Every soul will taste death

via https://www.flickr.com/photos/156132682@N02/39840858043

كُلُّ نَفْسٍ ذَائِقَةُ الْمَوْتِ

Every soul will taste death

— Quran 3:185

إِنَّمَا مَثَلُ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا كَمَاءٍ أَنزَلْنَاهُ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ فَاخْتَلَطَ بِهِ نَبَاتُ الْأَرْضِ مِمَّا يَأْكُلُ النَّاسُ وَالْأَنْعَامُ حَتَّىٰ إِذَا أَخَذَتِ الْأَرْضُ زُخْرُفَهَا وَازَّيَّنَتْ وَظَنَّ أَهْلُهَا أَنَّهُمْ قَادِرُونَ عَلَيْهَا أَتَاهَا أَمْرُنَا لَيْلًا أَوْ نَهَارًا فَجَعَلْنَاهَا حَصِيدًا كَأَن لَّمْ تَغْنَ بِالْأَمْسِ كَذَٰلِكَ نُفَصِّلُ الْآيَاتِ لِقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ

The life of this world is just like rain We send down from the sky, producing a mixture of plants which humans and animals consume. Then just as the earth looks its best, perfectly beautified, and its people think they have full control over it, there comes to it Our command by night or by day, so We mow it down as if it never flourished yesterday! This is how We make the signs clear for people who reflect.
―Quran 10:24

last month i was reading a book titled “Islam: The Path of God” by Suzanne Haneef (American woman converted to Islam). this is what she wrote pages 58–63 (PDF Version):

“The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) advised believers to think of death often. Devout Muslims certainly do so, regarding it as the door which connects one state of existence to another. And surely most of us have, at some point, wondered, “What will the end be like for me? Will it be painful? Exactly what is going to happen? And does something come after it or not?”

These are extremely critical questions which we should ask, not in order to be morbid but so that we can prepare ourselves for the most important experience we have yet to undergo. Death is not something we can conveniently put aside as relating to the far future. None of us knows when it will come to us, and when it does come, it will be too late to do anything. Therefore, it’s important for us to feel at home with the subject, regarding death not as the final ending of our existence but as the opening of our return to our Lord. And it’s something whose favorable outcome we need to strive for throughout the whole of our conscious life. For it is at death that our efforts of a lifetime become all-important as the goods we trade in for an eternal existence of happiness or misery.

It is a fact we human beings generally seek out what we enjoy and try to avoid what we don’t-that is, unless we have a strong motivation to do otherwise. Certainly, to act purely for the sake of God is the highest form of motivation. But most of us just aren’t that noble and unselfish. Our human nature is such that, without the promise of reward or fear of punishment, very few of us would act as God wants us to. We need some incentive to cause us to act according to our higher selves. And the desire for Paradise and fear of Hell is precisely such a strong motivation.

-THE MATERIALIST VERSUS THE SPIRITUAL POINT OF VIEW

In every society, at every time, people who believe only in this temporary material life have argued against the existence of an afterlife. Many have used such arguments as an excuse for doing whatever they like. The Qur’an is full of references to such people.

And they say, “When we are bones and fragments, shall we really be resurrected again as a new creation?” Say, [0 Muhammad:] «[Yes,] even if you are stones or iron, or a created thing that is even greater than that in your estimation.” They will say, “Who will bring us back to life?” Say: “The One who created you the first time. » Then they will shake their heads at you and say, “When will it be?” Say: «Perhaps it is near.»
(Qur’an 17:49–51; also 17:98; 19:66–67; 34:7; 36:78–79; 37:1517)

Those who disbelieve imagine that they will not be raised again. Say, [0 Muhammad:] «On the contrary, by my Lord! You shall be raised again, and then you will be informed of what you did. And that is easy for my Lord.” (Qur’an 64:7)

The arguments of such people have no basis in logic, for God, who creates and destroys, can just as easily recreate. He can also change the attributes and forms of His creation as He wills-as, for example, water changes from a liquid to a solid or a gas. In the same fashion, a body can cease to possess the characteristics of life and apparently become a piece of inert matter. But there is no proof whatsoever that this finishes the existence of the occupant of that body, the soul.

