Pretty much all my life I've been told and have heard people saying, in everyday conversations, that Allah is the only one that decides how and when someone will die. It's usually said after hearing of a death. For most of my life, I , like most people, just ignored it without much thought and politely nodded to the person who said it. However, one day a thought popped into my head that made me think a little more deeply about that simple statement. I was thinking about infections and antibiotics after reading something online. The chance of someone dying from an infection in pre-antibiotic times was much higher than it is now. Therefore, did God decide to kill fewer people per 1000 after he noticed that humans had discovered ways to fight infections? Does advances in technology and medicine constrain God's ability to decide how and when someone dies? For example, someone living with HIV now can expect to live two decades longer than someone who was diagnosed in 2001.
Babies who would have normally died soon after birth, maybe due to a premature birth, and presumably gone straight to heaven, now have a much better chance at life because of things like incubators. These babies can then grow up, sin and potentially go to hell.
Whether it's medicine, safer cars and planes or better health and safety laws for work; God, it seems, has fewer and fewer methods to choose from. Or perhaps he gets bored of certain methods such as smallpox and in his infinite mercy decides to divinely inspire scientists to discover vaccines that can eradicate it. However, he does have access to methods that didn't exist, say, 100 years ago like space shuttle explosions.
If all this sounds silly to you, it's because it is. The idea that a supernatural being decides how and when you die is completely baseless and stupid. So, next time someone says that God decides when and how you die, point them towards this post. Unless that statement was prompted by someone they care about passing away recently. In which case, comfort and sympathy are the better options.