Take a fresh look at your lifestyle.

What about the Hereafter of someone who had a shattered life?

My uncle (father’s youngest brother) died 2 days back due to a severe heart attack. He was a poor man who never saw the fine side of life. All his life he was surrounded by financial tensions. He did not pray regularly at all, or read the Quran for his laziness, or maybe due to tensions related to his business, but he was a firm believer in Allah. Before his death, he cried like a small child as his pain due to the heart attack was too much. He died in my father’s lap while they were rushing him to the hospital. He was a good man, but had a cursed life, and his death was painful and tragic. I loved him like anything. Right now, all my family, including me, are lost for words and shattered. He was only 45, and has 3 small kids and a young wife.
My questions to you are: for a gem of a person like him, will not God forgive him for his sins; wasn’t he punished enough in this life? What more punishment will Allah give him?
I am totally shattered and finished by what has happened, and even my ‘imaan’ is very week right now. Yet, I am praying intensely for him. Please answer my questions. Also what happens to the person after he dies? Does his accountability start right there or do we all have to wait till the ‘Qiyamah’? Will our prayers save him? Please pray for his soul.


May the Almighty forgive your uncle and raise his status in the hereafter amongst the category of those who are righteous. Indeed what has happened to your uncle is heart-breaking. If he was a good person, as you say he was, then there is a very strong possibility that his sins shall be forgiven by the Almighty on account of the suffering he went through.
The only way one can understand the truth about this life is to accept that it is only a trial. Its apparent success is no success and its apparent failure is no failure. Both conditions are different manifestations of trial. It is sometimes not easy to accept this reality given the overwhelming tendency in the society which is contrary to it. However, there can be no other explanation of life that can be correct, because no other explanation makes sense. How tragic would it appear if you believe that this life is the only existence man would get the opportunity to go through. However, if you believe that this life is only a trial and the real life would appear after this trial, then your pain on learning about the sufferings of people does get lessened.
It is a very unique opportunity for you and your family to see the real truth about the present worldly life. The biggest obstacle in the way of learning the truth about life is the exaggerated love of the worldly life.
Now that you have lost your dear uncle, and you feel strongly for your loss, it is the right occasion for you to study Quran and understand Islam with true devotion. Insha’Allah the Almighty would help you out and enable you to know the truth.
As the question of what happens immediately after death, we only know that good people start getting experiences of good things and bad people start experiencing things that are bad. However, these experiences are only a prelude to what will happen on the Day of Judgement. These experiences are not physical in nature, like the ones after the hereafter would be. However, something does happen to an individual after he dies in the form of good or bad experiences. May the Almighty enable your uncle to go through extremely good experiences.
Your prayers can be helpful for your uncle. It can happen that the Almighty would give some people a higher status in the hereafter or relieve them from a punishment in response to someone else’s prayers, provided the beneficiary deserved, at least marginally, to get it on merit even otherwise. We should, therefore, continue to pray for departed souls whenever we feel inclined to do so.