- Death and Peaceful Death
- Signs of Good Death and Bad Death
- Example of a Good Death
- Example of a Bad Death
- How to Attain a Peaceful Death
Alhamdulillah… All perfect thanks and praise are due to the Almighty Allah Who created death and life, so to test us. I send perfect peace and blessings upon the one who experienced the most peaceful death, our Messenger and Prophet, Sayyindinā Muḥammad, his household, his companions and all those who follow his guided path till end of time.
In our previous three articles, we talked about The First Part of Life, it’s definition and how to live it. We also talked about The Second Part of Life, what it means and how to attain its bliss. The third one was on The Art of Making a Good Legacy, so to continue living on earth even in the absence of your physical body. The objective is to encourage one another to work towards a joyous and blissful destination, that is eternity in Paradise.
The move from the first part of life to the second part requires a transition process, which is known as death. The fact is, the process of death is such a painful experience. It was painful for the chosen Prophets of Allah, what more for others? Having said that, the level of pains one endures during his passing depends on his deeds in his first part of life. And this is eased by planning for it.
This article suggests 6 ways to attaining a peaceful death for the Muslim. The first three are qualities that one must possess by all means. He will have no excuses for not having them if ever he wants a peaceful death. The remaining three add value to the objective of attaining a peaceful death. Before discussing the practical ways to attaining a peaceful death, death and peaceful death are put in perspective. A link to signs of good death is given. And some examples of good and bad deaths are highlighted.
Every woman who has ever experienced natural birth (and any man who has ever witnessed a natural birth) will tell you, that birth is extremely unbearable. However, after the pains comes a lot of joys and laughter.
This is to say; every death is painful. The pious and the righteous will taste the pains of death. The evil and the transgressor will likewise taste the pains of death. However, what happens during the death, i.e. the type of Angels present, and after the death, i.e. how the deceased will be received in his first day in the grave, determines his eternal happiness and success or the otherwise.
Moreover, the nature, in which one dies, does not determine his death as peaceful or non-peaceful. Examples of this are dying in firebreaks, road accidents, assassinations, drowns, on the way or even in one’s bed. However, some deaths are more painful, or should I say, some deaths are less painful than others. The determinant for having a less painful death is the state, in which one passes on. For that Allah emphasizes to us in Sūrah Āli ‘Imrān, 3:102:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّـهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ وَلَا تَمُوتُنَّ إِلَّا وَأَنتُم مُّسْلِمُونَ
“Believers! Fear Allāh as He should be feared, and do not die except as Muslims.”
A peaceful death is that which (despite the stupors) you will encounter and meet Allah with a clean record, forgiven sins, and the paradise awaiting you as your final and eternal abode. In some cases, a dying person will have to endure some extremely unbearable pains, prior to the ordinary death stupors, so he’ll be cleansed and purified before he moves on to the second part of his life.
In the end, a person who encounters a peaceful death is the one who is guided to good deeds towards the end of his life on earth. These good deeds can be anything that invites Allah’s pleasure, including repentance and constant invocation of Allah. In a ḥadīth reported by Imām al-Tirmidhī from the narration of Sayyidunā Anas raḍiya Allāhu ‘anhu, the Prophet ṣallā Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam says:
“إِذَا أَرَادَ اللَّهُ بِعَبْدٍ خَيْرًا اسْتَعْمَلَهُ.” فَقِيلَ كَيْفَ يَسْتَعْمِلُهُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ قَالَ ”يُوَفِّقُهُ لِعَمَلٍ صَالِحٍ قَبْلَ الْمَوْتِ”
“When Allah wants good for a slave, He puts him in action.” It was said: “How does he put him in action O Messenger of Allah?” He said: “By making him meet up with righteous deeds before death.”
In the article, Let’s Talk about the Most Undoubted Reality; Death, we dedicated a section for signs of a good death as well as some other signs of a bad death. Please read the article here.
In the following two sections, I’m sharing two stories about death; one reflects a good death and the other reflects a bad death. May Allah grant all of us a good death and prevent us from a bad death. Please say ‘Amīn!’
