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  • Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

What is Death?

Dictionaries often define death as ‘the permanent cessation of life’. This definition reflects a negative understanding of death. It seems to suggest that death is the complete extinguishing of a being after having been alive on earth for a short while. It is as if when one dies, one ceases to exist forever.

In contrast to this, religion presents a positive understanding of death. It teaches us that death is not the end of life. Rather, it marks the beginning of a new phase of our life.

According to Islam, man has been created as an eternal being. His lifespan has been divided into two parts. The first is the pre-death phase, spent on earth; and the second is the post-death phase.

The pre-death phase of our life is a time for us to make preparations for our post-death phase, the life that is to come after we die and leave this world. The post-death phase is where we will reap the results of all that we had done in the pre-death phase of our life.

As per God’s Creation Plan, the phase before death is our preparatory period. Accordingly, we should focus completely on preparing ourselves for the eternal life that is to come after we die. We should know that in the post-death phase that we will have to face one day,

we will not have the chance to do any action whatsoever that can be of any use to us. In that phase of our life, we will only reap the fruits, sweet or bitter, of what we had sowed while in our pre-death phase.

Death is a message from life, as it were. And the message it delivers is this—that whatever good you need to do to earn yourself a good life after death, you should do it today, because tomorrow you may no longer be alive

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