Death, Dying, Grief and Mourning

            "Death is always the same,
                               but each man dies in his own way."

Carson McCullers, Clock Without Hands, 1960


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in Western Literature

An Anthology by  Adrienne Nater

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Death, Dying, Grief, and Mourning

in Western Literature


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The Holy Qur’an, 610-632


Death of Believers
& Non-believers

The Holy Qur’an, 610-632

Chapter 39: 42 – 52 

42.            Allậh takes away the souls (of human being) at the time of their death and (also) of those who are not (yet) dead during their sleep. He detains (the souls of) those against whom he passes the verdict of death and sends (back those of) others till a fixed period of time. There are signs in this for a people who would reflect.

43.            Have those (polytheists) chosen (certain other) intercessors apart from Allậh? Say, ‘What! (will they intercede for you?) Though they have no authority at all and understand nothing.’

44.            Say, ‘All intercession belongs to Allậh entirely. To Him belongs the sovereignty of the heavens and the earth, then towards Him you shall (all) be brought back.’

45.            When (the name of Allậh alone is mentioned, the hearts of those who do not believe in the Hereafter shrink with aversion but when (the names of) those who are below His high station are mentioned, behold they are at once filled with joy.

46.            Say, ‘O Allậh! Originator of the heavens and the earth, Possessor of the knowledge of the unseen and the seen. You alone judge between Your servants concerning that wherein they differ.’

47.            And had the wrongdoers owned all that the earth contains and as much in addition to it, they would certainly offer it on the Day of Resurrection to redeem themselves from the woeful punishment; yet there would appear to them from Allậh that which they never even thought of.

48.            And the evil (consequences) of the deeds they had deliberately done will become clear to them. And they will be caught by the very punishment they took no account of.

49.            And when harm afflict a human being he calls upon Us. But when We confer Our favour on him he says, ‘I have been given this only on account of (my own) knowledge. It is not right, it is only a trial, yet most people do not know.

50.            Their predecessors had said the same thing, yet all their acquisitions were of no avail to them.

51.            And the evil (consequences) of their deed did overtake them. As for wrongdoers from among these (rejecters of the truth), the evil    (consequences) of their deeds shall surely overcome them also. They will never be able to frustrate (God’s plan).

52.            Do they not know that Allậh multiplies the means of livelihood (for such of his people) as He will, and makes them scant (for such of them as He pleases.) Behold there are signs in all this for the people who would believe.


Heaven, Hell and Death in Islam:

2: 154     Do not say about those killed in the cause of Allậh, “They are dead.”
    For they are alive, but you do not perceive.

2:25    Give good news to those who believe and work righteousness that they will have gardens with flowing streams. When provided with provisions of fruits therein, they will say “This is what was given to us in the past,” They will be similar provisions, and they will have pure spouses therein. They abide therein forever. 

3:169  Do not think that those who are killed in the cause of Allậh are dead; they are alive at their Lord, being provided for.

4:69    And those who obey Allậh and this perfect Messenger, it is these who are with those upon whom Allậh has bestowed His blessings (in this life and the Hereafter) — the Prophets, the Truthful (in their beliefs, words and deeds), and the Bearers of Testimony (to the truth of the religion of Allậh by their words and deeds), as well as the Martyrs, and the Righteous (who stick to the right course under all circumstances), and how excellent companions they are!

6:60    It is He Who takes your soul by night (in sleep) and He knows what you have done by day, yet He raises you up therein that the term stated (for your life) may be completed. Then to Him is your return, then He will inform you plainly about your deeds.

6:93    Who is more unjust than the person who fabricates a lie in the name of Allậh deliberately or says, ‘A revelation has been revealed to him, and the person who says, ‘I will (also) bring down the like what Allậh has sent down?’ Could you but see the wrongdoers when they are in the agonies of death and when the angels would lay down their hand on them saying, ‘Give up your souls. This day you shall be given a disgraceful punishment on account of that falsehood which you uttered regarding Allậh wrongfully and  (because) you disdained His revelations.’

8:24   O you who believe, you shall respond to Allậh and the messenger when he invites to what keeps you alive.

8:50   Could you but see the angels carrying away the souls of those who disbelieve, smiting their faces and their backs (saying) ‘Suffer the punishment of burning.

16:32  Those (are happy indeed) whom the angels cause to die while they are pure saying, ‘Peace be upon you! Enter Paradise because of that ( noble deeds) You have been doing.’

8:51   ‘This (punishment) is because of (the deeds) which your (own) hands have sent forward and (knows) Allậh is by no means unjust to His servants.’

22:58  Those who emigrate to the cause of God, then get killed or did, Allậh will surely provide for them a good provision.

36:26-27 It was said (to him by God), ‘Enter Paradise (while you are still living).’ He said, ‘ O, would that my people knew, ‘For what reason has my Lord granted me protection (from pitfalls in this life) and included me among the honoured ( servants of His)!’

40:11  They will say, ‘Our Lord! Twice You have caused us to die (as the state without life before birth is a sort of death and the end of this life is the second) and twice You have given us life. We confess our sins (now). Is then, there, a way out (of the torment)?’

44:56   They do not taste death, beyond the first death, and Allậh spares them the retribution of Hell.

47:27   But how (will they fare), when the angels cause them to die, smiting them on their faces and their backs?

89:27-30  (As for the person who has been blessed with a contented and peaceful mind He will say to him,) ‘O you soul at peace!    ‘Come back to your Lord well-pleased with Him and He will be well-pleased with you. ‘Enter the fold of My chosen servants,  ‘And enter the Garden made by Me.’



Adrienne Nater, 2008

©© 2008 Adrienne Nater. All rights reserved.