SURAH  AL E  IMRAN 145-155:




Muhammad is not but a messenger. [Other] messengers have passed on before him. So if he was to die or be killed, would you turn back on your heels [to unbelief]? And he who turns back on his heels will never harm Allah at all; but Allah will reward the grateful.




And it is not [possible] for one to die except by permission of Allah at a decree determined. And whoever desires the reward of this world – We will give him thereof; and whoever desires the reward of the Hereafter – We will give him thereof. And we will reward the grateful.

The Journey to Allâh, the Sublime

Symptoms of Farewell
When the Call to Islam grew complete and the new faith dominated the whole
situation. The Messenger of Allâh [pbuh] started to develop certain symptoms that
bespoke of leave-taking. They could be perceived through his statements and deeds:
In Ramadan in the tenth year of Al-Hijra he secluded himself for twenty days
in contrast to ten, previously.
The archangel Gabriel reviewed the Qur’ân twice with him.
His words in the Farewell Pilgrimage (i.e. Al-Wida‘):”I do not know whether
I will ever meet you at this place once again after this current year.”
The revelation of An-Nasr Chapter amid At-Tashreeq Days. So when it was
sent down on him, he realized that it was the parting time and that Surah was
an announcement of his approaching death.
On the early days of Safar in the eleventh year of Al-Hijra, the Prophet [pbuh]
went out to Uhud and observed a farewell prayer to the martyrs. It looked
like saying goodbye to both the dead and the living alike. He then ascended
the pulpit and addressed the people saying: “I am to precede you and I
have been made witness upon you. By Allâh, you will meet me at the
‘Fountain’ very soon. I have been given the keys of worldly treasures.
By Allâh, I do not fear for you that you will turn polytheists after me.
But I do fear that acquisition of worldly riches should entice you to
strike one another’s neck.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari 2/585]
One day, at midnight he went to Al-Baqee‘ cemetry, and implored Allâh to
forgive the martyrs of Islam. He said: “Peace be upon you tomb-dwellers!
May that morning that dawns upon you be more relieving than that which
dawn upon the living. Afflictions are approaching them like cloudy lumps of a
dark night — the last of which follows the first. The last one is bearing more
evil than the first.” He comforted them saying: “We will follow you.”
The Start of the Disease
On Monday the twenty-ninth of Safar in the eleventh year of Al- Hijra, he participated
in funeral rites in Al-Baqee‘. On the way back he had a headache, his temperature
rose so high that the heat effect could be felt over his headband.
He led the Muslims in prayer for eleven days though he was sick. The total number
of his sick days were either thirteen or fourteen.
The Last Week
When his sickness grew severe he asked his wives: “Where shall I stay tomorrow?”
“Where shall I stay?” They understood what he wanted. So they allowed him to stay
wherever he wished. He moved to ‘Aishah’s room leaning — while he was walking —
on Al- Fadl bin Al-‘Abbas and ‘Ali bin Abi Talib. Head banded as he was, he dragged
his feet till he came into her abode. It was there that he spent the last week of his
During that period, ‘Aishah used to recite Al-Mu‘awwidhat (Chapters 113 and 114 of
the Qur’ân) and other supplications which he had already taught her.
Five days before death
On Wednesday, five days before he died the Prophet’s temperature rose so high
signalling the severeness of his disease. He fainted and suffered from pain. “Pour out
on me seven Qirab (water skin pots) of various water wells so that I may go out to
meet people and talk to them.” So they seated him in a container (usually used for
washing) and poured out water on him till he said: “That is enough. That is enough.”
Then he felt well enough to enter the Mosque. He entered it band-headed, sat on the
pulpit and made a speech to the people who were gathering together around him. He
“The curse of Allâh falls upon the Jews and Christians for they have made
their Prophets’ tombs places of worship.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari 1/62; Mustta’ Imam
Malik p.360]
Then he said:
“Do not make my tomb a worshipped idol.” [Muatta’ Imam Malik p.65]
Then he offered himself and invited the people to repay any injuries he might have
inflicted on them, saying:
“He whom I have ever lashed his back, I offer him my back so that he may
avenge himself on me. He whom I have ever blasphemed his honour, here I
am offering my honour so that he may avenge himself.”
Then he descended, and performed the noon prayer. Again he returned to the pulpit
and sat on it. He resumed his first speech about enmity and some other things.
A man then said: “You owe me three Dirhams.” The Prophet [pbuh] said: “Fadl, pay
him the money.” He went on saying:
“I admonish you to be good to Al-Ansar (the Helpers). They are my family
and with them I found shelter. They have acquitted themselves credibly of
the responsibility that fell upon them and now there remains what you have
to do. You should fully acknowledge and appreciate the favour that they
have shown, and should overlook their faults.”