The collective spiritual experience of mankind attests to the fact that the former ‘tenant’ has now vacated its former home and gone somewhere else-or, to put it in different terms, has been transformed into another form of energy. Therefore, God’s supremely logical answer to the materialists’ question, “When I am dead, shall I really be brought forth alive?” is, “Does not the human being remember that We created him before, when he was nothing?” (Qur’an 19:66–67).

THE LAST DAY, THE RESURRECTION AND THE JUDGMENT

In many verses of the Qur’an such as the above, God, who knows everything there is to know about His creation, denies the claim of the materialists that death constitutes the final, absolute end of our existence. For our perishable, material bodies, it does, of course, but for our immortal souls, this present life is only one brief stage on its journey from God to God. And our Lord informs us repeatedly that our temporary life on this earth is merely a trial, a test, an examination period. For what? To prepare ourselves for the future life of endless duration.

In this life, each hour, each day, we are faced with individual tests whose combined results will determine our future happiness or suffering. For each of us, death will mark the ending of our personal exam. It will be followed by the Day of Resurrection and Judgment, whose coming is as certain as the fact that we are alive.

Be mindful of a Day on which you will return to God. Then each soul will be recompensed for whatever it earned, and they shall not be wronged. ( Qur’an 2:281; also 2:48, 123; 3:9–10, 25, 185; 4:87; 6:12; 10:45, 11:08, 103; 16:111 and dozens of other verses)

No one except God knows when that Day will come. But what is certain is that, as the universe had a beginning, it will also have an end.

The analogy of the life of this world is only like water. We send it down from the sky and then mingle it with the produce of the earth, from which people and cattle eat; until, when the earth has put on its ornaments and is embellished, and its people think that they have all power over it, Our command reaches it by night or by day, whereupon We cause it to be utterly destroyed, as if it had not flourished the previous day. Thus do We explain the signs for people who reflect.
(Qur’an 10:24)

This end will take place in a manner frightful beyond imagination, and at that time every living thing on earth will die.

When the Trumpet will be blown with a single blowing, and the earth and the mountains will be lifted up and crushed with a single crushing -then, on that Day, the Event will befall; and the sky will be split apart, for on that Day it will be torn, and the angels will be on its sides; and on that Day eight angels will carry the Throne of your Lord above them. That Day on which you will be brought to judgment, not a secret of yours will be hidden.
(Qur’an 69:13–18)

When the sky is shattered and when the seas are poured forth and when the graves are overturned, a soul will know what it sent on ahead and what it left behind.
(Qur’an 82:1–5; also 81:1–14)

At that time, the dead will be raised and their newly recreated bodies will be rejoined with their souls. And the Judgment will take place.

Each of us will be shown the book of our life’s deeds, recorded by our two companion angels. None of us will be able to deny the truthfulness of the record or to make any excuses. The record will be final, closed and unchangeable, and we will be judged accordingly, as our good and bad deeds are weighed against each other in a perfectly just scale.

The weighing that Day will be true. Then those whose scale [of goodness] is heavy, they will be the successful, and those whose scale is light, they will be the ones who will have lost their souls because they acted wrongly with regard to Our revelations.
(Qur’an 7:8–9)

We have tied each person’s destiny to his neck, and on the Day of Resurrection We shall bring forth for him a book which he will find wide open, [saying,] “Read your book! This Day your soul is sufficient as an accountant against yourself”
(Qur’an 17:13–14)

And whoever does an atom’s weight of good shall see it, and whoever does an atom’s weight of evil shall see it.
(Qur’an 99:7–8)

The verses of the Qur’an dealing with these matters are extremely numerous. Their tone is dead earnest, conveying total certainty. The effect of their message, stated and restated again and again, is to produce a conviction in the heart of the listener/reader of the absolute truth of what is being said. For example:

