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Purpose of life in coma

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.  (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)


One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

how would islam explain this entry in the world record book and what was the purpose of her life?


Longest Coma

Elaine Esposito (b. December 3, 1934) of Tarpon Springs, Florida, USA, never stirred after being anaesthetized for an appendectomy on August 6, 1941, when aged 6. She died on November 26, 1978, aged 43 years 357 days, having been in a coma for an incredible 37 years 111 days.

Elaine was the only child of Mr. and Mrs. Louis Esposito. During her coma, she became known as "Sleeping Beauty", and experienced states between deep sleep and open-eyed unconsciousness.


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Purpose of life in coma

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.


Your Question: how would islam explain this entry in the world record book and what was the purpose of her life?

Allah says in the Holy Quran in Chapter 67 Surah Al Mulk verse 2: He (Allah) created death and life that He may test you, to see which of you is the best in deeds.


Allah Subhanah has clearly declared the general intention for the creation of life and death, and that is to test mankind to see who amongst them are the best in doing deeds.


But sometimes Allah Subhanah tests the people around the one whose life He has Decreed be taken in its infancy, or one who is born insane or without intelligence, or one who is born or goes into a state where it is not possible for the person to do any deeds. Although the child who died in his infancy, or the one born insane, or the ones who live his life in the state of what we call ‘coma’ cannot do deeds and thus will have absolutely no accountability in the Hereafter; Allah Subhanah creates such beings as a test for those around them to see their reaction to the phenomena created by Him. Do the near relatives bear this trial with patience and stay steadfast on the Path of their Lord, or do they get impatient and seek other deities to solve their trials? Do the other people who see and experience this phenomena laugh and ridicule the insane and the deformed, or do they treat them with kindness and ternderness? When such phenomena of nature as an insane person or a person in coma are Decreed, the test is laid upon those who interact with them rather than the victim themselves, for they are absolved from giving the test of life!


Aishah reported that the Messenger of Allah (saws) said, "The pen is raised for three (meaning: there is no obligation upon three): one who is sleeping until he awakens, the child until he becomes an adult, and one who is insane until he becomes sane."

Related by Ahmad, Abu Dawud, at-Tirmidhi, an-Nasa'i, Ibn Majah, and al-Hakim.


Thus the lady who went in her childhood in coma and stayed in that state for a long period until her death is absolved from the test of life which Allah Subhanah has Decreed for every human being in creation; and the purpose of her creation was to test all those who interacted with her, and even those who had knowledge of her state….to determine whether or not the people who had knowledge of her were grateful to their Lord for the health and life He has bestowed upon them, for had Allah Willed, He could have made one of us or our dear ones in that state and we could have done nothing to change His Decree!


Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah verses 155-157:

155 Be sure We shall test you with something of fear, and hunger, some loss in goods or lives or the fruits (of your toil); but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere.

156 Who say when afflicted with calamity: "To Allah we belong and to Him is our return."

157 They are those on whom (descend) blessings from Allah and Mercy, and they are the ones that receive guidance.


Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.


Your Brother in Islam,





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