If I can recall well, I read the story I’m about to share around 2010 or even earlier. But it still stands as one of the good endings one can have. Inspiring others to Islam, and ending as a true Muslim. I’m putting the story in this article, but you can find it here and elsewhere on the Internet. Please note, that the sister who experienced and wrote the story has passed away in 2010. That was after she had successfully invited her brother, who in response, accepted Islam.
The Story of Cassie, the Nurse and the Aged Muslim Patient
My name is Cassie, I am 23 years old. I graduated as a qualified nurse this year and was given my first position as a home nurse.
My patient was an English gentleman in his early 80s who suffered from Alzheimer’s. In the first meeting, the patient was given his record and from it I could see that he was a convert to the religion of Islam, therefore he was a Muslim.
I knew from this that I would need to take into account some modes of treatment that may go against his faith, and therefore try to adapt my care to meet his needs. I brought in some ‘halal’ meat to cook for him and ensured that there was no pork or alcohol in the premises as I did some research which showed that these were forbidden in Islam.
My patient was in a very advanced stage of his condition so a lot of my colleagues could not understand why I was going through so much effort for him. But I understood that a person who commits to a faith deserves that commitment to be respected, even if they are not in a position to understand.
Anyway, after a few weeks with my patient, I began to notice some patterns of movement. At first, I thought it was some copied motions he’s seen someone doing, but I saw him repeat the movement at particular times; morning, afternoon, evening.
The movements were to raise his hands, bow and then put his head to the ground. I could not understand it. He was also repeating sentences in another language, I couldn’t figure out what language it was as his speech was slurred but I know the same verses were repeated daily.
Also, there was something strange, he didn’t allow me to feed him with my left hand (I am left-handed).
Somehow, I knew this linked to his religion but didn’t know how.
One of my colleagues told me about PalTalk as a place for debates and discussions and as I did not know any Muslims except for my patient I thought it would be good to speak to someone live and ask questions. I went to the Islam section and entered the room ‘True Message’.
Here I asked questions regarding the repeated movements and was told that these were the actions of prayer. I did not really believe it until someone posted a link of the Islamic prayer on YouTube.
I was shocked.
A man who has lost all memory of his children, of his occupation, and could barely eat and drink was able to remember not only actions of prayer but verses that were in another language.
This was nothing short of incredible and I knew that this man was devout in his faith, which made me want to learn more in order to care for him the best I could.
I came into the PalTalk room as often as I could and was given a link to read the translation of the Quran and listen to it.
The chapter of the ‘Bee’ gave me chills and I repeated it several times a day.
I saved a recording of the Qur’an on my iPod and gave it to my patient to listen to, he was smiling and crying, and in reading the translation I could see why.
I applied what I gained from PalTalk to care for my patient but gradually found myself coming to the room to find answers for myself.
I never really took the time to look at my life; I never knew my father, my mother died when I was 3, me and my brother were raised by our grandparents who died 4 years ago, so now it’s just the two of us.
But despite all this loss, I always thought I was happy, content.
It was only after spending time with my patient that felt like I was missing something. I was missing that sense of peace and tranquillity of my patient, even through suffering felt.
I wanted that sense of belonging and a part of something that he felt, even with no one around him.
I was given a list of mosques in my area by a lady on PalTalk and went down to visit one. I watched the prayer and could not hold back my tears.
I felt drawn to the mosque every day and the imam and his wife would give me books and tapes and welcome any questions I had.
Every question I asked at the mosque and on PalTalk was answered with such clarity and depth that could do nothing but accept them.
I have never practiced a faith but always believed that there was a God; I just did not know how to worship Him.
One evening I came on PalTalk and one of the speakers on the mic addressed me. He asked me if I have any questions, I said no. He asked if I was happy with the answers I was given, I said yes.
He asked then what was stopping me accepting Islam, I could not answer.
I went to the mosque to watch the dawn prayer. The imam asked me the same question, I could not answer.
I then went to tend to my patient, I was feeding him and as I looked in his eyes I just realized, he was brought to me for a reason and the only thing stopping me from accepting was fear…. not fear in the sense of something bad, but fear of accepting something good, and thinking that I was not worthy like this man.
That afternoon I went to the mosque and asked the imam if I could say my declaration of faith, the Shahādah.: lā ilāha illā Allāh, Muḥammad rasūl Allāh. There is no god except Allah, Muhammad is Allah’s messenger.