The Day on which the sky will become like molten copper and the mountains will become like shreds of wool, and no close friend will ask of a friend, although they will see one another-the guilty one will long to ransom himself from the punishment of that Day through his children and his spouse and his brother and his relatives who sheltered him. By no means! It is the fire of Hell, plucking away to the skull, calling to those who turn their backs [on the truth] and turn away [from goodness], and collect and withhold [their wealth from doing good with it].
(Qur’an 70:8–18)

The Day when the Trumpet is blown, whosoever is in the heavens and whosoever is on the earth will be terrified, excepting the one whom God wills. And all will come to Him humble . … Whoever brings a good deed, he will have better than it, and whoever brings an evil deed, they will be thrown down on their faces in the Fire. Are you recompensed with anything other than what you did? (Qur’an 27:87,89–90; also 17:97)

o mankind, be mindful of God and fear a Day when no father will make the least compensation for his son, nor will any son make compensation for his father. God’s promise is surely true. Then do not let the life of this world deceive you, nor let the Deceiver [Satan] deceive you concerning God.
(Qur’an 31:33)”

Think of death often, the moment you’re alone in your grave with only your deeds. It would be too late to wish if only you had done more:
And fear the Day when ye shall be brought back to God. Then shall every soul be paid what it earned, and none shall be dealt with unjustly.
— Holy Quran 2:281

Death can come anytime. It doesn’t matter if you’re healthy or wealthy, you’ll have to go when it’s time. You can’t challenge or avoid it :
Wherever you may be, death will overtake you, even if you are in high protected towers.
— Holy Quran 4:78

The death from which you run away will certainly approach you. Then you will be returned to the One who knows the unseen and the seen, and He will tell you what you have done.
— Holy Quran 62:8

And We place the scales of justice for the Day of Resurrection, so no soul will be treated unjustly at all. And if there is [even] the weight of a mustard seed, We will bring it forth. And sufficient are We as accountant.
―Quran 21:47

In the Name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

When I ride in an airplane, I enjoy looking at how small the world seems from a distance. Yet when you zoom in, what seemed so small and insignificant turns out to be very important and major for most of us. The size of the house, the kind of car, the amount of money, and the lifestyle we want. It is easy to get caught up in the routine of day to day life thinking that it will never end. Each day we wake up, go to work, wait for Friday, and enjoy the weekend. Rinse and repeat. It takes a lot of emotional and spiritual energy to stop, pause, and reflect on what is happening and where we are going. We often escape from the thought of our end. Death is a reality every single living creature will experience. No one’s health, wealth, status, or riches every saved them from dying and being buried with nothing.

Humans tend to be very shortsighted when planning for their future. We plan for school, college, a career, family, children, retirement. However, it tends to stop at that. Why don’t we plan for what we are certain will happen without a doubt? The answer is because we are scared of the unknown and are comfortable with what we know. We escape to the next movie, binge watch a series, buy the newest gadget, or distract ourselves with health or wealth. But, reality is that there is no escape. It is only a matter of time before we die. The Qurʾān asks So where are you going? (Qurʾān 81:26).

Occasionally I encounter a post or story of someone who is dying. Their reflections are usually still about this world. The general message is about cherishing the few moments we have left. But what about what is to come? What about a hereafter? Is there something beyond this world? Reflecting on death is a healthy exercise provided it does not debilitate us from living life. It is meant to make us a better person with our temporary companions in this world and with God our Creator. Keeping death in mind helps one overlook the insignificant things and focus on the bigger picture of life.

