We all forget death. Even seeing funerals go by isn’t enough to remind us that we will die one day. Even during prayers at funerals our minds may wander onto worldly matters. We think that everyone else is going to die except us, and yet, deep down, we know we shall depart from this world one day. A man may live up to sixty, seventy or even a hundred, but he is bound to die one day. You must know people who lived o to a great age, but they all died. Perhaps you know that Noah lived till he was 950, preaching to his people. Where is Noah now? Has he been living in the world all this time? Has he been excluded from death? Why is it then that we do not think about death and prepare for it, since it is inevitable?
A person who is going on a journey starts getting ready from the moment a date has been fixed until his departure. I was once in the company of some Jordanian teachers who had signed contracts for employment in Saudi Arabia informed that their flights were scheduled to take off one after the other. Those who had prepared themselves in time were able to leave as scheduled as soon as they had attended to passport formalities and said goodbye to their families. But those who needed more time to get ready for the journey were not given that time and were therefore unable to leave.
So what can we say about a call for departure announced by the Angel of Death! It is not a call that can be put off nor ignored The Angel of Death will seize a person even if he is unwilling and will not allow him any respite. And who knows when the Angel of Death will arrive? What is death exactly? What is the truth about it? Human life is divided into stages: the first stage is the embryo in a mother’s womb; then comes life in this world followed by the stage of barzakh (the interim period between death and resurrection). Finally, there is the eternal stage of the life hereafter. Each successive stage has the same degree of relativity to the one next to it.