He helped me through it and guided me through what I would need to do next. I cannot explain the feeling I felt when I said it. It was like someone woke me up from sleep and sees everything more clearly. The feeling was overwhelming joy, clarity and most of all…. peace.
The first person I told was not my brother but my patient. I went to him, and before I even opened my mouth he cried and smiled at me. I broke down in front of him, I owed him so much.
I came home logged on to PalTalk and repeated the Shahādah for the room. They all helped me so much and even though I had never seen a single one of them, they felt closer to me than my own brother.
I did eventually call my brother to tell him and although he wasn’t happy, he supported me and said he would be there, I couldn’t ask for any more.
After my first week as a Muslim my patient passed away in his sleep while I was caring for him. Innā lillāhi wa innā ilayhi rāji‘ūn.
He died a peaceful death and I was the only person with him. He was like the father I never had and he was my doorway to Islam.
From the day of my shahādah to this very day and for every day for as long as I live, I will pray that Allah shows mercy on him and grant him every good deed I perform in the tenfold.
I loved him for the sake of Allah and I pray each night to become an atoms weight of the Muslim he was.
Islam is a religion with an open door; it is there for those who want to enter it…. Verily Allah is the Most Merciful, Most Kind.
Moral of the Story.
This story has been circulated all over the Internet as well as on many other social media pages. However, it touches you whenever you read it. Not only that you pray for the late elderly patient, but you also pray for Cassie and her brother.
We can assume that Cassie had a peaceful death. At least she died as a Muslim. But we can be certain that the old man attained a very peaceful death. His memory betrayed him. But his religion (faith) did not betray him. So, get your faith (īmān) straight!
If you’ve ever wondered how a peaceful or good death can be, then this old man’s ending stands as one. We don’t even know his name. All we know is that he was an English man. But we are touched by the good legacy he has made.
Here is a presentation of four examples of bad death.
The Man Who Mocked the Abū Hurayrah and the Companions
Abū Rayyah was an Egyptian school dropout. He attained fame by casting doubts in the ḥadīth of the Prophet ṣallā Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam and mocking Abū Hurayrah and some other companions raḍiya Allāhu ‘anhum. One of the scholars of his time visited him and coincided with his death. The scholar says, “his colour had changed, and his eyes were widely opened, while he repeated: Ohhh Abu Hurayrah… Ohhhh Abu Hurayrah… He repeated that until he died.
It’s as Heavy as the Mountains
A dying man in his 50s was brought to the A&E. His son was reciting for him the Shahādah, and asking him to repeat it. But the father wasn’t responding. When the son persisted, the father said to him: son, I know the word, but I feel it, on my tongue, as heavy as the mountains. He then passed on.
It’s Not Going to Benefit Me
A man was told to say “Lā ilāha illā Allāh” at his death. But he responded that, “It’s not going to benefit me; I didn’t leave any sort of evil without committing it,” and he died without saying it.
Fix This and That
A man was about to die, and started to experience an extreme pain (stupors of death). His children who were surrounding him, at the time, urged him to say, “Lā ilāha illā Allāh”. He started to scream. When they repeated their request to him, he shouted at them, “go and do maintenance works for so and so house, go and plant so and so plant in so and so field. And as for so and so shop, go and collect this and that amount for its rentals.” The man repeated that until he died.
Moral of the Stories
The above stories are true stories. They are the less scary stories you will read involving denial of Allah and His commands. You may or may not be surprised by the ending any of the characters mentioned in the four stories made. Either way, this is not how you and I will love for ourselves nor for our loved ones.
These stories should remind us, that the provisions and wealth of this world are subjected to us to facilitate, enhance and smoothen our journey to the next part of life. But when we take them as our main purpose of life, we just can’t let go of them, when we really have to let go of them, and move on to the next part of life.
We have agreed that every death is unbearably painful. Even if it happens in one’s sleep. However, some deaths are less painful than others.
The verse of Sūrah Āli ‘Imrān (3:102) above, sets the principles for the 6 ways the Muslim should follow to attain a peaceful death. The following sub-sections further outline the practical ways we should follow to attain a peaceful death.