Death is naturally scary, but we can find comfort in the fact that God is loving and has cared for us since birth. Death is a natural process we must go through in order to enter the world of the hereafter. For the one who prepares for death the hereafter is a better and longer lasting abode. When a child is born, it leaves its mother’s womb crying, afraid of entering the new world. Yet this world is so much bigger, vaster, and more beautiful than the world of the womb which they were attached to. No one leaves the womb and wishes to go back. Similarly, death is a form of birth into the hereafter. It is a transition to a place where there is no sickness, worries, stress, work, or difficulties. This is the home of work and planting the seed and the hereafter is where we will reap the fruits. So, do not let death lead you to despair and hopelessness, rather let it be a means of inspiration for you to seek your purpose in life, connect with God, leave an imprint on this world and plant the seeds for your hereafter.

Death is that harsh reality which is faced by every human who lives. It is the one thing which we will all experience — be we men, women, Muslims, Christians, Blacks, Whites or any other type of person on this earth. It is something which does not discriminate.

Death is a reality every single living creature will experience. No one’s health, wealth, status, or riches every saved them from dying and being buried with nothing :

{ Everyone upon the earth will perish } The Quran 55:26

Know that the life of this world is but amusement and diversion and adornment and boasting to one another and competition in increase of wealth and children — like the example of a rain whose [resulting] plant growth pleases the tillers; then it dries and you see it turned yellow; then it becomes [scattered] debris. And in the Hereafter is severe punishment and forgiveness from Allah and approval. And what is the worldly life except the enjoyment of delusion
The Quran 57:20

{ On that Day you will be brought to judgement and none of your secrets will remain hidden }
The Quran 69:18

Death is one of the few indisputable facts of life. Regardless of faith, race, status or age, we will all die. While the certainty of death is universally accepted, the question of what happens afterwards has been debated throughout history. Islam teaches that one’s life doesn’t end on earth; rather, it is followed by the eternal life of the hereafter. This pamphlet explains how this belief has a major impact on our earthly lives, while instilling hope for healing in a perfect world where God’s ultimate justice will prevail.

Despite its inevitability, we get so absorbed in living that we forget about death. Our daily routines, the comfort of our homes and our relationships keep us so busy that we have little time left to ponder over the fleeting nature of this world.

Then, suddenly, we are forced to face the reality of our existence when a loved one is afflicted with a debilitating disease or we experience a shocking loss. Helpless, we are jolted by the frailty of life, leading us to question our priorities and reevaluate our lifestyles.

According to Islam, when confronted with a calamity, one should say, “To God we belong and to Him we shall return” (Quran 2:156). This invocation is also recited when someone dies. Reminding us of our origin and our ultimate destiny, it puts the purpose of our lives in perspective. God clearly states in the Quran, the divinely revealed message from God to all humanity, that He has created humankind to worship Him. Since worship is a comprehensive concept in Islam, consisting of specific rituals as well as general actions that promote good, it encourages people to conduct every aspect of their lives with God-consciousness.

Muslims believe they will return to God (Allah in Arabic) when they die. Therefore, instead of the end, death becomes part of a continuum which stretches into eternity.

What will be the day like When God resurrects us? Watch this video by Sh. Omar Sulieman about how everyone from all nations, from all generations, will be made to stand as equal in the Presence of God. God will then call each one of us to meet with us individually. There would be no translator, no interpretators — it would be just you, your Creator and your deeds!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0CTDx5II7g

Beyond this life — the hereafter
What happens after death? Does a world exist beyond this life? Is there such a place as heaven or hell? These are common questions we ask from time to time.

After all, the enigma of death stumps us. We’ve devised various ways of killing other humans. Yet, despite innumerable technological and medical advances, we still cannot prevent an individual from dying. Furthermore, unlike life which we experience daily, we really don’t have firsthand knowledge of life after death. Aside from some near-death incidents, no one has come back from the dead to tell us what they encountered.

Due to their faith in the One God who created this universe and sustains it, Muslims rely on divine guidance for glimpses of a reality invisible to human eyes. Divine guidance comprises prophetic examples and scriptural revelations. God sent prophets to guide humanity, such as Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad, the final prophet of God, peace be upon all of them. Moreover, He also revealed holy books, including the Torah, the Gospel and the Quran.

