The life spans of people are known to Allah from time unknown to people. Later, how long a person will live and what his or her deeds will be are written in that person’s book of deeds. This happens at the completion of 120 days in the mother’s womb. In the hadith, `Abdullah ibn Mas`ud narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Verily the creation of each one of you is brought together in his mother’s belly for forty days in the form of seed, then he is a clot of blood for a like period, then a morsel of flesh for a like period, then there is sent to him the angel who blows the breath of life into him and who is commanded about four matters: to write down his means of livelihood, his life span, his actions, and whether happy or unhappy. By Allah, other than Whom there is no god, verily one of you behaves like the people of Paradise until there is but an arm’s length between him and it, and that which has been written overtakes him and so he behaves like the people of Hellfire and thus he enters it; and one of you behaves like the people of Hellfire until there is but an arm’s length between him and it, and that which has been written overtakes him and so he behaves like the people of Paradise and thus he enters it.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim). This hadith indicates that the life span of the person is decided from a very early time. Still, there are some other hadiths that indicate that a person’s life is lengthened if he keeps good relations with his relatives.
Sheikh Saleh ibn Fawzan Al-Fawzan, a prominent Saudi Muslim scholar, states: “The hadith of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) reads: “Whoever likes to have his provision increased and his life span elongated, let him maintain his relation with kith and kin” (Al-Bukhari). This hadith indicates that Almighty Allah promises a person who maintains his relation of kinship that his reward will be a lengthening of his life span and an increase of his rizq (provision). It is out of the bounty of Allah that He rewards this person with this great reward. Almighty Allah says: ” Is the reward of goodness aught save goodness?” (Ar-Rahman: 60). Though the life of a person is decided when he is still a fetus in his mother’s womb, Almighty Allah decreed that there are certain acts that may help in lengthening the person’s life span and increasing his provision. Among these acts is keeping the relation of kinship. Once these good deeds are done, one’s life will be lengthened and barakah (blessing) will be placed in it. “