God, Islam, Rasuls, Prophets, Angels, Muslims, Mankind

What is the death of the believers?

This page is a presentation of the Quranic input on the subject of : What happens to the believers at the moment of death. Do they actually taste death, or do their souls by-pass the process of death and simply move on to another life?

When the Jews plotted and succeeded in getting Jesus killed they said that if he was truly the Messiah God would have saved him!

The Quran confirms that the mere fact that messengers and prophets were killed by the hands of the disbelievers, does not mean that they were not genuine messengers of God:

“Those who have rejected God’s revelations, and killed the prophets unjustly, and killed those who advocated justice among the people, promise them a painful retribution”3:21

“Say, “Why then did you kill God’s prophets, if you were believers?” 2:91

God raised the soul of Jesus before his enemies could torture and crucify him. In actual fact what they crucified was a soulless body.

“Thus, God said, “O Jesus, I am terminating your life, raising you to Me, and saving you from the disbelievers.” 3:55

The words “raising you to Me” are mentioned before the words “and saving you from the disbelievers”. This confirms the correct sequence of events; when the disbelievers tortured and crucified Jesus, his soul had already been raised.

Once again this is confirmed with the Quranic words:

“And for claiming that they killed the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, the messenger of God. In fact, they never killed him, they never crucified him-they were made to think that they did” 4:157

Compare this to a person in a coma for few days before he is declared dead. For the duration of the coma his physical organs such as the heart and lungs may still be functioning, but his soul has departed. When we sleep God takes our souls, then our souls are returned to us when we wake up. Consequently, the one who is in a coma and then dies without ever waking up has in fact been dead from the moment he slipped into the coma.

“He is the One who puts you to death during the night, and knows even the smallest of your actions during the day. He resurrects you every morning, until your life span is fulfilled, then to Him is your ultimate return. He will then inform you of everything you had done” 6:60

We also read in the Quran:

“God puts the souls to death when the end of their life comes, and also at the time of sleep. Thus, He takes some back during their sleep, while others are allowed to continue living until the end of their predetermined interim. This should provide lessons for people who reflect” 39:42

There is strong evidence in the Quran to suggest that the example given for the death of Jesus is also applicable to the death of all genuine believers.

The fate of all genuine believers who die in tragic circumstances (e.g. fire, drowning, air disasters, etc) is not any different from the manner in which the life of Jesus was ended on Earth. Because God is the Most Merciful, God would not let the genuine believers suffer the pain of a tragic death, and thus God takes their souls just before the actual accident happens. There are a number of Quranic verses which confirm this truth.

First it is necessary to point out that the Quran talks about two deaths, the first death took place before we were brought into this world, when we failed to make a stand with God’s absolute authority.

After we were all put through the first death we were born into this world, the fact that we were put to death before we were born into this world is confirmed in the following verse:

“Most exalted is the One in whose hands is all kingship, and He is Omnipotent. The One who created death and life for the purpose of distinguishing those among you who would do better. He is the Almighty, the Forgiving” 67:1-2

Note how the creation of “death” is mentioned before the creation of “life”.

After the initial death, the righteous do not die. Instead, they go straight to Heaven after their life on Earth comes to an end.

“Do not think that those who are killed in the cause of God are dead; they are alive at their Lord, being provided for” 3:169

“Do not say about those who are killed in the cause of God, “They are dead.” For they are alive, but you do not perceive” 2:154

“They (the believers) do not taste death, beyond the first death, and God spares them the retribution of Hell” 44:56

“(At the time of his death) he was told, “Enter Paradise.” He said, “Oh, I wish my people knew. That my Lord has forgiven me, and made me honourable” 36:26-27

All the above verses confirm that the righteous do not die, when their lives on this earth come to the predetermined end, the angel of death simply invites them to leave their earthly bodies and move on to Heaven.

“The angels terminate their lives in a state of righteousness, saying, “Peace be upon you. Enter Paradise (now) as a reward for your works” 16:32

We also read in 89:27-30 that God invites the believers’ souls: “Enter My Paradise”.

On the other hand, the disbelievers know at the moment of death that they are destined for Hell. The angels beat them on the faces and rear ends (8:50 & 47:27), order them to evict their souls (6:93), then “snatch their souls” 79:1

In contrast to the believers who only taste the first death, the disbelievers go through two deaths (2:28 & 40:11). They will be put to death – a state of nothingness during which they see Hell day and night in a continuous nightmare that lasts until the Day of Judgement (40:46).

As far as common knowledge is concerned, all people die! However, people do not realise that the righteous simply leave their bodies, and move on to Paradise.

“They are rejoicing in God’s grace, and they have good news for their comrades who have not joined them yet (they still live on Earth), that they have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve” 3:170

The significance of this verse is truly great. We read that while we still live here on Earth, there are the righteous who are already in Heaven rejoicing in God’s Grace, and waiting for the rest of the believers to join them. This can only mean that when believers die they go straight to Heaven, while we are still here on Earth.


God, being The Most Merciful, would not allow the righteous to suffer the pains of death, but the wicked ones do:

Do those who work evil expect that we will treat them in the same manner as those who believe and lead a righteous life? Can their life and their death be the same? Wrong indeed is their Judgment” 45:21

To conclude, after the first death, the believers do not die, while the disbelievers do actually die and suffer the death process. The believers do not go through death, their souls are raised to God just before the actual moment of physical death.

In other words, a believer who dies in car accident for example, will have his soul raised just before the accident occurs. This is the way the soul of Jesus was raised and as a result the disbelievers thought that they killed and crucified Jesus but they never did.

“And for claiming that they killed the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, the messenger of God. In fact, they never killed him, they never crucified him-they were made to think that they did” 4:157

Source: www.quran-islam.org


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