In Islamic tradition, death is the separation of the soul from one’s body and the beginning of one afterlife. There are various elaborate discussions about the process and there are many verses of the quran about death.
Verses Of The Quran About Death
Let’s look at some of the verses that talk about this subject.
1. Surah Baqarah verse 28
- كَيۡفَ تَكۡفُرُونَ بِٱللَّهِ وَكُنتُمۡ أَمۡوَٰتًا فَأَحۡيَٰكُمۡۖ ثُمَّ يُمِيتُكُمۡ ثُمَّ يُحۡيِيكُمۡ ثُمَّ إِلَيۡهِ تُرۡجَعُونَ
How can you disbelieve in Allah when you were lifeless and He brought you to life; then He will cause you to die, then He will bring you [back] to life, and then to Him you will be returned.
Allah testifies to the fact that He exists and that He is the Creator and the Sustainer Who has full authority over His servants,
How can you disbelieve in Allah seeing that you were dead and He gave you life! Then He will give you death, then again will bring you to life (on the Day of Resurrection) and then unto Him you will return.
How can anyone deny Allah’s existence or worship others with Him while; (You were dead and He gave you life),
Meaning, He brought them from the state of non-existence to life.
Similarly, Allah said,
Were they created by nothing! Or were they themselves the creators! Or did they create the heavens and the earth! Nay, but they have no firm belief.Surah Tur: 35-36
And He also said,
Has there not been over man a period of time, when he was not a thing worth mentioning.Surah Insan: 1
Ibn Jarir reported from Ata that Ibn Abbas said that, (Seeing that you were dead and He gave you life) means,
“You did not exist beforehand. You were nothing until Allah created you; He will bring death to you and then bring you back to life during Resurrection.”
2. Surah Baqarah verse 180
- كُتِبَ عَلَيۡكُمۡ إِذَا حَضَرَ أَحَدَكُمُ ٱلۡمَوۡتُ إِن تَرَكَ خَيۡرًا ٱلۡوَصِيَّةُ لِلۡوَٰلِدَيۡنِ وَٱلۡأَقۡرَبِينَ بِٱلۡمَعۡرُوفِۖ حَقًّا عَلَى ٱلۡمُتَّقِينَ
Prescribed for you when death approaches [any] one of you if he leaves wealth [is that he should make] a bequest for the parents and near relatives according to what is acceptable – a duty upon the righteous.
3. Surah Al Imran verse 145
- وَمَا كَانَ لِنَفۡسٍ أَن تَمُوتَ إِلَّا بِإِذۡنِ ٱللَّهِ كِتَٰبًا مُّؤَجَّلًاۗ وَمَن يُرِدۡ ثَوَابَ ٱلدُّنۡيَا نُؤۡتِهِۦ مِنۡهَا وَمَن يُرِدۡ ثَوَابَ ٱلۡأٓخِرَةِ نُؤۡتِهِۦ مِنۡهَاۚ وَسَنَجۡزِى ٱلشَّٰكِرِينَ
And it is not [possible] for one to die except by permission of Allah at a decree determined. And whoever desires the reward of this world – We will give him thereof; and whoever desires the reward of the Hereafter – We will give him thereof. And We will reward the grateful.
And no person can ever die except by Allah’s leave and at an appointed term.
Meaning, no one dies except by Allah’s decision, after he has finished the term that Allah has destined for him.
This is why Allah said, (at an appointed term) which is similar to His statements,
And no aged man is granted a length of life nor is a part cut off from his life, but it is in a Book.Surah Fatir : 11
This Ayah encourages cowards to participate in battle; for doing so, or avoiding battle neither decreases, nor increases the life term.
Allah said next, And whoever desires a reward in the world, We shall give him of it; and whoever desires a reward in the Hereafter, We shall give him thereof.
Therefore, the Ayah proclaims, whoever works for the sake of this life, will only earn what Allah decides he will earn.
However, he will not have a share in the Hereafter. Whoever works for the sake of the Hereafter, Allah will give him a share in the Hereafter, along with what He decides for him in this life.
Allah said, And We shall reward the grateful.
Meaning, We shall award them with Our favor and mercy in this life and the Hereafter, according to the degree of their appreciation (of Allah) and their good deeds.
4. Surah Al Imran verse 185
- كُلُّ نَفۡسٍ ذَآئِقَةُ ٱلۡمَوۡتِۗ وَإِنَّمَا تُوَفَّوۡنَ أُجُورَكُمۡ يَوۡمَ ٱلۡقِيَٰمَةِۖ فَمَن زُحۡزِحَ عَنِ ٱلنَّارِ وَأُدۡخِلَ ٱلۡجَنَّةَ فَقَدۡ فَازَۗ وَمَا ٱلۡحَيَوٰةُ ٱلدُّنۡيَآ إِلَّا مَتَٰعُ ٱلۡغُرُورِ
Every soul will taste death, and you will only be given your [full] compensation on the Day of Resurrection. So he who is drawn away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise has attained [his desire]. And what is the life of this world except the enjoyment of delusion.
