The Final Moments

Every soul shall taste of death. (Surah Aal-e-Imraan: 185)

Death is an inevitable event which no man can escape. As such, the reality of death is something which is accepted by both the believer and disbeliever. As far as a disbeliever is concerned, he views death as a terminating point which brings an abrupt end to his existence. As for a believer, he does not consider death to be the end of life. Instead, he considers it to be the beginning of the second phase of the journey towards his ultimate abode – the Hereafter.

Death, in reality, is a gift for a believer as it is the means of uniting the lover with his beloved. With death, the lover reaches his ultimate goal for which he strove throughout his life and he is now released from the imprisonment of this earthly abode. Allah Ta`ala states:Surah_fajar_27

O contented soul! Return to your Rabb while you are pleased (with Him) and He is pleased with you. Enter amongst My bondsmen and enter My gardens of Paradise. (Surah Fajr: 27)

Nabi sallallahu alaihi wa sallam has mentioned:

تحفة المؤمن الموت

Death is a gift for the believer. (Mustadrak Haakim #7900)

This booklet is a compilation of various laws pertaining to the dying person before and after death, the masaa’il of ghusal, kafn, janaazah etc. Every Muslim must equip himself with these relevant laws and masaa’il in order that the correct procedure could be adopted upon the demise of any person. Often, due to us lacking in the knowledge of these aspects, we tend to put the dying person as well as the family under unnecessary difficulty and trouble. May Allah Ta`ala accept this humble effort and allow it to be a means of benefit to one and all.

The Final Moments

When a person is on his deathbed and his breathing becomes difficult, the limbs of his body become loose, he is unable to stand, his nose becomes slightly bent and his temples begin to sink in, one should realise that the time of death has approached. In Shari’ah, such a person is known as a ‘muhtadhar’.[1]

We have been advised in the Mubaarak Ahaadith to recite Surah Yaaseen or Surah Baqarah near the dying person as it has been experienced that through the recitation of these Surahs, the pangs of death are lightened. If one is unable to recite it himself then he should ask someone else to recite it near the dying person.[2]

This is indeed a very crucial moment for the dying person. Hence, those seated around him should not speak of anything that will divert the attention of the dying person away from Allah Ta’ala towards the material things of the world. This is the time when the dying person is about to leave the worldly abode and present himself in the court of Allah Ta’ala.[3]

Posture of the Muhtadhar

When a person begins to experience the pangs of death (sakaraatul maut), it is sunnah that he be made to lie on his right side facing the qiblah. If this is difficult, he should be made to lie flat on his back with his feet facing towards the qiblah. His head will be slightly raised so that his face could also be towards the qiblah. If even this is difficult then he should be left in whichever position he is in.[4]

Talqeen at the time of death

It is mustahab for those seated around the dying person to begin reciting the Kalimah aloud so that this will be an encouragement for him to also recite the Kalimah. This is called talqeen of the Shahaadatain to the dying person. Those around the dying person should not instruct him to recite the Kalimah as this is a very crucial and difficult time and one does not know how the dying person will respond. However, they should prompt the dying person to recite the Shahaadatain by reciting it in an audible manner.[5]

Once he recites the Kalimah, those around him do not need to prompt him to recite it again as the purpose has been achieved i.e. the last words uttered by the dying person should be the Kalimah or any zikr of Allah Ta’ala. However, if the dying person speaks of any worldly affair after having recited the Kalimah, then those around him should once again commence reciting the Kalimah in order to encourage him to repeat it.[6]

عن يحيى بن عمارة قال سمعت أبا سعيد الخدري رضي الله عنه يقول قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم لقنوا موتاكم لا إله إلا الله

Hazrat Abu Sa’eed Khudri (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) reports that he heard Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) saying: “Encourage the dying person to recite لا إله إلا الله

عن معاذ بن جبل رضي الله عنه قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم من كان آخر كلامه لا إله إلا الله دخل الجنة

Hazrat Mu’aaz bin Jabal (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said: “The one whose last words uttered are the Kalimah لا إله إلا الله will enter Paradise.”


