The reason for the reward of passing away far from one’s birthplace
Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr (radiyallahu ‘anhuma) says, “A man who was born in Madinah passed away in Madinah. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said ‘If only he passed away somewhere other than his birthplace [i.e. If only he was born out of Madinah and passed away in Madinah].’ Someone asked ‘And why is that O Rasulullah?’ Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) replied, ‘When a person passes away somewhere other than his birthplace, a [place] will be measured for him in Jannah [as large as the distance] from the place where he was born to the place where he passed away.”
Why would a person who passes away in a place other than his own birthplace get such a big reward? What if he is a great sinner? Will he still be rewarded?
This Hadith is recorded in Sunan Nasai, Sunan Ibn Majah, Sahih Ibn Hibban and other Hadith sources.
(Sunan Nasai; Al Mujtaba, Hadith: 1832, Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadith: 1614, Sahih Ibn Hibban; Al Ihsan, Hadith: 2934.
The commentators explains that since a person passed away in a foreign land, far away from his relatives, friends and hometown and was subjected to loneliness nor did he have any familiar face for support during his last moments, he will receive this reward if he endured this difficulty with patience and anticipating reward.
(Refer: At Taysir of ‘Allamah Munawi, vol. 1 pg. 284)
If a person was a great sinner, he will receive this reward if and when Allah wishes, or even when eventually gaining entry into Jannah.
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best.