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Finally Free (18)

By Ideal Muslimah.

1270015318-P2G5HG7The time will then finally come for the righteous soul to depart from this transient, fleeting and constricted abode, a life polluted and tainted with a mixture of joy and pain, sadness and happiness. Now the time has come for the soul to become separated from the body, for the body to be left lifeless, still without motion or movement, and for the soul…to fly, to fly towards its Lord and towards the eternal abode of the Next, leaving behind a body that was swift in obeying and undertaking the commands of Allah and limbs shining forth with the signs of Ablution.

The Angel of Death will come and sit down right by the head of the believer and begin to give glad tidings to the believer at this difficult and arduous time. In this way, by the Mercy and Help of Allah, he will strengthen the slave as the slave finds himself at an intricate cross junction, the junction between life and death. The Angel of Death will declare,

‘O good, secure soul, come out to the forgiveness and pleasure of Allah.’ (This lengthy hadith narrated by al-Baraa ibn Aazib is reported by Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, at-Tayalisi, and al-Hakim who said it is according to the standards of Bukhari and Muslim.)

Then the throes of death will begin, the very throes that Allah (Almighty) has informed and warned us of in the Qur’aan:

{And the stupor of death will come in truth: "This is what you have been avoiding!"} (Qaaf [50]:19)

For some, the soul will be extracted within seconds, for others minutes, for others hours and so on and so forth…according to the Will of Allah, Almighty. There are many stories related by our elders about how certain people experienced the throes of death for days on end, which may be due to a sin they committed. On the contrary, the good soul comes out easily, receiving many glad tidings by the Angels of Mercy. They welcome the righteous soul into the next realm by saying,

“Come out to the spirit of Allah.” (Ibn Hibbaan, Saheeh, a similar hadeeth is narrated by Ibn Maajah with a Saheeh Isnaad. See al-Albaani, Saheeh at-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb.)

And:

“‘Come out, O good soul who was in a good body! Come out praiseworthy, and receive the glad tiding of comfort and sweet scent, and a Lord who is not angry.’

They keep on saying this until (the soul) comes out…” (Ibn Maajah. This Hadeeth is also to be found in al-Albaani, Saheeh al-Jaami; no 1964, and at-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb.)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) also said,

“Until when his soul comes out, every angel who is between the heaven and the earth will pray for him, as will every angel in heaven. The gates of heaven will be opened for him, and the people in every level of heaven will pray to Allah to permit his soul to ascend through their domain.” (This lengthy hadith narrated by al-Baraa ibn Aazib is reported by Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, at-Tayalisi, and al-Hakim who said it is according to the standards of Bukhari and Muslim.)

The Angel of Death will then extract the good soul with great ease and care. A narrator of the famous Hadeeth of al-Baraa’ Ibn Aazib (rahimahullah) stated,

“So it (i.e. the soul) will come out like a drop of water coming out of the mouth of a waterskin, and he [the Angel of Death] will take it.” (ibid.)

He will then pass the soul onto the other angels present and the angels will be so eager that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

“When (the Angel of Death) has taken the soul, other angels don’t leave it in his hand for a moment, they take it straightaway, wrap it in the shroud and scent it with the Hunoot. This is what Allah says,

{… Until when death approaches one of you, Our Messengers (Angel of Death and his assistants) take his soul, and they never neglect their duty.} (Al-An’aam [6]: 61)

And there emerges from the soul a scent like the finest musk to be found on the face of the earth…” (Ibid.)

“It departs with the most beautiful scent of musk. They even pass it from one angel to the next, smelling it.” (Recorded by Ibn Hibbaan and Ibn Majah; verified to be authentic.)

Such will be the beautiful scent emanating from the soul of this believer that the people of the heaven will be able to smell it! They will like this emanating scent so much that they will exclaim the following supplication,

“It is a good soul, which had come from the earth; may Allah bless you and the body which you occupied.” (Saheeh Muslim)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

“…So (the soul) comes out, (smelling) like the best scent of musk. Then the angels pass the soul to one another, smelling it, until they bring it to the (first) heaven.” (Ibn Hibbaan, Saheeh, a similar hadeeth is narrated by Ibn Maajah with a Saheeh Isnaad. See al-Albaani, Saheeh at-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb.)

He also elaborated: “They take the soul up, and whenever they take it past a group of angels, they say,

‘Who is this good soul?’

And they reply, ‘It is so-and-so, the son of so-and-so.’ Using the best names with which he was addressed in this world.” (This lengthy hadith narrated by al-Baraa ibn Aazib is reported by Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, at-Tayalisi, and al-Hakim who said it is according to the standards of Bukhari and Muslim.) This proves that righteousness not only brings a good name and happiness to a person’s loved ones in this life but also in the next. What an honor for such blessed parents!