This Ayah comforts all creation, since every soul that exists on the earth shall die.
When the term of this life comes to an end and the sons of Adam no longer have any new generations, and thus this world ends, Allah will command that the Day of Resurrection commence.
Allah will then recompense the creation for their deeds, whether minor or major, many or few, big or small. Surely, Allah will not deal unjustly with anyone, even the weight of an atom.
5. Surah Nisa verse 78
- أَيۡنَمَا تَكُونُواْ يُدۡرِككُّمُ ٱلۡمَوۡتُ وَلَوۡ كُنتُمۡ فِى بُرُوجٍ مُّشَيَّدَةٍۗ وَإِن تُصِبۡهُمۡ حَسَنَةٌ يَقُولُواْ هَٰذِهِۦ مِنۡ عِندِ ٱللَّهِۖ وَإِن تُصِبۡهُمۡ سَيِّئَةٌ يَقُولُواْ هَٰذِهِۦ مِنۡ عِندِكَۚ قُلۡ كُلٌّ مِّنۡ عِندِ ٱللَّهِۖ فَمَالِ هَٰٓؤُلَآءِ ٱلۡقَوۡمِ لَا يَكَادُونَ يَفۡقَهُونَ حَدِيثًا
Wherever you may be, death will overtake you, even if you should be within towers of lofty construction. But if good comes to them, they say, “This is from Allah”; and if evil befalls them, they say, “This is from you.” Say, “All [things] are from Allah.” So what is [the matter] with those people that they can hardly understand any statement?
Wheresoever you may be, death will overtake you, meaning, you shall certainly die and none of you shall ever escape death.
Therefore, every soul shall taste death and nothing can save any person from it, whether he performed Jihad or not. Everyone has an appointed time, and a limited term of life.
In the illness that preceded his death, Khalid bin Al-Walid said, while in his bed,
“I participated in so and so number of battles, and every part of my body sustained an injury due to a stab or a shot. Yet here I am, I die in my bed! Let not the eyes of the cowards ever taste sleep.”
Allah’s statement, even if you are in fortresses built up strong and high!
Means, entrenched, fortified, high and towering. No caution or fortification can ever avert death.
6. Surah Mu’munoon Verses 15
- ثُمَّ إِنَّكُمْ بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ لَمَيِّتُونَ
Then indeed, after that you are to die.
After that, surely you will die. Means, after first being created from nothing, you will eventually die.
7. Surah Ankabut verse 57
- كُلُّ نَفۡسٍ ذَآئِقَةُ ٱلۡمَوۡتِۖ ثُمَّ إِلَيۡنَا تُرۡجَعُونَ
Every soul will taste death. Then to Us will you be returned.
Meaning, `wherever you are, death with catch up with you, so always obey Allah and be where Allah commands you to be, for this is better for you.
Death is inevitable and there is no escape from it, and then you will return to Allah, and whoever was obedient to Him will have the best reward.’
8. Surah Zumar verse 30
- إِنَّكَ مَيِّتٌ وَإِنَّهُم مَّيِّتُونَ
Verily, you will die, and verily, they (too) will die.
This is one of the Ayat which Abu Bakr As-Siddiq, may Allah be pleased with him, quoted when the Messenger of Allah died, so that the people would realize that he had really died.
The meaning of this Ayah is that you will certainly depart this world and be gathered before Allah in the Hereafter.
You will dispute the issues of Tawhid and Shirk before Allah, things over which you disputed in this world, and He will judge between you with truth, and He is the Judge, the All-Knowing.
So, He will save the sincere believers who worship Him alone, and He will punish the disbelievers who deny His Oneness and associate others in worship with Him.
Although this Ayah speaks about the believers and disbelievers, and how they will dispute in the Hereafter, it also includes all disputants in this world, for their disputes will come back to them in the Hereafter.
9. Surah Jumu’ah verse 6
- قُلۡ يَٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ هَادُوٓاْ إِن زَعَمۡتُمۡ أَنَّكُمۡ أَوۡلِيَآءُ لِلَّهِ مِن دُونِ ٱلنَّاسِ فَتَمَنَّوُاْ ٱلۡمَوۡتَ إِن كُنتُمۡ صَٰدِقِينَ
Say, “O you who are Jews, if you claim that you are allies of Allah, excluding the [other] people, then wish for death, if you should be truthful.”
Meaning, `if you claim that you are on the correct guidance and that Muhammad and his Companions are being led astray, then invoke Allah to bring death to the misguided group among the two, if you are truthful in your claim.’
10. Surah Mulk verse 2
- ٱلَّذِى خَلَقَ ٱلۡمَوۡتَ وَٱلۡحَيَوٰةَ لِيَبۡلُوَكُمۡ أَيُّكُمۡ أَحۡسَنُ عَمَلًاۚ وَهُوَ ٱلۡعَزِيزُ ٱلۡغَفُورُ
[He] who created death and life to test you [as to] which of you is best in deed – and He is the Exalted in Might, the Forgiving.
Those who say that death is an existing creation use this Ayah as a proof because it is something that has been created.
