Maʿānī al-ʾAkhbār > The meaning of death
Hadith #1

حدثنا محمد بن القاسم المفسر الجرحاني - رضي الله عنه - قال: حدثنا أحمد بن الحسن الحسيني، عن الحسن بن علي الناصر[ي]، عن أبيه، عن محمد بن علي، عن أبيه الرضا، عن أبيه موسى بن جعفر عليهم السلام، قال: قيل للصادق عليه السلام: صف لنا الموت. فقال: للمؤمن كأطيب ريح يشمه فينعس لطيبه وينقطع التعب والألم كله عنه، و للكافر كلسع الأفاعي ولدغ العقارب أو أشد. قيل: فإن قوما يقولون إنه أشد من نشر بالمناشير وقرض بالمقاريض ورضخ بالأحجار وتدوير قطب الأرحية في الأحداق. قال: فهو كذلك هو على بعض الكافرين والفاجرين. ألا ترون منهم من يعاين تلك الشدائد فذاكم الذي هو أشد من هذا إلا من عذاب الآخرة فهذا أشد من عذاب الدنيا قيل: فما بالنا نرى كافرا يسهل عليه النزع فينطفي وهو يتحدث ويضحك ويتكلم وفي المؤمنين أيضا من يكون كذلك وفي المؤمنين والكافرين من يقاسي عند سكرات الموت هذه الشدائد؟ فقال: ما كان من راحة للمؤمن هناك فهو عاجل ثوابه وما كان من شديدة فتمحصيه من ذنوبه ليرد الآخرة نقيا نظيفا مستحقا لثواب الأبد لا مانع له دونه، وما كان سهولة هناك على الكافر فليوفى أجر حسناته في الدنيا ليرد الآخرة وليس له إلا ما يوجب عليه العقاب وما كان من شدة على الكافر هناك فهو ابتداء عقاب الله له بعد نفاد حسناته ذلكم بأن الله عدل لا يجوز.

1. We were told by Muhammed bin Qasem, the exegete, al-Jarjani, may Allah be pleased with him, that he said: We were told by Ahmad bin Hasan al-Hussaini, from Hasan bin Ali al-Nasiri, from his father, from Muhammed bin Ali, from his father, al-Rida, from his father, Musa bin Ja’far, peace be upon them, that he said: It was said to al-Sadiq, peace be upon him: Describe death to us. He said: To the believer, it is like the best perfume he smells, and so he becomes sleepy due to its goodness, and all tiredness and pain is stopped in him, and to the disbeliever, it is like the stinging of snakes, the pinching of scorpions and even worse. It was: A people are saying that it is more severe than being sawn with saws, clipped with swords, stoned with stones and the rolling of the grinding machine. He said: It is like that to some disbelievers and dissolute people. Do you not see from them those who observe those hardships? That is what is more severe than this, except (that it is not more severe) than the torment of the Hereafter, for that is more severe than the torment of this world. It was said: Then what is it with us that we see a disbeliever whose death struggle is easy upon him, by which he turns off while telling, laughing and speaking, while among the believers as well there are those who are like that? Also, among the believers and the disbelievers (alike) there are those who endure these hardships during the intoxication of death? He said: That which is of comfort to the believer there (during that stage), is his reward that was rushed to him, and that which is of distress is purification of him from his sins in order that he may reach the Hereafter clean, pure and deserving of the reward of the everlasting that has no obstacle to it. That which is of ease there to the disbeliever, is for him to be granted the reward of his good deeds in this world in order that he may reach the Hereafter while not having but what necessitates punishment upon him, and that which is of distress upon the disbeliever there is the commencement of the punishment of Allah to him after his good deeds have finished. That is because Allah is (An Enforcer of) Justice, He does not tyrannize.



