Death is a harsh reality, in fact the greatest reality of life. It comes when it has to come. It keeps a perfect calendar and is never untimely. While condoling a death many people use sentences like “Untimely death.” This is against the teachings of Islam.
To every people is a term. Appointed: when their term is reached, not an hour can they cause delay, Nor (an hour) can they advance (it in anticipation). (Al Araaf, 34)
In this verse, Allah the most exalted makes it amply clear that there is a term fixed for everyone. If one does not make good during that term, the chance is lost, and it cannot come once again. Nobody can retard or advance the march of time by a single hour or minute.
“We have recorded the fate of every human being; it is tied to his neck. On the Day of Resurrection We will hand him a record that is accessible. (17:13)
“Read your own record. Today, you suffice as your own reckoner. (17:14)
So this proves Allah the most exalted has decreed the timing of death on every soul. When the time comes it would never be postponed or deferred. Everybody, the pious and the sinner, the rich and the poor, the famous and the stranger shall taste the same death. However, the taste shall vary.
The point can be further illustrated by Prophet Solomon’s (AS) story. Prophet Solomon (AS) had very good relations with the angel of death. One day when the Prophet (AS) was sitting with his ministers, the angel of death kept staring on one of his ministers. When told, the scared minister requested the Prophet (AS) to order wind to take him to a distant land. The Prophet (AS) ordered the wind and the minister was taken to a far off place. The angel of death immediately captured him. Later explaining to Prophet Solomon (AS), the angel of death said, “I had been instructed by Allah the most exalted to kill the minister at a far off place. I was surprised to see him sitting with you.”
“The creation of each one of you is brought together in his mother’s belly for forty days in the form of seed, then he is a clot of blood for a like period, then a morsel of flesh for a like period, then an angel is sent to him who is commanded to write four matters: his means of livelihood, his life span, his actions and whether happy or unhappy…” (Related by Al-Bukahri and Muslim).
The Hadith does not say that a human being’s actions are predetermined and inevitable. It simply says that they are recorded, because God knows them in advance.
A death can be tragic or unfortunate as well. But it can never be untimely. While condoling the death, one must exercise utmost care and caution. One should refrain from using words like untimely death. Usually people at mourning say that the deceased could not get his daughters married, or he did not leave much for his widow and the children.
Allah knows what people know not. He alone knows when a person has to taste death. He alone is the Sustainer. He shall provide sustenance to the widow and the orphans. And He alone shall get the daughters of the deceased married through His own means.