Interpreting the meaning of how a person dies

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  • Publish date:16/04/2017
  • Section:FATWA FOR ALL
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Question

My question is related to death and is as follow: If a Muslim person dies a horrible death is that in anyway a punishment? For example; someone dies in a car accident or a bombing and his/her body becomes completely mutated; is this kind of death a punishment to that person? 

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

Death by fire or by the other ways you mentioned in the question is not evidence that it is a punishment of Allah. Death of every living being is predetermined, as Allah Says (what means): {Every soul will taste death} [Quran 3:185].

The way of everyone's death has already been written. Sometimes a believer dies in a car accident and a non-believer dies while resting on his couch; the fate of a believer is Paradise while the fate of the other one is Hellfire.

The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said:  "The death of a believer through a fire or under falling debris is martyrdom." Once he  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) enquired, "Who do you consider to be a martyr?" They said: "O Allah's Prophet, he who is killed fighting for the cause of Allah." The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: "Martyrs are seven". Then he  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) mentioned "among the seven categories the one who dies in fire and the one who dies under falling debris (in a disaster)." [Al Bukhari and Muslim]

No doubt, the one who dies in a fire becomes disfigured and the ribs are broken of the one who dies under falling debris and his limbs scatter even though they are considered among the martyrs. Sometimes, a person who is in Jihaad dies due to an explosion and the like; in spite of that, he is a martyr.

In short, what is being asked in the question is not evidence of the punishment of Allah, rather it might be a supernatural event and martyrdom. We beg Allah, The Exalted, to bestow upon us a good end of our lives.

Allah Knows best.

Fatwa answered by: The Fatwa Center at Islamweb

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