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I don’t feel like living anymore, what should I do Islamic?

Question: The time when someone is unwell, unworthy of being better, like chronic fever [madquq], there is no hope of living anymore, what should he do as per Islamic view? And what should the family members and friends do?

Questioner: Hakimullah Bakhsh, Jashpur in India

Answer: Man is always in the clutches of death. The chronic gets freshened and he will first let go of the one who would hastily take care of him. The legacy should be prepared at all times, leading the rest to Allah’s tawhid, the Prophet (peace be upon him), steadfastness on the creed of Ahl al-Sunnah, obedience to Islamic law [shariah], rectifying yourself, bonding with the saints [awliyah], abstaining from the unbelievers, deviants and transgressors, and thereafter leaving behind some heritage. So, there is so much Islamic preparation in which there is no retirement, and there is preparation for yourself in the guidance of obeying the Sunnah, and it is incumbent upon them (i.e. the heirs) to abide it. And first of all, you must rectify yourself, repent of your sins and lean towards Allah and His Messenger, while happily waiting for death so that you will not be dissatisfied on its arrival. Being dissatisfied at that time, Allah forbid, is very grievous, Allah’s refuge is sought! There is a fear of a painful ending. The noble prophet said:

بَابُ مَنْ أَحَبَّ لِقَاءَ اللَّهِ أَحَبَّ اللَّهُ لِقَاءَهُ وَمَنْ كَرِهَ لِقَاءَ اللَّهِ كَرِهَ اللَّهُ لِقَاءَهُ
“Whoever likes meeting Allah, Allah likes meeting him. And whoever dislikes meeting Allah, Allah dislikes meeting him.” [Sahih Muslim: 2684]

The noble companions said, “O Messenger of Allah! Who is amongst us who does not dislike death?” He said, “This is not what it means. Rather it applies when the last breath arises on the chest. The moment he loves meeting Allah, Allah shall love meeting him. And dislike is then disliked.”

Your responsibility, be it prayer, fasting or zakat whatever remains, involve yourself immediately as per your capability. You did not perform the hajj and it is your duty [fard] then do not postpone. If there is no strength due to illness, perform the hajj by compensating for it. If there is no strength until the last breath, it will be fulfilled, otherwise, if you gain strength, then fulfil it yourself. Whatever may be fulfilled of societal rights [huquq al-ibad], fulfil it. Whoever is there to seek forgiveness, seek their forgiveness, and do not make any real delay in this, for this does not ease it even with martyrdom. No matter how humble you must be to seek forgiveness, do not think it hurts your honour. There is no dishonour in this. Dishonour is that on the day when you are before the Noble Divine Presence in such a state that you have suppressed another’s right, slandered him, gossiped, beaten him, whilst the rightful is embraced by him, his good deeds have been given to him, his sins will be fixed on him and he will be thrown into hellfire––Allah’s refuge is sought! Until there is life, listen and see often the translations of the verses and ahadith of fear. And when the time approaches, let him hear the verses and ahadith, along with the translation, so he will know to whom he is going so that he rises to his Lord with a good opinion. May Allah fortunate him through the means of his noble beloved (peace be upon him). And Allah knows best.
al-Imam Ahmad Raza Khan al-Qadiri al-Barelvi
13-Ramadan-1338 || ≈ 1-Jun-1920
al-‘Ataya al-Nabawiyyah fi’l-Fatawa al-Ridawiyyah: vol. 9, p. 81, #1
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