The Remembrance of Death and the Afterlife by Imam Ibn Qudamah
al-Maqdisi (d. 689AH)
If a person had no other distress or anguish before them except death,
this would be sufficient to disturb their livelihood. Death is the
reality of every soul and it is the destroyer of all pleasures. How
strange is it indeed that a human is so immersed in worldly life; it’s
delights, glitter, glamour, fame and power that they are heedless of a
truth which is about to strike at any time, with no return.
Death is a tremendous reality however, in today’s modern era, there is
lack of contemplation on it, or it is remembered with a heedless heart.
It is for this reason the remembrance of death is important and
preparing for it is an utmost need. Like the one who wants to travel to
the edge of a dangerous desert or travels by sea or air, only thinking
about the journey and how to reach with safety and security.
Hamid al-Qaysari used to say: “All of us were certain of death, yet we
were not prepared for it. All of us were certain of Paradise, yet we had
not performed any actions for it. All of us were certain of the
Hellfire, yet we were not in fear of it. So why are you joyous? What are
you waiting for? Death! It is the first visitor from Allah which brings
either good or evil. O believers, travel to your Lord in a beautiful
This work will awaken every soul, shaking off the slumber of idleness,
firing the spirit up to prepare for the inevitable journey which needs
striving and good works in order to reach salvation. This text covers
many issues related to the Hereafter, taking the reader on a journey
starting from remembering death, having lengthy hopes in the worldly
life and learning from the deaths of the Prophet (Peace and Blessings be
upon him) and his companions. The text explores the true nature of
death, Hellfire, the description of Paradise, virtues of loving the
Messenger and ending with never losing hope in the mercy of Allah. It is
a small but powerful text which gives a comprehensive overview of the
Afterlife; sure to stimulate a positive change in the reader.
Imam Ibn Qudamah al-Maqdisi [d. 689AH] was a leading scholar and an
ascetic known for his piety and vast knowledge. Born in Palestine, near
Jerusalem, he travelled to Baghdad, Damascus and Makkah in search of
sacred knowledge. He authored many beneficial works. He was the Imam of
the Muslim Community, unparalleled in Islamic Jurisprudence.