How Do Muslims View Death?
Muslims believe that the present life is a trial in preparation for the next realm of existence. When a Muslim dies, he or she is washed and wrapped in a clean, white cloth (usually by a family member) and buried after a special prayer, preferably the same day. Muslims consider this a final service that they can do for their relatives and an opportunity to remember that their own existence here on earth is brief. The Prophet taught that three things continue to benefit a person even after death - charity which he had given, knowledge which he had taught, and supplication on his behalf by a righteous child [Muslim].
A day will come when the whole universe will be destroyed, and the dead will be resurrected to stand before God. That day will be the beginning of a life that will never end. And that day every person will be rewarded by God according to his or her good or evil deeds.
The explanation that the Qur'an gives about the necessity of life after death is exactly what the moral consciousness of man demands. If there were no life after death, the very belief in God would become meaningless, or even if one believed in God, it would then be an unjust and indifferent deity, having once created man and no longer being concerned with his fate. Surely, God is just. He will punish the tyrants, whose crimes are beyond count - having killed hundreds of innocent people, created great corruption in society, enslaved numerous persons to serve their whims, etc. Because man has a very short life span in this world and because numerous individuals are affected by one's actions, adequate punishments and rewards are not possible in this life. The Qur'an very emphatically states that the Day of Judgement must come and that God will decide the fate of each soul according to his or her record of deeds.
Source: Abul Qasim Publishing House (AQPH).