Islam is very clear on
these points; and you should try to convey these to your friend who is
confusing several issues. The prevailing state you have explained to me is
understandable, especially given his physical/medical condition. The Qur’ān
states that every individual will meet his or her own death; this is a
universal truth. However, the Book of Allah also says that no one knows of
his or her own appointed time, just like the actual time of the Day of
Judgment is not known to us. We, therefore, cannot claim to have knowledge
of the timing of our death. There is no basis for assuming that a serious
illness is necessarily a harbinger of death. Allah has power over all
things; and He can bring health to a sick or dying person if He wishes to.
As to the second point
concerning nearness to Allah the Qur’ān and the Sunnah of the Prophet (sws)
give us the method for how to become closer to Allah in this life. There is
no example in these two sources of a sick individual deciding to forgo
medical treatment so as to hasten death in order to be closer to Allah.
Allah, first of all, says
explicitly that He is closer to man than his own jugular vein. Allah is
already very close to us in this world and it is up to us through our
actions and ritual acts of worship to realize that.
Second, the Qur’ān offers
examples of specific actions which can lead to closer proximity to Allah.
For example, in Sūrah Baqarah:
When My servants ask you
concerning Me, I am indeed close [to them]: I listen to the prayer of every
suppliant when he calls on Me. (2:186)
Not only does Allah speak in
‘the first person’, but the style of this verse provides ever greater
emphasis to the assertion that Allah is close to the servant who calls upon
The point is that nearness to
Allah is something which He grants us not something that we earn through our
deeds. Indeed, we have to pray to Allah to grant us this exalted state in
this life; and also perform our obligations to Him. Death represents passage
from one stage of our soul’s existence to the next, but it is neither a
prerequisite nor a guarantee of greater proximity to the Creator.