Friday 2 April 2021

Every living being shall taste death - and to Us shall all of you be eventually sent back

If we look around, and even an appraisal of ourselves, it seems no one is worried about one's death - the final call for our worldly life. In fact we are so engrossed into the worldly affairs and our families that hardly anyone takes a time off and ponder over one's life and its ultimate cessation in this world and the life hereafter. In fact it is the Hereafter that is more important and we should always be prepared for it - every minute and every second of our lives for no one knows how lone one has to live.

And if we really ponder over our life and its uncertainties, we should start seeing it as a test and trial   - those who who would pass these tests and trial by following the path of Allah, will be the successful in the end. Allah warns us at many  a places in the Quran so that we ae well prepared when the angel of death knocks at our door - remember No One has been granted Immortality in this World !!

كُلُّ نَفۡسٍ ذَآئِقَةُ الۡمَوۡتِ​ؕ وَنَبۡلُوۡكُمۡ بِالشَّرِّ وَالۡخَيۡرِ فِتۡنَةً​  ؕ وَاِلَيۡنَا تُرۡجَعُوۡنَ‏ 
Every living being shall taste death and We shall subject you to ill and good by way of trial, and to Us shall all of you be eventually sent back. (Surah 21 Al-Anbiyaa:35) 

This verse is similar to an earlier mention of the same theme in the verse 185 of Surah 3. Al-i'Imran:

كُلُّ نَفۡسٍ ذَآئِقَةُ الۡمَوۡتِ​ؕ وَاِنَّمَا تُوَفَّوۡنَ اُجُوۡرَكُمۡ يَوۡمَ الۡقِيٰمَةِ​ؕ فَمَنۡ زُحۡزِحَ عَنِ النَّارِ وَاُدۡخِلَ الۡجَـنَّةَ فَقَدۡ فَازَ ​ؕ وَمَا الۡحَيٰوةُ الدُّنۡيَاۤ اِلَّا مَتَاعُ الۡغُرُوۡرِ‏ 
(3:185) Everyone is bound to taste 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.

There is no doubt about the culmination of one's earthly life. No matter how wealthy is a person, he cannot prevent his life coming to an end. And the end state is a mere two meter rectangular grave where one would be left all alone despite the palaces and hefty bank balances he may have owned. Thus man is reminded time and again to do good and earn something for the life that is yet to come before one dies.
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 a probation. And seeming inequalities will be adjusted finally on the Day of Judgment. Cf. 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. [Explanation of verse 3:185 by Yusuf Ali]

" and We shall subject you to ill and good by way of trial " That is, Allah is always putting human beings to test and trial both through adversity and affluence. This is to judge whether prosperity makes them proud, cruel and slaves of their lusts or they become grateful to Allah. On the other hand, He inflicts adversity upon them in order to see whether they remain within the prescribed and lawful limits or become low-spirited and down-hearted. A sensible person therefore should not be deluded by prosperity and adversity, but should keep their trial element in view and try to pass through it gracefully.

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: Every Soul Shall Taste Death (Explanation of verse 3:185) - Allah issues a general and encompassing statement that every living soul shall taste death. In another statement, Allah said:

(" كُلُّ مَنْ عَلَيْهَا فَانٍ - وَيَبْقَى وَجْهُ رَبِّكَ ذُو الْجَلْـلِ وَالإِكْرَامِ " Whatsoever is on it (the earth) will perish. And the Face of your Lord full of majesty and honor will remain forever) [55:26,27].

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.  

Quran Wiki:
This is the law that governs life. It has no exceptions or exemptions. The living, then, must take this into account and prepare themselves for it. This short journey on earth is bound to come to an end, and its end is the death of every living thing. All shall return to God. But whatever happens to us during this trip through life, whether good or bad, is meant as a test: “We test you all with evil and good by way of trial". When we speak of being tested by something evil or hard, we can all easily understand this notion. It is a test to show the endurance and patience of the one who is being tested. It is the means to determine how unshakeable his trust in God, his Lord, is, and how much trust he places in God’s mercy. But a test with good things needs to be explained. To be tested with good things is more difficult than hardship, even though it may appear easier. For the fact is that many people can endure being tested by evil, but few can endure a test with the good. When the test takes the form of sickness and weakness, many are able to endure and withstand the hardship, but when its form is that of good health, strength and ability, then few are those who pass through successfully.
People may be able to withstand poverty and deprivation, maintaining their dignity in such situations, but few are those who succeed in a test with comfort and affluence. For the latter tempts us to satisfy all our desires. Equally there are many who cannot be deterred by torture or physical harm. They are not overawed by such threats and actualities. By contrast, however, only a few can resist the temptations posited by wealth, position, comfort and desire. It is not difficult to tolerate the hardships of struggle and the injuries that one sustains in such a struggle. But it is extremely hard to experience comfort and a carefree life without becoming so keen to maintain it even at the expense of one’s dignity. Indeed such an experience could easily lead to accepting humiliation in order not to lose it.
Yusuf Ali  Explanation: Cf. iii. 185. The soul does not die, but when it separates from the body at the death of the body, the soul gets a taste of death. In our life of probation on this earth, our virtue and faith are tested by many things: some are tested by calamities, and some by the good things of this life. If we prove our true mettle, we pass our probation with success. In any case all must return to Allah, and then will our life be appraised at its true value.

Please listen to the tafsir / exegesis of verses 34-35 of Surah 21. Al Anbiya by by Shaykh Abdul Nasir Jangda:

May Allah help us understand Qur'ān and help us to act upon the commandments of Allah contained therein. Aameen.

For more Selected Verses, please refer to our reference page: Selected Verses from the Qur'anYou may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Qur'ān.
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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.

An effort has been made to gather explanation / exegesis of the surahs of the Qur'ān from authentic sources and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. In that:
  • The plain translation has been taken from the Qur'ān officially published by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
  • The exegesis of the chapters of the 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 by [2], additional input has been interjected from following sources: 
  • Towards Understanding the Quran
  • Tafsir Ibn Khatir
  • Muhammad Asad Translation
  • Al-Quran, Yusuf Ali Translation
  • Javed Ahmad Ghamidi / Al Mawrid
  • Verse by Verse Qur'an Study Circle
In addition the references of  other sources which have been explored have also been given above. Those desirous of detailed explanations and tafsir (exegesis), may refer to these sites.

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