What Is Death & What Happens After It?

I am writing this article after getting many emails from all over the world on this topic.

What Is Death

Death Depicted by Skulls

As per science, death is the irreversible cessation of all functions and specific properties that sustain in an organism or any physical object. While as per God’s revelations it is just a transition from one form to another. Especially for human beings, this is the end of their trial and the beginning of eternal life either in Paradise or Hell. But because other than God nothing is eternal in its true sense thus although they will remain for an unlimited period ‘eternally” in Paradise or Hell as long as heavens and earth remain but not unconditionally eternal as clearly mentioned in Surah Hud chapter 11: 106-108 the phrase “إِلَّا مَا شَاءَ رَبُّكَ” “Except what your Lord Wills” is to make sure that no one should think that the life in Paradise will be eternal in the sense as God is eternal and is subject to the Will of your Lord.

١٠٦ فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ شَقُوا فَفِي النَّارِ لَهُمْ فِيهَا زَفِيرٌ وَشَهِيقٌ

١٠٧ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا مَا دَامَتِ السَّمَاوَاتُ وَالْأَرْضُ إِلَّا مَا شَاءَ رَبُّكَ ۚ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ فَعَّالٌ لِمَا يُرِيدُ

١٠٨ وَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ سُعِدُوا فَفِي الْجَنَّةِ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا مَا دَامَتِ السَّمَاوَاتُ وَالْأَرْضُ إِلَّا مَا شَاءَ رَبُّكَ ۖ عَطَاءً غَيْرَ مَجْذُوذٍ

106 As for those who were [destined to be] wretched, they will be in the Fire. For them therein is [violent] exhaling and inhaling.
107 [They will be] abiding therein as long as the heavens and the earth endure, except what your Lord should will. Indeed, your Lord is an effecter of what He intends.
108 And as for those who were [destined to be] prosperous, they will be in Paradise, abiding therein as long as the heavens and the earth endure, except what your Lord should will – a bestowal uninterrupted.

Why Death Happens

For living beings, it is the departure of the soul.  And for the soul the Holy Quran clearly says in Surah Isra chapter 17:85 that Human beings are/will not be able to find its true reality now or even in future

٨٥ وَيَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الرُّوحِ ۖ قُلِ الرُّوحُ مِنْ أَمْرِ رَبِّي وَمَا أُوتِيتُمْ مِنَ الْعِلْمِ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا

85 And they ask you about the soul. Say, “The soul is of the affair of my Lord. And mankind has not been given of knowledge except a little.”

What happens after Death?

Skulls pile

For human beings, 3 type of scenarios happens after their death. The majority of humans will fall into the category that will go to an unconscious level of deep sleep and will then raise on the day of judgement while they have no knowledge that how many years centuries or billions of years passed during their soul’s deep sleep as is clearly mentioned in Surah Yasin verse 51-52 and Surah Taha verse 102-104

٥١ وَنُفِخَ فِي الصُّورِ فَإِذَا هُمْ مِنَ الْأَجْدَاثِ إِلَىٰ رَبِّهِمْ يَنْسِلُونَ

٥٢ قَالُوا يَا وَيْلَنَا مَنْ بَعَثَنَا مِنْ مَرْقَدِنَا ۜ ۗ هَٰذَا مَا وَعَدَ الرَّحْمَٰنُ وَصَدَقَ الْمُرْسَلُونَ

51 And the Horn will be blown; and at once from the graves to their Lord they will hasten.
52 They will say, “O woe to us! Who has raised us up from our sleeping place?” [The reply will be], “This is what the Most Merciful had promised, and the messengers told the truth.”

١٠٢ يَوْمَ يُنْفَخُ فِي الصُّورِ ۚ وَنَحْشُرُ الْمُجْرِمِينَ يَوْمَئِذٍ زُرْقًا

١٠٣ يَتَخَافَتُونَ بَيْنَهُمْ إِنْ لَبِثْتُمْ إِلَّا عَشْرًا

١٠٤ نَحْنُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا يَقُولُونَ إِذْ يَقُولُ أَمْثَلُهُمْ طَرِيقَةً إِنْ لَبِثْتُمْ إِلَّا يَوْمًا

102 The Day the Horn will be blown. And We will gather the criminals, that Day, blue-eyed.
103 They will murmur among themselves, “You remained not but ten [days in the world].”
104 We are most knowing of what they say when the best of them in manner will say, “You remained not but one day.”

Fire animationThe second scenario is for big criminals and sinners of any town or of any time, and they will remain conscious throughout all this period of Barzakh till the day of Judgement and will be threatened by the feel and view of Hell as clearly mentioned in Surah Ghafir Chapter 40:46

٤٦ النَّارُ يُعْرَضُونَ عَلَيْهَا غُدُوًّا وَعَشِيًّا ۖ وَيَوْمَ تَقُومُ السَّاعَةُ أَدْخِلُوا آلَ فِرْعَوْنَ أَشَدَّ الْعَذَابِ

46 The Fire, they are exposed to it morning and evening. And the Day the Hour will be established [it will be said], “Make the people of Pharaoh enter the severest punishment.”

The third situation is for Prophets, Martyrs and the righteous as they go in a condition where not only they would have consciousness but also some form of a physical body which requires “Eating” as is clearly mentioned many times in the Quran

١٦٩ وَلَا تَحْسَبَنَّ الَّذِينَ قُتِلُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ أَمْوَاتًا ۚ بَلْ أَحْيَاءٌ عِنْدَ رَبِّهِمْ يُرْزَقُونَ

169 And never think of those who have been killed in the cause of Allah as dead. Rather, they are alive with their Lord, receiving provision,

Why we are afraid of Death

The believers should not be afraid of it but they should be like as mentioned in Surah Baqrah 156

١٥٦ الَّذِينَ إِذَا أَصَابَتْهُمْ مُصِيبَةٌ قَالُوا إِنَّا لِلَّهِ وَإِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ

156 Who, when disaster strikes them, say, “Indeed we belong to Allah, and indeed to Him we will return.”

Will come soon!

Will come soon!

Will come soon!