The Agony of Death

Illustration (photo: Referensi Berita)

By Syamsul Yakin

Every mu’min (believer) wants a good death. Allah says in al-Nahl verse 32 , “Those whose souls the angels take while they are virtuous, saying ˹to them˺, “Peace be upon you! Enter Paradise for what you used to do.”

According to the author of Tafsir al-Jalalayn, “while they are virtuous” in that verse means pure from disbelief (shirk).

The agony of death (sakarat al-mawt) is a phrase contained in Qaf verse 50, “˹Ultimately,˺ with the throes of death will come the truth. This is what you were trying to escape!

In the author of Tafsir Jalalayn’s opinion, the agony of death is extreme pain that worsens before death. However, the pain was also felt by the Prophet Muhammad. However of course the pain felt by his followers will be greater. Therefore, he taught us a prayer, “O Allah, make it easy for us to face the agony of death.” (HR Tirmidzi).

Shaykh Nawawi in the Qathrul Ghaits said, the people who experiencing the agony of death can see whether they will be in heaven or hell and in this condition, their repentance is no longer acceptable because they can not worship anymore after die.

However, there is still a chance to repent  as long as your soul (ruh) has not yet reached the throat. As the Prophet said quoted by Shaykh Nawawi, “Allah accepts the repentance of His slave so long as the death rattle has not yet reached his throat.”

Therefore, please prepare yourself before facing the agony of death by having good thoughts about Allah because it is what the Prophet said : “Do not let any of you die unless you have good thoughts about Allah.” (HR Muslim).


In order to have good thoughts about Allah, a servant must ask for His forgiveness consistently , improve the quality and quantity of worship, and establish relationships with other people. People having good thoughts about Allah, inshallah will have a good death.

If our family is experiencing the agony of death, someone should guide them to say, “Laa Ilaaha Ilallah”, as the Prophet’s message, “Guide those who are experiencing the agony of death to say ‘Laa Ilaaha Illallah’.” (HR Muslim) because the Prophet said, “Whoever says the last word ‘Laa Ilaaha Illallah’ will enter heaven.” (HR Abu Daud)

For family members, they should say something good such as pray or read the Quran as the Prophet say: ‘When you see the dead, say something good, for the angels say Amin to whatever you say; When Abu Salamah died, I said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, what should I say?’ He said: ‘Say” Allahummaghfirlanaa wa lahu wa a ‘qibni minhu ‘uqbai hasanah (O Allah, forgive us and him, and compensate me well for this loss.)”‘ (HR Muslim).

The agony of death will happen to anyone, sooner or later. If the Prophet felt the pain during the agony of death, then how about us who have so many sins? May Allah give us strength to prepare ourselves to face it. (T/ri/RE1)


Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)