This Ayah means that He brought creation into existence from nothing in order to test the creatures. He examines them to see which of them will be best in deeds.
In this Ayah Allah named the first stage, which is non-existence, “death.” Then he named the origin or beginning of existence, “life.”
Concerning Allah’s statement, He may test you which of you is best in deed, it means best in deeds.
11. Surah Qaf verse 19
- وَجَآءَتۡ سَكۡرَةُ ٱلۡمَوۡتِ بِٱلۡحَقِّۖ ذَٰلِكَ مَا كُنتَ مِنۡهُ تَحِيدُ
And the intoxication of death will bring the truth; that is what you were trying to avoid.
Allah the Exalted and Most Honored says, `O mankind! This is the stupor of death that has come in truth; now, I have brought forth to you the certainty that you were disputing,’
This is what you have been avoiding!, Means, `this is the end that you were trying to escape; it has come to you!
Therefore, you will have neither a shelter nor a refuge nor a sanctuary nor an asylum from it.’
In the Sahih, the Prophet said, while wiping sweat from his face when the stupor of death overcame him,
Glory be to Allah! Verily, death has its stupor.
The Ayah, (This is what you have been avoiding!) has two possible meanings. One of them is this:
What you have been trying to avert, escape and flee from has come to you and resided in your home!’
The second meaning is, `you had no way of escaping or averting this end.
12. Surah An’am verse 60-61
- وَهُوَ ٱلَّذِى يَتَوَفَّىٰكُم بِٱلَّيۡلِ وَيَعۡلَمُ مَا جَرَحۡتُم بِٱلنَّهَارِ ثُمَّ يَبۡعَثُكُمۡ فِيهِ لِيُقۡضَىٰٓ أَجَلٌ مُّسَمًّىۖ ثُمَّ إِلَيۡهِ مَرۡجِعُكُمۡ ثُمَّ يُنَبِّئُكُم بِمَا كُنتُمۡ تَعۡمَلُونَ (60) وَهُوَ ٱلۡقَاهِرُ فَوۡقَ عِبَادِهِۦۖ وَيُرۡسِلُ عَلَيۡكُمۡ حَفَظَةً حَتَّىٰٓ إِذَا جَآءَ أَحَدَكُمُ ٱلۡمَوۡتُ تَوَفَّتۡهُ رُسُلُنَا وَهُمۡ لَا يُفَرِّطُونَ (61)
- And it is He who takes your souls by night and knows what you have committed by day. Then He revives you therein [i.e., by day] that a specified term may be fulfilled. Then to Him will be your return; then He will inform you about what you used to do.
- He is the Irresistible, (Supreme) over His slaves, and He sends guardians (angels guarding and writing all of one’s good and bad deeds) over you, until when death approaches one of you, Our Messengers (angel of death and his assistants) take his soul, and they never neglect their duty.
Allah’s statement, until when death approaches one of you…
Refers to, when one’s life span comes to an end and he is dying, Our messengers take his soul…
Meaning, there are angels who are responsible for this job.
Ibn Abbas and several others said that;
the Angel of Death has angels who pull the soul from its body and when it reaches the throat, the Angel of Death captures it.
Allah said; and they never neglect their duty.
They guard the soul of the dead person and take it to wherever Allah wills, to Illiyyin if he was among the righteous, and to Sijjin if he was among the wicked (disbelievers, sinners, etc.), we seek refuge with Allah from this end.
13. Surah Ma’idah verse 106
- يَٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ شَهَٰدَةُ بَيۡنِكُمۡ إِذَا حَضَرَ أَحَدَكُمُ ٱلۡمَوۡتُ حِينَ ٱلۡوَصِيَّةِ ٱثۡنَانِ ذَوَا عَدۡلٍ مِّنكُمۡ أَوۡ ءَاخَرَانِ مِنۡ غَيۡرِكُمۡ إِنۡ أَنتُمۡ ضَرَبۡتُمۡ فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ فَأَصَٰبَتۡكُم مُّصِيبَةُ ٱلۡمَوۡتِۚ تَحۡبِسُونَهُمَا مِنۢ بَعۡدِ ٱلصَّلَوٰةِ فَيُقۡسِمَانِ بِٱللَّهِ إِنِ ٱرۡتَبۡتُمۡ لَا نَشۡتَرِى بِهِۦ ثَمَنًا وَلَوۡ كَانَ ذَا قُرۡبَىٰۙ وَلَا نَكۡتُمُ شَهَٰدَةَ ٱللَّهِ إِنَّآ إِذًا لَّمِنَ ٱلۡأٓثِمِينَ.
- O you who believe! When death approaches any of you, and you make a bequest, (then take) the testimony of two just men of your own folk or two others from outside, while you are travelling through the land and death befalls on you.
- Detain them both after As-Salât (the prayer), (then) if you are in doubt (about their truthfulness), let them both swear by Allâh (saying): “We wish not for any worldly gain in this, even though he (the beneficiary) be our near relative. We shall not hide Testimony of Allâh, for then indeed we should be of the sinful.”
Read also 24 Quran Verse Patience.