Death is in the air

By New Blog writer Zaythoun Suleman– I completed this article four hours before Death came to take Jade Goody’s life, hearing the news of her death this morning sent chills down my spine as I truly felt that Death was in the air when I clicked the send button at around 11.30pm. I had introduced this article with the question of not knowing how long she had left in this world…

Jade Goody and family staring ahead of events

Jade had prepared for death, by requesting that she be buried in her £3,500 ivory silk wedding dress worn at her wedding to Jack Tweed and having her funeral cortege travel through Bermondsey in South London. It makes me think how long we have and what preparations we are making for our own death.

We watch others dying every day. The harrowing pictures of innocent brothers, sisters and children from Gaza murdered by the Israeli army are still imprinted on the minds of many.

Quite recently, Natasha Richardson who starred in Parent trap lost her life after a skiing accident. Wendy Richard from Eastenders lost her life to cancer and Tony Hart from Take Hart and Hartbeat (The kids programme with Morph the movable plasticine figure who lived in a wooden pencil box!) helped many kids to draw, died from fading health after suffering strokes.

We hear songs about it, one of my favourites is Ahmad Bukhatir‘s chilling “last breath”. It reminds me of the loss of loved ones that leaves us with an empty space. No matter how hard we cry they cannot return. We can almost visualise the soul flying from the body as the heart monitor makes its monotonous rhythm and all that remains is the outer case. We never forget the ones who leave us; we just learn to live without them. With the loss of parents, it feels like the shade that was once there is lifted and the rain falls directly onto our heads.

Benjamin Franklin, a founder of the United States of America once said, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes!” Therefore, whether you are Muslim or non-Muslim, we all know we are going to die someday.

As I was putting the words of this article together, a sister came up to me and asked what I was writing. I explained I was writing an article on death to which she cringed and walked away. I understood her discomfort as she had also lost close relatives to death. Do we know when it is our time to go or how we will go? Is death something to fear?

Will Smith’s recent release “Seven Pounds” shows Will Smith playing the mysterious role of Ben/Tim Thomas, supposedly doing good until he commits suicide so he can donate body parts (not car but human body parts!) he could not donate whilst being alive. Overall, his suicide is a result of guilt, which began with him replying to a text message whilst driving and ending with the death of his wife/partner and six others. Should we see “Ben Thomas” as a hero? Is suicide being portrayed as an acceptable “way to go” when things get tough as long as you can leave your eyes, heart, liver, bone marrow, kidney etc to people who need them?

So why is suicide propagated as an option for a way out of this Godless society?

Recently, we hear of Josef Fritzl who admitted guilt to raping his daughter and fathering seven children with her as being on suicide watch. Does he feel he cannot face the society now that the truth is out and his life is not worth living? What was he thinking whilst he committed the crimes? Did he think that he would be able to hide this secret forever and get away with what he was doing? What he failed to realise is that there is a greater power, which sees and hears all. On the last day, He will be asked about the scribbled deeds written by the angels that sit on everyone’s shoulders. The punishment in this life is nothing compared to the next life.

It is due to this society, which separates Allah from daily life, that there is no clear distinction of right and wrong. Freedom allows us to do whatever we want, when we want to whoever we want; this is what has allowed people like Josef Frizl and many others to breed.

It was in the deserts of Arabia over a thousand years ago when a man named Muhammad (Peace be upon him) brought Islam to the world, with perfect solutions to all of our problems. He was given the revelation by the Creator through the Archangel Gabriel or Jibraeel and passed what was learnt to followers who in return were inspired and motivated to collect rewards for the next life with each passing day. The system of Islam produced a society of individuals with a backbone, which loved to seek Allah’s pleasure and feared the wrath and the punishment, which would be enacted on them for their wrongdoings. They understood the consequences of their actions and how this life was merely a reflection, which was mirrored onto the next life.

So what keeps us Muslims going when the going gets tough? We know death will approach us one day as Allah Subhana Wa Ta’ala reminds us in Surah Al Ankabut, verse 57 “Every soul shall taste death” and in Surah As-Sajdah verse 11 “Say: ‘The Angel of Death, put in charge of you, will (duly) take your souls: then shall you be brought back to your Lord.”
Therefore, we do not shy away from this fact, Instead we prepare by saying and doing that which pleases Allah Subhana Wa Ta’ala as we will be answerable for every action and keeping away from that which earns his wrath.

We know the recording angels write a daily log of what we say and do in open and in secret and it is in these actions where the soul can truly find peace in life, death and the Akhirah. On the day, we enter the grave we are told three will come with us, of which two will leave, and one will remain. Our families and wealth will leave, and our deeds will remain with us.

Life is a gift, an amanah (trust), a blessing. Every day Allah Subhana Wa Ta’ala blesses us life after sleep or he chooses not to and much can be done to secure the best in the Akhirah. Death is inevitable, it will happen to all of us – so let us make most of the time in this world to prepare for it in the best manner. For a Muslim, preparation is not just about preparing for the funeral. In fact, the funeral is the duty of the Muslim community; we do not even have to worry about what we should wear when we are buried as our dress consists of simple white sheets. When we prepare for death, we prepare by collecting good deeds, which remain and benefit us most in this life and the next.

We cannot choose when we die or how we die, but we can choose to see this life as a blessing from this moment on and prepare for death by saying and doing that which pleases our Creator. We do not know what is around the corner for any of us. Death is in the air and we will all have the opportunity to meet him as Jade met him at 3.14 this morning.

Death has a name; he is Angel Azrail. I make du’a that when our time comes, he appears to you and to me as a handsome person Insha Allah and that our lives prepare for that day by pleasing Allah Subhana Wa Ta’ala.


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  1. the loss of Natasha Richardson makes think i might wear a helmet next time I go skiing

  2. Khaleel Mughal says:

    Thanks for a great post Majed. Glad your back blogging, will add this to my bookmarks as I have not been keeping up with your blog in a long time

    I know exactly what you mean about the very scent of death, I congratulate you, if a man truly thinks and feels death as you have so clearly stated, he has a mustard seeds worth of Taqwa.


  3. I read this entry up to the point where Seven Pounds’ plot is revealed. That was a film I was planning to watch. Thank you for spoiling it for me.

  4. Zaythoun Suleman says:


    So sorry Brother Ali for spoiling the plot of Seven Pounds… It was such a well made movie that I couldn’t leave it out. Please do not be put off watching the movie or finish reading the rest of the article..


  5. Salaam,

    It’s ok, never mind, I finished the article and will probably watch the film.

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