1. Abstaining and refusing to state the Shahadah at the time of death.
2. Speaking about sins and evil deeds at the time of death.
3. Showing love and attachment to sins and evil deeds at the time of death.
Ibn al-Qayyim mentions that it was said to an individual who was approaching death: “say La Ilaha Illa Allah,” so he said: “it is of no benefit to me as I don’t recall that I have ever prayed a single Salah.” And so he didn’t say it and died upon that.
Ibn al-Qayyim also mentions that there was a man who was known for his passion for music and singing, so when death approached him it was said to him: “say La Ilaha Illa Allah,” instead of which he began hallucinating with music singing: “taatana, tantanaa,” until death overtook him without him saying the Kalimah of Tawhid.
Adh-Dhahabi mentions that there was a man who would sit with drinkers, so when death approached him an individual came to him requesting him to say the Shahadah, so he said to him: “drink and give me to drink.” Then he died.
Adh-Dhahabi also mentions that a man who was known to play chess approached the time of death, so it was said to him: “say La Ilaha Illa Allah,” to which he replied: “checkmate,” and then died. Then Adh-Dhahabi commented saying: “What prevailed over his tongue was that which he became accustomed to during his life of playing games, so in place of the Kalimah of Tawhid he said: checkmate.”
The means that lead to an evil ending:
1. To devote one’s self to the Dunya, becoming attached to it, and investing it it by Haram means.
2. To refrain from remaining steadfast upon the Deen and turning away from guidance.
3. To persist upon sinning and becoming accustomed to it.
Ibn Kathir says: “The sins, wrongdoings, and Shahawat (lustful desires) desert a person at the time of death, along with the desertion of Shaitan of him. So desertion along with weak Iman combine against him, and so he falls to an evil ending, Allah says: “And ever is Shaitan, to man, a deserter.” [Furqan 25:29]
So the one who wishes to be saved from such an evil ending, it would be worthwhile for him to beware of becoming attached to any type of sin, for him to keep his heart and tongue busy with the remembrance of Allah, and for him to obey Allah wherever he may be, all just for that one moment that if he was to be deserted in he would live an eternal life of misery.
“Allah keeps firm those who believe, with the firm word, in the life of this world and in the Hereafter. And Allah sends astray the wrongdoers. And Allah does what He wills.” [Ibrahim 14:27]
Madeenah, Saudi Arabia
13th of Sha’ban 1429