali a frightening news which made the latter forget his pain. The Holy Prophet said: O Ali! The archangel Jibraeel has informed me that when the time of taking soul of a Kafir comes some angels of torture arrive and retrieve his soul hitting him with bars and whips of fire. Ali (a.s.) asked: O Messenger of Allah! Does such a terrible thing happen to anyone from your Ummah also? The Holy Prophet said: Yes, even in Muslims there are three groups whose souls are taken in this harsh manner: First is a tyrant ruler. Second, who eats the wealth of an orphan and the third is the one who gives false witness.

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