#1: Get Your Īmān Right
The first practical quality of attaining a peaceful death is ensuring the correctness of one’s faith (īmān).
Getting your īmān right helps one to put only Allah in the focal point of his worship. More so, every action of his can be a form of worship (‘ibādah). This is because, it’s He, who decided for our existence on this earth to take place. Thus, there’s a mission we’re expected to accomplish, and that mission is nothing but to worship Him alone, and not to associate anything or anyone with Him in His divinity.
This also means, that all we do should be to seek His ultimate pleasure and acceptance. In the end, if He’s not pleased with our deeds, one or all our endeavours will go wasted.
Īmān requires that one believes in the oneness of God in His divinity. It also requires that one believes that Allah has created some creatures whom are referred to as Angels. Furthermore, one should strongly believe that Allah has descended scriptures for the guidance of mankind. Some of these scriptures are known, and some are unknown to us. These scriptures were revealed to us through chosen Prophets and Messengers, some of whose names we know, and some we don’t. Rejecting any of the known ones nullifies one’s faith. Furthermore, there should be a proven evidence before we can attribute prophecy to anyone who’s name is not known in the Qur’an or in the Sunnah.
Additionally, īmān requires that one establishes a certainty in belief that there’s a continuation of life after death. Continuation of life after death starts with one’s death (which we are determined to attain the peaceful type of it). On the Day of Judgement, our deeds shall be revealed. Those who attained righteousness here will be rewarded with Paradise. Those who led the life of infidelity will be punished according to the extent of their evil deeds.
Failure to develop a proper īmān endangers the deeds of the son of Adam to be nullified. This is because īmān is a prerequisite to any sorts of good or righteous deeds.
Īmān is a character in the heart. It’s evident by one’s deeds. These deeds and actions should be guided by the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad ṣallā Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam. And that requires following the Prophet Muhammad in his teachings, commands and prohibitions.
#2: Follow the Prophet Based on His Terms, Not Yours
The second practical quality of attaining a peaceful death is to follow the Prophet Muhammad ṣallā Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam in all his commands and prohibitions.
Following the Prophet Muhammad implies that you give up on your desires, and align them all with his teachings and guidance, ṣallā Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam. We know Allah through His description, taught and given to us by the Prophet.
No matter how knowledgeable one can be, and no matter how many discoveries one may make, his knowledge about Allah lags behind the knowledge the Prophet has about Allah. He was the chosen and the seal Prophet. He’s the master among the children of Adam. He’s the intercessor for us on the Day of Judgement.
The only one we should love more than the Prophet is Allah Himself. Furthermore, our love for the Prophet is an indication and reflection of our authentic and genuine love for Allah. Also, our love for the Prophet is determined by how submissive we are to his teachings and instructions. It’s determined by how less we argue and questions his instructions before taking heed. This is what Allah emphasize in Sūrah Āli ‘Imrān, 3:31:
قُلْ إِن كُنتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللَّـهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللَّـهُ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ، وَاللَّـهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ * قُلْ أَطِيعُوا اللَّـهَ وَالرَّسُولَ، فَإِن تَوَلَّوْا فَإِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَا يُحِبُّ الْكَافِرِينَ
“Say [O Muhammad], “If you love Allah, then, follow me, and Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. Allah is most Forgiving, and most Merciful.” Say [O Muhammad], “Obey Allah and the Messenger.” But if they turn away, then indeed, Allah does not like the disbelievers.”
The companions of the Prophet forsake their convenience of wealth, reputation, comfort of their homes in Makkah and followed the Prophet –in his pursuit for Allah’s pleasure– to Madīnah. That’s the true love we should have for him. Today, in the convenience and the comfort of our homes, the presence of our wives and children, wealth and reputations, we are unable to follow the teachings of the Prophet, yet, our attitudes imply we have greater love for him than his companions had for him.
A true following in the footsteps of the Prophet ṣallā Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam can be understood from
وَمَا آتَاكُمُ الرَّسُولُ فَخُذُوهُ وَمَا نَهَاكُمْ عَنْهُ فَانتَهُوا، وَاتَّقُوا اللَّـهَ، إِنَّ اللَّـهَ شَدِيدُ الْعِقَابِ
“Whatever the Messenger gives you, take it; and whatever he forbids you, abstain from it. Fear Allah; surely, Allah is severe in retribution.” [Surah Al-Ḥashr, 59:7].