The Prophet (peace be upon him) also said, “They say,

‘What is this beautiful scent which has come from the earth?’” (Ibn Hibbaan, Saheeh, a similar hadeeth is narrated by Ibn Maajah with a Saheeh Isnaad. See al-Albaani, Saheeh at-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb.)

And: “In every heaven the same question is asked, until they bring him to join the souls of the believers.” (Ibid.)

“They continue their ascent, and as they arrive at each one of the heavens, the same thing is said to them.” (Recorded by Ibn Hibbaan and Ibn Majah; verified to be authentic.)

clouds3The angels accompany and traverse the heavens with this soul, which is contained within paradise’s white silk, smelling of paradise’s musk, depicting its destination. After the Angels of Mercy have faithfully and diligently undertaken their role, now the people of heaven welcome the believer with a reception and welcome unseen and unknown to us in this world. Although we may have witnessed many royal grand receptions on TV, and we may have many times been welcomed by friends and family in a warm and pleasant manner, but the reception of this believer’s soul is of another kind altogether, for they will be celebrating the arrival of their beloved brother or sister in faith within their midst after a lengthy separation. Therefore, their delight will know no bound, as they begin to give this pure soul glad tidings and welcome it with more joy than the joy felt by the family of a person who has been missing for some time at the long-awaited meeting and reunion with their loved one.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, ‘They are more overjoyed to welcome him than the family of one who has been absent, when he comes home…’ (Ibn Hibbaan, Saheeh, a similar hadeeth is narrated by Ibn Maajah with a Saheeh Isnaad. See al-Albaani, Saheeh at-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb.)

Now, the beautiful lights, lakes, delights and streams of paradise come into full view. The believer will finally feel untainted rest and repose from the hardships, difficulties, persecutions and taunts of the wicked of the world as soon as he meets his loved ones in the paradise of delights. Indeed, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) described them, the “Angels of Mercy” will say as they lookout for the best interest of the believer,

‘Leave him to rest, for he has been suffering in this world.’ (Ibid.)

That which will further increase him in happiness and relief is the fact that Allah (Almighty) will make it such that the believer will be shown the Fire from which he was saved. When the believer witnesses such a horrific scene he will realize how precious and important faith really is, how vividly precise the Qur’aan is in its mentions of the Hellfire, and how great the Mercy and Help of Allah is that He did not destine him to the eternal flames of the hellfire, though his deeds are few and mistakes many.

“(They then go on) until they reach the first heaven; they ask for it to be opened, and it is opened for them. In each heaven, those who are closest to Allah will accompany him to the next heaven, until they reach the seventh heaven…” (This lengthy hadith narrated by al-Baraa ibn Aazib is reported by Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, at-Tayalisi, and al-Hakim who said it is according to the standards of Bukhari and Muslim.)

“…Then they take it up to the heaven, and ask for it to be opened for him. It is asked, ‘Who is this?’

And they say, ‘So-and-so’, so (the inhabitants of the heaven) say:

‘Welcome to the good soul, who is in a good body; enter praiseworthy and receive the good tidings of comfort and sweet scents, and a Lord who is not angry.’

And they carry on saying this until they reach the (highest) heaven where Allah, may He be Blessed and Exalted, is…” (Ibn Maajah. This Hadeeth is also to be found in al-Albaani, Saheeh al-Jaami; no 1964, and at-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb.)

“…Allah, may He be Exalted and Glorified, will say, ‘Register the book of my slave in ‘Illiyyoon.’”

{And what will make you know what 'Illiyyûn is? A Register Inscribed. To which bear witness those nearest (to Allâh, i.e. the angels).} (Al-Mutaffifeen [83]: 19-21)

Although we find that the term “al-‘Illiyyoon” has been literally translated as meaning “The High Places”, ‘Illiyyoon actually comes from the root word of ‘uluww, which means highness. It is a place in the seventh sky, which is the highest sky, where the souls of the believers are gathered, as the Companion of the Prophet Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allah be pleased with him) explained, and it also carries the meaning of a very high and wide place, as described by the great Mufassir, Imaam Ibn Kathir (rahimahullah).

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “…So his book will be registered in ‘Illiyyoon.” (This lengthy hadith narrated by al-Baraa ibn Aazib is reported by Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, at-Tayalisi, and al-Hakim who said it is according to the standards of Bukhari and Muslim.)

And truly, that person has gained the real, everlasting and much desired success! May Allah (Almighty) make us of those whose books will be registered in the ‘Illiyyoon by forgiving our mistakes, raising our ranks and drawing us close to Himself. Aameen!

 

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