Islamic concept of death

BY: Suleiman Mustapha
 Islamic concept of death
Islamic concept of death

It is surprising that some Muslims are angry and threatening to disturb the peace just because Rev. Owusu Bempah has prophesied the death of some prominent persons in the country, including the national Chief Imam, Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharubtu and Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia.

For most people, death is a subject that they would rather avoid, much less remember. But for Muslims, the Quran alludes to death in various pages in the holy book.

A verse from chapter three called the Family of Imran (Aal ‘Imran) reads:  “Every soul shall taste death and you will be paid in full only on the Day of Resurrection. Whoever is kept away from the fire and admitted to the garden will have triumphed.

 The present world is only an illusory pleasure,” (Quran, 3:185).


As Muslims, we have to take our time to explain the Islamic perspective on death to the likes of Rev.  Owusu Bempah.

 In the first place, we believe death is inevitable and people died at their appointed time.

Quran 3: 145 states: "And it is not [possible] for one to die except by permission of Allah at a decree determined... "

Again, we also believe that there is nothing a mortal being or any other creation can do to save a dying soul when the time is due.

 This is found in the glorious Quran 7:34: “...when their term is reached, neither can they delay it nor can they advance it an hour (or a moment)."

Also, we believe that it is Allah who knows when, where and how one will die. This is also found in Quran 31:34: "Verily the knowledge of the Hour is with Allah (alone).”

Now, the so-called mallams you see in our Muslim communities who say they know what will happen in the next minute, day, month or year are not Muslims.

They are suspicious characters such as Owusu Bempah, Komfuo Yaa B and others.

In Islam, one who does that has committed a grave sin and if they die doing that, they will not be forgiven and will enter hell.

"Indeed, Allah does not forgive association with Him, but He forgives what is less than that for whom He wills.

 And he who associates others with Allah has certainly fabricated a tremendous sin (Quran 4:48)."

Muslims  are not expected to fear death but the state in which they will die.

It is the wish every Muslim to die a righteous person.


What is life?

Philosophers and thinkers have always been grappling with this question. Rather than discussing their speculative thoughts, it is best to know what God Himself says about life.

 “Bear in mind that the present life is just a game, a diversion, an attraction, a cause of boasting among you, of rivalry in wealth and children,” (Quran, 57:20).

This is generally the reality of man’s perception about this worldly life, whether that person is a Muslim, a follower of another faith tradition, an agnostic, or even an atheist.

In this worldly life, people will be constantly put to all types of tests. Believers are urged to be patient while facing trials and tribulations.

“O you who believe, seek help through patience and prayer, for God is with the patient” (Quran, 2:153).

 “We shall certainly test you with fear and hunger, and loss of property, lives, and crops. But, give good news to those who are patient” (Quran, 2:155).

When inflicted with illness, believers do not complain, but resign themselves to God’s will.

 They remain patient in the face of adversities, knowing that they belong to God and to Him they will return.

“Those who, when inflicted with a calamity say, ´We belong to God and to Him we will return.’

Those are the people who will have blessings and mercy from their Lord; they are the ones who are guided” (Quran, 2:156,157).

Potential change

For me, Ghana faces a potential danger, because if these things are left unchecked, we could be facing grave consequences from false prophecies and other unbiblical activities of certain self-styled preachers and prophets.

  There is also the potential danger of some of these heartless so-called prophets, possibly using “the ways of man” to see their deadly prophecies fulfilled.

As Ben Dotse Malor states,  this is not the first time a false prophet has made a pronouncement of this nature.  

 It would have been easy to dismiss these “prophecies” as coming from attention-seekers who prey on the not-so-well-educated and gullible in Ghanaian society but, no, it is not just the ordinary hardworking and well-meaning but gullible, probably less-educated brothers and sisters who are getting manipulated by these “prophets.”

Ghana cannot afford to have prominent leaders in society patronising, promoting, and praising controversial so-called church leaders who create fear and panic in our society.