Al-Maut: the Certainty, Jamaica Tilly Park – 

It’s said that this life is full of mystery. Some even say that the most certain about life is uncertainty itself. Furthermore the only thing certain about life is that it is ending. The end of life for an individual living creature is called “death”.

Below are some of the characteristics of death mentioned in the holy Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him):

First, death is a natural process in human’s life. Some say we live to die. And we die to live. “How can you disbelieve in Allah? Seeing that you were dead and he gave you life. Then he will give you death, then he will bring you to life. And then unto Him you will return” (Ch. 2: 28).

Second, it is known as a certainty (Al-yaqiin). Every man/woman believes that he or she is going to die. “And worship your Lord until there comes unto you the certainty “the death” (Al-Hijr: 99).

Third, death is mysterious . None but Allah knows when, where, and how it will happen. “And no persons knows in which land he will die” (Luqman: 39).

Fourth, death is unavoidable. Every one will try to escape from it. But at the end the death will catch him. “Say, verily the death from which you flee, it will surely meet you (Al-Jumu’ah: 8).

Fifth, death strikes indiscriminately. Old or young, sick or healthy, rich or poor, powerful or weak, unknown or famous, men or women are equal when it comes to death. “Each soul will taste the death” (Al-Imran: 185).

Sixth, death has a fixed schedule. The schedule is known as “ajal” which means “appointed time”. Neither any body can delay it nor he can advance it. “And every nation has its appointed term. When their term has come, neither can they delay nor can they advance it an hour/in a moment (Al-A’raf: 34).

Seventh, death is a time event in life. And never reverse. When it happens, it is the first and the last. “Until when death comes to one of them, he says ‘my Lord, send me back. So that I may do good in which that I have left behind. No! It’s but a word that he speaks, and behind them is Barzakh until the Day when they will be resurrected” (Al-Mu’minuun: 99).

Eighth, death is severely painful. The least painful death was the death of our beloved Prophet. Yet he still felt the pain. This is the precise reason why the Qur’an uses the “dzaiqah” (each soul will taste the death”. And for this reason also Rasulullah teaches us a special doa: “O Allah ease on us during the sakratul maut”.

Ninth, death a measurement of one’s ‘aqal and wisdom. An intelligent or a wise person surely is a person who prepares for something certain. Each person is certain about the death, but not many prepare for it. And so intelligence (aql) and wisdom is needed. “A wise person is the one who does introspection and prepare for the life after death” (Hadith).

May we all be intelligent and wise enough so that we prepare for what is certainly happening soon or later. No one, no matter powerful and rich he is (she is) can escape the death… may Allah grant the ability to prepare and grant us husnul khatimah (a good ending). Amin! [mc]

Jamaica Tilly Park, 6 Agustus 2023.

*Imam Shamsi Ali, President of Nusantara Foundation.