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Engineer73

Why death is mentioned before life in 67:2?

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It was questioned on a different thread that why death has been mentioned before life in Sura-e-Mulk verse # 2

الَّذِي خَلَقَ الْمَوْتَ وَالْحَيَاةَ لِيَبْلُوَكُمْ أَيُّكُمْ أَحْسَنُ عَمَلًا ۚ وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْغَفُورُ

( Who created death and life that He may try you-- which of you is best in deeds; and He is the Mighty, the Forgiving,)

We have discussed the subject of 2 lives & 2 deaths earlier, on the below thread:

Death has been mentioned as "Creation" in this verse. Death has been mentioned before life in several places in Quran e.g., in the following verses:

كَيْفَ تَكْفُرُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَكُنْتُمْ أَمْوَاتًا فَأَحْيَاكُمْ ۖ ثُمَّ يُمِيتُكُمْ ثُمَّ يُحْيِيكُمْ ثُمَّ إِلَيْهِ تُرْجَعُونَ

"How do you deny Allah and you were dead and He gave you life? Again He will cause you to die and again bring you to life; then you shall brought back to Him." (2:28)
 

قَالُوا رَبَّنَا أَمَتَّنَا اثْنَتَيْنِ وَأَحْيَيْتَنَا اثْنَتَيْنِ فَاعْتَرَفْنَا بِذُنُوبِنَا فَهَلْ إِلَىٰ خُرُوجٍ مِنْ سَبِيلٍ

"They shall say: Our Lord! twice didst Thou make us subject to death, and twice hast Thou given us life, so we do confess our faults; is there then a way to get out." (40:11)

وَأَنَّهُ هُوَ أَمَاتَ وَأَحْيَا
"And that He it is Who causes death and gives life" (53:44)

Explanation of Mr. Poya & logical problems:

"Death is mentioned before life; and death is stated to have been created. This prove that death is not cessation of existence. Baqarah: 28 says: "When you were dead He gave you life. Again He will cause you to die and again bring you to life." In Najm: 44 also death is put before life.

Death is not cessation of existence but a change of direction or transforming into another form. The state before our present life, or the state after, is not known to us or unknowable to us, but our present life is given to us as a trial to either do good and move to a nobler state of existence or follow the evil delusions and go to a place where existence is eternal damnation."

One can question here the meaning of death, and that were we in the state of existence during death?
Did the Adam existed before the collection of "sounding clay" or "black altered mud"?
If we consider the above explanation for rational thinking, it would mean that we must be existing from infinite period of time & we have two states of existence 1. death 2. life
If we consider death as "transformation", keeping in view the creation of death before life, what we were transforming to at that point of time?

I think it is not the case. We have been created by Al-Haye (Ever-Living), the creation of death is necessary before the creation of limited worldly life, which has been given to us by Allah as a trial or test. I think that the arrangement of putting the trial to an end would be necessary before the start of trial itself. That's why there is no concept of death mentioned in heaven & hell. Mujremeen shall live in hell forever & the Muqarrabeen shall live in heaven forever. Now this discussion will demand the inclusion of 2 deaths & 2 lives mentioned in Quran. Avoiding it for a while to further ponder in the subject verse.

If we look at the verse 2 of chapter 67, it can be divided into 3 subjects:

1. Creation of death & life (khalaqal mouta wal hayata), or creation of death before the creation of life.
2. Human trial i.e., this worldly life (Leyabluwakum)
3. Judgement Day which is an appointed term for analyzing good & bad deeds (Ahsuno amala)

So it seems that the death mentioned in this verse is the death which is specially created to bring the trial of this worldly life to an end, while the life mentioned here is the life of hereafter because it is associated with the trial of worldly life & analysis of deeds (Leyabluwakum Ayyukum Ahsano Amala). It is worth mentioning that this limited worldly life has been mentioned in 4 places in Quran like this:

وَمَا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا إِلَّا لَعِبٌ وَلَهْوٌ ۖ وَلَلدَّارُ الْآخِرَةُ خَيْرٌ لِلَّذِينَ يَتَّقُونَ ۗ أَفَلَا تَعْقِلُونَ
"And this world's life is naught but a play and an idle sport and certainly the abode of the hereafter is better for those who guard (against evil); do you not then understand?" (6:32)

وَمَا هَٰذِهِ الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا إِلَّا لَهْوٌ وَلَعِبٌ ۚ وَإِنَّ الدَّارَ الْآخِرَةَ لَهِيَ الْحَيَوَانُ ۚ لَوْ كَانُوا يَعْلَمُونَ
"And this life of the world is nothing but a sport and a play; and as for the next abode, that most surely is the life-- did they but know!" (29:64)

إِنَّمَا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا لَعِبٌ وَلَهْوٌ
"The life of this world is only idle sport and play" (47:32)

اعْلَمُوا أَنَّمَا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا لَعِبٌ وَلَهْوٌ وَزِينَةٌ وَتَفَاخُرٌ بَيْنَكُمْ وَتَكَاثُرٌ فِي الْأَمْوَالِ وَالْأَوْلَاد
"Know that this world's life is only sport and play and gaiety and boasting among yourselves, and a vying in the multiplication of wealth and children," (57:20)

So this worldly life is worth nothing, it has been mentioned as "Lahwun wa Laeb" in Quran. And if we look at the manjaat of Moula Ali a.s, He is saying this:

"Moulaya Ya Moula, Ant-Al-Haye wa ana-al-Maiyyet, wa hal yarhamul maiyyeta il-Al-Haye"
(My Master, O my Master! You are the Living and I am the dead, who else can be merciful to the dead except the Living)


To further refine this understanding, I would like to invite your critics to my point of view and if you have any explanation from Masoomeen, do share here, so that we can be clear in our understanding. 
 

