Life passes and death comes; the life of his world ends. Soul is the measure of man’s character and it will depart to hereafter and a new life in the hereafter begins.

Death is one of the signs of Allah (SWT) in the system of creation. The essence of death is unknown just like the essence of life.

Among the most common questions concerning death, the idea of why people fear and hate death has been frequently addressed in religious texts. Man’s fear and abhorrence from death derives from his attachment to this world. His attraction to a life of longevity in this world is innate. People with a materialistic mentality consider death as the end of all aspects of their existence. There are also people who consider themselves as followers of a divine religion, but have doubts concerning life after death and often do not believe firmly in livelihood of the soul and the life after death (matters crucial to faith in Prophetic traditions) and view this issue doubtfully. The latter group of people also hate death. The reason is that their false hope to the longevity of life conflicts with their instincts and can not satisfy their need for eternal life.

The two mentioned groups hate death and view it with disgust. Some do not even want to hear the term death, nor are they willing to visit a graveyard for a while. They refuse to learn from those who passed away before them.

 On the other hand, there are those who believe in the creator of this world, follow the path of the righteous prophets of Allah (SWT), and believe in the hereafter firmly. These are those who practice what Allah (SWT) has required of them, abstain from what He has prohibited, and strive in improving their manners. This group does not view death as a catastrophe which ends their lives, rather they see death as an incident which puts an end to the temporary life of this world, and takes mankind to a world that is eternal and everlasting.  They consider death as the factor which satisfies their need for an eternal life.

Their only concern is if they die in a state in which their faith or practices lack the satisfaction of Allah (SWT). They fear if their actions distance them from Allah’s (SWT) blessings, even if it is for a short while.

This group of people should not worry. Instead, they should trust the magnanimity and kindness of Allah (SWT). With hope of forgiveness, they should submit to death (when it arrives), and accept it full heartedly.

Imam Hasan Askari (PBUH) has described death through a narration from Imam Hadi (PBUH) in the following story:

Once, Imam Hadi (PBUH) sat at the sickbed of a friend of his who feared death and cried hysterically as a result of it.  Imam said, “O Servant of Allah, your fear of death is because you lack knowledge towards it. If your body is covered with dirt to such an extent that may lead to skin illnesses, would you not wash your body, knowing that washing your body will prevent illnesses? Do not you like to clean them so that the dirt does not remain on your skin?”

The man said, “O grandson of the Messenger, surely I would cleanse myself.”

Imam then continued, “Death is like a bath, which is the last thing that can cleanse you of your sins. Therefore, if you approach it and pass it, be certain that you have been freed from any sadness, and that you have reached full happiness.”

Imam Hadi’s (PBUH) sermons calmed the man, and it was not long before his time arrived.(1)

A person who obeys Allah’s commands, attains his responsibilities toward his peers, abstains from wrong, and does good to people, is ready for death.  He or she puts his/her hope in Allah’s (SWT) blessings and forgiveness, and prepares to move to an everlasting world.

(The above is selected taken from the book, “The Day of Judgment from the Perspective of Body and Soul,” by the Late Hujjatul Islam Muhammad Taqi Falsafi, with summarization)

On behalf of Roshd Website, we offer you dear friend and all Muslims around the world condolences upon the arrival of the third of Rajab, the Martyrdom of the guide towards truth, the light of magnanimity, Imam Ali ibn Muhammad al-Hadi (PBUH).

Footnotes:

1. Ma’ani al-Akhbar, p. 290