Some of the signs of death approaching are:
- Loss of appetite and possibly, difficulty swallowing
- Increased tiredness and sleep. These are signs of the metabolism slowing down especially if they are drinking and eating less. Try to help them drink small sips water of water or keep their lips moist to prevent dehydration, but do not force them.
- Physical weakness
- Mental confusion. Despite this, remain calm and reassuring in your manner and speak softly with them.
- Breathing may be become more difficult and shallow and there can be gargling or rattling sounds as plegm builds up in the throat. This can be quite disconcerting but try to keep calm otherwise you can cause them to become very anxious as well.
- Going to the toilet less and less and urine may be more concentrated.
- Swelling in the feet and ankles as the kidneys are less able to process bodily fluids.
- Coldness in fingertips or toes as blood circulation withdraws to help the vital organs.
- It has been noticed that a persons nose and temple may begin to sink or become distored.
It is recommended to turn the ill person towards the Qiblah if this does not cause them discomfort.
Gently remind them to say the shahada by saying ‘La illaaha illa Allah’. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
“Exhort your dying ones to say Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah.”
Narrated by Muslim, 916.
Mu’aadh ibn Jabal (may Allaah be pleased with him) also said that he heard the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say:
“If a person’s last words are Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah, Paradise will be guaranteed for him.”
Narrated by Ahmad, 21529 & Abu Dawood, 3116.