We are in Allah’s Hands Before and After Death
In these ayaat comparing minor death with major death Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala gives us an insight of what happens to us in life, in death and in rising again. We witness this every day as sleep is similar to death. It suspends the human body as it would be in death.
Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala says,
Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala is All-Aware of the deeds and actions that we perform during a day. As He says in Surah Ar-R`ad Ayah 10, “It is the same (to Him) whether any of you conceal his speech or declare it openly, whether he be hid by night or go forth freely by day.” This demonstrates His perfect knowledge of His creation, by day and night, and in their movements and idleness.
He collects our souls when we go to sleep and returns them when we wake up [Souls are returned of only those who He chooses to keep alive until their appointed time of death arrives. The ones whose time has arrived die in their sleep]. By alerting us that He takes our souls during our sleep, Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala is preparing us for the Hereafter that is when our life span ends, we will die to be raised again on the Day of Resurrection to give an account of all that we did in our lifetime. That is the day, when we will be rewarded good for all good that we did, and punished for evil that we committed.
The point of emphasis is: The Supreme Being Who can make this [sleeping and waking up] happen, can make that [dying and resurrection] happen too. As He says in Surah Az-Zumar Ayah 42, “It is Allah Who takes away the souls at the time of their death, and those that die not during their sleep. He keeps those [souls] for which He has ordained death and sends the rest for a term appointed.”
In Ayah 61, Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala tells us that He has absolute subduing power over all His servants. He says,
The word Qahir means the one who controls everything; all are subservient to His supreme grace, greatness and majesty. As long as Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala wills to have them living, He assigns angels to protect them as a result of which no one dares harm them.
Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala says in Surah Ar-R`ad Ayah 11, “For each (person) there are angels in succession, before and behind him. They guard him by the command of Allah,” watching his deeds and recording them. He further said in Surah al-Infitar Ayah 10, “And indeed, [appointed] over you are keepers,” and in Surah Qaf Ayaat 17 and 18, “When the two receivers receive, seated on the right and on the left. Man does not utter any word except that with him is an observer prepared [to record].” This happens until death approaches a person that is until his life span comes to an end and he is dying.
When one has reached the appointed limit of one’s age; these guardian angels become the agents of one’s death without ever falling short in providing the relevant causes leading to one’s death. Ibn `Abbas radhiAllahu `anhu and several others said that the Angel of Death has angels who pull the soul from its body and when it reaches the throat, the Angel of Death captures it. They guard the soul of the dead person and take it to wherever Allah wills, to `Illiyyeen if he was among the righteous, and to Sijjeen if he was among the wicked (disbelievers, sinners, etc.), we seek refuge with Allah from this end.
Then, death is not all, for the matter is still not closed. Instead, this is the beginning of the next phase that He narrates in Ayah 62. Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala says,
This ayah can be interpreted in two ways. One it refers to the return of the soul to its Lord upon death. Second it refers to the resurrection of all creatures on the Day of Resurrection.
Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Huraira radhiAllahu `anhu said that the Prophet sallAllahu `alayhi wa sallam said,
“The angels attend the dying person. If he is a righteous person, the angels will say, `O pure soul from a pure body! Come out with honor and receive the good news of rest, satisfaction and a Lord Who is not angry.’ The angels will keep saying this until the soul leaves its body, and they will then raise it up to heaven and will ask that the door be opened for the soul and it will be asked, ‘Who is this?’ It will be said, `(The soul of) so-and-so.’ It will be said, ‘Welcome, to the pure soul that inhabited the pure body. Enter with honor and receive the good news of rest, satisfaction and a Lord Who is not angry.’ This statement will be repeated until the soul reaches the heaven above which there is Allah.
If the dying person is evil, the angels will say, `Get out (of your body), O wicked soul from a wicked body! Get out in disgrace and receive the news of boiling fluid, a fluid dark, murky, intensely cold and other (torments) of similar kind – all together – to match them.’ This statement will be said repeatedly until the evil soul leaves its body. The soul will be raised up to heaven and a request will be made that the door be opened for it. It will be asked, `Who is this?’ It will be said, `(The soul of) so and so.’ It will be said, `No welcome to the wicked soul from the wicked body. Return with disgrace, for the doors of heaven will not be opened for you.’ So it will be thrown from heaven until it returns to the grave. So the righteous person sits and similar is said to him as before. And the evil person sits and similar is said to him as before.)”
When the souls returned to the bodies once again they will be made to rise again and be presented before Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala. If, at this point, one were to think of having to appear before the greatest Judge of judges and stand before Him to account for a whole life-time of deeds, one cannot even dare to imagine to come out unscathed and hope to escape punishment.
The word that Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala uses here to describe Himself is “Maula” that is the real Master and Guardian. His servants reach out to Him for help.
May we have a blessed end, aameen.
DOWNLOAD PDF: Al Anaam Ayaat 60 – 62