An Easy Passage to the Next World
Death in a Virtuous State
Up to this point, we have seen that sincere believers live a good life in this world, are not overcome with fear or pessimism, and have a healthy and comfortable spiritual life. Since those who believe seek Allah's pleasure, we learn from the Qur'an that they have won His special assistance, support, and protection; their misdeeds will be removed from them and that they will be rewarded according to the best of what they did; and they will not be wronged. Since they "purchase" the next life in exchange for this life, they have made what the Qur'an calls a "good bargain." Allah is pleased with them, and they are pleased with Him.
But what will happen to them at the end of their lives? Where and when will Allah meet them at the hour He has appointed for their death? Neither believers nor unbelievers know where and when they will die. This fact is explained in Surah Luqman in these words:
Truly Allah has knowledge of the Hour, sends down abundant rain, and knows what is in the womb. And no self knows what it will earn tomorrow, and no self knows in what land it will die. Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware. (Surah Luqman, 34)
Together with this, the Qur'an informs us how death will come to believers, how their souls will be taken, and what will happen at the moment of death. As far as we know, believers experience death as a very gentle passage, like a momentary change in dimension. Just like the person whom Allah causes to be "as dead during his sleep" (Surat az-Zumar, 42) and wakes up the next morning to a new day, when believers die, they will be taken out of the worldly dimension and pass to the next dimension (Certainly Allah knows the truth.)
Allah announced this gentle and easy passage in Surat an-Nazi'at, 2, where He points to the appointed angels and says "those who draw out gently."
Another verse tells about the angels' conversation when they come to take a believer's soul:
Those the angels take in a virtuous state. They say: "Peace be upon you! Enter Paradise for what you did." (Surat an-Nahl, 32)
The following verse describes a believer's death:
The greatest terror will not upset them, and the angels will welcome them: "This is your Day, the one that you were promised." (Surat an-Anbiya', 103)
Clearly, believers who have led a good life in this world will have a beautiful and easy death, and their life in the next world will begin when they are met by angels. From that moment on, all of their relations with this world will cease, and they will be sent to an appointed place where they will come before Allah's Presence. As it was from the beginning, so it continues: comfort and ease await all believers.