Question: How is a Muslim woman treated at the moment of death?
If a Muslim woman dies when she is in a state of puerperium or pregnancy or dies because of a contagious or an internal disease or if she has not shown herself to nâ-mahram men without covering herself and her husband is content with her, angels of Paradise come (near her) at the time of her death. They stand in rows, greet her with dignity and kindness, and say:
“O Allahu ta’âlâ’s beloved martyr, leave it! Why do you stay in this ruinous place? You earned Allahu ta’âlâ’s pleasure, and He has forgiven your sins by using your illness as an excuse. He has bestowed Paradise upon you. Now return the trust (the soul).”
When she sees this favor and wants to submit her soul, she glances around and says:
“I want Him to judge my friends mercifully too. I will submit my soul then.”
When angels refer this request of hers to Allahu ta’âlâ, He declares:
“For the sake of My Glory, I accepted her request.”
The angels give this good news to her. Afterwards, the Angel of Death, together with 120 Angels of Compassion, comes. The light of their faces reach the ‘Arsh. Holding fruits of Paradise in their hands and musk-like odors emanating from them, they greet her with dignity and kindness and say:
“Allahu ta’âlâ is saying salâm to you. He will give you Paradise and make you a neighbor to Muhammad ‘alaihis-salâm and a friend to Hadrat Âisha.”
When this faithful woman hears these good tidings, the curtains of her eyes are pulled open, and she sees the faithful women. Seeing the ones on whom torment is being inflicted because of their sins, she prays for them:
“O my Lord, forgive them their sins as well.”
A voice comes from Allahu ta’âlâ:
“O My slave! I have granted you all that you asked for. Now give the trust back. My Beloved’s wife and daughter are waiting for you.”
The moment she hears this address, she trembles, flings her feet, and sweats profusely. When she is just about to submit her soul, two angels come, each with a club of fire in his hand. One of them stands on the right-hand side of her and the other, on the left-hand side.
The Devil, too, comes on the scene with a bejeweled pot in his hand containing iced water. He says, “It is useless, but I will perform my duty nonetheless.” He comes so and shows the water. When the angels see the evil one, they break the pot in his hand by hitting it with the clubs in their hands and chase him. Upon seeing this event, the Muslim woman laughs. Then those houris give her the drink of Kawthar, and she drinks it. Because of the taste of Paradise’s drink, her soul leaps and sticks to the glass; the Angel of Death takes her soul from that glass. Thereupon, the angels say, “Innâ lillahi wa innâ ilayhi râji‘ûn.” They take the soul to Paradise by making it watch the heavens. They show it its would-be dwelling in Paradise and bring it right away to the bedside of the deceased.
As soon as they [women, relatives] take off her clothes and undo her hair, her soul comes next to her corpse and says:
“O the washer! Treat her gently because she suffered an injury in the clutches of Azrâ’il. My skin, too, went through the wringer and has been greatly weakened.”
When she is put on the bench where the corpse is washed, her soul comes again and says:
“Do not heat the water much, for my skin is too frail. Save me from your hands quickly, so that I may be relieved.”
After the corpse is washed and shrouded, it (the soul) waits a bit and says again:
“This is my last seeing the world. Let me see my kin and relatives, and let them see me as well and draw a lesson. Let them not wail behind me because they will also die someday, as I did. Reading the Qur’ân al-karîm and sending its thawâb to me as a gift, let them not forget me. Let them do good deeds in remembrance of me on Friday and during religious festivals, if not every day. Let them not argue with each other over my inheritance, so that I will not go through torment in the grave.”
When the coffin is put on the musalla stone, where the funeral prayer is conducted, it says so:
“O my son, daughter, mother and father! Be at peace. There is no such parting day as this. Our meeting will be on the Day of Resurrection. O those who are shedding tears behind me, farewell!”
After the funeral prayer is conducted and the coffin is shouldered, the soul says so:
“Carry me slowly. If your intention is to earn rewards, do not cause me discomfort. Thus, I will convey to Allahu ta’âlâ my contentment with you.”
When the coffin is put near the grave, it gives the following pieces of advice:
“Look at the state I am in and draw a lesson. Now you will bury me in a dark place and go. I will stay with my deeds. See these moments and do not fall for the tricks of the disloyal and mendacious world.”
After the internment, a pious person should perform the talqîn (instructing the deceased), which is sunnat.
When she is put in her grave, her soul comes near her head. With the command of Allahu ta’âlâ, the deceased wakes up, as if waking up from sleep, and sees that she is in a dark place. She calls out to her next of kin and told them to bring a candle or turn the lights on, but no voice comes.
The grave is cleft, and the two questioning angels [Munkar and Nakir] appear. Flames belch from their mouths and black smoke, from their ears. With this appearance, they say to her:
“Who is your Rabb? What is your religion? Who is your prophet?”
If she answers them correctly, those angels give her the glad tidings of Allahu ta’âlâ’s mercy and then go. At that moment, a window is opened on the right side of the grave, and a moon-faced person comes near her. This faithful woman looks at him and becomes happy. Then she asks, “Who are you?” He replies, “I have been created from your patience and thankfulness in worldly life. I will be your friend until the Day of Resurrection.” (Cennet Yolu İlmihali)