(The Inflicter of Death)

Al-Mumit Meaning:

The Slayer, The Bringer of Death, The Life-Taker.

Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ is Al-Mumeet (in Arabic: ٱلْمُمِيتُ), meaning the one who gives life and the one who takes it away. He ordains who will become lifeless. Eventually we will all return to Him.

Mentions of Al-Mumit:
From Quran & Hadith

From the root m-w-t which has the following classical Arabic connotations: to die, pass away, burn out, be lifeless, to be quiet, still, calm, to be inanimate, to be deprived of sensation, to be spiritually dead, lacking spiritual life.

As we've mentioned in previous names, different scholars have different criteria for what qualifies as a name of Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ. Of the 99 names, 81 are explicitly mentioned in the Qur'an. Therefore, there is not one agreed-upon list for the remaining 18 names. Al-Mumeet is one of those names which is not included by certain scholars. This list includes Ibn al-Wazir, Ibn Hazm, and Ibn al-Uthaymeen, among others. However, others, such as Ibn Arabi, Imam al-Bayhaqi, and al-Ghazali, have included this name in their lists. More commonly, you will find Al-Mumeet listed as one of the 99 Names of Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ.

There are two names which often mentioned in pairs, al-Muhyi, and al-Mumeet. These names are often mentioned together for their contrasting nature. al-Muhyi is the bestower of life and al-Mumeet is the bringer of death. These two attributes are not shared with anyone and are reserved for Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ alone.

These names represent a necessary combination as it brings balance to all things. If a person just lived without contemplating death or if death did not exist, and we were immortal, we would quickly be overtaken by many desires with no consequences. But the knowledge of our mortality softens many of our emotions and balances them out. We should have no reason to fear death; death is actually a gift to the believer. It's because of this time constraint we rush to do good deeds, seek His forgiveness, and offer our daily prayers. This duality of life and death and the not knowing when Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ has decreed for us to return to Him once understood is actually beneficial.

وَمَا ٱلْحَيَوٰةُ ٱلدُّنْيَآ إِلَّا لَعِبٌۭ وَلَهْوٌۭ ۖ وَلَلدَّارُ ٱلْـَٔاخِرَةُ خَيْرٌۭ لِّلَّذِينَ يَتَّقُونَ ۗ أَفَلَا تَعْقِلُونَ

Wa mal hayaatud dunyaaa illaa la’ibunw wa lahwunw wa lad Daarul Aakhiratu khaiyrul lillazeena yattaqoon; afalaa ta’qiloon

English Translation:
"And the worldly life is not but amusement and diversion; but the home of the Hereafter is best for those who fear Allah, so will you not reason?" (Qur'an 6:32)

These verses from the Qur'an and the narrations from hadith do not include the name al-Mumeet but help us in understanding the quality of being the slayer."Abdallah b. Amr reported God’s Messenger ﷺ as saying: 'The gift to a believer is death.' ( i.e., death is the means by which he gains an introduction to the delights of paradise.)" [1]

وَلِكُلِّ أُمَّةٍ أَجَلٌۭ ۖ فَإِذَا جَآءَ أَجَلُهُمْ لَا يَسْتَأْخِرُونَ سَاعَةًۭ ۖ وَلَا يَسْتَقْدِمُونَ

Wa likulli ummatin ajalun fa izaa jaaa’a ajaluhum laa yasta’ khiroona saa’atanw wa laa yastaqdimoon

English Translation:
"And for every nation is a [specified] term. So when their time has come, they will not remain behind an hour, nor will they precede [it]." (Qur'an 7:34)

Abdullah b. 'Amr b. al-'As reported: I heard Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) as saying: Allah ordained the measures (of quality) of the creation fifty thousand years before He created the heavens and the earth, as His Throne was upon water. [2]

لَهُۥ مُلْكُ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٰتِ وَٱلْأَرْضِ ۖ يُحْىِۦ وَيُمِيتُ ۖ وَهُوَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَىْءٍۢ قَدِيرٌ

Lahoo mulkus samaawaati wal ardi yuhyee wa yumeetu wa Huwa ‘alaa kulli shai’in Qadeer

English Translation:
"His is the dominion of the heavens and earth. He gives life and causes death, and He is over all things competent." (Qur'an 57:2)

Narrated Anas bin Malik: The Prophet ﷺ said, "None of you should wish for death because of a calamity befalling him; but if he has to wish for death, he should say: "O Allah! Keep me alive as long as life is better for me, and let me die if death is better for me.'" [3]

The Prophet ﷺ tells us to avoid making statements which shows displeasure with the decree of Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ. We should avoid jokingly or sarcastically saying things like, "I would like nothing more than to just die right now." Instead we are told of the rewards that are offered to the believer who is patient when tragedy strikes. (1) Expiation of His or Her sins. [4] (2) Those who are patient for the sake of Allah in anticipation of receiving his mercy and blessings will be rewarded. [5]

هُوَ يُحْىِۦ وَيُمِيتُ وَإِلَيْهِ تُرْجَعُونَ

Huwa yuhyee wa yumeetu wa ilaihi turja’oon

English Translation:
"He gives life and causes death, and to Him you will be returned" (Qur'an 10:56)

We've discussed many ways in which the believers benefit from knowing that Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ is al-Mumeet. To summarize, it brings balance to all things on earth. It restores humility in the believer's heart. We realize Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ is the one who gives (al-Muhyi) and takes (al-Mumeet). To Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ belong all things when He causes them to return - He is retrieving what was rightfully His.

Usamah bin Zaid (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: A daughter of the Prophet ﷺ sent a message to him that her son was at his last breath, and requested him to come to her. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ sent back the informer saying: "To Allah belongs what He takes and what He gives, and everything has a limited period (in this world). So ask her to endure patiently, and expect the reward of Allah." [6]

[1] Mishkat al-Masabih 1609
[2] Sahih Muslim 2653b
[3] Sahih al-Bukhari 5671
[4] Sahih al-Bukhari 5640
[5] Al-Adab Al-Mufrad 532 & Qur'an 25:75 | "Those will be awarded the Chamber for what they patiently endured, and they will be received therein with greetings and [words of] peace."
[6] Riyad as-Salihin 924

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