Shaikh Sadooq quotes from Imam Ja'far-as-Sadiq (A.S.) that he said, “If a person wishes that his last moments should be easy, he should maintain cordial relations with his kith & kin,
and be kind to his parents. Whoever does so, death will be eased, and he will never fall prey to misfortunes in his lifetime”.
It is narrated that once the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.S.) went to see a youth who was in his last moments. He told him to recite Kalamae Tawheed (There is no God but Allah), but they youth could not utter it because his tongue had turned speechless. The Prophet repeated his order but with no awail. He repeated it twice but the youth could not answer. The Prophet turned towards a woman who was sat near the youth's head and asked her if she was his mother. She replied in the affirmative. He then asked her if she was unhappy with her son. She answered that she was certainly unhappy, but would forgive him if the Prophet commanded her to do so. The Prophet told her to forgive him. As soon as she forgave, the youth's speech returned and he recited the ‘Kalema’. The Prophet asked him as to what he saw. He answered that he saw an ugly looking man who had held him by the neck, and was trying to strangle him. The Prophet told him to recite the following:
When he did so, the Prophet asked him as to what he saw now. He answered that he saw that a handsome man had come to his resque while the ugly man had turned back. The Prophet ordered him to recite the above du'a again and after having done so asked him what he saw. He replied that the ugly man had left, and the handsome youth was there by his side comforting him. He uttered these words and peathed his last. The above narration should be understood well, and lesson should be learnt that parents's displeasure becomes the reason for anguish in death. Even after being a companion (Sahabi) of the Prophet, and the Prophet being present besides him, the youth could not recite the ‘kalema’ and was in agony till his mother forgave him.
Imam Ja'far-as-Sadiq (A.S.) says, “For a person who gives clothes to his pother believer during the summer or in winter, it is incumbent upon Allah to present the dress of Paradise to him, make his end easy, and save him from the narrowness of the grave.” The Holy Prophet (S.A.W.S.) says, “A person who offers to eat something sweet to his pother believer, the pangs of death will be easy on him”.
Those A’mal which prove beneficial during death and eases it’s tribulations:
Reciting Surah-al-Yaseen, Surah-as-Saffat and the following supplication (du'a) eases the tribulation during death:
Shaikh Sadooq narrates from Imam Ja'far-as-Sadiq (A.S.) that he said, “For the person who fasts on the last day of the month of Rajab, Allah will save him from the after effects of death”. Fasting on the 24th of Rajab carries great reward (Sawab). One of it's merits is that when the Angel of death comes to remove his spirit (Rooh), he comes in the form of a handsome youth carrying a bowl of the pure drink (Sharabe Tahoora) and offers him to drink. The dying person does so and dies in peace.
The Holy Prophet (S.A.W.S.) says that if a person recites four unit (Rak'at) Namaz on the night of 7th Rajab in a manner that in each unit (Rak'at) after Surah-al-Hamd recites thrice Surah-at-Tawheed, once Surah-al-Falaq, and once Surah-an-Naas. After finishing the Namaz, sends Salawat on Us and recites ten times Tabeehate Arba.
Almighty Allah will offer him shelter under the Throne (Arsh), and give him reward of a person fasting in the month of Ramazan. Till the time he finishes the prayers, the Angels pray for his forgiveness. Allah will ease the pangs of death on him, and save him from the squeeze in the grave (Fishare Qap). He will not die until he sees his place in Paradise, and will be safe from the hardships of Resurrection (Qayamat).
Shaikh Kaf'ami quotes from the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.S.), that he said that a person who recites the following supplication (Du'a) 10 times daily, Allah ill forgive four thousand major sins (Gunahane Kabeera) of his, offer him refuge from one lac calamities at the time of death, the squeeze in the grave (Fishare Qap) & Qayamat. Allah will also save him from satan (shaitaan) and his army, will pay off his dues and save him from troubles and anxieties.
The recitation of the following du'a seventy times carries great reward. The least of which is that he will be given glad tidings that he will enter Paradise
Shaikh Kulaini relates from Imam Ja'far-as-Sadiq (A.S.) that he said that the one who recites Surah-az-Zilzal in the Supererogatory Prayers (Nafela), Allah will save him from earthquake, lightening and the calamities of the land and sky. And during death He will send this Surah in the form of a handsome youth who will sit besides him and request the Angel of death (Malekul Maut to remove his spirit with ease.
Turning away from the Right path during death.