Hadith #2

حدثنا محمد بن القاسم المفسر الجرجاني - رحمه الله - قال: حدثنا أحمد بن الحسن الحسيني، عن الحسن بن علي الناصر [ي]، عن أبيه، عن محمد بن علي، عن أبيه الرضا، عن أبيه موسى بن جعفر، عن أبيه جعفر بن محمد، عن أبيه محمد بن علي، عن أبيه علي بن الحسين، عن أبيه الحسين عليهم السلام قال: قيل لأمير المؤمنين عليه السلام: صف لنا الموت. فقال: على الخبير سقطتم، هو أحد ثلاثة أمور يرد عليه: إما بشارة بنعيم الأبد، وإما بشارة بعذاب الأبد، وإما تحزين وتهويل وأمر [ه] مبهم لا يدري من أي الفرق هو، فأما ولينا المطيع لأمرنا فهو المبشر بنعيم الأبد، وأما عدونا المخالف علينا فهو المبشر بعذاب الأبد، وأما المبهم أمره الذي لا يدري ما حاله فهو المؤمن المسرف على نفسه لا يدري ما يؤول إليه حاله، يأتيه الخبر مبهما مخوفا ثم لن يسويه الله عز وجل بأعدائنا لكن يخرجه من النار بشفاعتنا، فاعملوا وأطيعوا، لا تتكلوا ولا تستصغروا عقوبة الله عز وجل فإن من المسرفين من لا تلحقه شفاعتنا إلا بعد عذاب ثلاثمائة ألف سنة.

2. We were told by Muhammed bin Qasem, the exegete, al-Jarjani, may Allah grant him mercy, that he said: We were told by Ahmad bin Hasan al-Hussaini, from Hasan bin Ali al-Nasiri, from his father, from Muhammed bin Ali, from his father, al-Rida, from his father, Musa bin Ja’far, from his father, Ja’far bin Muhammed, from his father, Muhammed bin Ali, from his father, Ali bin Hussain, from his father, Hussain, peace be upon them, that he said: It was said to the Commander of the Believers, peace be upon him: Describe death to us. He said: You have fallen upon the acquainted. It is one of three things that will approach a person: either it is a glad tiding of the bliss of the everlasting; or a news of the torment of the everlasting; or causing of grief and horror, by which one’s matter is unclear and he does not know from which group he is. As for our ally, the obedient to our cause, he is the one to be given glad tidings of the bliss of the everlasting. As for our enemy who opposes us, he is to be given news of the torment of the everlasting. As for the one who does not know his condition, he is the believer who was thriftless towards himself and does not know what his condition will lead to. He will be reached by news that leave him in a state of unclarity and fear. Furthermore, Allah, Exalted and Glorious is He, will not level him with our enemies, however, He will take him out of the Fire by our salvation. Hence, act and obey, do not have confidence from nor belittle the punishment of Allah, Exalted and Glorious is He, for indeed, among the thriftless are those whom our salvation will not save except after the torment of three hundred thousand years.



Hadith #3

وسئل الحسن بن علي بن أبي طالب عليهما السلام، ما الموت الذي جهلوه؟ قال: أعظم سرور يرد على المؤمنين إذ نقلوا عن دار النكد إلى نعيم الأبد، وأعظم ثبور يرد على الكافرين إذ نقلوا عن جنتهم إلى نار لا تبيد ولا تنفد. وقال علي بن الحسين عليهما السلام،: لما اشتد الامر بالحسين بن علي بن أبي طالب عليهما السلام، نظر إليه من كان معه فإذا هو بخلافهم لأنهم كلما اشتد الامر تغيرت ألوانهم وارتعدت فرائصهم ووجبت قلوبهم وكان الحسين عليه السلام وبعض من معه من خصائصه تشرق ألوانهم وتهدئ جوارحهم وتسكن نفوسهم، فقال بعضهم لبعض: انظروا لا يبالي بالموت! فقال لهم الحسين عليه السلام: صبرا بني الكرام، فما الموت إلا قنطرة تعبر بكم عن البؤس والضراء إلى الجنان الواسعة والنعيم الدائمة فأيكم يكره أن ينتقل من سجن إلى قصر وما هو لأعدائكم إلا كمن ينتقل من قصر إلى سجن وعذاب. إن أبي حدثني عن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله أن الدنيا سجن المؤمن وجنة الكافر والموت جسر هؤلاء إلى جناتهم وجسر هؤلاء إلى جحيمهم، ما كذبت ولا كذبت.