In keeping with the universal message of God, every prophet warned of the certainty of the afterlife and each of the divine books speaks of the existence of the soul. In the Quran, God promises, “Every soul will taste death. Then to Us will you be returned” (29:57).

On the Day of Judgment, every individual will be resurrected to account for their lives. God describes this event in the Quran, “On that Day, people will come forward in separate groups to be shown their deeds: whoever has done an atom’s weight of good will see it, but whoever has done an atom’s weight of evil will see that” (99:6–8).

God will weigh everyone’s good and bad actions according to His Mercy and His Justice, forgiving many sins and multiplying the reward for many noble deeds. One who excels in goodness will be rewarded generously, but one whose evils and wrongs outweigh his virtues will be punished.

Those who fulfilled their purpose in life and lived righteously will enter an eternal paradise of pure bliss. The people of heaven will reside in beautiful mansions, no longer suffering from fatigue, disease and old age. God will remove animosity and pain from people’s hearts, providing supreme healing in a world of abundance and luxury, of lush gardens and flowing rivers.

In contrast, those who die in a state of transgression against God or oppress others will be led to Hellfire. Despite all of God’s blessings, they neglected their ultimate purpose of leading their lives in accordance with His Will and Guidance. The Quran describes Hell as a place filled with immense suffering, with extreme temperatures, unquenchable thirst and blazing flames.

Truly, God wants each one of us to be salvaged in the afterlife. He has sent guidance and left signs for those who seek Him and reflect. At the same time, He has given us the choice to freely indulge in the world around us or to abide by His laws. In the Quran, God declares, “Why should God make you suffer torment if you are thankful and believe in Him? God always rewards gratitude and He knows everything” (4:147).

The Greater Plan: Day of Judgement
Belief in the soul and the afterlife gives a context to our current existence. Those who focus only on this immediate life miss out on the bigger picture. Indeed, they become heedless of their purpose in life. God reminds humanity, “The life of this world is merely an amusement and a diversion; the true life is in the Hereafter, if only they knew” (Quran 29:64).

Islam teaches that this life is simply a test to determine our place in the eternal life after death. Those who understand the reality ahead of them are aware that their ultimate fate after death is based on their actions in this life. Such individuals are thankful for all the blessings that God has given them and humbly worship Him while promoting goodness in all aspects of their lives. When a person embraces such a God-conscious way of life, their purpose extends beyond merely enjoying worldly pleasures.

Their life is one of submission to God and they seek to positively contribute to the world around them. All of their transactions with people, even animals and the environment, are rooted in this motivation. They are guided by the certainty that they will one day return to their Creator and be held accountable for their deeds. Although they have the freedom to live according to their whims, they limit their attachment to this brief and imperfect life, seeking an eternal paradise in the hereafter. (Read more: Ch. 75 of the Quran)

Why Believe?
Believing in the soul and the afterlife is foremost about having faith in the unseen. Just as our souls are intangible beings giving life to our physical bodies, the world we see around us is functioning based on an invisible system created by God who is Ever-Watchful and All-Aware. Muslims believe that God is also Just and He maintains a meticulous record of our deeds. We will be recompensed for our earthly lives in the hereafter where ultimate justice prevails.

Humans naturally seek justice in all aspects of their lives. When a person works, they expect to receive an appropriate salary. When an individual is harmed, they seek compensation. When someone helps another, they anticipate appreciation for their effort. Even though humans strive hard to establish justice, the reality is that this world will never be perfectly just. Many criminals go unpunished while the oppressed are denied basic rights. Do their lives simply dissolve without any accountability or fair dealing?

God proclaims in the Quran, “Do those who commit evil deeds really think that We will deal with them in the same way as those who believe and do righteous deeds, that they will be alike in their living and their dying? How badly they judge!” (45:21).

In the afterlife, the evil doers will not be able to escape the grip of justice and victims of worldly suffering will be recompensed for their pain. People who spent their lives responsibly, avoiding temptations to commit sins, will also be rewarded. As mentioned in the Quran, “God created the heavens and the earth for a true purpose: to reward each soul according to its deeds. They will not be wronged” (45:22).

