The fact of death in Islam
Question: What is the explanation of Islam to the fact of death?
Islam sees that death is transition from an abode or a house or a life to another, transition from this life to the hereafter and from the life of extinction to the life of duration. Man transits from human life to intervallic spiritual life where he is prepared to move after that to the eternal life in the hereafter, as Allah says:
“No! When the earth is pounded to powder, And your Lord comes, and His angels, rank upon rank, And Hell, that Day, is brought (face to face), on that Day will man remember, but how will that remembrance profit him? He will say: "Ah! Would that I had sent forth (good deeds) for my Life!" Surat Al-Fajr, Verses, 21, 22, 23, 24.
Allah described the hereafter here as it is the real life, this is assured again as Allah says:
“But verily the Home in the Hereafter, that is life indeed, if they but knew.
” Surat, Al-Ankaboot, Verse 64.
It means it is the real life, death in Islam is like a big sleep, the same as we sleep every night this is the small sleep, the prophet (Blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said about this: “By That Who owns my life (Allah), you will die as you sleep and you will be resurrected as you wake up.” The Koran combined the two deaths and the two sleeps the big and the small as Allah says:
“He is Allah That takes the souls (of men) at death; and those that die not (He takes) during their sleep: those on whom He has passed the decree of death, He keeps back (from returning to life), but the rest He sends (to their bodies) for a term appointed,” Surat Azzumar, Verse 42.
Death is a life but for the spirit and the hidden facts except the soul and the body which are the means to contact and enjoy this apparent worldly life but man tastes and enjoys the hereafter by his interior facts, such as the spirit, the secret, the hidden, the most hidden and the true heart which is the real picture of man, imam Al-Ghazali said about this to those who were crying when he was on his death bed: (Tell brothers who see me dead, by Allah I m not dead. I am a bird and this (body) is my cage, I leave it and fly to the home of happiness. Don’t fear when death coming, it is only a transition from here.)