The Mystery of Death – Commentary by A. Helwa

“Every soul will taste death.” (Qur’an 3:185)

“I learned that every mortal will taste death. But only some will taste life.” (Rumi)

Death is the greatest preacher we will ever meet, for it teaches us to hold tightly to only Allah, for everything is perishing save the face of God (55:26-27). When we reflect on our death, it naturally makes us prioritize what is most important in our life.  The Qur’an says, “Every soul shall taste death (29:57), but the question is, how many will truly taste the sweetness of life?

It is not death that we fear; what we fear is not living the life we know we were created to live.  We are afraid of running out of time before we are able to manifest our soul’s purpose.  Death is the ultimate confrontation.  When we think of death, we regret all the time we have lost in procrastination.  When death arrives, all of our secrets, sins, and shortcomings will be manifested.  We will be confronted with all the dreams we did not pursue, the repentance we did not make, and the charity we did not give.  “Live as long as you may, but know that one day you will die.  Love whomever you wish, but know that one day you will taste separation.  Do whatever you want, but know that one day, you will be held accountable.”  ~Imam Al-Ghazali, 11th century mystic.

The inevitability of death confronts us and begs us to ask: Are we living each day as if it is our last?  Death forces us to reflect on whether we are living a meaningful life or just trying to kill time as time kills us.

Imam Ali said, “Do for this life as if you will live forever, do for the Hereafter as if you will die tomorrow.”  The Prophet (pbuh) tells us to meditate on death so that we fully take advantage of our limited time on Earth.  The Qur’an says that Allah “created death and life, to test which of you is most excellent in action.  He is The All-Mighty, the All-Forgiving” (67:2). 

It is death that calls us to seize the day and be “sons and daughters of the moment,” living and honoring the present as a priceless blessing given to us by God.  We don’t get to decide when or how we will die, but we can choose how we live. 

This blog is an excerpt from A. Helwa’s recently published best-selling book, “Secrets of Divine Love: A Spiritual Journey into the Heart of Islam.” Her book is available on

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About A. Helwa
A. Helwa believes that every single person on Earth is deeply loved by the Divine. She is a writer who has inspired hundreds of thousands of readers through her passionate, poetic, and love-based approach to spirituality. Her popular blog @quranquotesdaily, was established while obtaining her Masters in Divinity, as a means of helping others overcome personal and spiritual struggles on their journey of experiencing divine love. 

With over 15 years of experience writing and speaking on Islam and spiritual development, A. Helwa draws from her personal experiences and traditional sources to help her readers access ‘Divine love in everyday life.’

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