#3: Show Kindness to Your Parents
The third practical quality of attaining a peaceful death is to sacrifice some of our comfort, to show kindness to our parents.
Showing kindness to our parents is next in line with ensuring the purity of our belief in the oneness of Allah. One of the qualities the Prophet ṣallā Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam did emphasize to his companions was showing kindness to parents.
Thus, showing kindness to our parents is a reflection of our submissiveness to Allah’s commands, and the teachings of His Messenger, ṣallā Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam. This has nothing to do with the amount of love, care or kindness your parents showed you when bringing you up. The fact that they are your parents is enough for them to deserve kindness from you.
Here, I must emphasize, that showing kindness to our parents requires a lot of selflessness and sense of appreciation in addition to Allāh consciousness (taqwā). Yet, no matter how selfless a child becomes to his parents, especially his mother, they were more selfless; to ensure his survival and happiness.
The good news is, if you put in some effort to entertain your parents, you’ll reap, in return, some unimaginable inner-peace, happiness and joys. Parents find coolness of eyes when looking at their kids whom they’ve raised themselves. Children can have the same joy or close to it upon looking at their aged parents, only after they have devoted some time, out of their busy schedules to entertain them, unconditionally.
Sayyidah, ‘Āishah, raḍiya Allāhu ‘anhā, narrates that The Prophet Muhammad, ṣallā Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam once dreamt and was in the Paradise. It says:
نِمْتُ فَرَأَيْتُنِي فِي الجَنَّةِ، فَسَمِعْتُ صَوْتَ قَارِئٍ، فَقُلْتُ: مَنْ هَذَا؟ قَالُوا: حَارِثَةُ بْنُ النُّعْمَان. فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: كَذَلِكِ البِرُّ… كَذَلِكِ البِرُّ.
“I had a dream and saw myself in Jannah, and I heard the voice of a Qur’ān reader. I asked: Who is that?” And I was told, “Hārithah ibn al-Nu‘mān.” The Prophet sallā Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam then said: Such is trueness (to one’s Lord), and such is the true one (to his Lord).”
It was reported that Ḥārithah [read about Ḥārithah here] raḍiya Allāhu ‘anhu used to be very kind to his mother. His reward for being kind to his mother is not going to start in the hereafter. In fact, it started in his life. He was honoured to see Jibrīl ‘alayhi al-salām twice. In both events, Jibrīl was sitting with the Prophet ṣallā Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam in the form of a man. Jibrīl sent him greetings through the Prophet, ṣallā Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
If Allah has shown someone his place in the Paradise, it’s unlikely that, that person will be denied a peaceful death. Ḥārithah ibn al-Nu‘mān raḍiya Allāhu ‘anhu was not a Messenger or a Prophet. Yes, he was a companion, but he was an ordinary man like any other man. Just like he attained that blessing, we, too, can attain that. But that comes with the condition that we follow in his footsteps.
#4: Build a Righteous Legacy
The fourth practical quality of attaining a peaceful death is build a righteous legacy.
A righteous legacy is what we referred to as ‘a good legacy’ in the Art of Making a Good Legacy. A good legacy will ensure the extension of your presence on the earth, even after you’ve moved on to the next part of life. You build a righteous legacy by building a clean and pure relationship with the Almighty.
People with good legacies cause the descend of the Angels when the time for their death comes. This is understood from the verse of Sūrah Fuṣṣilat, 41:30:
إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ قَالُوا رَبُّنَا ٱللَّـهُ ثُمَّ ٱسْتَقَـٰمُوا تَتَنَزَّلُ عَلَيْهِمُ ٱلْمَلَـٰٓئِكَةُ أَلَّا تَخَافُوا وَلَا تَحْزَنُوا وَأَبْشِرُوا بِٱلْجَنَّةِ ٱلَّتِى كُنتُمْ تُوعَدُونَ * نَحْنُ أَوْلِيَآؤُكُمْ فِى ٱلْحَيَوٰةِ ٱلدُّنْيَا وَفِى ٱلآخِرَةِ ۖ وَلَكُمْ فِيهَا مَا تَشْتَهِي أَنفُسُكُمْ وَلَكُمْ فِيهَا مَا تَدَّعُونَ * نُزُلًا مِّنْ غَفُورٍ رَّحِيمٍ
“As for those who affirm, “Our Lord is God,” and then remain steadfast, the angels will descend on them, saying, “Have no fear and do not grieve. Rejoice in the [good news of the] Garden that you have been promised. “We are your companions in this life and in the Hereafter. Therein you shall have all that your souls desire, and therein you shall have all that you ask for. As a rich provision from the One who is Ever Forgiving and Most Merciful.”
