Death , Martyrdom

Sleep is Temporary Death

Surah Al - An’am, 6:60

وَهُوَ الَّذِي يَتَوَفَّاكُم بِاللَّيْلِ وَيَعْلَمُ مَا جَرَحْتُم بِالنَّهَارِ ثُمَّ يَبْعَثُكُمْ فِيهِ لِيُقْضَى أَجَلٌ مُّسَمًّى ثُمَّ إِلَيْهِ مَرْجِعُكُمْ ثُمَّ يُنَبِّئُكُم بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ

Wa Howal lazii ya-ta-waf-faa-kum bil laili wa y‘a-lamo maa ja-rah-tum bin-nahaa-ri thom-ma yab-‘a-thu-kum fiihi li-yuq-zaa a-ja-lum mu-sam-ma; thom-ma ilayhi marji-‘ukum thum-ma yu-nab-bi-ukum, bima kun-tum t‘a-ma-luun.
60. And He it is who takes your soul at night (in sleep), and He knows what you acquire in the day, then He raises you up therein that an appointed term may be fulfilled; then to Him is your return, then He will inform you of what you were doing.

Saying at the time of Death

Surah Al – Baqarah, 2:156

الَّذِينَ إِذَا أَصَابَتْهُم مُّصِيبَةٌ قَالُواْ إِنَّا لِلّهِ وَإِنَّـا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعونَ

‘Al-laziina ‘izaaa ‘asaabat-hum-musiibatun-qaluuu ‘inna lil-laahi wa ‘innaaa ‘ilayhi raaji-’uun.
156. When Calamity befalls them, they say, “ Verily, unto God do we belong and, verily, unto Him we shall return.”

This clause used by a Muslim when he hears any loss, should be the motto of the life of every Muslim. It is the brief expression of all that Islam means. We are His, being His, our duty should be nothing short of absolute submission to His Will. We are returning to Him, which implies that we have proceeded from Him and that we are in our march towards Him and He is the destination.

Rewards of those who are Martyrs in Allah’s (swt) way

Surah Ali-’Imran, 3:169-172

وَلاَ تَحْسَبَنَّ الَّذِينَ قُتِلُواْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ أَمْوَاتًا بَلْ أَحْيَاء عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ يُرْزَقُونَ

Wa laa tah-saban-nal-laziina qutiluu fii Sabiilil-laahi ‘am waataa. Bal ‘ahyaaa-’un ‘inda rab-bihim yurzaquun;

169. But do not think of those that have been slain in God’s cause a dead. Nay, they are alive! With their Sustainer have they their sustenance,

فَرِحِينَ بِمَا آتَاهُمُ اللّهُ مِن فَضْلِهِ وَيَسْتَبْشِرُونَ بِالَّذِينَ لَمْ يَلْحَقُواْ بِهِم مِّنْ خَلْفِهِمْ أَلاَّ خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلاَ هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ

Farihiina bimaaa ‘aataahumul-laahu min-fazlihii wa yastab-shiruuna billaziina lam yalhaquu bihim-min khalfihim ‘al-laa khawfun ‘alayhim wa laa hum yahzanuun.

170. exulting in that (martyrdom) which God has bestowed upon them out of His bounty. And they rejoice in the glad tiding given to those (of their brethren) who have been left behind and have not yet joined them, that no fear need they have, and neither shall they grieve:

يَسْتَبْشِرُونَ بِنِعْمَةٍ مِّنَ اللّهِ وَفَضْلٍ وَأَنَّ اللّهَ لاَ يُضِيعُ أَجْرَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ

Yastab-shiruuna bi-ni-matim-minallaahi wa fazlinw-wa an-nallaaha laa yuzii-u ‘ajral-Mu’miniin.

171. they rejoice in the glad tiding of God’s blessings and bounty, and (in the promise) that God will not fail to requite the believers,

الَّذِينَ اسْتَجَابُواْ لِلّهِ وَالرَّسُولِ مِن بَعْدِ مَا أَصَابَهُمُ الْقَرْحُ لِلَّذِينَ أَحْسَنُواْ مِنْهُمْ وَاتَّقَواْ أَجْرٌ عَظِيمٌ

’Allaziinas-tajaabuu lil-laahi war-Rasuuli mim-ba -dimaaa ‘asaaba-humul-qarhu lillaziina ’ah-sanuu minhum wat-ta-qaw ’ajrun ’azlim.

172. who responded to the call of God and the Apostle after misfortune had befallen them (in the battle of Ohad). A magnificent requital awaits those of them who have persevered in doing good and remained conscious of God.

Status of Martyrs

Surah Al – Baqarah, 2:154

وَلاَ تَقُولُواْ لِمَنْ يُقْتَلُ فِي سَبيلِ اللّهِ أَمْوَاتٌ بَلْ أَحْيَاء وَلَكِن لاَّ تَشْعُرُونَ

Wa laa taquuluu li-man yuqtalo fii sabiilil-laahi‘amwaat. Bal‘ah-yaaa-’unw-wa laakil-laa tash-’uruun.
154. And say not of those who are slain in God’s cause, “ They are dead”: nay, they are alive , but you perceive it not.

This verse encourages martyrdom in the way of Allah (swt) and praises it laudably, saying that it is not death, rather it is life - and what a life indeed! Death in the way of Allah (swt) is a distinction which is desirable - not a thing to dislike or fear. By saying that the martyrs are alive, actually means that they have not become extinct or have perished. In commonly language death is the opposite of life and with death one becomes extinct. In this context, the martyrs are alive.

The aim is to cheer the believers by reminding them of this reality, in order that they should not grieve, should not be perturbed, should not loose their hearts when death faces them or their dear ones in the way of Allah (swt). The only thing that the relatives would be afflicted with, in such cases, is separation from their martyr for a few days, as long as they themselves are alive in this world. And this temporary separation is not a big problem - especially if compared to the pleasure of Allah (swt), and to the bounties bestowed on the martyr, such as the pleasant life of the hereafter and the everlasting grace.

Surah Al – Baqarah, 2:155

وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُمْ بِشَيْءٍ مِّنَ الْخَوفْ وَالْجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِّنَ الأَمَوَالِ وَالأنفُسِ وَالثَّمَرَاتِ وَبَشِّرِ الصَّابِرِينَ

Wa lanablu-wan-nakum-bi-shay-’im-minal-’amwaali wal-’anfusi was-samaraat: wa bashshiris-Saabiriin.
155. And most certainly shall We try you by means of danger, hunger, and loss of worldly goods, of lives and of (labour’s) fruits. But give glad tidings unto those who are patient in adversity.

The emphasis laid upon is basically on any kind of fear of loss of sustenance, children and suffering. The more an individual rises in his faith in God, his personal virtues and the quality of patience, more he is beset with trials through calamities to prove his personal excellence, and as he passes through his trials successfully, he is raised into higher and higher elevations of the excellence of divinity and promoted to be nearer to God. Those who do not suffer these calamities at all in this life are not much to be congratulated for it might be that these souls are not considered fit to be tried.

It was only once in the history of the creation of the earth that all the kinds of trials mentioned in the verse were enacted all together to the maximum degree conceivable, with the Holy Imam Hussein and the small band of his faithful comrades in the plain of Kerbala. This verse had its fullest realization only in the suffering and the martyrdom of Hussein and his faithful comrades and the suffering of the other Imams at different times under the Omayyids and Abbaside Caliphs.