Death, The Beginning or end of the life! (Part 5)

Death: is it Desirable?
The Holy Prophet said: "You have not been created to perish, but to remain for ever; only you transfer from one home to another; and the souls are strangers on earth and are in the bodies (like) prisoners"‌.

Hadrat Ali (a.s.), in reply to a question about death, stated: "Death is one of the three things happening (to the dying person); Either it is good tidings of eternal bliss, or bad tidings of eternal punishment, or there is vague threatening suspense, so that he does not know in which group he will be included.

"So, the one who is our lover and obeys us, is the one who gets the good tidings of eternal bliss. And our enemy and adversary get the news of perpetual punishment: And the one whose position is vague, who does not know what is to be done to him, is that believer who has done injustice to himself (i.e., has committed sins); he does not know what is to happen to him. He gets news in vague words which frighten him: but in the end, Allah will not treat him like our enemies, and will take him out of Fire on our intercession. Therefore, do good work, and obey (the commands of God), and do not rely merely on faith and our intercession, arid do not treat the punishment of Allah as a small matter, because there will be among the sinner (believers) those who will not get our intercession but after three hundred thousand years"‌.

Imam Hassan (a.s.): "(Death is) the greatest happiness which comes to the believers, when they migrate from house of misery to the eternal bliss; and (it is) the greatest disaster which befalls the unbelievers, when they go from their paradise (i.e., this world) to the Fire which will never be extinguished and will never burn itself out".‌

Imam Hussein (a.s.) on Ashura Day: "Patience, O Children of noble (souls), because death is nothing but a bridge which takes you from difficulties and troubles to the vast Paradise and everlasting bliss. So, who among you would dislike transferring from the prison of the world to the palace of the Paradise? But these enemies of yours will go from a palace to a prison and ever-lasting punishment. Verily my father quoting the Messenger of Allah said that; 'Verily the world is the prison for the believers and paradise for the unbelievers'. And the death is the bridge for these (believers) to their Gardens and for those (unbelievers) to their Hell. I do not tell lies, nor was I told lies"‌.

Imam Sajjad (a.s.), in reply to a question about death, said: "It is for the believer like removing a dirty lousy cloth, or like removing heavy shackles and chains; and changing to the finest and best clothes, or finest horses and most lovely abode.

"And for an unbeliever it is like changing fine dresses and cozy abodes for dirtiest and roughest clothes and worst and most auspicious abode and greatest punishment"‌.

Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) in reply to a question stated: "(Death) is like sleep that comes to you every night; but this is a sleep which is very long and there is no awakening but on the Day of resurrection."

Imam Jafer Sadiq (a.s.) was requested to explain death. He said: "It is for a believer like fragrant breeze, by smelling which he becomes revived, and every trouble and sorrow is removed from him. And for an unbeliever it is like snake-bite and sting of the scorpions, and even worse"‌.

Then he was told that some people said that death is harder than cutting by saws and shredding by scissors and battering by stones and rotation of the axle of mill-stone in the eyes. Imam said: "It is like this for some of unbelievers and sinners: Don't you see that some of them undergo these tortures (at the time of death)? So, this is the hardest punishment meted out in this world"‌.

Then he was asked, "How is it that we find some unbelievers for whom death is very easy; so much so that the (flame of) life is extinguished while he is still talking and laughing and speaking? And also there are believers like this. And there are some unbelievers as well as the believers who suffer tortures of the death-pang?" Imam said: "Whatever ease the believer feels at the time of death, it is his immediate reward; and if he suffers at the time of death, then it is (for the purpose of) cleansing him from his sins, so that he would come in the Akherat (next world) clean, pure and unblemished, deserving the eternal reward of Allah without any hurdle between him and that (reward).

And whatever ease the unbeliever feels here (at the time of death) it is for the purpose of completing the rewards of his good deeds in this very world, so that he would come in Akherat and there would be nothing in his account except that which would bring him to punishment. And whatever sufferings are undergone by the unbeliever at the time of death, it is the beginning of his punishment from Allah, (when his good deeds have already been rewarded). And all this is (done) because Allah is Just, and not unjust (Therefore, He gives the rewards of the good deeds of unbelievers by making their death easy and vice versa).

There are other traditions giving more details, but this much should be enough for the time being.