3. Hasan bin Ali bin Abi Talib, peace be upon them both, was asked: What is the death which they are ignorant of? He said: The greatest joy that approaches the believers when they are transferred from the home of miserableness to the bliss of the everlasting, and the greatest affliction that approaches the disbelievers when they are transferred from their paradise to a Fire that is not to extinguish nor cease. Ali bin Hussain, peace be upon them both, said: When the matter of Hussain bin Ali bin Abi Talib, peace be upon them both, was intensified, those who were with him looked at him, and at sudden he was behind them, because whenever the matter intensified, their colors changed [1], their shoulder flanks shivered and their hearts fell, whereas Hussain, peace be upon him, and some of those who were with him of his special companions, their colors would shine, their limbs would quieten and their inner selves would calm. They said to each other: Look, he does not care about death! Then Hussain, peace be upon him, said: Patience, O sons of the generous, for death is but a bridge that makes you cross from suffering and harm to the wide gardens and everlasting bliss, for which of you would dislike to relocate from a prison to a castle? For your enemies, it is not but like the one who relocates from a castle to prison and torment. Indeed, my father told me of the Messenger of Allah, Allah’s blessings be upon him and his Family, that this world is the prison of the believer and the paradise of the disbeliever, and that death is the bridge of those to their Gardens and the bridge of those to their Hell. I have not lied, nor been negated.



Hadith #4

وقال محمد بن علي عليهما السلام،: قيل لعلي بن الحسين عليهما السلام: ما لموت؟ قال: للمؤمن كنزع ثياب وسخه قملة ، وفك قيود وأغلال ثقيلة، والاستبدال بأفخر الثياب وأطيبها روائح وأوطئ المراكب، وآنس المنازل وللكافر كخلع ثياب فاخرة، والنقل عن منازل أنيسة، والاستبدال بأوسخ الثياب وأخشنها، وأوحش المنازل وأعظم العذاب.

4. Muhammed bin Ali, peace be upon them both, said: It was said to Ali bin Hussain, peace be upon them both: What is death? He said: To the believer, it is like the removal of dirty and scabby clothes, the unlocking of heavy chains and shackles, and the replacement of that with the most luxuriant and good-smelling clothes, the best riding vehicle and the most courteous of houses. To the disbeliever, it is like the removal of luxuriant clothes and the transfer from courteous houses, and the replacement of that with the dirtiest and roughest of clothes, the most desolated of houses and the greatest torment.



Hadith #5

وقيل لمحمد بن علي عليهما السلام: ما لموت؟ قال: هو النوم الذي يأتيكم كل ليلة إلا أنه طويل مدته لا ينتبه منه إلا يوم القيامة، فمن رأى في نومه من أصناف الفرح مالا يقادر قدره ومن أصناف الأهوال مالا يقادر قدره؟ فكيف حال فرح في النوم ووجل فيه؟ هذا هو الموت فاستعدوا له.

5. It was said to Muhammed bin Ali, peace be upon them both: What is death? He said: It is the sleep that comes to you every night, except that its duration is long and one will not notice it except on the Day of Resurrection. Who has seen in his sleep from the types of happiness what he cannot evaluate its value, and from the types of horrors what he cannot evaluate its value? How is the case of happiness and dread during sleep? That is death, so prepare for it.