It means that a person should turn away from the Right Path (Sirat-al-Mustaqeem) during death. At the time of death satan (shaitaan) comes to the dying man adn tries his best to deceive him and puts him in doubt, so as to turn him away from faith (Eeman). FakhrMuhaqqeqeen says that, “A person who wishes to remain safe from the mischief of shaitaan at the time of death should preserve five proofs regarding the fundamental principals of faith (Usoole Deen) in his mind, and present it to Allah's custody, so that during death these may come as a handy against shaitaan's deceit. Then he should recite the following supplication (du'a):
Fakhrul Muhaqqeqeen also says that those who wish to reamin safe from shaitaan's mischief of abandoning faith during death, should recite dua'e Adeelah with a pure mind and heart. (Du'ae Adeelah is found in all the renowned books of du'as, and also in the first volume of Mafateehul Jinaan by the same author).
Shaikh Toosi relates from Mohammad b. Sulayman Daylami that I asked Imam Ja'far-as-Sadiq (A.S.) that, “Some of your faithful followers (Shi'ahs) say that faith (Eeman) is of two types: (1) Permanent & firmly established, and (2) One which has been given to us as a trust, and also can be ruined. Please give me a du'a by which my faith may also become permanent and firestablished.” Imam (A.S.) told him to recite the following du'a after every obligatory prayers (Wajib Namaz):
Those acts which prove beneficial during death.
The best deed is to perform Prayers (Namaz) on time. It is related that there is no person in the east or the west on whom the sight of the Angel of death (Malekul Maut) does not fall atleast five times during the time of Prayers. Whenever the time of death of that person comes, the Angel of death (Malekul Maut) recognizes him and helps him to recite Kalema and shuns away satan (shaitaan) from him. It is narrated that once Imam Ja'far-as-Sadiq (A.S.) wrote to a person: “Do you wish that you may face death while on the Right path? And do you wish that your spirit (Rooh) may be removed from your body while you be performing good deeds? Then hold Allah's orders dear to yourself and obey them, and do not waste the bounties offered by Him by being disobedient to Him, and do not take undue advantage of His Mercy, nor become arrogant. Honour those who follow Us and respect those who love Us”.
The recitation of Dua-e-Tamjeed (Du'a No. 11) of ‘Saheefae Kamelah’ is beneficial, so as to die while on the Right path and to be saved from turning away from it.
To recite the following supplication (dua) in the Namaz of sundays in the month of Zilqad:
The other beneficial acts are: To always recite Tasbeehe Fatema (A.S.) (34 times Allaho Akbar, 33 times Alhamdo Lillah, and 33 times Sub-hanallah), to wear ar ring of Cornelian (Aqeeq, specially of red colour), it is better if the following is engraved on it: “Mohammadun Nabiyyullahe wa Aliyyun Waliyyullahe”. To recite Surah-al-Mo'menoon every friday, to recite the following supplication (du'a) seven times after morning (Subh)
and evening (Maghrib) Prayers:
To recite 8 units (Rak'at) Namaz on the night of 22nd Rajab, in each unit (Rak'at) after Surah-al-Hamd recites 7 times Surah-at-Tawheed. After ending Namaz, recite 10 times ‘Salawat’, and 10 times ‘Istighfar’ (Astagferullah Rabbi wa atoobo Ilayh).
Sayyed ibne Tawoos quotes the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.S.) as saying, that if a person recites 4 units (Rak'ats) Namaz in the month of Sha'ban, such that in each unit (Rak'at) after Surah-al-Hamd recites 50 times Surah-at-Tawheed, then during death his spirit will be removed with ease, and his grave will become spacious, and on the day of Qayamat when he comes out of his grave, his face will be shining pight like a full moon and kalmae Shahadat will be on his lips”.
The following Incidents will prove helpful for further explanation:
Incident - 1
Fuzail bin Ayaz who was one of the great Sufi Saints, says that he had a pious and virtuous student. The student once fell ill, and when his death approached, Fuzail came to visit him and started reciting Surah-al-Yaseen. The student requested Fuzail to stop reciting it. Fuzail then requested him to recite the Kalema, but he refused to do so and said that he was sick of it (Allah's reguge). Fuzail was shocked and felt sad at the attitude of one of his pious students, he returned home and did not come out for some days. One night he dreamt that the same student was being dragged to the fire of hell by the Angels of wrath. Fuzail stopped them and inquired of his student as to why was he being treated in that manner, when he was always a pious and devout student of his. He asked him as to what was the reason behind his painful end. The student replied that he had three bad habits in him: (1) Slander, (Woe be on every slanderer & defamer) Surah-al-Humazah: 1), (2) Jealousy, (Verily jealousy destroys faith (Eeman) in the same manner as fire destroys wood. - Usoole Kafi), and (3) Creating mischief, (Ceating mischief is graver than murder) - (Surah-al-Baqarah: 217). The student also told Fuzail that he once committed an act which also proved harmful for his Hereafter. He said that once he had a disease, and the doctor had prescribed him to drink wine for it's cure. The doctor told him that if he did not do so he would never be cured. He did as the doctor said. Because of this and the other 3 bad habits his end was such painful, and he died in the state of shame.