Unknowingly uttering words of kufr at the time of death

While experiencing the pangs of death, if words of kufr were uttered by the dying person, then neither should any attention be paid towards it nor should it be publicised. Instead, it should be felt that the dying person, on account of the difficulty of death, was not in his normal state of mind and had thus unrealizingly uttered such words. It is well known that the person who utters words of kufr while he is not in his senses will be forgiven. Dua should continuously be made for the assistance and salvation of the dying person.[7]

Final Moments of the Pious

When Hazrat Bilaal (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) was about to pass away, his wife began to say: “Ah, how sad! You are departing from this world.” Hazrat Bilaal (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) replied: “How pleasant and joyful it is that tomorrow we will meet our friends, we will meet Hazrat Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and his companions.”

Abdullah bin Moosa says: “I was once on a journey when Ali bin Saalih (rahimahullah) passed away. On my return, I visited his brother, Hasan bin Saalih, to pay my condolences and I was overtaken by weeping. His brother said: “First listen to his story before you weep. His story is unique and one of great pleasure. He asked me to bring water to him while he was in the throes of death. When I took the water to him, he said: “I have already drunk.” I asked him who had provided the drink. He replied: “Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) came with numerous rows of angels and provided me with water.” I asked him (to verify that he was in his senses), “How were the rows of angels formed?” He replied: “One above the other.”

What Should be Done Immediately After Death?

Once the person passes away, his eyes should be closed and his limbs should be straightened. His hands should be placed at his sides while his fingers and joints should be loosened. His mouth should be closed by tying a cloth from below the chin around both sides of his head. The cloth should be knotted so that the mouth does not open. The Fuqahaa explain that this should be done in order for the ghusal to take place correctly. At times, after the person’s demise, the body becomes stiff and while giving ghusal, water does not reach all parts of the body. Therefore, straightening the limbs of the deceased upon his demise will ensure that at the time of ghusal, the water will reach the entire body easily.[8]

The following dua will be recited when closing the mouth and eyes of a male deceased:

اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِفلان وَارْفَعْ دَرَجَتَهُ فِى الْمَهْدِيِّينَ وَاخْلُفْهُ فِى عَقِبِهِ فِى الْغَابِرِينَ وَاغْفِرْ لَنَا وَلَهُ يَا رَبَّ الْعَالَمِينَ اللَّهُمَّ افْسَحْ لَهُ فِى قَبْرِهِ وَنَوِّرْ لَهُ فِيهِ

O Allah, forgive (so and so) and raise his rank among the rightly guided, and You be his guardian in seeing to the affairs of those he has left behind (his family). Forgive our sins and forgive the sins of the deceased O Rabb of the worlds. O Allah, expand his grave and illuminate it for him (through your mercy). (Saheeh Muslim #920)

The following dua will be recited when closing the mouth and eyes of a female deceased:

اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِفلان وَارْفَعْ دَرَجَتَهَا فِى الْمَهْدِيِّينَ وَاخْلُفْهَا فِى عَقِبِهَا فِى الْغَابِرِينَ وَاغْفِرْ لَنَا وَلَهَا يَا رَبَّ الْعَالَمِينَ اللَّهُمَّ افْسَحْ لَهَا فِى قَبْرِهَا وَنَوِّرْ لَهَا فِيهِ

The following duas may also be recited at the time of closing the eyes of the mayyit:     

بِسْمِ اللهِ وَعَلى مِلَّةِ رَسُوْلِ اللهِ

I begin in the name of Allah Ta’ala and upon the Deen of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) (Bayhaqi #6609)

بِسْمِ اللهِ وَعَلى مِلَّةِ رَسُوْلِ اللهِ اللّهُمَّ يَسِّرْ عَلَيْهِ أَمْرَهُ وَسَهِّلْ عَلَيْهِ مَا بَعْدَهُ

وَأَسْعِدْهُ بِلِقَائِكَ وَاجْعَلْ مَا خَرَجَ إِلَيْهِ خَيْرًا مِمَّا خَرَجَ عَنْهُ

I begin in the name of Allah Ta’ala and upon the Deen of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam). O Allah! Grant him ease in his current condition and make the stages that follow easy for him. Favour him and bless him with the honour of meeting You, and make the abode of the Aakhirah better than the world.