Hadith #6

حدثنا محمد بن القاسم المفسر، قال: حدثنا أحمد بن الحسن الحسيني، عن الحسن بن علي، عن أبيه، عن محمد بن علي، عن أبيه عليهم السلام قال: دخل موسى بن جعفر عليهما السلام، على رجل قد غرق في سكرات الموت وهو لا يجيب داعيا فقالوا له: يا ابن رسول الله وددنا لو عرفنا كيف الموت وكيف حال صاحبنا. فقال: الموت هو المصفاة يصفي المؤمنين من ذنوبهم فيكون آخر ألم يصيبهم كفارة آخر وزر بقي عليهم ويصفي الكافرين من حسناتهم فيكون آخر لذة أو راحة تلحقهم، وهو آخر ثواب حسنة تكون لهم وأما صاحبكم هذا فقد نحل من الذنوب نخلا، وصفي من الآثام تصفية، وخلص حتى نقي كما ينقى الثوب من الوسخ، وصلح لمعاشرتنا أهل البيت في دارنا دار الأبد.

6. We were told by Muhammed bin Qasem, the exegete, that he said: We were told by Ahmad bin Hasan al-Hussaini, from Hasan bin Ali, from his father, from Muhammed bin Ali, from his father, peace be upon them, that he said: Musa bin Ja’far, peace be upon them both, entered into the place of a man who had drowned into the intoxication of death whilst not answering a caller, and they said to him: O son of Allah’s Messenger, we would love to know how death is and what the case of our companion is. He said: Death is the purifier; it purifies the believers from their sins, by which the last pain that afflicts them is an expiation for the last burden that remains upon them, and it purifies the disbelievers from their good deeds, by which it is the last delight or comfort that follows them, and it is the last reward for a good deed that is to them. As for this companion of yours, he has been sieved from sins in a (complete manner of) sieving, and he has been purified from error in a (complete manner of) purification, and he has been rid (of filth) until he has become clean like how a robe is cleaned from filth, and he has become suitable to mingle with us, the Household, in our Home, the Home of the Everlasting.



Hadith #7

وبهذا الاسناد عن محمد بن علي عليهما السلام، قال: مرض رجل من أصحاب الرضا عليه السلام فعاده فقال: كيف تجدك؟ قال: لقيت الموت بعدك - يريد ما لقيه من شدة مرضه - فقال: كيف لقيته؟ فقال: أليما شديدا. فقال: ما لقيته إنما لقيت ما ينذرك به ويعرفك بعض حاله، إنما الناس رجلان: مستريح بالموت، ومستراح به منه، فجدد الايمان بالله بالولاية تكن مستريحا ففعل الرجل ذلك. والحديث طويل أخذنا منه موضع الحاجة.

7. With this chain of narrators, from Muhammed bin Ali, peace be upon them both, that he said: A man from the companions of al-Rida, peace be upon him, became ill, and so he visited him and said: How do you find yourself? He said: I met death after you. [1] By that he meant what he met due to the intensity of his illness. He said: How did you meet it? He said: Severely painful. He said: You did not meet it. You only met that which warns you about it and makes you know some of its condition. People are only two (types of) men: One who rests at death, and one from whom it is rested [2] due to it [3]. Thus, renew faith in Allah and in Divine Authority, and you will be one who rests (at death). Then the man did so. The narration is long. We took from it the spot of requirement.



Hadith #8

وبهذا الاسناد، عن علي بن محمد عليهما السلام، قال: قيل لمحمد بن علي بن موسى صلوات الله عليهم: ما بال هؤلاء المسلمين يكرهون الموت؟ قال: لأنهم جهلوه فكرهوه ولو عرفوه وكانوا من أولياء الله عز وجل لأحبوه ولعلموا أن الآخرة خير لهم من الدنيا، ثم قال عليه السلام: يا أبا عبد الله ما بال الصبي والمجنون يمتنع من الدواء المنقي لبدنه والنافي للألم عنه؟ قال: لجهلهم بنفع الدواء. قال: والذي بعث محمدا بالحق نبيا إن من استعد للموت حق الاستعداد فهو أنفع له من هذا الدواء لهذا المتعالج، أما إنهم لو عرفوا ما يؤدي إليه الموت من النعيم لاستدعوه وأحبوه أشد ما يستدعي العاقل الحازم الدواء لدفع الآفات واجتلاب السلامات.

