Word 13: Whoever is Afraid From Death, is Afraid From Oneself
Word 13: Whoever is Afraid From Death, is Afraid From Oneself
Death is something no human being has experienced for oneself, and when one experiences it, one will not be able to describe it for others. From past, the death has been an issue among human beings that has occupied everyone’s mind, what is death like? When we read the books of the past, we see that everyone has a specific and different definition of death, and it is usually depicted as ugly and horrible.
Is death really scary? We have proved in the introductory lessons of the self-knowledge that our soul (Nafs) is a being free of matter and the rules of matter (it does not have the properties of matter). And we have proved that death does not mean destruction for the soul, so we will be forever.
Death is the separation of the soul from the physical body. Death means transfer from one world to another. Why are humans afraid of death? One of the reasons is that man is afraid of ignorance, he is afraid of what he does not know. For example, one of the reasons that people are afraid of the dark is that they do not know their surroundings in the dark. Man is not afraid if he can see everywhere if a house is bright, but if the house is dark and there is no light, he is afraid of that dark house. In general, man is afraid of what he does not know. That is why death is scary for human beings because they do not know about death.
If people find that death is not annihilation and it is just a transfer from one world to another, their fear will go away. Allameh Hassanzadeh Amoli explained this well in his book called “Sources of Soul Facts”. Of course, there is an issue that needs to be considered here. Some people who believe in the Hereafter are afraid of the consequences of their evil deeds and divine punishment in the Hereafter, which is different from the fear of death itself. Fear of death is one thing and fear of divine punishment is another.
Imam Javad (A) said, “Death is the same as dream that comes to you every night, but this time it is longer”. Meaning, dying is like sleeping. Death is not a terrible thing, and it is terrible only for those who are closely attached to the worldly life.
Death acts like a mirror and show us our face. Meaning, when you face death, you are actually facing your inner self. One who is afraid of death is indeed afraid of himself because death is the loss of belonging to others and sitting at our own table. The angel of death or Izrael is a truth, but it appears based on inward of ourselves.
Consider the twins in the mother’s womb, one of whom is born and the other who is still in the mother’s womb. The one in the mother’s womb starts crying and says that my brother is dead. But the other who is born says I wish my brother was here and could see this beautiful world that we could not see in the mother’s womb.
Allameh Hassanzadeh said that if the curtains are removed from our eyes and we could see the status of perfect human beings in the Hereafter, we will cry and we will say what situation we have lost. People think that death eats them, but in fact we are the ones who taste death. “Every soul shall taste death” (Al-Imran:185).
Allameh Helli passed by the grave of a young man and thought to himself how this young man had died. At night, he dreams of a young man who says, “I am the young man you passed by my grave. I was studying at school and suddenly a disease started to spread, people died one by one, I also got sick and my whole body was in a lot of pain, then I saw a young man come and ask me how I am. I said I am sick and my whole body hurt. He asked me if I wanted him to go get me a doctor. I said yes. The young man left and returned with a doctor. The doctor asked, “Where does your body hurt?” I said my whole-body hurts. The doctor touched my toes and said, “Does it hurt now?”. I said that I am fine now. Then the doctor touched my ankle, knee, and my feet and said, “Did it get better?” I said yes, my legs no longer hurt. The doctor put his hand on my heart and asked if it was better? I said yes, all of the sudden I saw myself standing in the corner of the room and seeing my body. I was scared and asked the young man, “Who are you?” he said, “I am Angel Gabriel, and this doctor is the angel of Izrael, and you are dead now”. Then I saw some people coming over my body and telling each other that he is also dead. They took my body and buried it in a garden”.
In this world, we do not move in the opposite direction, for example, bread does not turn into wheat. “Until, when death comes to one of them he says: ‘My Lord, let me go back, (99) that I should do righteousness in that I forsook’ No! It is only a word which he will speak. Behind them there shall stand a barrier till the Day that they shall be resurrected” (Al-Mu’minun: 99-100). Allameh Hassanzadeh said, “Every time we sleep, we die and come back to life, but again, humans do not use this opportunity to prepare themselves for the Hereafter.”
People are afraid of themselves, which is why they do not like loneliness and cannot go solitude. People like to be around other people most of the times and watching TV, playing games, and talking to others, but they run away from themselves and do not like to know themselves, talk to themselves, where did we come from and where are we going? We must sit and think about death because death is a truth, and it will come to us. “Say: ‘Death from which you flee is sure to reach you. Then you shall be returned to the Knower of the Unseen and the Visible, and He will tell you all that you have done’”(Al-Jumu’a: 8).
All human experience two wombs. The first womb is the mother’s womb, the second womb is this world. With death from the womb of the world, we will go to another world. For some people, death is horrible because they see their inner and therefore runs away from everyone. “But, when the Blast comes, (33) on that Day each person will flee from his brother, (34) his mother and his father, (35) his wife and his children. (36) Everyone on that Day will have affairs to keep him occupied” (Abasa: 33-37). Prophet Idris (A) said, “If you want to know whether you are an ascetic and pious man or not, see if you love death or not. If you do not love death, then you love the worldly life.” “Say: ‘If the abode of the Everlasting Life is with Allah for you especially, to the exclusion of all other people, then long for death if you are truthful’” (Baqara:94).
All praise is to God to the extent that He deserves it.