For further explanation of the above narrative, I state below an incident quoted by Shaikh Kulaini, who quotes Abu Baseer as saying that, Once I was seated in the presence of Imam Ja'far-as-Sadiq (A.S.), when Umme Khalid binte Ma'badiyyah came and told the Imam (A.S.) that since she knew the prohibition of it's use, she had come to the Imam (A.S.) to take advice regarding it. Imam Sadiq (A.S.) asked her, “What stopped you from using it”? She said that being one of His devout followers, she wished to be saved from shame, and on the day of Qayamat if she be questioned about it she could reply that it's use (or prohibition) was ordered to her by the Imam (A.S.) himself. The Imam (A.S.) turned towards me and said, “O Abu Mohammad! (referred to Abu Baseer), do you pay heed to what this woman says”? Then Imam Sadiq (A.S.) answered, “By Allah I never give you permission to consume even a drop of it, for if you do so, you shall have to regret when your spirit reaches here”. and Imam (A.S.) pointed towards his neck and repeated the sentence thrice, and took the woman's assurance that she had understood it well.
Incident - 2
Shaikh Bahai states in his book ‘Kashkol’ that there was a person who had spent his entire life in pleasures and luxuries of this world. When he was about to die, the people gathered around him and requested him to recite the ‘Kalema’. But instead of the ‘Kalema’ the dying man said: Where is that woman who in a state of exhaustion came to me and asked me the way to the public bath (named Manjab). He said so because one day a virtuous and beautiful woman came out of her house to have bath in a famous bath house named ‘Manjab’. She forgot her way and was exhausted searching it. She saw this man standing near a door and asked him the way to it. He pointed towards his house and said that the same was the bath house named ‘Manjab’.As soon as the woman entered there in, the man locked the door and indented to have illicit physical relation with her. The virtuous woman sensed that there was no escape from his lustful fold, and hence pretended to be interested in him. She said that she was a state of uncleanliness and was proceeding for a bath. She told the man to go and get some scent for her so that she may perfume and adorn her self for him, and also to get something to eat as she was exhausted. The man was deceived by her words and went to the market to buy things. As soon as he stepped outside, the woman thanked Allah for preserving her chastity and ran away. When the man returned, he understood his mistake and regretted. Now when his end neared, her remembered this indecent act and instead of reciting the ‘Kalema’ said the above words.
The Incident is to be reflected upon that when the person was about to die, the sin (even though he had not committed it, but had intented) stopped him from reciting the ‘Kalema’. Sheikh Kulaini quotes Imam Ja'far-as-Sadiq (A.S.) as saying that, “One who does not pay even one Qeerat of Zakat due on him (Qeerat is equal to 21 dinars), will die the death of a jew or a Christian”. The same tradition (hadees) is also said about the person who intentionally does not perform Haj even after being capable of doing so.
From Death till Grave
After the spirit (Rooh) is separated from the body, it lingers on the top for sometime. Thereafter the Spirit of the believer is taken to the Heavens,
while that of a non-believer below. When a believer's bier is being carried, he calls out: “Hasten me to my eternal destination”, while a non-believer calls out: “Do not make haste to bury me in my grave, making way for my chastisement”. During bath of the believer's dead body, the Angels ask him if he desires to return to the world back to his kith & kin, to which he replies that he does not intend to go back to the world of miseries and misfortune.
The Spirit of the dead remains present and witnesses the bath given to his body. It is also narrated that when the bath is being performed, the dead person feels as if he is being thrown from height, and the rough hands of the person performing the bath seems to be smiting him. Hence it is necessary that bath should be performed with gentle hands.
The Spirit hears the voices of the people who have come to attend his funeral. Hence it should be borne in mind that one should avoid talking during funeral. A woman in menses or nifaas (blood discharge after child birth), and a person in the state of pollution should avoid coming near the dead body, because it becomes the reason for the displeasure of the blessed Angels, who turn away in disgust. Such acts should be performed for the dead person which become the reason for Allah's blessings, viz. remembrance of Allah and Ahlulbait (A.S.), recitation of Qur'an etc.
It is also narrated that after the dead body is buried, the spirit returns back and maintains relation with the body. When it sees that the people are returning back, knows that from now on it is destined to live alone. It becomes restless, and says: “Alas! Those children of mine whom I pought up with love and care have abandoned me, and now my only companions are my deeds (A'amal) which I performed while alive”. The first glad tidings which a believer receives is in the grave: “Oh you who believe! Allah has forgiven your sins and the sins of those who attended your funeral”.