On Sunday December 2019, residents of Kwale County were shocked by the news of a sudden death of a deputy chairperson of National Cohesion and Integration Commission Fatuma Tabwara (May Allah forgive her sins, have mercy on her and rest her soul in Paradise.) Normally, when death occurs it leaves people with grief which turns greater when suddenly happens. One of the basic teachings of Islam entails that people must have certain belief that Allah is the only one who gives and takes life in human beings and the termination of a life span of human being is the sole cause of death.
Like any other human being Mrs. Tabara had probably planned a series of events that would happen that day. Unfortunately, that Sunday morning was her last moment with a last breath. A few moment just after her remarks, death overtook her life. Indeed no one even the concordant expert shall dare know when where will meet his death.
One of the wisdom as to why the hour of death is unknown to any one, is to drive human being towards utilizing every second, minute as well as hour and day for adhering to Allah’s commands and staying away from his prohibitions. Moreover this is establish in their minds a concept that death is ultimately inevitable contrary to life which comes only by chance. This means when you wake up in the morning you should not speak to yourself of evening, and if you reach the evening do not speak to yourself of morning. Unfortunately, this great wisdom is gained by only a few people while many are being allured with the world’s amusement instituting themselves a free will of doing any action disregarding Allah’s commands- the one who created mankind. Ali bin Taalib the righteous companion May Alla be pleased with him said his famous words:
“Work for this world as if you will never die and work for hereafter as if you will die tomorrow.”
The statement means that a man should create a balance between wordly life and his hereafter. Naturally the love of the world is the natural instinct for any human being but this should not make him fully preoccupied with the pleasure of the present world expending more efforts in order to become prosperous in this world. In this respect, Ali (RA) reminds his fellow mankind as they work to fulfil their basic needs; food, dress and shelter, consequently they should hasten towards doing the good deeds utilizing every single moment they possess it now and not waiting the concealed future to come. This concept always makes a Muslim alert cannot therefore waste his time considering that any time death can overtake him.
Mostly, majority of those influenced by the western liberal concepts that attainment of high level of enjoyment is solely the objective of life. They argue that since death is inevitable people should therefore spending much of their in pomping and amusement. Upon this biased thought, they avoid pondering about death. And even when discussing it they do not dig deeper in why do people live and die. What is does death stands for? As those who have fear on death they are concerned with questions such as what happens when we die what does the corpse see?
According to Islam, life and death are a test for humanity who amongst them will do the good deeds in the most perfect manner. The moment a person dies, he enters a new phase of life known as ‘barazakh’ which lasts until the day of resurrection. In this phase (life of the grave) it is either comfort or torment. Upon this concept therefore just after his death man will be rewarded in accordance of the life system he adopted in world. Thus those who truly believe in Allah and chose His perfect system to organize their life, then death is a first a step toward the bounties of Allah in hereafter. Contrary to non-believers who fell on temptations of the false world what they see after death is of more painful than what they have experienced in this world.
الَّذِي خَلَقَ الْمَوْتَ وَالْحَيَاةَ لِيَبْلُوَكُمْ أَيُّكُمْ أَحْسَنُ عَمَلًا وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْغَفُورُ
The Lord who created death and life so that He may test you that which of you is better in deed. And He is the Omnipotent, the Oft-Forgiving.
Since death falls under the realm of actions that dominate human being it clearly shows that human life is limited. This age limit is an indication he is a creature created by none other than Allah (SWT). It is by the will of Allah alone that we were brought into this world and therefore we will leave the world against our will. Since Allah alone is the provider of life then we are compelled to run our life in accordance with His divinely method revealed to us.
Islam has highly encouraged the remembrance about death, which is very helpful in softening the hard heart making it submissive to Allah swt. Moreover, in remembering death the world appears humble before one’s eyes hence cannot get amused by whatever amount of wealth he has accumulated instead will be seen hastening to seek repentance over his sins he committed. The Messenger of Allah (SAW) described the one who keeps reminding himself about death getting prepared for it as clever person.
الكَيِّس مَنْ دَانَ نَفْسَهُ، وَعَمِلَ لِما بَعْدَ الْموْتِ، وَالْعَاجِزُ مَنْ أَتْبَعَ نَفْسَه هَواهَا، وتمَنَّى عَلَى اللَّهِ
“The clever one is he who disciplined himself and worked for what is after death, and the feeble one is he who followed his desires, then made (vain) prayers to Allah”.
We ask Allah (Swt) to grant us a good end, repentance before we die, shahada during our death and forgiveness after we have died.
Media Representative of Hizb ut Tahrir in Kenya