In another version:
“The number of believers would increase, but the number of Helpers would
decrease to the extent that they would be among men as salt in the food. So
he who from among you occupies a position of responsibility and is powerful
enough to do harm or good to the people, he should fully acknowledge and
appreciate the favour that these benefactors have shown and overlook their
faults.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari 1/536]
And said:
“Allâh, the Great, has given a slave of His the opportunity to make a choice
between whatever he desires of Allâh’s provisions in this world, and what
He keeps for him in the world, but he has opted for the latter.”
Abu Sa‘îd Al-Khudri said: “Upon hearing that, Abu Bakr cried and said: ‘We sacrifice
our fathers and mothers for your sake.’ We wondered why Abu Bakr said such a
thing. People said: ‘Look at that old man! The Messenger of Allâh [pbuh] says about
a slave of Allâh who was granted the right between the best fortunes of this world
and the bounty of Allâh in the Hereafter, but he says: We sacrifice our fathers and
mothers for your sake!’ It was later on that we realized what he had aimed at. The
Messenger of Allâh [pbuh] was the slave informed to choose. We also acknowledged
that Abu Bakr was the most learned among us.” [Mishkat Al-Masabih 2/546]
Then the Messenger of Allâh [pbuh] said:
“The fellow I feel most secure in his company is Abu Bakr. If I were to make
friendship with any other one than Allâh, I would have Abu Bakr a bosom
friend of mine. For him I feel affection and brotherhood of Islam. No gate
shall be kept open in the Mosque except that of Abu Bakr’s.” [Sahih Al-
Bukhari 1/22, 429, 449, 2/638; Mishkat Al-Masabih 2/548]
Four days before his death
On Thursday, four days before the death of the Messenger of Allâh [pbuh], he said to
people — though he was suffering from a severe pain: “Come here. I will cause you
to write something so that you will never fall into error.” Upon this ‘Umar bin Al-
Khattab said: “The Prophet of Allâh [pbuh] is suffering from acute pain and you have
the Qur’ân with you; the Book of Allâh is sufficient unto you.” Others however
wanted the writing to be made. When Muhammad [pbuh] heard them debating over
it, he ordered them to go away and leave him alone. [Sahih Al-Bukhari 2/637]
That day he recommended three things:
1. Jews, Christians and polytheists should be expelled out of Arabia.
2. He recommended that delegations should be honoured and entertained, in a
way similar to the one he used to do.
3. As for the third — the narrator said that he had forgotten it. It could have
been adherence to the Holy Book and the Sunnah. It was likely to be the
accomplishment and the mobilization of Osamah’s army, or it could have been
performance of prayers and being attentive to slaves.
In spite of the strain of disease and suffering from pain, the Prophet [pbuh] used to
lead all the prayers till that Thursday — four days before he died. On that day he led
the sunset prayer and recited:
“By the winds (or angels or the Messengers of Allâh) sent forth one after
another.” [Al-Qur’an 77:1] [Mishkat Al-Masabih 1/102]
In the evening he grew so sick that he could not overcome the strain of disease or
go out to enter the Mosque. ‘Aishah said: The Prophet [pbuh] asked: “Have the
people performed the prayer?” “No. They haven’t. They are waiting for you.” “Put
some water in the washing pot.” Said he. We did what he ordered. So he washed
and wanted to stand up, but he fainted. When he came round he asked again “Have
the people prayed?” Then the same sequence of events took place again and again
for the second and the third times from the time he washed to the time he fainted
after his attempts to stand up. Therefore he sent to Abu Bakr to lead the prayer
himself. Abu Bakr then led the prayer during those days. [Sahih Al-Bukhari 1/99]
They were seventeen prayers in the lifetime of Muhammad [pbuh].
Three or four times ‘Aishah talked to the Prophet [pbuh] to exempt Abu Bakr from
leadership in prayer lest people should despair of him, but he refused and said:
“You (women) are like the women who tried to entice Joseph (Yusuf) into
immorality. Convey my request to Abu Bakr to lead the prayer.”
A Day or Two prior to Death
On Saturday or on Sunday, the Prophet [pbuh] felt that he was well enough to
perform the prayer; so he went out leaning on two men in order to perform the noon
prayer. Abu Bakr, who was then about to lead the prayer withdrew when he saw him
coming; but the Prophet [pbuh] made him a gesture to stay where he was and said:
“Seat me next to him.” They seated him on the left hand side of Abu Bakr. The
Prophet [pbuh] led the prayer, and Abu Bakr followed him and raised his voice at
every ‘Allâhu Akbar’ (i.e. Allâh is the Greatest) the Prophet [pbuh] said, so that the
people may hear clearly. [Sahih Al-Bukhari 1/98,99]
A Day before his Death
On Sunday, a day before he died, the Prophet [pbuh] set his slaves free, paid as a
charity the seven Dinars he owned and gave his weapons as a present to the
Muslims. So when night fell ‘Aishah had to borrow some oil from her neighbour to
light her oil-lantern.
