There is a bind between the body and the soul. This can be explained by portraying the attraction between two magnets. It is hard to pull them apart, likewise, the attraction of the soul to the material body is more due to the love of the materialistic world. In other words, the more the magnetic field in both the magnets, the greater the attraction will be. Similarly, the more the love towards the worldly life, the greater the pain of pulling apart of the soul from the body will be.
Imaam Ghazzi rahmatullahi alaihe
explains, that the soul is removed from the body in stages (as mentioned in the Holy Qur’aan): it is first taken out from the feet followed by the shin and then the thighs after which the chest is affected and at that moment the power of speech is lost. When the soul is taken from the throat, the faculties of sight and hearing are exterminated.
There are two things here. Firstly, the pain felt at the introduction of death. Secondly, the pain felt at the extraction of the soul. Here the latter is implied.
The severity of death varies from person to person. a believer feels the pain similar to the hair that is taken out from flour by a finger. Whereas, the disbeliever feels so much pain that it is impossible to describe.
The severity of death has been mentioned in numerous Ahaadith, some of which are as follows:
Hazrat Anas Ibn Malik radiyallahu anhu
has reported that Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihe wasallam
had mentioned that the grasp of Malikul Maut
is more severe than one thousand hacks (cuts) with a sword.
There is a narration regarding Hazrat Moosa alaihis salaam
that he was questioned by Allah after death about how he had undergone the experience of dying and he replied that it could be described as the case of a live bird being put in to a hot boiling pot of bubbling oil.3.
In another narration, Hazrat Moosa alaihis salaam
is reported to have replied that the experience was like that of a goat being skinned alive by a butcher.
It is narrated from Shaddad Ibn Aus radiyallahu anhu
that there is not as much pain, torture in being spilt by a saw, shredded by scissorsor scalded by fiercely boiling water than in experiencing death.5.
Hazrat Abu Qatadah radiyallahu anhu
reports that Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihe wasallam
said that all distress, displeasure and agony at the time of death can be likened to that of an ant-bite.
Hazrat Ibrahim alaihis salaam
asked the angel of death to show him in which form he visits an evil person. Angel of death replied, "You will not be able to tolerate the sight." Hazrat Ibrahim alaihis salaam
insisted, the angel of death told him to turn around, while he transformed himself. After which he told Hazrat Ibrahim alaihis salaam
to look. Upon seeing him he fell unconsciousness due to the pitiful sight. Thereafter, Hazrat Ibrahim alaihis salaam
remarked that the sight was so horrifying that just looking at him was enough punishment for the evildoer.
It is a pity for us today that we are inattentive enough to remember all other worldly matters and forget the main purpose of our creation. How unfortunate will anyone of us be not to take heed after knowing one’s reality - what one is made of, where one came from and where one will return. May Allah Ta’ala give us the ability to remember death and grant us thekalimah, Laailaaha illallah
on our lips at the time of death, Aameen.