In the end to Us shall you be brought back. (29:57)
The subject of death scares us beause we don't know much about it nor the life in the grave and the life after death. We all know we will one day die but few are willing to discuss the details of what happens thereafter. We are afraid because of our own ignorance; because what is to come is unseen and unfamiliar...and we are unprepared.
Say: "The Angel of Death, put in charge of you, will (duly) take your souls: then shall you be brought back to your Lord. (32:11)
Our biological make-up on this planet is not fit for the place of our roots - namely Heavan or Hell. There is no way we can enter Heavan with the flesh we are made of. Hence, the grave is a centre of transformation: a center of preparation and resynthesis of the body of the individual to be ready for recreation.
It should be stated here that everyone one of us is to die even if we hide ourselves anywhere in the world; or even if we try to protect ourselves.
Death is a fact of life.
Allah sends a special Angel i.e. Angel of Death whose nickname is 'Izraeel' to take the soul out of the flesh. Refer to Surah Al-Sajdah:
Say: The Angel of Death, put in charge of you, will (duly) take your souls: Then shall you be brought back to your Lord. (32:11)
This angel knows us better than our parents know us. He knows where we are and how we are to die. His main responsibilities is extracting the soul out of the flesh. He can enter any and every place where a person is to die, in order to perform his duty, even if we hide ourselves in fortresses. In Surah Al-Nisaa' (The Women) Allah says the following:
Wherever you are, death will find you out, even if you are towers built up strong and high. (4:78)
As far as the removal of the soul from the flesh is concerned, the Angel of Death will extract it from good people with ease. For those who are bad, the removal of the soul is tough and difficult. The Qur'anic expression for the removal of the soul from hypocrites and disbelievers is horrifying: More than one angel are to work together. They beat the face and back of the deceased while extracting the soul, otherwise, it will come out with difficulty. Allah says in Surah Al-Anfal (The Spoils of War) the following:
If you could see, when the angels take the souls of the unbelievers (at death), how they smite their faces and their backs, saying: taste the penalty of the blazing fire. Because of the deeds which your own hands sent forth: For God is never unjust to his servants. (8:50-51)
The Hadith of the Prophet about extracting the soul from the flesh of bad people is summarized as follows: Al-Baraa'Ibn 'Azib narrated that the Prophet (pbuh) said:
If an unbelieving servant is more concerned with the worldly life than he is about the other life, tarfaced angels descend from the sky. These angels, who are carrying bad smelling fragrance, sit in near proximity tot he dying unbeliever. Then the Angel of Death descends and places himself near the head of the unbeliever. The Angel of Death says: 'O bad soul! Come out to Allah's curse and anger.' The Prophet (p) said: The soul disperses in the dying person's body. The Angel of Death grabs the soul like a sufud (a piece of metal stuck in wet wool). The Angel of Death takes the soul without letting it stay in his hand for even an instance. Then the angels put a rough garment that smells bad on the deceased's soul. The soul comes out having a very foul smell.
For those who are good, the Quran informs us that the extraction and pulling out the soul from flesh is very easy. The dying person will not feel the pain from the removal of the soul from his body. It will be as easy as pulling a strand of hair out of some dough. The Hadith of the Prophet (p) narrated by Al-Baraa'Ibn 'Azib states the following:
If the believing servant refrains from coverting material things in his temporal life and desires the hereafter, white-faced angels descend from the sky. Their faces shine as brightly as the sun. They carry with them funeral garb and hanut (fragrance) from Heavan. They sit in near proximity to the dying person. The Angel of Death (may Allah bless him) comes and sits near the dying person's head, saying: O good soul, come out to Allah's mercy and forgiveness.
The Prophet (p) said, The soul comes out like a drop of water being poured out. Then the Angel takes the soul, without letting it stand in his hand; releases it like a blink. The other angels take the soul and clothe it in funeral gard and hanut. From that soul comes the best smell, one resembling the best musk on earth.