8. With this chain of narrators, from Ali bin Muhammed, peace be upon them both, that he said: It was said to Muhammed bin Ali bin Musa, Allah’s blessings be upon them: What is it with these Muslims that they hate death? He said: Because they have become ignorant of it, so they hate it. If they were to know it and they were among the Allies of Allah, Exalted and Glorious is He, they would surely have loved it, and they would surely have known that the Hereafter is better for them than this world. Then he, peace be upon him, said: O father of Abdullah, what is it with a child or an insane that he refrains from the medicine that cleans his body and negates the pain from him? He said: Due to their ignorance of the benefit of the medicine. He said: By He who sent Muhammed with the Truth as a Prophet, indeed, the one who prepares for death a true preparation, it is more beneficial to him than this medicine (that is given) to he who is treated. Verily, if they, indeed, were to know what death leads to of bliss, they would surely have called for it and loved it by the most intense of what a rational calls for medicine in order to repel misfortunes and draw safeties.



Hadith #9

وبهذا الاسناد، عن الحسن بن علي عليهما السلام قال: دخل علي بن محمد عليهما السلام على مريض من أصحابه وهو يبكي ويجزع من الموت فقال له: يا عبد الله تخاف من الموت لأنك لا تعرفه، أرأيتك إذا اتسخت وتقذرت وتأذيت من كثرة القذر والوسخ عليك و أصابك قروح وجرب وعلمت أن الغسل في حمام يزيل ذلك كله أما تريد أن تدخله فتغسل ذلك عنك أو ما تكره أن لا تدخله فيبقى ذلك عليك؟ قال: بلى يا ابن رسول الله. قال: فذاك الموت هو ذلك الحمام وهو آخر ما بقي عليك من تمحيص ذنوبك وتنقيتك من سيئاتك فإذا أنت وردت عليه وجاوزته فقد نجوت من كل غم وهم وأذى، ووصلت إلى كل سرور وفرح، فسكن الرجل واستسلم ونشط وغمض عين نفسه ومضى لسبيله.

9. With this chain of narrators, from Hasan bin Ali, peace be upon them both, that he said: Ali bin Muhammed, peace be upon them both, entered into the place of a diseased from his companions while he was weeping and frightened, so he said to him: O servant of Allah, you are fearing death because you do not know it. Have you seen yourself, if you were to become dirty, filthy and harmed from the much filth and dirtiness upon you, and you would be afflicted with ulcer and scabbiness, and you would know that washing in a bath will remove all that, would you not want to enter it and wash that from yourself? Would you not dislike that you do not enter it, by which that remains on you? He said: Sure, O son of Allah’s Messenger. He said: That is death. It is that bath and it is the last that remains upon you of purification from your sins and the cleaning of you from your misdeeds. Hence, if you approach it and cross it, you would certainly be saved from every sorrow, concern and pain, and you would reach to every joy and happiness. Then the man calmed, submitted, became excited, closed the eye of himself and went to his path.



Hadith #10

وسئل الحسن بن علي بن محمد عليهم السلام عن الموت ما هو؟ فقال: هو التصديق بما لا يكون. حدثني أبي، عن أبيه، عن جده، عن الصادق عليه السلام قال: إن المؤمن إذا مات لم يكن ميتا فإن الميت هو الكفار، إن الله عز وجل يقول: " يخرج الحي من الميت ويخرج الميت من الحي " يعني المؤمن من الكافر والكافر من المؤمن.

10. Hasan bin Ali bin Muhammed, peace be upon them, was asked about death: What is it? He said: It is credence to that which shall not be. I was told by my father, from his father, from his grandfather, from al-Sadiq, peace be upon him, that he said: Indeed, when a believer dies, he will not be dead, for indeed, the (one to become) dead is the disbeliever. Indeed, Allah, Exalted and Glorious is He, says: «He brings out the living from the dead, and He brings out the dead from the living» (6:95). That means (that) the believer (is begotten) from the disbeliever, and the disbeliever (is begotten) from the believer.