Fearing Death? Which of 3 Kinds of People Are You? | About Islam
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Fearing Death? Which of 3 Kinds of People Are You?

Know that there is no preparation more urgent than planning for death.

Whoever remembers death frequently, will busy themselves with preparing for it, which is a great virtue.

Know that there are three types of people who remember death:

1- The Ignorant

The ignorant who are obsessed with the world. When they remember death, they despise it because they fear leaving the pleasures of the world.

2- Repenter

When they remember death, they too fear it. But unlike the ignorant, they fear leaving the world without mending previous mistakes. They despise death fearing that they will be unprepared.

3- Knower

They look forward to death, more excited to see God than to remain in the world.

There is also a degree even greater than the knower, where the person has no preference for either death or life. They are content in complete submission to God’s Will alone.

Know that no beneficial religious act comes from the belief that death is not near; but when people believe death is near, they busy themselves with planning for the hereafter which is the root cause of happiness.

Reflect on those who have already passed. Recall how they lived and how suddenly death took them away unprepared, then consider your own end.

2 Reasons to Desire Long Life

Know that people desire a long life for two reasons:

  • Ignorance
  • Love for this world

As for ignorance, one assumes that their youth or good health will protect them from death, not realizing that death is sudden. The remedy for this is pure spiritual knowledge. So one learns that death is not in one’s control.

As for love of this world, one assumes that all his pleasures will last forever. One should reflect on the messenger’s advice that whatever you love will be taken away.

The person who prefers this world over the next is like the person who prefers one hundred bars of gold in a dream to one bar of gold when awake. For the world is like a dream and people are asleep, when they die they will awaken.

Take the analogy of the woman for whom two brothers are absent; one will arrive in a month and the other in a year. Presently, she will make arrangements for the one who will arrive in a month but she will not bother with arrangements for the other until his arrival is much closer.

With the death, if you assume it will not arrive for a while, you will not prepare for it; but unlike the brothers, death does not come on a schedule and send warning ahead of time.


About Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali

Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali (1058-1111) is one of the greatest Islamic Jurists, theologians and mystical thinkers. Al-Ghazali wrote many works on theology and philosophy like al-Iqtisad fi'I-i`tiqad (The Middle Path in Theology), al-Risala al-Qudsiyya (The Jerusalem Epistle), Ihya’ ‘ulum al-din (The Revival of the Religious Sciences)

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