This issue was once raised by one of my classmates. He once asked me, “Living this life is really painful filled with suffering, so can we possibly pray to Allah for a faster death?”
“Why do you want a faster death?” I asked
“Because this world is so unfair and full of distresses. And besides wanting a faster death means I want to be with Allah upon death quicker, isn’t that a good thing?”
I was at my wits end since this entire way of thinking wasn’t right to begin with as the Sunnah did not justify it. According to Hadiths we got duas to grant a longer life but nowhere in the Kitabs we go Hadiths where our Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) actually prayed for a faster death. I did a bit of research and found the following.
NO YOU CAN’T PRAY FOR A FASTER DEATH
Firstly our life spans have already been determined when we were inside our mothers’ wombs so by praying for a faster death you are going against the plan Allah has for you. Hadith states:
Hudhaifa Ibn Usaid (Radi Allahu Anhu) reported directly from Allah’s Messenger (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) who said: When the drop of (semen) remains in the womb for forty or fifty (days) or forty nights, the angel comes and says: My Lord, will he be good or evil? And both these things would be written. Then the angel says: My Lord, would he be male or female? And both these things are written. And his deeds and actions, his death, his livelihood; these are also recorded. Then his document of destiny is rolled and there is no, addition to and subtraction from it.
Reference: Sahih Muslim, Book of Destiny, Hadith 6391
Next, for whatever hardships you are experiencing, know that all of these are within your boundary of resistance and you got no right to complain of them. The Quran states:
Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity. It will have [the consequence of] what [good] it has gained, and it will bear [the consequence of] what [evil] it has earned.
Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayah 286 (2:286) Translation: Sahih International
In fact all the pain and suffering we face are good for us since we get rewards for enduring them till the end. Here’s the evidences behind this concept:
Jabir (Radi Allahu Anhu) said: The Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “On the Day of Resurrection, when people who had suffered affliction are given their reward, those who were healthy will wish their skins had been cut to pieces with scissors when they were in the world.”
Reference: Jami at-Tirmidhi, Hadith 2402. Al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, Hadith 2206
It was narrated that Abu Hurairah (Radi Allahu Anhu) said: The Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “Trials will continue to befall the believing man and woman, with regard to themselves, their children and their wealth, until they meet Allah with no sin on them.”
Reference: Jami at-Tirmidhi, Hadith 2399. Classed as Sahih by Imam Al-Albani (Rahmatullah Allaih) in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, Hadith 2280.
It was narrated from Anas Ibn Malik (Radi Allahu Anhu) that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “Great reward comes with great trials. When Allah loves a people, He tests them, and whoever accepts it attains His pleasure, whereas whoever shows discontent with it incurs His wrath.”
Reference: Jami at-Tirmidhi, Hadith 2396. Classed as Sahih by Imam al-Albaani (Rahmatullah Allaih) in as-Silsilah as-Saheehah, Hadith 146.
In one Hadith by Aa’ishah (Radi Allahu Anha), according to which the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) to have said: “Nothing befalls a believer, a (prick of a) thorn or more than that, but Allah will raise him one degree in status thereby, or erase a bad deed.”
References: Sahih al-Bukhari, Hadith 5641 & Sahih Muslim, Hadith 2573
Finally, we shouldn’t wish for death since the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) had directly forbidden us to do so. Hadiths state:
The Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “The best of people is the one who lives long and does good.”
References: Musnad of Imam Ahmad (Rahmatullah Allaih) & Jami at-Tirmidhi, Hadith 110. Classed as Sahih by Al-Albani in Sahih al-Tirmidhi.
The Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “No one of you should wish for death because of some harm that has befallen him. If he must wish for it, then let him say: ‘O Allah, keep me alive so long as living is good for me, and cause me to die when death is good for me.”
References: References: Sahih Al-Bukhari, Hadith 6531 & Sahih Muslim, Hadith 2680
It was narrated from Abu Hurairah (Radi Allahu Anhu) that the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “No one of you should wish for death or pray for it before it comes, for when one of you dies, his good deeds come to an end and for the believer a long life will not increase him in anything but good.”
Reference: Sahih Muslim, Hadith 2682
Khabbaab (Radi Allahu Anhu) said: “Were it not that the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) forbade us to pray for death, I would have prayed for it”
References: Sahih al-Bukhari, Hadith 6350 & Sahih Muslim, 2681
Abu Hurairah (Radi Allahu Anhu) reported: There were two men from the tribe of Quda’ah who embraced Islam with the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). One of them was martyred and the other lived for another year. Talha (Radi Allahu Anhu) said: I had a dream of Paradise and I saw the one who lived longer enter Paradise before the martyr. I was amazed by that and when I woke up, I mentioned it to the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). The Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, “Did he not fast the month of Ramadan after him and he performed six thousand or more prayers in the year?”
In another narration, the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, “The distance between them is greater than that between the heavens and the earth.”
Reference: Musnad of Imam Ahmad (Rahmatullah Allaih), Hadith 8195. Graded Sahih by Ahmad Shakir
On the contrary according to Kitab Majmoo’ Fatawa wa Maqalat Mutanawwi’ah li Samahat al-Shaykh al-‘Allaaah ibn Baaz , Vol. 8, p. 425, it is mentioned that there is nothing wrong to pray for a longer life and this has also been mentioned in a Khutbah by the Imam of our Masjid.
Now you may wonder that how can we pray for a longer life if our life spans have already been determined. The idea is since your lifespans can’t be increased when you pray for a longer life of goodness, Allah increases your scope of doing good and reduces the scope of doing bad in your limited lives so this in the end justifies the Hadith which state- “The best of people is the one who lives long and does good”, thus making it possible for those who are destined to live a shorter life to accumulate as many good deeds as possible in their relatively shorter lifespans.
May Allah guide us into making the right kind of duas and save us from the deceiving whispers of Shaitan, Ameen.
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