The Prophets and the Angel of Death

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When we look at the interactions that took place between the esteemed Prophets of Allah Ta’ala and the Angel of Death, Hazrat Sayyiduna Israeel (Alaihis Salaam), we get a glimpse of the exalted status that Allah Ta’ala has granted to them. Some anecdotes are presented below to refresh our Imaan.

Hazrat Sayyiduna Idrees (Alaihis Salaam)

It has been stated by Hazrat Sayyiduna Ka’b Al-Ahbaar (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) and others, that once Hazrat Sayyiduna Idrees  (Alaihis Salaam) said to the Angel of Death, “I want to taste death to see how it is. Take away my soul and show me.” The Angel of Death followed his command and took away his soul. Instantly, he returned it back to him and Sayyiduna Idrees (Alaihis Salaam)  revived back to life. Then he said, “Show me Jahannam (Hell) so that the fear of Allah Ta’ala may intensify in my heart.” This command was then also fulfilled. After seeing Hell, he asked the guard of Hell, “Open the gate, I wish to pass through it.” Therefore, the command was fulfilled and he passed across it. He then asked the Angel of Death to show him Jannah (Paradise). So the Angel of Death took him into Paradise.

After waiting for some time in Paradise, the Angel of Death asked him to return back. But he replied, “I will not go anywhere from here. Allah Ta’ala has said, 

كُلُّ نَفْسٍ ذَائِقَةُ الْمَوْتِ ط

Every living being must taste death. {Surah 21:35}

And I have already tasted death. And Allah Ta’ala has also said,  

وَاِنْ مِّنْكُمْ اِلَّا وَارِدُهَا ط

And there is none among you who shall not pass over Hell. {Surah 19:71}

And I have passed over it. Now I have reached Paradise and about those who will reach Paradise, Allah Ta’ala has said,

وَمَا هُمْ مِّنْهَا بِمُخْرَجِيْنَ ط

And they (who will enter Paradise) will not be expelled from it. {Surah 15:48}

So now why are you asking me to leave Paradise?” 

Allah Ta’ala then sent Divine Revelation to the Angel of Death saying, “Whatever Idrees (Alaihis Salaam) has done, he has done it with My consent and has entered Paradise with My permission. Therefore, leave him. He will live in Paradise.”

Therefore, Sayyiduna Idrees (Alaihis Salaam) is alive above the skies in Paradise. {Tafseer Khazaainul Irfaan}

With regard to this, Allah Ta’ala states in the Holy Qur’an:

وَاذْكُرْ فِى الْكِتَابِ اِدْرِيسَ اِنَّهُ كَانَ صِدِّيْقًا نَّبِيًّا ط  وَرَفَعْنَاهُ مَكَانًا عَلِيًّا ط  اُولٰٓئِكَ الَّذِيْنَ اَنْعَمَ اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِمْ مِّنَ النَّبِيِّيْنَ مِنْ ذُرِّيَّةِ اٰدَمَ ط

And remember Idrees in the Book; he was indeed very truthful, a Prophet. And We lifted him to a high station. It is these upon whom Allah has bestowed favour among the Prophets, from the descendants of Adam. {Surah 19:56-58}

Hazrat Sayyiduna Ibrahim (Alaihis Salaam)

It has been narrated that once Hazrat Sayyiduna Ibrahim (Alaihis Salaam) said, “O Angel of Death! Let me observe the form in which you appear to the kuffaar (unbelievers), when you are about to remove their souls.” The Angel of Death said, “This is not something that you will be able to bear.” However, Hazrat Ibrahim (Alaihis Salaam) insisted, so he started to show this form to Hazrat Ibrahim (Alaihis Salaam) by asking him to turn his face away. Then, when he looked at the Angel of Death again, he saw a very black person with flames coming out of his head and flames were shooting out of his mouth and ears. On seeing this condition, Hazrat Ibrahim (Alaihis Salaam) almost fainted. Once again, when he looked towards him, he observed him in his normal form. He said to the Angel of Death, “If a kaafir only has to face the torment of seeing you in that form, then that alone is an immense torment.” He then said, “Now let me see the form you take when you go out to remove the soul of a believer.” The Angel said, “Turn your face away.” He turned his face away and when he looked back at him, he noticed a handsome young man, dressed in white standing before him, whose body was giving off a sweet fragrance. Hazrat Ibrahim (Alaihis Salaam) said, “If a believer is only blessed with the gift of seeing you, then this is sufficient for him.” {Sharhus Sudoor}

When the time came for Hazrat Ibrahim (Alaihis Salaam) to leave this mundane world, the Angel of Death said to him, “Allah Ta’ala has commanded that I should remove your soul with ease (painlessly).” Hazrat Ibrahim (Alaihis Salaam) said to the Angel of Death, “Go to Allah Ta’ala and discuss with regards to me (meaning with regard to his life).” The Angel of Death presented himself in the Court of Allah Ta’ala and discussed Hazrat Ibrahim’s (Alaihis Salaam) request. Allah Ta’ala said, “Say to my Khaleel, that your Rabb says that the Khaleel is pleased with meeting the Khaleel.” The Angel of Death passed this message of Allah Ta’ala to Hazrat Ibrahim (Alaihis Salaam), so he said, “Very well, now remove my soul.” The  Angel of Death asked him, “O Ibrahim (Alaihis Salaam)! Have you ever consumed wine?” He said, “No!” The Angel of Death let him smell a hint of wine (of the hereafter) and his soul was immediately removed. {Ibid}

