The perception of death largely depends on the religious characteristics of a particular nation and is determined by people’s inner beliefs. Cultural characteristics of different countries predetermine how people relate to the afterlife and what is considered to be dead in any religion, that is, the total absence of life on earth. When it comes to Islam, it is especially essential to pay attention to the concept of death that takes a special place in the religion and is considered a specific notion.
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Death in My Culture
According to Islam, death is the soul’s return to its creator, who is Allah. Thus, this religion regards human life as a complex of severe trials, which always end in death. Based on the results of past years, it is determined what the future path of the human soul will be and whether it will go to hell or heaven. It is death that is the so-called boundary between earthly life and the afterlife. The period between these two states is called the life of bars after which the soul lives forever until the judgment day.
Family members who observe how their relatives die to perceive the whole process patiently and steadfastly and realize the importance of what is happening. All Muslims believe in the power and justice of Allah and realize that sooner or later, all will be on the verge of death. It is to death that people invariably move throughout their lives, leaving behind severe trials and invariably approaching eternal life. According to the Quran, the Muslim holy book, “Indeed, the death from which you flee – indeed, it will meet you” (as cited in Soliman, 2012, p. 137). Therefore, the concept of death in Islam is entirely philosophical, and most of the ideas are explained by unavoidable consequences.
What is Involved
From the Muslim religion, death and the process of transition to the other world include the full acceptance of the fact that life on earth is coming to an end. The human being is on the verge of a new and eternal life. The followers of Islam know in advance what they should do before someone dies. According to the established traditions, even those who experience pain must pronounce certain words, which are called “shahada” in Arabic. If a dying person forgets to do it, relatives who are around him or she remind of the need to pronounce them.
It is especially significant to visit someone who is on the verge of death and discuss with him or her all the right actions that have been committed throughout the whole life. The purpose of this step is to help a person to go to the other world with a sense of ease and peace. All these beliefs are primordial Muslim beliefs and are an integral part of Islamic culture. The fundamental source of religious knowledge is the sacred book of Islam – the Quran; the hadith mentioned by the Prophet Mohammad is also essential. Thus, death is always the beginning of a new life that directly depends on how this or that person has passed the way on earth and whether he or she could leave behind a memory in the form of good deeds. If it is possible, the human’s way is heaven, and if misdeeds are predominant, hell is the most likely way.
My Thoughts about the Novel “On Death and Dying”
The work of Kübler-Ross (2008) entitled “On Death and Dying” is probably one of the most famous novels in this field. The author not only describes interesting cases from her practice but also gives quite important arguments, for example, that “death is never possible regarding ourselves” (Kübler-Ross, 2008, p. 5, para. 3). It means that a person can never fully realize that everyone will die. Also, Kübler-Ross (2008) mentions quite important nuances that are characteristic of the Islamic religion and argues that almost any person would be angry if he or she knew that life was about to be suddenly interrupted (p. 32, para. 4 ). The author notes that “if denial is no longer possible, we can attempt to master death by challenging it” (Kübler-Ross, 2008, p. 11, para. 6). However, Kübler-Ross (2008) notes that most patients do not often resort to negation (p. 27, para. 2). In the context of Islam, it is especially essential.
At the same time, the author is sure that acceptance should not be considered something happy (Kübler-Ross, 2008, p. 76, para. 2). It is entirely a natural process, and from Islam, the novel is a rather good source of valuable and useful information. Kübler-Ross (2008) claims that if people perceived death as an integral component of life, they would reason about it quite naturally (p. 94, para. 4). That is why the novel can be considered as successful and valuable.
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If I have to face a situation when I need to be near a dying patient and members of his or her family, I will try to do everything possible for that person not to feel fear. I will do my best not to demonstrate my excitement and will behave calmly, thus showing the person awaiting death that he or she has nothing to fear. The more convincing my words will be, the more chances that the patient will enter life after death with peace of mind.
Thus, the concept of death takes a special place in Islam and is considered a specific and unique notion. The Muslim approach to dying is primarily determined by the Quran. The novel “On Death and Dying” is a vivid example of many Islamists’ opinions concerning death and its perception.
Kübler-Ross, E. (2008). On death and dying: What the dying have to teach doctors, nurses, clergy and their own families. New York, NY: Routledge.
Soliman, A. E. (2012). The end of death: The conceptual metaphor patterns of death in Arabic. In E. A. Berendt (Ed.), Faciing Finality: Cognitive and Cultural Studies on death and dying (pp. 126-146). Louisville, KY: The Institute for Intercultural Communication.