Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wasallam) told us that there was a group from the Bani Israel who went to visit a graveyard. There they said, “How about if we pray two rakahs and ask Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) to resurrect someone, so we can ask him about death.” So they prayed two rakahs and asked Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) to resurrect one of the dead. A dark man was resurrected, who had the sign of sujood (prostrations) on his forehead. He said, “What do you want from me? I died one hundred years ago and the pain of death only just stopped at this moment. Pray to Allah and ask him to return me to as I was.” [Abu Daud]
There are three lessons to learn from this hadith:
1. The pain of death is severe and it lasts for a long time. We should pray to Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) to make it easy for us.
2. The value of shahada. One of the many honors that Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) will give a shaheed is that his/her pain of death would feel no more then the sting of a mosquito. We should pray to Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) for shahada. The Sahaba always had the desire to die as shaheed.
3. The importance of thinking about death. These men of Bani Israel went to the graveyard to contemplate death. We are living in a dream and we only wake up when we die. Hasan al-Basri said “I have never seen something so certain but people treat as doubtful, as death.” There is no doubt that every one of us will die. We should think about our death and prepare for it, so that we may have a good end.