Around the mayyit

• If possible, some incense should be burnt near the deceased. The reason for burning incense near the deceased is to remove any bad odour that may come out from the body of the deceased at the time of his demise or after his demise. [9]

• Women in the state of nifaas or haidh, people in the state of janaabat and disbelievers should not sit around the deceased.[10]

• It is makrooh to recite the Quraan Majeed near or around the deceased before he is given ghusal.[11] However, engaging in zikr is permissible.[12]

[1] وعلامات الاحتضار أن تسترخي قدماه فلا تنتصبان ويتعوج أنفه وينخسف صدغاه وتمتد جلدة الخصية كذا في التبيين وتمتد جلدة وجهه فلا يرى فيها تعطف هكذا في السراج الوهاج (الفتاوى الهندية ١/١٥٧)

[2] و يندب قراءة يٰسۤ والرعد قال الشامي : لقوله صلى الله عليه وسلم اقرءوا على موتاكم يٰسۤ صححه ابن حبان وقال المراد به من حضره الموت وروى أبو داود عن مجالد عن الشعبي قال : كانت الأنصار إذا حضروا قرءوا عند الميت سورة البقرة إلا أن مجالدا مضعف حلية (قوله والرعد) هو استحسان بعض المتأخرين لقول جابر رضي الله عنه إنها تهون عليه خروج روحه إمداد (رد المحتار ٢/١٩١)

[3] عن أم سلمة قالت قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم إذا حضرتم المريض أو الميت فقولوا خيرا فإن الملائكة يؤمنون على ما تقولون قالت فلما مات أبو سلمة أتيت النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فقلت يا رسول الله إن أبا سلمة قد مات قال قولي اللهم اغفر لي وله وأعقبني منه عقبى حسنة قالت فقلت فأعقبني الله من هو خير لي منه محمدا صلى الله عليه وسلم (صحيح مسلم، الرقم: ٩١٩)

(وأعقبني) من الإعقاب أي أبدلني وعوضني (منه) أي في مقابلته (عقبى) كبشرى أي بدلا صالحا (حاشية السندهي عل سنن النسائي ١/٢٥٨)
ذكر الشيخ مولانا أشرف علي التهانوي رحمه الله هذا الأدب في “بهشتي زيور” وعلق عليه المفتي محمود حسن الكنكوهي رحمه الله أن هذا الأدب يخرج من عموم لفظ الخير المذكور في هذه الرواية ونصه هذا قال : ومن الخير له ما ذكره المؤلف كما لا يخفى

[4] ( يوجه المحتضر ) وعلامته استرخاء قدميه واعوجاج منخره وانخساف صدغيه ( القبلة ) على يمينه هو السنة ( وجاز الاستلقاء ) على ظهره ( وقدماه إليها ) وهو المعتاد في زماننا ( و ) لكن ( يرفع رأسه قليلا ) ليتوجه للقبلة ( وقيل يوضع كما تيسر على الأصح ) صححه في المبتغى ( وإن شق عليه ترك على حاله ) والمرجوم لا يوجه معراج قال الشامي : قوله ( وجاز الاستلقاء ) اختاره مشايخنا بما وراء النهر لأنه أيسر لخروج الروح وتعقبه في الفتح وغيره بأنه لا يعرف إلا نقلا والله أعلم بالأيسر منهما ولكنه أيسر لتغميضه وشد لحييه وأمنع من تقوس أعضائه بحر قوله ( ليتوجه للقبلة ) عبارة الفتح ليصير وجهه إلى القبلة دون السماء قوله ( ترك على حاله ) أي ولو لم يكن مستلقيا أو متوجها ( رد المحتار 2/189)

[5] ولقن الشهادتين وصورة التلقين أن يقال عنده في حالة النزع قبل الغرغرة جهرا وهو يسمع أشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وأشهد أن محمدا رسول الله ولا يقال له قل ولا يلح عليه في قولها مخافة أن يضجر (الفتاوى الهندية ١/١٥٧)

