And there are some of you who are caused to die prematurely, and there are others who are driven to the worst part of life with the result that they knew nothing after having had knowledge (22:6) more translations
In this verse Allah divides people into two groups in relation to how long they live:
- The first group covers the majority of mankind: those who die before they reach old age. They die prematurely in the sense that by design they could have lived longer had they not suffered some illness, accident or harm.
- In the second group, people reach the natural limits of their life and progressively lose command over their faculties as they waste from a state of life towards a state of death. In this verse Allah calls it the “worst” part of life, where it is reduced to a loathsome, wretched existence. Mentally they start regressing and become more and more like a child. Further deterioration causes them to forget their life experience. Higher order mental activity in the cerebrum slows and brain function becomes limited to performing its primordial duty of regulating breathing and heart beat. For those who still do not perish, their mind becomes a blank slate. There remains no residual memory, emotion or feeling. Finally and mercifully, death encroaches and claims its victim who was long gone anyway.