Death is not final

Muslims don’t view death as final.

It is merely passing on to another stage of life. Pain is naturally felt at the removal of a loved one from this world. However, no Muslim feels that the person is gone forever. Appropriate words of sympathy to tell a grieving person who has lost a loved one are:

“To Allah we belong and to Him we return.” One may add the line, “May Allah forgive them and grant them a high place in paradise.

Suicide is forbidden.

Euthanasia is equated with murder and suicide in Islamic Law and is thus completely forbidden. If someone is in a vegetative state, however, our scholars say that their feeding tubes can be removed because our record of deeds stops when our mind stops functioning.

Spirit on a wing

What happens to the soul now? Islam teaches that there is another world, or parallel reality if you will, in which only spirit material and energy beings like jinns and angels can exist.

When we die, our soul is released from every cell of our body and is now in that other realm. The angels who took us out will now hold our soul fixed over our corpse. We can see all of the people gathered around our body, but they cannot see us. We try to speak to them, but they can’t hear us. We see everything that happens to our body.

When it is finally time to take the corpse to the graveyard, our soul floats along with it. A person who has been good will say, “Take me forward,” but a person who has been evil will say, “Curses, where are you taking me?”

A good soul will be carried gently by the angels and clothed with shrouds from Paradise. The angels will ascend upward into Heaven and will pass through its gates announcing who the soul is. When they reach the highest place in Heaven, Allah gives the command, “Write My servant’s name in Illiyun.” (Illiyun is the record of who will get into Heaven after Judgment Day.) Then the angels are told, “Take him back to Earth because I promised them that from it I created them, into it I return them and from it I will resurrect them once again.” The soul of an evil person is also carried to the gates of Heaven, but when the angels bring the soul there, the gates will not open for the soul to pass through. It is written in the Qur’an that the doors of Paradise will not be opened for someone who rejected Allah. Allah will then command that the person’s name should be written in Sijjin, which is the register of Hell. Next He will order the angels to return the soul to Earth for the same reason He also returns good souls.