Even his armour was mortgaged as a security with a Jew for thirty Sa‘ (a cubic
measure) of barley.
The Last Day Alive
In a narration by Anas bin Malik, he said: “While the Muslims were performing the
dawn prayer on Monday — led by Abu Bakr, they were surprised to see the
Messenger of Allâh [pbuh] raising the curtain of ‘Aishah’s room. He looked at them
while they were praying aligned properly and smiled cheerfully. Seeing him, Abu
Bakr withdrew to join the lines and give way to him to lead the prayer. For he
thought that the Prophet [pbuh] wanted to go out and pray.” Anas said: “The
Muslims, who were praying, were so delighted that they were almost too enraptured
at their prayers. The Messenger of Allâh [pbuh] made them a gesture to continue
their prayer, went into the room and drew down the curtain.” [ibid 2/640]
The Messenger of Allâh [pbuh] did not live for the next prayer time.
When it was daytime, the Prophet [pbuh] called Fatimah and told her something in a
secret voice that made her cry. Then he whispered to her something else which
made her laugh. ‘Aishah enquired from her after the Prophet’s death, as to this
weeping and laughing to which Fatimah replied: “The first time he disclosed to me
that he would not recover from his illness and I wept. Then he told me that I would
be the first of his family to join him, so I laughed.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari 2/638]
He gave Fatimah glad tidings that she would become the lady of all women of the
world. [Rahmat-ul-lil’alameen 1/282]
Fatimah witnessed the great pain that afflicted her father. So she said: “What great
pain my father is in!”. To these words, the Prophet [pbuh] remarked:
“He will not suffer any more when today is over.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari 2/641]
He asked that Al-Hasan and Al-Husain be brought to him. He kissed them and
recommended that they be looked after. He asked to see his wives. They were
brought to him. He preached them and told them to remember Allâh. Pain grew so
much severe that the trace of poison he had at Khaibar came to light. It was so sore
that he said to ‘Aishah: “I still feel the painful effect of that food I tasted at Khaibar.
I feel as if death is approaching.” [ibid 2/637] He ordered the people to perform the
prayers and be attentive to slaves. He repeated it several times. [ibid 2/637]
The Prophet [pbuh] breathes his Last
When the pangs of death started, ‘Aishah leant him against her. She used to say:
One of Allâh’s bounties upon me is that the Messenger of Allâh [pbuh] died in my
house, while I am still alive. He died between my chest and neck while he was
leaning against me. Allâh has mixed his saliva with mine at his death. For ‘Abdur
Rahman — the son of Abu Bakr — came in with a Siwak (i.e. the root of a desert
plant used for brushing teeth) in his hand, while I was leaning the Messenger of Allâh
[pbuh] against me. I noticed that he was looking at the Siwak, so I asked him — for
I knew that he wanted it — “Would you like me to take it for you?” He nodded in
agreement. I took it and gave it to him. As it was too hard for him, I asked him
“Shall I soften it for you?” He nodded in agreement. So I softened it with my saliva
and he passed it (on his teeth).
In another version it is said: “So he brushed (Istanna) his teeth as nice as he could.”
There was a water container (Rakwa) available at his hand with some water in. He
put his hand in it and wiped his face with it and said:
“There is no god but Allâh. Death is full of agonies.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari 2/640]
As soon as he had finished his Siwak brushing, he raised his hand or his finger up,
looked upwards to the ceiling and moved his lips. So ‘Aishah listened to him. She
heard him say: “With those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace with the
Prophets and the Truthful ones (As-Siddeeqeen), the martyrs and the good doers. O
Allâh, forgive me and have mercy upon me and join me to the Companionship on
high.” [ibid 2/638-641] Then at intervals he uttered these words: “The most exalted
Companionship on high. To Allâh we turn and to Him we turn back for help and last
abode.” This event took place at high morning time on Monday, the twelfth of Rabi‘
Al-Awwal, in the eleventh year of Al-Hijrah. He was sixty-three years and four days
old when he died.
