Thursday 23 January 2020

Selected Verses from Quran: Every soul shall have a taste of death

Death is the ultimate reality that man often forgets. If we look around, most of the living beings are oblivious of this hard truth, for if they knew they would not have been concentrating on amassing wealth and hurting others. No one but Allah know how much longer a man has to live and every other second that we live is a reminder by Allah to be prepared for one's death for the angel of death can strike anyone and in an instant the life is over. 

In fact the moment a child is born, the clock of death, not of life, start to click and the alarm rings silently one day and the life is over. Therefore, Allah has reminded man at many a times in the Quran of the bitter truth and has warned man to be ready to taste the death for a very different world awaits him after the death. Those who believe in it and are prepared every second to say goodbye to this world and do deeds that will take them to heaven will be the ones who will be successful in the end:

كُلُّ نَفۡسٍ ذَآئِقَةُ الۡمَوۡتِ​ؕ 
وَاِنَّمَا تُوَفَّوۡنَ اُجُوۡرَكُمۡ يَوۡمَ الۡقِيٰمَةِ​ؕ فَمَنۡ زُحۡزِحَ عَنِ النَّارِ وَاُدۡخِلَ الۡجَـنَّةَ فَقَدۡ فَازَ​ؕ وَمَا الۡحَيٰوةُ الدُّنۡيَاۤ اِلَّا مَتَاعُ الۡغُرُوۡرِ‏ 

(Surah 3 Al i Imran: 185) Every soul shall have a taste of death and you shall receive your full reward on the Day of Resurrection. Then, whoever is spared the Fire and is admitted to Paradise has indeed been successful. The life of this world is merely an illusory enjoyment.

The life of this world (as it appears) is a thing that deceives because it helps create false impressions which deceive one about me ultimate results of deeds and misdeeds. One may thus be misled to take apparent prosperity or adversity as the criterion of Truth or falsehood. If one is apparently prosperous in this life, it is wrong to conclude that the one is on the right side and high in God's favour. On the other hand, if another is suffering from misfortunes and is a victim of adversity, it does not necessarily mean that the one is on the wrong side and incurs the disfavour of God. For often the results in this world are just the opposite of those which are to be met with in the Next World. The latter are, however, real and therefore deserve one's greatest consideration. 

Tafsir Ibn Kathir:
Allah issues a general and encompassing statement that every living soul shall taste death. In another statement, Allah said,

(Whatsoever is on it (the earth) will perish. And the Face of your Lord full of majesty and honor will remain forever (Surah 55 Ar Rahman: 26-27)

Therefore, Allah Alone is the Ever-Living Who never dies, while the Jinn, mankind and angels, including those who carry Allah's Throne, shall die. The Irresistible One and Only, will alone remain for ever and ever, remaining Last, as He was the First. This Ayah comforts all creation, since every soul that exists on the earth shall die. When the term of this life comes to an end and the sons of Adam no longer have any new generations, and thus this world ends, Allah will command that the Day of Resurrection commence. Allah will then recompense the creation for their deeds, whether minor or major, many or few, big or small. Surely, Allah will not deal unjustly with anyone, even the weight of an atom, and this is why He said,

(185. And only on the Day of Resurrection shall you be paid your wages in full)

Who Shall Gain Ultimate Victory? Allah said,

(And whoever is moved away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise, he indeed is successful.) meaning, whoever is kept away from the Fire, saved from it and entered into Paradise, will have achieved the ultimate success.

Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said, 

«مَوْضِعُ سَوْطٍ فِي الْجَنَّةِ خَيْرٌ مِنَ الدُّنْيَا وَمَا فِيهَا، اقْرَأُوا إِنْ شِئْتُمْ »

(A place in Paradise as small as that which is occupied by a whip is better than the world and whatever is on its surface. Read if you will),

Yusuf Ali explanation:
The death of the body will give a taste of death to the soul when the soul separates from the body. The soul will then know that this life was but probation. And seeming inequalities will be adjusted finally on the Day of Judgment.

Longfellow's Psalm of Life: "All this world's a fleeting show. For man's illusion given". The only reality will be when we have attained our final goal.