Hazrat Sayyiduna Moosa (Alaihis Salaam)

Hazrat Abu Hurairah (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) reports from Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) that the Angel of Death initially went to people openly, and when he went to Hazrat Sayyiduna Moosa (Alaihis Salaam), Hazrat Moosa (Alaihis Salaam) struck him (with a single blow) which caused his eye to burst. He presented himself in the Court of Allah Ta’ala and said, “O Allah! Your servant Hazrat Moosa (Alaihis Salaam) burst my eye. If he were not your respected servant, I would have been harsh towards him.” Allah Ta’ala said, “Go to my servant and say to him that he should place his hand on the back of an ox, and for every hair that comes onto his hand from the back of the ox, We shall extend his life by one year.” The Angel of Death brought this message to Hazrat Moosa (Alaihis Salaam), who then asked, “What will happen thereafter?” He was told, “Death.” He then said, “If the end result is death, then remove my soul right away.”Therefore, the Angel of Death smelt him and he passed away, and the eye of Hazrat Israeel (Alaihis Salaam) was put back in order again.

Henceforth, the Angel of Death began coming to people hidden and not openly like in the past. {Sharhus Sudoor}

Hazrat Sayyiduna Dawood (Alaihis Salaam)

Hazrat Abu Hurairah (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) reported that Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “Hazrat Dawood (Alaihis Salaam) was very modest and whenever he left his home he would put a lock on the door, so that none may enter his home (in his absence). One day when he returned home, he found a man standing inside his home and he asked who the man was. The man replied, “I am that person who does not even fear kings and for me there is no door (to stop me).” Hazrat Dawood (Alaihis Salaam) said, “By Allah! It seems that you are the Angel of Death. I welcome you.” He then covered himself in a blanket and his soul was removed.” {Ibid}

Hazrat Sayyiduna Sulayman (Alaihis Salaam)

Once, the Angel of Death appeared to Hazrat Sulayman (Alaihis Salaam), who said to him, “O Angel of Death! You wipe out an entire household but no harm at all is caused to those who are their neighbours?” The Angel of Death replied, “I have no idea of who to wipe out. I am present under the Arsh of Allah Ta’ala and then I am given a list of names of those who are to die, so I cause the one whose name is on the list to die. The one whose name is not there, I do not cause him death.” 

On another occasion, the Angel of Death presented himself in the court of Hazrat Sulayman (Alaihis Salaam) and began to observe one of his companions very carefully. When he left, the person asked Hazrat Sulayman (Alaihis Salaam)  concerning who that person was (who was looking at him so intensely), so Hazrat Sulayman (Alaihis Salaam) mentioned to him that it was the Angel of Death. The companion said, “It seems as if he has plans to remove my soul.” Hazrat Sulayman (Alaihis Salaam) then asked, “So what do you intend doing?” He said, “Please command the winds to carry me to the (far away) land of Hind (India).” Hazrat Sulayman (Alaihis Salaam) commanded the winds and they carried him over to India. Thereafter, the Angel of Death again appeared in the court of Hazrat Sulayman (Alaihis Salaam) so he said to the Angel, “You were observing one of my companions with much intensity. Why was this so?” He said, “Hazrat! I was contemplating that I have been commanded to remove his soul in India, but I found him sitting by you, so I was trying to understand how he would reach India!” SubhanAllah!

Hazrat Sayyiduna Muhammad Mustafa (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) 

When the time of Rasoolullah’s (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) departure from this mundane world had neared, Hazrat Jibraeel (Alaihis Salaam) descended with the Angel of Death to his blessed house and said, “O Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), the Angel of Death is awaiting your permission to enter. He has not taken permission from anyone before, nor will he ever again. If you grant him consent, he will come in and carry out his duty.”

Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) replied, “Let him in.” Hazrat Israeel (Alaihis Salaam) then entered the blessed house and said, “O Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), Allah Ta’ala sent me here and ordered that I do whatever you command. If you allow me to take your soul, I will. Otherwise I will return.”

Hazrat Jibraeel (Alaihis Salaam) then said, “O Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), Allah Ta’ala wishes to meet with you.” Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) replied, “You have permission to take my soul.” The Angel of Death then carried out the very work that Allah Ta’ala had created him for. {Mishkaat Shareef; Mawaahibul Laduniya}

SubhanAllah! From these few narrations we can see the exalted status that Allah Ta’ala has granted to the Prophets (Alaihimus Salaam). Furthermore, we can see the unique excellence that Allah Ta’ala blessed our Master Muhammad Mustafa (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) with, that the Angel of Death, who entered the home of other Prophets without needing any permission, sought permission to enter his home and also sought permission to remove his blessed soul. SubhanAllah!

May Allah Ta’ala grant us the Taufeeq to  learn about the Prophets and to respect and honour them, Allahumma Ameen.

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