Death is the permanent cessation of all biological functions that sustain a living organism. Phenomena which commonly bring about death include aging, predation, malnutrition, disease, suicide, homicide, starvation, dehydration, and accidents or major trauma resulting in terminal injury. In most cases, bodies of living organisms begin to decompose shortly after death.
A Muslim child who dies in a young age i.e. childhood before puberty
(Buloogh) will not be accountable for any of the obligatory worships and duties because obligatories start only after Buloogh. Allah SWT will grant all the
Muslim children the Paradise and also grant them to intercede
(Shafa’at) for their parents. The Hadeeth says : When Muslim children
die, they will be looked after near the Paradise by Lady Sarah, the
wife of Prophet Ibrahim (AS) and when the Angels tell them to enter
Paradise, they will say: We wait for our parents to enter with us.
Children of non Muslim parents will not be punished in the Day of Judgment but will be given full chance to know the true faith and chose.
It doesn't matter whether they are Muslim or not Muslim.
All children, regardless of their families' religions or what religion they identify as, are closer to the pure/uncorrupted/sinless nature known as the fitrah that recognizes and acknowledges the truth, the unseen, and good and evil. (Perhaps this is why children are often quite wise!)
At the same time, all children are still developing the psychological capabilities that are necessary to make solid moral judgments and act on them (for instance, empathy, the ability to put the good of the group above the good of the individual, self-restraint, an understanding of cause and effect, an understanding of the permanency of death, etc).
This is not to say that children cannot make good and bad ethical decisions, or that children do not have authentic religious experiences and beliefs or even conversions. All of that happens; it depends on the child and the age. However, they are not held responsible in the same way that mature people are.
So, children go to barzakh (the intermediary realm after death before the final judgment) and then to paradise. It is said that they skip some things that they are not mature enough for, such as some of the questioning.
The experience of children in the afterlife will likely be different from that of mature adults since part of our job in this life is to learn more about spiritual and other realities. So, they may have some catching up to do, or maybe their experience will just be different, just as different adults will also have different experiences.
On the other hand, we should not underestimate children's souls (in the same way that people often underestimate children and confine them to things that are "childish"). The soul is a noble and honourable creation of Allah and this is the same for children or adults.
Islam does not force faith on any one. Allah, The Glorious says in the Holy
Qur’an : There is no compulsion in religion. (2:256). Allah SWT also says in
the Holy Qur’an : Say, the Truth is from your Lord. So whosoever wants
to believe or disbelieve, it is up to him. (18:29).
The faith is a matter between man and his Creator. But if he starts destroying the faith of others, he will be entitled to punishment. Even the punishment is not
emotional but it has got many conditions to be fulfilled before it can be
due. In our time, the conditions of such punishment is not available
because it includes among other conditions, the availability of a fully practicing Muslim ruler who provides justice to the people and implements the rules of
According to hadith, if a person is sincere, their repentance can be accepted until the time they see the Angel of Death; or, if they were committing wrong out of ignorance, until the soul leaves the throat. (These times are given in different narrations; perhaps they are reflecting a similar time for the person about to pass on.) However, if they were intentionally doing wrong and expecting to be able to repent for it at the last minute, this option will not be there for them (nor would their repentance be sincere).
This is the idea being Qur'an 4:18 - that people cannot persist in wrongdoing and then expect to get out of it at the last minute. Rather, once they realize they are doing wrong, they should try to make a change.
Islam puts the respect of the human being as top priority. It is not allowed in Islam to disrespect the human being and his body even after death. Donating the organs after death is allowed only to save the sacred life of another human being.
Donating the human body for scientific research is good and can be even compulsory if there is no other human body which can suffice, but in this age, there ae thousands of non Muslims who are been taking part in such researches which meets the need.
It is not allowed to disrespect the human dead body unless there is no way to avoid it and it becomes the only way to serve other human beings' compulsory medical needs.
The evidence of the Day of Judgement is more than counting. The sentence which you quoted is narrated in a debate between the Imam (AS) and a non believer who denied the Hereafter, so Imam was telling him that either there is Hereafter or not, so if there is a Hereafter, the believers will win, and non believers will lose, and if there is no Hereafter, the believers will not lose anything.
I am sorry to hear about your loss.
It is narrated that the Prophet (S) said: “Keep many domestic animals (al-dawajin) in your houses so that the shayatin (demons) are occupied with them instead of with your children.” (See Tibb al-A'immah)
I think there is some truth to this.
Of course, maybe your cat just died and there was no other reason for it. The lifespan of animals is also in the hands of Allah, and this life is transitory for all of us.
At least you got to enjoy some time together, and one thing I have always admired about animals is that they handle death with grace and acceptance.
With salaams and du'as
Our gender is ordained by our Creator and it will remain with us after this life. In Paradise, Lady Fatimah will be the best of all the ladies of Paradise, which means that there will be females and males in Paradise, and our gender will remain with us after this life.