[6] فإذا قالها مرة لا يعيدها عليه الملقن إلا أن يتكلم بكلام غيرها كذا في الجوهرة النيرة وهذا التلقين مستحب بالإجماع (الفتاوى الهندية ١/١٥٧)

[7] وقالوا: إنه إذا ظهر منه ما يوجب الكفر لا يحكم بكفره حملا على أنه زال عقله واختار بعضهم زوال عقله عند موته لهذا الخوف (حاشية الطحطاوي على مراقي الفلاح صـ ٥٥٩)

[8] ( وإذا مات تشد لحياه وتغمض عيناه ) تحسينا له ويقول مغمضه بسم الله وعلى ملة رسول الله اللهم يسر عليه أمره وسهل عليه ما بعده وأسعده بلقائك واجعل ما خرج إليه خيرا مما خرج عنه ثم تمد أعضاؤه ويوضع على بطنه سيف أو حديد لئلا ينتفخ ويحضر عنده الطيب (الدر المختار 2/193)

فإذا مات شدوا لحييه وغمضوا عينيه ويتولى أرفق أهله به إغماضه بأسهل مما يقدر عليه ويشد لحياه بعصابة عريضة يشدها في لحيه الأسفل ويربطها فوق رأسه كذا في الجوهرة النيرة (الفتاوى الهندية 1/157)

(وتوضع يداه بجنبيه) إشارة لتسليمه الأمر لربه (ولا يجوز وضعهما على صدره) لأنه صنيع أهل الكتاب وتلين مفاصله وأصابعه بأن يرد ساعده لعضده وساقه لفخذه وفخذه لبطنه ويردها ملينة ليسهل غسله وإدراجه في الكفن (حاشية الطحطاوي على مراقي الفلاح ص564)

[9] (فيوضع كما مات) الكاف للمفاجأة إذا تيقن في موته (على سرير مجمر) أي مبخر إخفاء لكريه الرائحة وتعظيما للميت

قوله : (مجمر أي مبخر) بنحو عود ثم المتبادر أن فعل ذلك قبل وضعه عليه وقيل عند إرادة غسله إخفاء للرائحة الكريهة عيني (مراقي حاشية الطحطاوي على مراقي الفلاح ص566)

[10] ويخرج من عنده الحائض والنفساء والجنب قال الشامي : قوله ( ويخرج من عنده الخ ) في النهر وينبغي إخراج الحائض الخ وفي نور الإيضاح واختلف في إخراج الحائض (رد المحتار 2/193)

( واختلفوا في إخراج الحائض والنفساء ) والجنب ( من عنده ) وجه الإخراج امتناع حضور الملائكة محلا به حائض أو نفساء كما ورد ويحضر عنده طبيب

قال الطحطاوي : قوله ( وجه الإخراج إلخ ) إخراجهم على سبيل الأولوية إذا كان عن حضورهم غنى فلا ينافي ما ذكره الكاكي من أنه لا يمتنع حضور الجنب والحائض وقت الاحتضار ووجه عدم الإخراج أنه قد لا يمكن الإخراج للشفقة أو للاحتياج إليهن ونص بعضهم على إخراج الكافر أيضا وهو حسن (حاشية الطحطاوي على مراقي الفلاح ص563)

[11] ويكره قراءة القرآن عنده حتى يغسل كذا في التبيين (الفتاوى الهندية 1/157)

[12] قلت : وليس في النتف إلى الغسل بل إلى أن يرفع فقط وفسره في البحر برفع الروح وعبارة الزيلعي وغيره تكره القراءة عنده حتى يغسل وعلله الشرنبلالي في إمداد الفتاح تنزيها للقرآن عن نجاسة الميت لتنجسه بالموت قيل نجاسة خبث وقيل حدث وعليه فينبغي جوازها كقراءة المحدث (الدر المختار 2/193)

(ولا بأس) لحائض وجنب (بقراءة أدعية ومسها وحملها وذكر الله تعالى، وتسبيح) (الدر المختار 1/293) انظر أيضا فتاوى رحيمية 7/61


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