Whenever building good or righteous legacies is discussed, it’s important to always assert, that there are no ways you can build a righteous legacy with haram income. Likewise, you can’t build a righteous legacy at the expense of others’ existence.
#5: Make A Lot of Righteous Children, if Possible
The fifth practical quality of attaining a peaceful death is to make a lot of righteous children, if possible.
Your children will be the true copy of yours, walking on the surface of the earth after your passing. This is regardless, whether they are righteous or otherwise. However, when they are righteous, they earn you access to a peaceful death in many ways.
One way your righteous children earn you a peaceful death is that they will certainly invoke Allah to bestow His Mercy upon you, as you raised them from childhood. When His Mercy befalls you, you are likely to earn a peaceful death as part of the package.
A righteous child, even if he’s one will make your day at your time of death. What more if they are numerous?
Having numerous righteous children will also ensure that, at least half of them, if not all, will surround you in your final moments on earth. Their presence will attract more Angels. And the presence of more Angels in the gathering of righteous people is a good sign, for whom the gathering has come for. That will be you!
No doubt, raising a child is one of the most difficult task every responsible parent will ever undertake. What more if you want him to be righteous? This means, if you aim to bring up righteous chid or children, then you should multiply the complexity of your parental responsibility to three. Only then, you’ll be ready.
#6: Give Charity Daily
The sixth practical quality of attaining a peaceful death is to develop the habit of giving in charity every other day. Regardless; whether you are rich or poor, whether you are employed, or unemployed, whether you are healthy or unhealthy, whether you are happy or unhappy, whether you are home or abroad, in whatever situation you are in.
Besides earning greater rewards and divine protection against evil and calamities, constant giving in charity (besides the obligatory alms (zakāt)) is one of the best acts that can earn you happiness and relieves most, if not all, of your mental stress. Furthermore, the Prophet ṣallā Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam says in a ḥadīth reported by Imām al-Bukhārī from the narration of Sayyidunā Abū Hurayrah, raḍiya Allāhu ‘anhu:
مَنْ تَصَدَّقَ بِعَدْلِ تَمْرَةٍ مِنْ كَسْبٍ طَيِّبٍ ـ وَلاَ يَقْبَلُ اللَّهُ إِلاَّ الطَّيِّبَ ـ وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ يَتَقَبَّلُهَا بِيَمِينِهِ، ثُمَّ يُرَبِّيهَا لِصَاحِبِهِ كَمَا يُرَبِّي أَحَدُكُمْ فَلُوَّهُ حَتَّى تَكُونَ مِثْلَ الْجَبَلِ
“If one gives in charity what equals one date-fruit from the honestly earned money –and Allah accepts only the honestly earned money – Allah takes it in His right (hand) and then enlarges its reward for its owner (the giver), as anyone of you brings up his baby horse, so much that it becomes as big as a mountain.”
Moreover, Sayyidunā Ḥudhayfah ibn Ḥasīl raḍiya Allāhu ‘anhu says, in a ḥadīth reported by Imām Aḥmad that the Messenger of Allah says:
مَنْ قَالَ لا إِلَهَ إِلا اللَّهُ ابْتِغَاءَ وَجْهِ اللَّهِ خُتِمَ لَهُ بِهَا دَخَلَ الْجَنَّةَ، وَمَنْ صَامَ يَوْمًا ابْتِغَاءَ وَجْهِ اللَّهِ خُتِمَ لَهُ بِهَا دَخَلَ الْجَنَّةَ، وَمَنْ تَصَدَّقَ بِصَدَقَةٍ ابْتِغَاءَ وَجْهِ اللَّهِ خُتِمَ لَهُ بِهَا دَخَلَ الْجَنَّةَ
“Whoever says “Lā ilāha ill-Allāh”, seeking the approval of Allah thereby, and that is the last of his deeds, will enter Paradise. Whoever fasts in a day, and that is the last of his deeds will enter Paradis. Whoever gives charity and that is the last of his deeds will enter Paradise.”