The constant remembrance of death and the fear of facing Allah swt is, in fact, not only encouraged by the Holy Quran, but is an essential quality that must exist in a true momin. To find oneself in such a state of reflection is, in actuality, a blessing rather than a burden.
Imam Ali (a.s) in Nahjul Balagha (saying #44) explains,
"Blessed is the man who always kept the life after death in his view, who remembered the Day of Judgment through all his deeds, who led a contented life and who was happy with the lot that Allah swt had destined for him."
However, it is important to understand that the fear of death and God is not encouraged in Islam simply in order to create a debilitating and paralyzing anxiety in the human being; rather, it is to allow for us to detach from the transient world and to galvanize us into preparation for the everlasting life.
To be consumed with thought of one's mortality should be the goal of every believer and it is this very state of being that elicits true asceticism in the human soul. It not only paves the path towards God Consciousness, or Taqwa, but it also allows for the essential task of detaching oneself from the world ie. Dunya.
Imam al-Baqir (a.s) has said,
'Remember death frequently, for no sooner does man increase his remembrance of death than he begins to renounce this world's life.’
الإمامُ الباقرُ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): أكثِرْ ذِكرَ المَوتِ ، فإنّهُ لَم يُكثِرْ إنسانٌ ذِكرَ المَوتِ إلّا زَهِدَ في الدنيا
Bihar Al-Anwar, V. 73, P. 64, No. 31
As to the concern whether one’s imaan has come from fear of Allah swt rather than the love of Allah swt, it is important to understand that faith or imaan, in true essence, has to actually include a combination of the two. True love means one is always working for the Pleasure of one’s Beloved and is always worried about causing, even inadvertently, the Displeasure of the Beloved. True love, in its most elevated form, means that the concern and anxiety over disobedience comes from a prevailing need to please the Beloved rather than the fear of possible punishment from the Beloved.
Is there hope for us? Is it possible for us to get salvation? Should we dare to even dream of being forgiven? These are valid questions, indeed. As a matter of fact, a true believer must always be asking themselves this question. And their state of being should always be in a perfect balance between fear and hope.
According to Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.), “A believer cannot have belief till both fear and hope are present in him. Nor can he be called as fearful and hopeful till he makes it evident in his actions.”
Staying in this state between anxiety and optimism prevents a believer from sins, protects them from developing a sense of invincibility and keeps them safe from becoming completely discouraged, demoralized and disheartened.
Remembering death often, fearing Allah swt, staying between the states of hope and fear is the quality of the ambiya and truly worth emulating for the Holy Qur’an praises the Prophets (peace be upon them) in the following words:
“Surely they used to hasten, one with another, in deeds of goodness and to call upon Us, hoping and fearing; and they were humble before Us.”
May Allah swt infuse us with these towfiqaat (ilaahi ameen).
Remember that fear is often a result of a lack of knowledge. Thus, it is important to work on increasing our knowledge so that we can learn more about Allah swt and His ways. The more we can understand how Merciful and Loving our Lord truly is, the better we can learn to view the remembrance of death and the fear of God as a blessing rather than a source of anxiety, ilaahi ameen.
Death for the believer is a blessing and happiness, as it is the start of reward and happy everlasting life, and for the disbeliever is a start of punishment. The believers are transferred when they die from the this life which has difficulties and pain and sufferings, to the life of peace, pleasure and happiness.
Imam Hasan al-Mujtaba was asked about death, he replied: Death is the happiest day for the believer, and the hardest day for the hypocrite.
In Ziyarat Ameen Allah which is recommended to be recited in visiting every Imam, we read a great Du'a which includes: O Allah, make me always longing for the happiness of meeting your mercy (death) مشتاقة إلى فرحة لقائك
Real believer seeks from Allah (SWT) to grant him martyrdom because it is the best way to die then live everlasting happy life, and even those who do not die in war, their readiness to be martyr and longing for martyrdom , makes them get the degree of the martyrs.
The Prophetic Hadeeth says: Surely, any believer dies loving The Progeny of the Prophet, will die as Shaheed.
Loving Allah ( SWT) and serving his servants ( especially the children ) will make death a really happy day for the family.
Yes, there are many authentic Hadeeths from the Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) and Ahlul Bayt (AS) stating that all of the infallible will be either killed or poisoned (ما منا إلا مقتول أو مسموم).
This Hadeeth was narrated by Imam Hasan (AS) from his grand father the Prophet (SAWA) after the martyrdom of Ameerul Mo'mineen ( AS). (Kifayatul Athar, by al-Khazzaz , page 160-162).
The Prophet (SAWA) himself was also poisoned. There are plenty of authentic narrations in Sunni and Shia books stating that the Prophet did not have natural death but was poisoned. ( Al- Mustadrak by Al-Haakim al-Nisaboori, V.3, P.60) and (al-Seerah al-Nabawiyyah by Ibn Katheer , V. 4, P. 449) and (al-Tabaqat al- Kubra by Ibn Sa'ad , V. 2, P. 249). These are few of Sunni books.
Yes, the Ghusl and Kafan of any Muslim is considered as sufficient.