08 July 2019 CE | 06 Dhul-Qadah 1440 AH

Hadith Explanation

A Believer's Death

The Prophet of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: "When the soul of a believer comes out [of its body], two angels receive it and rise with it towards the heavens, whereupon the inhabitants of the heavens say, 'A good soul has come from the earth. Allah has blessed you and the body which you used to occupy.'" [Sahih Muslim]

Ayaat of the Quran and many ahadith give us a detailed picture of the events that take place at the time of death. From these sources the following facts emerge:

The Angel of Death greets the believer with Salam, sits at his/her head and says, "O you good soul, come out and receive your Lord's forgiveness and pleasure." Then the soul flows out effortlessly just as water flows from the mouth of a waterskin. When the soul of a believer comes out of its body, two angels [besides the angel of death] receive it to escort it to the Heavens. They bring with them beautiful clothing from Jannah, some fragrance of musk, and a vase from Jannah. Then they ascend with the soul to Heaven, and they do not pass with it by any group of angels but they say: "What is this good and sweet-smelling soul?"

The two angels tell them, he is "so-and-so" the son of "so-and-so," choosing the best of the names he used to be called in this life, until they reach the lowest sky. They ask permission to enter, and they are granted entry. Thus they ascend from one heaven to the next until they end at the seventh heaven, then to Allah, Exalted and High.

Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) commands: "Write the book of my servant in ‘Illiyeen.’" [Al-Quran 83:18] And so the believer’s book/record of deeds is written in Illiyeen. Then Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) says, “Return him to the earth, for (I promised them) I have created them from it, and into it I shall return them, and from it I shall extract (resurrect) them a second time.” [Al-Quran 20:55] So his soul is returned to earth and re-enters his body. Thus, his time in Barzakh begins.

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