From this verse we learn that the real success is the success in the Hereafter. Possessions, titles and wealth of this world do not matter. Our deeds matter. Pay attention to what is important. Therefore, we must be patient over what others say. Be conscious of your response to opposition.

Tafsir Qur'an Wiki:
Here the sūrah addresses the Muslim community, explaining the values it should hold dear, and for which it should make sacrifices. It also speaks of the hardships and the suffering which it is bound to encounter on the way and encourages the Muslims to remain steadfast, show strong resolve and to always maintain fear of God.

The fact that this life on earth is limited to a certain date, which will inevitably come, must be well established in believers’ hearts. Good people as well as bad people will certainly die. Those who fight a campaign of jihād and those who slacken, those who feel pride in their faith and those who are humbled by others, the brave who accept no injustice and the cowards who will do anything to remain alive, those who have great aspirations and the ones who seek only cheap enjoyment, will all die. No one will be spared: “Every soul shall taste death.” It is a cup from which every living thing will have to drink. There is no distinction whatsoever between one soul and another when it comes to drinking this cup. What distinction there is concerns a different value: the ultimate result. “You shall be paid on the Day of Resurrection only that which you have earned. He who shall be drawn away from the Fire and brought into paradise shall indeed have gained a triumph.” It is with regard to this value that the distinction will be made. It is this destiny which will separate one group of souls from another. The value is one worth striving for and one to be taken very seriously: “He who shall be drawn away from the Fire and brought into paradise shall indeed have gained a triumph.” 
The Arabic phrase rendered in translation as “shall be drawn away” is much more expressive than its English equivalent. This is because its very sound adds to its meaning and connotation. It gives the listener the sense that the Fire has strong gravity, that it pulls towards it anyone who draws near or enters its orbit. Such a person, then, needs support from someone else who draws him slowly and gradually away from its overpowering gravity. He who can be forced out of its orbit and become free of its pull will enter paradise, and he will have gained a great triumph.
It is a very vivid image, its lines delineated in sharp relief. We see movement, an overpowering force and a strong resistance. The fire beckons those who yield to the overpowering temptation of sin. Is it not true that a human being needs to be gradually drawn away from temptation? This is indeed how he is drawn away from the Fire. Despite the hard work and alertness this requires, man will always be in deficit with regard to the good work he needs to do. His only hope is for God to bestow on him His grace. That is what being “drawn away” from the fire really means. It is only through God’s grace that man is spared the punishment of hell.
“The life of this world is nothing but an illusory enjoyment.” There is enjoyment in this life, it is true. But it is not real enjoyment; it is deceptive indeed; an enjoyment which leads to illusions. As for the real enjoyment which gives lasting happiness and ecstasy, this can only be found in the life to come. It is the triumph gained when one is brought into Paradise. When this fact is well established in the believer’s heart, when he is no longer so keen to stay alive, since every soul shall taste death anyway, and when he has recognised the illusory nature of the enjoyment of this life, God tells the believers of the trials which they shall have to endure in their possessions and persons. By then, they are well prepared for the sacrifice.


