All of us are living to die.
How well prepared are we for this?
How well have we prepared our spouse, children and family to handle it?
Is our state of affairs and a legal will ready ?
Have we made it clear to our physician and next of kin that no heroic measures are to be used in my care? (This is especially so for the elderly >70 years and those diagnosed with a terminal disease.)
A Westerner writes, ‘Dying used to be accompanied by a prescribed set of customs.
Reaffirming one’s faith, repenting one’s sins, and letting go of one’s worldly possessions and desires were crucial, and the guides provided families with prayers and questions for the dying in order to put them in the right frame of mind during their final hours. Last words came to hold a particular place of reverence.’
Muslims are to be prepared for death all the time.
Our master Prophet Mohammed (Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him) instructed us to remember often -the destroyer of all pleasures :death. (Tirmidhi, Ahmed, Ibn e Majah)
Most of us are not prepared and in the right frame of mind to handle death. In facing, it especially for the elderly and those diagnosed with a terminal disease, all our effort is to prolong life. This is done at at all measures, irrespective of the pain, suffering and financial burden to the afflicted and those around.
We pay no attention at all to a peaceful departure, accepting the decree of Allah wholeheartedly, a farewell as a believer (khatima bil khair), forgiving others and asking forgiveness from Allah and fellow Muslims, recitation of kalima (There is no God except Allah, Mohammed [Allah’s blessings ans peace be upon him] is His messenger) as their last words by the dying and the chapter of Yasin from Quran by those around.
This is also a an issue we have to improve upon.