Shaitan's Last and Desperate Attempt
The Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Verily Shaitan comes to you at all circumstances and affairs of your life, even at the time of eating.” [Sahih Muslim]
Shaitan makes his most desperate attempt at the time that a person is dying. He sees this as his last chance and is nearer to the dying person than ever before. He tries his best to have the person die as a disbeliever. This is a very intimidating moment. May Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) protect us from falling prey to the accursed Shaitan. The son of Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal narrates the following story about his father’s death.
Death had approached the pious and scholarly Imam, and the people around him were saying “Laa ilaaha illallaah”. Imam Ahmad went into a semi-conscious state and repeated, “No…not yet, not yet.” This worried people around him as they did not expect a person of his piety to be warding death off. When Imam Ahmad regained consciousness, his son asked him about his statement. Imam Ahmad replied, "Shaitan came to me and said: 'Ahmad, you are free (meaning, I have lost you)!'" To this, Imam Ahmad replied “No, not yet, not yet.” Imam Ahmad meant that a person never gets rid of Shaitan until he actually dies.
Al-Qurtubi mentions that a great number of pious and dependable scholars are known to have witnessed the presence of Shaitan at death. He relates that he heard one of his own respected teachers, Imam Abul-Abbaas Ahmad bin Umar al-Qurtubi, say, "I visited the brother of our teacher, sheikh Abu Jafar Muhammad al-Qurtubi at Cordova and found him near death. It was said to him, 'Repeat Laa ilaaha illallaah', to which he replied, 'No! No!' When he came to, we mentioned what had occurred. He said, 'Two devils came to me, one on my left and the other on my right. One of them said, 'Die as a Jew, for verily it is the best of religions,' while the other said, 'Die as a Christian, for truly it is the best of religions.' So I answered them saying, 'No! No! How dare you say such a thing to me!'"
May Allah Mighty and Majestic save us from loosing our foothold at this last and crucial moment.