 The way to apply this part of the verse in your daily life is to stop for a second before you enjoy the pleasures you encounter, no matter how minor. Stop and think before you enjoy a warm shower, a cold drink, a delicious meal, a hefty paycheck, a fancy car, a new set of clothes, and so on. Stop and realize that what you have before you is an illusion. While it is real in the sense that it is a created, tangible, physical thing, there is a much deeper, hidden reality attached to what you are about to enjoy, such that you will be living in a state of deception if you are oblivious to this reality. And this reality is the opposite of the deception mentioned in this verse, which we should likewise beware of. One aspect of the deception to be aware of is that our enjoyments give us a false sense of power.
 Another aspect of this deception is the sense that what you are about to enjoy will always be there. In the moment when you’re thinking of nothing but the pleasure or relaxation that any given luxury has to offer, it is not likely to cross your mind that this luxury could disappear in the blink of an eye. Hold up that glass of cold water and remember the very last verse of Surah al-Mulk: [“Tell me: if all your water were to sink away, who will supply you with flowing water?"] Sitting with your wives, your husbands, your children, your friends - how do you know they will all be alive tomorrow? Next time you are enjoying some time with any of them, remind yourself of v. 26 of Surah ar-Rahman: [“Whatsoever is on it [the Earth] will perish.”] When you pull into your driveway and are about to walk into that large home, stand there for a minute and think of the story of the two men with the gardens in v. 32-43 of Surah al-Kahf, and realize that between one second and the next, all of this could be gone. Anything you currently enjoy - big or small, alive or inanimate - could disappear. The sense of comfort you experience is merely the response to a deceptive illusion put before you by Allah.
A third point of deception is that you lose a sense of what true enjoyment is and what is isn't. Our minds are such that when we spend a long time chasing after a second-rate goal or luxury and finally attain what we seek, we cannot imagine that there is anything better than what we have. Imagine you are lost in a desert, having had nothing to eat or drink for days. Suddenly, you come across a piece of dry bread, a bit of old cheese, and a jug of luke-warm water. It will resemble a feast for you because of your intense hunger, and you will think to yourself as you finally nourish your aching body that this is all you want. You are so happy to finally be able to satisfy your hunger and thirst with this second-rate meal that you're not thinking about having fresh bread, fresh cheese, and clean, cool water.
 The reality the verse is exposing to you is that whatever you could possibly enjoy here is nothing in comparison to the pleasures found in Paradise. But because it is the life of this world which is tangible to us now, and the life in Paradise is known to us only through the Qur’anic verses and the Prophetic statements, you should stop before delving into each luxury and remind yourself that you are about to enjoy a mere illusion of pleasure in compari-son with the reality that awaits you in the Hereafter, whether it be the joys of Paradise or the horrors of Hellfire.
Each of these three points of deception vs. reality has a practical effect on your personality once you internalize them:
1. As for the first: it teaches you humility;
2. As for the second point: it teaches you greater appreciation for what you have at the time;
3. As for the last: it develops a greater attachment between your heart and the Hereafter, and detaches you from the frivolties of this temporary life.

You may now like to listen to eminent Muslim scholar Nouman Ali Khan explaining the afore mentioned verse:
May Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى‎) help us understand Qur'ān and follow the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, which is embodiment of commandments of Allah contained in the Qur'ān. May Allah help us to be like the ones He loves and let our lives be lived helping others and not making others' lives miserable or unlivable. May all our wrong doings, whether intentional or unintentional, be forgiven before the angel of death knocks on our door. 
وَمَا عَلَيۡنَاۤ اِلَّا الۡبَلٰغُ الۡمُبِيۡنُ‏ 
(36:17) and our duty is no more than to clearly convey the Message.”
That is Our duty is only to convey to you the message that Allah has entrusted us with. Then it is for you to accept it or reject it. We have not been made responsible for making you accept it forcibly, and if you do not accept it, we shall not be seized in consequence of your disbelief, you will yourselves be answerable for your actions on Day of Resurrection.

Reading the Qur'ān should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully. It will also help the Muslims to have grasp over social issues and their answers discussed in the Qur'an and other matter related to inter faith so that they are able to discuss issues with non-Muslims with authority based on refences from Qur'an.

May Allah forgive me if my posts ever imply a piety far greater than I possess. I am most in need of guidance.

Note: When we mention God in our posts, we mean One True God, we call Allah in Islam, with no associates. Allah is the Sole Creator of all things, and that Allah is all-powerful and all-knowing. Allah has no offspring, no race, no gender, no body, and is unaffected by the characteristics of human life.

For more Selected Verses, please refer to our reference page: Selected Verses from the Qur'an

You may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Quran.
Photo | References: |1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
Reading the Holy Quran should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully.

An effort has been made to gather explanation / exegesis of the Sūrahs of the Holy Qur'an from authentic sources and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. In that:
  • The plain translation has been taken from the Holy Quran officially published by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. 
  • The exegesis of the chapters of the Holy Quran is mainly based on the "Tafhim al-Qur'an - The Meaning of the Qur'an" by one of the most enlightened scholars of the Muslim World Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi. 
In order to augment and add more explanation as already provided, additional input has been interjected from following sources: 
In addition, references of other sources which have been explored have also been given on each page. Those desirous of detailed explanations and tafsir (exegesis), may refer to these sites.

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