According to Islam, one of the greatest injustices humans can commit is to deny God’s existence, add partners to Him or worship worldly ideals or materialistic goals. Islam teaches that God is the Creator, Sustainer and Nourisher of every being in the heavens and the earth. As His creation, it is His right that we worship and obey Him. He showers us with His blessings every day out of His love and mercy. Worshiping Him is an expression of gratitude to God, and ignoring Him or worshiping others is ungratefulness and a denial of His blessings.

If our man-made judicial systems punish people for committing injustices against other people, it is even more understandable that God would punish those who deny Him His rights and commit injustices against His creation. God says in the Quran, “We shall set up scales of justice for the Day of Judgment, so that not a soul will be dealt with unjustly in the least, and if there be (no more than) the weight of a mustard seed, We will bring it (to account): and enough are We to take account” (21:47).

God’s Mercy
As imperfect beings, we often make mistakes and commit wrong actions. While God does not expect perfection from us, He calls on us to strive to the utmost to worship Him and to live righteously. Out of His Mercy, God pardons whom He wills in the hereafter. God promises us in the Quran: “And those who believe and do righteous deeds — We will surely remove from them their misdeeds and will surely reward them according to the best of what they used to do” (29:7).

Muslims seek salvation in the hereafter by living a God-conscious and virtuous life in this world. The fear of accountability in the hereafter, along with hope in the promise of God’s ultimate justice, motivates them to orient their present lives around the comprehensive worship of God, the true purpose of human existence. In this way, they endeavor in this temporary life for eternal joy.

[To the righteous it will be said], “O reassured soul, return to your Lord, well-pleased and pleasing [to Him], and enter among My [righteous] servants, and enter My Paradise.” (Quran, 89:27–30)

Belief in the afterlife gives a context to our current existence. Those who focus only on this immediate life miss out on the bigger picture. Indeed, they become heedless of their purpose in life.
The life of this world is merely enjoyment of delusion
— Quran 3:185

— — — — — -
sources:

Suzanne Haneef, Islam: The Path of God, pages 58–59 (PDF copy). read online : https://www.slideshare.net/FatimaKarim3/book-islamthe-path-of-god-suzanne-haneef-pdf

-Suzanne Haneef, Islam: The Path of God, pages 59–63.
https://medium.com/@Marytn/reading-6b99503da07d
PDF + read online : https://www.slideshare.net/FatimaKarim3/book-islamthe-path-of-god-suzanne-haneef-pdf
Suzanne Haneef is an American convert to Islam she wrote two wonderful books i have read them both.
-1- What Everyone Should Know About Islam and Muslims by Suzanne Haneef
PDF http://www.islamicbulletin.org/free_downloads/new_muslim/what_everyone.pdf

-2- Islam: The Path of God By Suzanne Haneef
PDF http://www.islamicbulletin.org/free_downloads/new_muslim/islam_the_path.pdf

-Belief in Judgement Day
https://www.whyislam.org/on-faith/belief-in-judgement-day/

The Ultimate Reality: Death and Dying :

https://www.whyislam.org/spiritual-journeys/the-ultimate-reality-death-and-dying/

recommended readings:
The Big Questions Dr. Laurence B. Brown (with video lecture)
https://medium.com/@Marytn/the-big-questions-dr-laurence-b-brown-fb561f06bf72

signs of the Judgement Day according to Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ)
https://twitter.com/fatimakarimms/status/1028872310470729728

https://plus.google.com/+FatimaKarim/posts/6zasmtSn9kz

https://medium.com/@Marytn/death-7333d3f68766

Allah knows best.

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Fatima Karim

Fatima Karim

It is Allah who brought you out of your mothers’ wombs knowing nothing, and gave you hearing and sight and hearts. ―Quran 16:78 My Twitter @fatimakarimms