Stages of Life and Death

This article is from the On Demand Course: Preparing for the End of Life. In Islam death is not an end state but a station on the way. Preparing for death is central to the life of a Muslim. This is the third article in a series. 

In our worldly life, we pass through stages. Each of us either passes through all stages or some of them. 

The Worldly Stages

These stages start with infanthood, followed by childhood, then youth, adulthood. Then the elderly age and even after that is old age. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) was always in preparation for this and he taught us to be prepared.

Post Death

The worldly life is one tied up with the body. After death, you have a stage which is the life of the grave. This could be a long stage. This is the life of the souls. After this is the afterlife which is a combination of both body and soul. One will either be eternally happy or in eternal damnation. 

Meeting Point

Significantly, we are in this world as travelers. The traveler will not settle until he reaches his destination. Death is essentially a meeting point. Either that meeting will be a great, noble and happy meeting that the servant wishes for or a meeting of misery, fear and dread. 

Meeting the Beloveds

Our hearts are connected by seeing death as a meeting with those whom we loved in the worldly life. It is reported that our master Bilal, upon his deathbed did not see it as a disaster. Rather he expressed joy, “Tomorrow we shall meet with our beloved Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) and those who were close to him (Allah bless him and give him peace).”

Are we prepared to meet Allah? We need to act in a manner where all of our good deeds are done with high aspiration, full motivation, full willingness and love. 

Any Moment

Death is not a person that you see, visit or meet as such. Death can come at any moment, night or day, during any condition of the human being and at any place. So if one was to think about these three elements, one would be on the path of true preparation for death.

One ought to think much about that which cuts off ’s desires. Death. This is not to say one should be in a state of paranoia. Rather, it is to realize that one can meet Allah at any time. 


What condition do we want to die in? To die in a state of prayer one’s daily timetable consists of obligatory and supererogatory prayers. A part of one’s daily timetable should be having a connection with the Holy Quran if that is the state in which one wishes to die..

If one wishes to die whilst in a state of remembrance of Allah then one should have a portion of remembrance in one’s timetable. Or if one hopes to die whilst praying in the mosque, then praying one’s daily prayers in the mosque should be part of one’s routine.

Seeking sacred knowledge or a gathering of remembrance of Allah should be part of one’s practice if one would love to die whilst doing so. The condition upon which you wish to die, place that in your timetable and act upon it.


One would dread to die sinning. Whether it is a sin of the heart or of the body. We need to avoid sin altogether to increase our chances of not dying in that state. So firstly, we need to repent to Allah and seek forgiveness from Him.

One ought to repent every day, many times. 

Repentance is to seek Allah’s forgiveness. Allah says on the tongue of the Prophet Noah: 

فَقُلۡتُ ٱسۡتَغۡفِرُوا۟ رَبَّكُمۡ إِنَّهُۥ كَانَ غَفَّارا

“‘Saying, Ask your Lord’s forgiveness, verily was He ever oft-relenting” [Keller, The Quran Beheld 71:10]

One should repent 70 or 100 times per day.