Is it true that the Shaytaan At The Time of Death Attempts to Mislead Individuals? And if one doesn’t withstand his fitnah will the person die as a disbeliever even though his deeds was that of paradise?
How to Survive From Shaytan – The Holy Qur’an Explains is the first part of this series
Allah (may He be exalted,) mentions in His Holy Book, the oat of Shaytaan and also his threat to the children of Adam. His oat to misguide human beings and lead them astray, and something he will continue doing till the Day of Resurrection.
The proof of Allah, (may He be exalted), as says in the Holy Quran about Shaytaan’s oat:
“(Iblees) said: ‘Because You have sent me astray, surely I will sit in wait against them (human beings) on Your Straight Path.
‘Then I will come to them from before them and behind them, from their right and they’re left, and You will not find most of them as thankful ones (i.e. they will not be dutiful to You)’” – al-A‘raaf Q7:16-17
Ibn Jareer at-Tabari was reported to said in Jaami‘ al-Bayaan (5/445):
”What this means is: Then I shall come to them from all directions, from the direction of truth and the direction of falsehood; I shall bar them from the truth and I shall make falsehood fair-seeming to them.”
As expected, The Shaytaan will try to exploit human’s weak points. However, If he detects that an unfortunate has been wrestling with a believer, and also that that sadness has overtaken the person’s health, Shaytaan will then disturb his heath with tons of ideas that will lead the person astray, just to spoil the person’s faith. For Shaytaan to make him become one of the people of Hell.
What a sad incident!
So it was undoubtedly, the time when death is approaching is a time of difficulty and pain because the culprit of death is extent difficult which is hard to bear.
To give you a serious example, The Prophet (PBUH) found death very hard to bear, to the extent that he (PBUH) would say: “Verily death comes with agonies.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (4449).
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The Prophet (PBUH) used to ask Allah, may He be exalted, not to allow the Shaytaan to gain power over him at the time of death, to teach the Muslims to strive to be safe from the fitnah of the Shaytaan.
It was narrated from Abu’l-Yusr that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) used to say in his supplication: “O Allah, I seek refuge in You from being crushed; and I seek refuge in You from falling from a height, drowning, being burned and from senility; and I seek refuge in You lest the Shaytaan gain control over me and confuse me at the time of death; and I seek refuge in You lest I die having turned my back whilst fighting for Your sake; and I seek refuge in You lest I die from a venomous sting or bite.”
The whispers of the Shaytaan at the time of death
That said, the fitnah of the Shaytaan that affects the Muslim at the time of death may be in the form of waswasah (whispers, insinuating thoughts), just as occurs throughout his life.
Al-Qurtubi said in at-Tadhkirah fi Ahwaal al-Mawtaa wa Umoor al-Aakhirah (29-30):
It was narrated from the Prophet (PBUH) that when a person is dying, two devils sit with him – one on his left and one on his right. The one who is on his right appears in the form of his father and says to him: O my son, I care for you and love you; die following the religion of the Christians, for it is the best of religions. The one who is on his left appears in the form of his mother and says to him: O my son, my womb was a vessel for you, my breast gave you to drink and my lap was a pillow for you; die following the religion of the Jews, for it is the best of religions.
This was also mentioned by Abu’l-Hasan al-Qaabisi in Sharh Risaalah Ibn Abi Zayd, and something similar was mentioned by Abu Haamid in Kashf ‘Uloom al-Aakhirah.
But, what al-Qurtubi mentioned was not based on any evidence from the Qur’an or Sunnah, because there is no proven hadith to that effect.
Al-Albaani said in as-Silsilah ad-Da‘eefah we’ll-Mawdoo‘ah (3/645): ”As-Suyooti said: I have not come across this in any hadith.”
So it is not permissible to attribute that to Islamic teaching and to say that the Shaytaan will inevitably appear to everyone at the time of death. Because Islamic teaching does not say that; in contract, what is proven is that the Shaytaan whispers (waswasah) to the dying person and tries to tempt him to be discontent with the divine decree because of the intensity of the distress he is going through.
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That said, the Shaytaan has many tricks and ways, and he can appear to a person in various forms, so that may happen to some people at the time of death.
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah was asked (Majmoo‘ al-Fataawa, 4/255) about the presence of different religions at the time of death.
His reply was: Lord of the Worlds.
Concerning the presentation of religions to a person at the time of death, that is not something that happens to everyone, nor is it ruled out in the case of everyone. Rather religions may be presented to some people before they die, and in the case of others that does not happen. It has indeed happened to some people. All of this comes under the heading of the fitnah or trials of life and death from which we are instructed to seek refuge with Allah in our prayers.…
But at the time of death, the Shaytaan is most eager to tempt the sons of Adam, because it is a time of great need. The Prophet (PBUH) said in the Saheeh hadith: “Deeds are judged by the way they end.”
And he said: “A person may do the deeds of the people of Paradise until there is nothing between him and it but a cubit, then the decree overtakes him and he does a deed of the people of Hell and enters it. And a person may do the deeds of the people of Hell until there is nothing between him and it but a cubit, then the decree overtakes him and he does a deed of the people of Paradise, and enters it.” — Narrated by al-Bukhaari (3208) and Muslim (2643).
In conclusion, If the Muslim understood the danger of the fitnah of death, he would prepare himself for that day, equip himself with righteous deeds, and hope that Allah will decree a good end for him.