Again, the significance of giving in charity is about consistency in giving, regardless whether he has a lot or little. You can pledge yourself to give charity of a dollar a day, if that’s what you can afford willingly. You can pledge more or less, depending on your circumstances. If you make it a habit, even when you find yourself in difficult times, you’ll still be giving.
“Every soul shall taste death” (Sūrah al- ‘Ankabūt, 29:57). Furthermore, “death has stupors” (ḥadīth/al-Bukhārī). The stupors indicated in the ḥadīth is the result of the pains the dying person experiences. In fact, The Prophet Muhammad ṣallā Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam said that ḥadīth about death when he was on the bed of death.
Despite stupors of death, some people can, more than others, gather a big number of Angels to their death. And those are the ones who experience peaceful death.
In a ḥadīth reported by Imām Muslim from the narration of Sayyidah ‘Āishah raḍiya Allāhu ‘anhā, the Prophet ṣallā Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam says:
مَنْ أَحَبَّ لِقَاءَ اللَّهِ أَحَبَّ اللَّهُ لِقَاءَهُ وَمَنْ كَرِهَ لِقَاءَ اللَّهِ كَرِهَ اللَّهُ لِقَاءَهُ”. فَقُلْتُ يَا نَبِيَّ اللَّهِ أَكَرَاهِيَةُ الْمَوْتِ فَكُلُّنَا نَكْرَهُ الْمَوْتَ فَقَالَ ”لَيْسَ كَذَلِكِ وَلَكِنَّ الْمُؤْمِنَ إِذَا بُشِّرَ بِرَحْمَةِ اللَّهِ وَرِضْوَانِهِ وَجَنَّتِهِ أَحَبَّ لِقَاءَ اللَّهِ فَأَحَبَّ اللَّهُ لِقَاءَهُ وَإِنَّ الْكَافِرَ إِذَا بُشِّرَ بِعَذَابِ اللَّهِ وَسَخَطِهِ كَرِهَ لِقَاءَ اللَّهِ وَكَرِهَ اللَّهُ لِقَاءَهُ”
“He who likes to meet Allah, Allah will like to meet him; and he who dislikes meeting Allah, Allah will dislike meeting him. I (Āishah) said: O Prophet of Allah, is it because of the dislike of death, for all of us dislike death? The Prophet ṣallā Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: It is not so, but rather it is that when the believer is given news of Allah’s mercy, His approval and His Paradise, he will like to meet Allah and Allah will like to meet him; but when the unbeliever is given news of Allah’s punishment and His displeasure, he will dislike meeting Allah and Allah will dislike meeting him.”
The implication of the ḥadīth above is that, one will be given some news, moments before his death. This news will determine his longing to meet Allah or his dislike to meeting Allah. The one who will experience a peaceful death will be given the good news; about Allah’s Mercy, Approval and Paradise. It’s then that he will start longing to meet Allah. As for the one who receives bad news; he will be informed of Allah’s punishment and His displeasure. And it’s that, which will cause him to dislike going to the next part of his life (Ākhirah).
One may not have practical plans in preparation for a possible peaceful death. But it starts with the sense of the need to have plans in place. Once one desires and has plans in place, then it’s the time to take action for such plans and enjoy a peaceful death, inshā Allah.
It’s worth indicating, that not having a peaceful death doesn’t mean one can’t make it to Paradise. In no circumstance does this article imply that. But one thing the article can comfortably imply is that, whoever experiences a peaceful death has the high chance of getting an easy access to a final abode in Paradise.
O Allah, it is You alone we worship, and to You alone we turn for help. Guide us to the straight path. The path of those upon whom You have bestowed your Mercy, Forgiveness and Pleasure. The path of those You have granted peaceful death. O Allah, take us to You while we are in the best state of Islam, Īmān and Iḥsān, and admit us among the righteous folks of Your slaves. Amīn!
Allah knows best.
Allahu Hafiz 🙂