The Companions’ concern over the Prophet’s Death
The great (loss) news was soon known by everybody in Madinah. Dark grief spread
on all areas and horizons of Madinah. Anas said:
“I have never witnessed a day better or brighter than that day on which the
Messenger of Allâh [pbuh] came to us; and I have never witnessed a more
awful or darker day than that one on which the Messenger of Allâh [pbuh]
died on.” [Mishkat-ul-Masabih 2/547]
When he died, Fatimah said: “O Father, whom his Lord responded to his
supplication! O Father, whose abode is Paradise. O Father, whom I announce his
death to Gabriel.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari 2/641]
‘Umar’s Attitude
‘Umar, who was so stunned that he almost lost consciousness and stood before
people addressing them: “Some of the hypocrites claim that the Messenger of Allâh
[pbuh] died. The Messenger of Allâh [pbuh] did not die, but went to his Lord in the
same way as Moses bin ‘Imran did. He stayed away for forty nights, but finally came
back though they said he had been dead. By Allâh, the Messenger of Allâh [pbuh]
will come back and he will cut off the hands and legs of those who claim his death.”
[Ibn Hisham 2/655]
Abu Bakr’s Attitude
Abu Bakr left his house at As-Sunh and came forth to the Mosque on a mare-back.
At the Mosque, he dismounted and entered. He talked to nobody but went on till he
entered ‘Aishah’s abode, and went directly to where the Messenger of Allâh [pbuh]
was. The Prophet [pbuh] was covered with a Yemeni mantle. He uncovered his face
and tended down, kissed him and cried. Then he said: “I sacrifice my father and
mother for your sake. Allâh, verily, will not cause you to die twice. You have just
experienced the death that Allâh had ordained.”
Then he went out and found ‘Umar talking to people. He said: “‘Umar, be seated.”
‘Umar refused to do so. People parted ‘Umar and came towards Abu Bakr, who
started a speech saying:
“And now, he who worships Muhammad [pbuh]. Muhammad is dead now.
But he who worships Allâh, He is Ever Living and He never dies. Allâh says:
‘Muhammad ([pbuh])is no more than a Messenger, and indeed (many)
Messengers have passed away before him. If he dies or is killed, will you
then turn back on your heels (as disbelievers)? And he who turns back on
his heels, not the least harm will he do to Allâh, and Allâh will give reward
to those who are grateful.’” [Al-Qur’an 3:144]
Ibn ‘Abbas said: “By Allâh, it sounded as if people had never heard such a Qur’ânic
verse till Abu Bakr recited it as a reminder. So people started reciting it till there was
no man who did not recite it.”
Ibn Al-Musaiyab said that ‘Umar had said: “By Allâh, as soon as I heard Abu Bakr
say it, I fell down to the ground. I felt as if my legs had been unable to carry me so I
collapsed when I heard him say it. Only then did I realize that Muhammad [pbuh]
had really died.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari 2/640,641]
Burial and Farewell Preparations to his Honourable Body
Dispute about who would succeed him [pbuh] broke out even before having the
Messenger of Allâh’s body prepared for burial. Lots of arguments, discussions,
dialogues took place between the Helpers and Emigrants in the roofed passage
(portico) of Bani Sa‘ida. Finally they acknowledged Abu Bakr [R]e as a caliph. They
spent the whole Monday there till it was night. People were so busy with their
arguments that it was late night — just about dawn of Tuesday — yet his blessed
body was still lying on his bed covered with an inked-garment. He was locked in the
On Tuesday, his body was washed with his clothes on. He was washed by Al-‘Abbas,
‘Ali, Al-Fadl and Qathm — the two sons of Al-‘Abbas, as well as Shaqran — the
Messenger’s freed slave, Osamah bin Zaid and Aws bin Khauli. Al-‘Abbas, Al-Fadl and
Qathm turned his body round, whereas Osamah and Shaqran poured out water. ‘Ali
washed him and Aws leant him against his chest.
They shrouded him in three white Sahooli cotton cloth which had neither a headcloth
[Sahih Al-Bukhari 1/169; Sahih Muslim 1/306] nor a casing and inserted him in.
A sort of disagreement arose with regard to a burial place. Abu Bakr said: “I heard
the Messenger of Allâh [pbuh] say: ‘A dead Prophet is buried where he dies.’ So Abu
Talhah lifted the bed on which he died, dug underneath and cut the ground to make
the tomb.
People entered the room ten by ten. They prayed for the Prophet [pbuh]. The first to
pray for him were people of his clan. Then the Emigrants, then the Helpers. Women
prayed for him after men. The young were the last to pray.
This process took Tuesday long and Wednesday night (i.e. the night which precedes
Wednesday morning). ‘Aishah said: “We did not know that the Prophet [pbuh] was
being buried till we heard the sound of tools digging the ground at the depth of
Wednesday night.” [Mukhtasar Seerat Ar-Rasool p.471; Ibn Hisham 2/649-665; Talqeeh Fuhoom Ahl Al-Athar p.38, 39;
Rahmat-ul-lil’alameen 1/277-286]