In Islam, death is not an end to our existence; it is a passage, which takes us from this world to the hereafter – the actual purpose for our creation and the result of our work in this life.
Whether we fear death or not depends on how much we have prepared for the reckoning of the Day of Judgment.
Preparing for death is a lifetime’s job. It begins on the day you reach the age of bulugh and are held accountable for your deeds in the eyes of Almighty Allah.
Imam ‘Ali bin Abu Talib (a.s.) has beautifully described the preparation for death as follows: “Fulfilling the obligations, refraining from forbidden [things], and acquiring noble character.”
Some of the things which all believers are either required or strongly urged to do just before death by the Shari’ah are as following:
- Try your best to fulfill the obligations, which are upon you in regard to the creatures as well as the Creator
- Return to the owners whatever has been given to you as a trust or write it down in your will so that the executor of your will shall return the trust to its rightful owner.
- Dispose up to one-third of your estate for whomsoever or whatever cause you like. As for the two thirds, it must be distributed among your heirs according to the shares allocated for them in the Shari’ah.
- Make a will in writing or verbally about those religious obligations which you could not fulfill by yourself and which cannot be done on your behalf by others except after your death: the qadha prayers, fasting and pilgrimage (hajj), etc.
- Specify the amount from the one-third of your estate to be used to hire people to do above mentioned deeds. If you cannot afford this, then you may request your heirs to do unfulfilled rituals on your behalf voluntarily or pay someone else to do so.
- Include your deserving relations in the one-third of your estate if your financial circumstances allow you.
- Forgive your brethren in faith for whatever wrong they may have done to you.
- Ask your brethren in faith to forgive you for the intentional and unintentional wrong you may have done to them.