 

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Most mufassireen, Shia and non-Shia, have explained 'amwaat' as being in the non-living state of sperm and egg upto the moment when life is given in the womb.

Yes, I have seen that. But we're discussing 67:2 (khalaqal mouta wal hayata) and trying to learn as to why death has been mentioned here before life.

I have given my point of view, which could be wrong. If you can add tafsir of any authentic mufassir, it might be helpful in learning.

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Hindu believe that we relive the same world again and again and again. muslims believe that we live only one life, but it is split into 4 distinct sections. our souls exist before we are born in a place called al aalam al darr. this is the spirit realm. it is understandable why it will be likened to death before life as it is very similar to barzakh. all our connections in this life, our parents, siblings, friends, associates, all of them are made in that plane of existence, and this world is where we find some of them or most of them again. have you ever met a complete stranger and realised how close you are instantly? that's probably because your souls were close in al alam al darr. 

the second life is this life. this life is an echo of al alam al darr. 

the third is alam e barzakh, the land after we die. similar to another dimension, it is an echo of this life. some interaction is allowed between barzakh and this life (for example dua/amaal for the deceased is "food" for them in barzakh. its what they live on)

the fourth is qiyamat and beyond. 

so the quran mentions death before life because the land before this, which was created first, is closer to death. this life is new. 

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:bismillah:

وَلَا يَمْلِكُونَ لِأَنْفُسِهِمْ ضَرًّا وَلَا نَفْعًا وَلَا يَمْلِكُونَ مَوْتًا وَلَا حَيَاةً وَلَا نُشُورًا
"and they control not for themselves any harm or profit, and they control not death nor life, nor raising (the dead) to life." (25:3)

Death is mentioned before life here too, it is interesting to see that the sequence of mentioning death & life is similar to 67:2 in which Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) has mentioned the creation of death & life. 

Important point in 67:2 is that the purpose of creation of death & is mentioned as  لِيَبْلُوَكُمْ (leyabluwakum) which means "to try or to test you". Most of us can understand that this limited worldly life is a test. But do we really know that our death is also a test? 
 

On 12/8/2016 at 2:08 AM, Engineer73 said:

So it seems that the death mentioned in this verse is the death which is specially created to bring the trial of this worldly life to an end, while the life mentioned here is the life of hereafter because it is associated with the trial of worldly life & analysis of deeds (Leyabluwakum Ayyukum Ahsano Amala).

 First of all, we need to see what is created in first place, death or life? And we do have a hadith explaining this:

"Abu Ja’far (asws) said: ‘Allah (azwj) Created the Paradise before He Created the Fire, and Created the obedience before He Created the disobedience, and Created the Mercy before the Anger, and Created the good before the evil, and Created the Earth before the sky, and Created the life before the death, and Created the sun before the moon, and Created the light before the darkness." (Al Kafi – H 14564)

Perhaps this is the reason why he has tried to make his understanding of verse 67:2 in that manner. May be he knew that life is created before death so death mentioned in this verse must be the death which brings the trial of this limited worldly life to an end. But where is the first life then?

So we have a new point at the moment, is our death really a test? if yes, how? 

@Ali.Isa, @Qa'im@Sumerian

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its very difficult to come to this conclusion Allama Ali Raza Rizvi people will come back from death to life when Imam Mahdi AJ arrives and people will be with how they used to live in this world if they lived badly then they will be with dajjal and if they live good then InshAllah Imam Mahdi AJ Death will open many Secrets Brother and sisters so please be ready and fear Allah Swt

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1 hour ago, Salsabeel said:

But do we really know that our death is also a test? 

Surah Al-Baqara, Verse 155:
وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُم بِشَيْءٍ مِّنَ الْخَوْفِ وَالْجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِّنَ الْأَمْوَالِ وَالْأَنفُسِ وَالثَّمَرَاتِ وَبَشِّرِ الصَّابِرِينَ

And We will most certainly try you with somewhat of fear and hunger and loss of property and lives and fruits; and give good news to the patient,
(English - Shakir)

Patience, perhaps this is the "ahsano a'amala" as we are commanded to seek assistance in this worldly life, through patience & prayers. 

And I think that if salah is khayril amal, patience is ahsanul amal.

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Death is actually our time in this world.  God gave us death by making us exist in this world. Our first life will be when we enter into barzakh.  

 

Just because we we think we are alive doesn’t mean we are.  We are pretty much dead in relation to the subsequent phases of our existence in the hereafter.  

 

 

Edited by eThErEaL

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