In Bukhari and Muslim, narrated Usâmah ibn Zayd – radi Allâhu anhuma: A woman sent to the Prophet – sal Allâhu alayhi wa sallam – that her son was dying and that he should come to visit her.
The Prophet – sal Allâhu alayhi wa sallam – sent back a message to her. In it he said,
| To Allâh belongs whatever he takes, and to Him belongs what He gives. Everything to Him has a decreed life, so be patient and seek the Reward with Allâh.|
She sent back with an oath that he -sal Allâhu alayhi wa sallam – must come in person to visit her. So Allâhs Messenger – sal Allâhu alayhi wa sallam – stood and with him was Sad ibn Ubâdah, Muâdh ibn Jabal, Ubayy ibn Kab, and Zayd ibn Thabit, as well as others.
At her home, the young boy was given to the Prophet, sal Allâhu alayhi wa sallam, its breathing faltering. The eyes of the Prophet – sal Allâhu alayhi wa sallam – welled with tears.
Seeing the Prophet crying, Sad said to him, What is this O Messenger of Allâh?
Rasul Allâh – sal Allâhu alayhi wa sallam – replied,
| This is mercy which Allâh has placed in the hearts of His servants. And indeed it is to only the merciful of His servants that Allâh gives mercy.|
Dear brothers and sisters, this week has been a very trying week for us. Our brothers, and specifically our sisters, were tested with the death of sister Maryam, her daughter Muslimah and her daughter AlNisâ, all in one car accident. May Allâh taala increase their fathers reward, may Allâh taala perfect his patience, and may He forgive all three of them. Amîn.
When death hits so closely to home, to ones so young, many questions arise, especially from the young friends of Muslimah and AlNisâ. For this reason we would like to speak today about this topic: How do we say goodbye?
Ibn Al-Qayyim spoke in his book Zâd al-Maâd about the blessed guidance of the Prophet – sal Allâhu alayhi wa sallam – at times of death. He writes:
It was from the blessed guidance of Rasul Allâh – sal Allâhu alayhi wa sallam – to convey his condolences to the family of the deceased. It was not from his blessed guidance to gather people to give condolences, nor was it his blessed guidance to recite Quran – neither at the grave nor away from the gravesite. All of this is Bidah, innovation and shunned. From his blessed guidance is his tranquility and acceptance of Allâhs decree, thanking Allâh and holding back from saying things unbefitting. He – sal Allâhu alayhi wa sallam – disowned himself from those that rip their clothes due to the calamity, or raise their voices in a wail, or those that shave their head because of the situation.
Where do our youth normally learn about the concept of love? For the answer, all you need to do is look over the top music charts to find out.
I searched the billboard charts to pick up some names as example. I found: Love dont cost a thing, Whats Luv, He loves you not, as well as others. These are just the titles, not to speak of the content of the other songs, in addition to the TV shows, movies and everything in-between.
So America is teaching us the concept of love, right? Every 7 minutes in this country, someone commits suicide. And every minute, someone tries. There was actually a guy who tried to capitalize on all these people who were incompetent in killing themselves. He called his book: The Final exit ~ a how-to book on killing yourself successfully.
Subhan Allâh, it was a national best seller. Imagine seeing a guy in the bookstore buying this book. Hes dishing out $17 for it. He could pay any hack on the street $4 to bash his head with an iron rod, why pay $17. And then, to top it off, he goes and pays cash for it. I mean if youre going to kill yourself, wouldnt it be smarter to charge it to your credit card?
Some people in this society want to commit suicide. The problem is that many of them are procrastinators – they keep putting the suicide off. Now, weve heard many times in Khutbahs and lectures that procrastination is something bad, but in this case, alhamdulillah, it saves peoples lives.
Now I ask, when was the last time you heard an Islamic Halaqah about the concept of Love in Islam. Not too recently, Im sure. Thus, we can safely say that Allâh and His Messenger do not dictate to us many of the concepts of love that we harbor in our minds.
Allâh taala says:
|“Close friends, that Day, will be enemies to each other ” 43:67|
We hear in the music and movies and sitcoms that our hearts will live forever with the deceased. Dear brothers and sisters, that is wrong. Read the following verse:
|“Every time a nation enters, it will curse its sister until, when they have all overtaken one another therein, the last of them (the followers) will say about the first of them (the leaders), Our Lord, they have misled us, so give them a double punishment of the fire. He will say, For each is double, but you do not know. Indeed those who deny Our verses and are arrogant toward them – the gates of heaven will not be opened for them, nor will they enter Paradise until a camel enters into the eye of a needle (i.e. never). And thus do We pay back the criminals.” Surah Arâf 7:38,40|
If a friendship was ever made for other then the sake of Allâh, then that friendship ends at death. There is no heart that lives on after death.
But If youre ever loved someone because they said Lâ ilâha illa Allâh, Muhammadur Rasul Allâh, then I have good news for you: Your friendship will not end at death! It will never end at death.
Completing the above verse: Allâh taala says: “Close friends, that Day, will be enemies to each other, except for the righteous!” 43:67
And on the Day of Judgement, of the seven types of people who will find shade from the horrific heat will be two people who loved one another only for the sake of Allâh. Imagine that, in the hardest time of your life, if youve loved someone for the sake of Allâh, they will be saved hand-in-hand with you.
Do all good things will come to an end? Good question. Summers come to an end, ice creams come to an end, interesting Khutbahs come to an end. So whats the answer?
Allâh taala says:
|“Whatever you have will end, but what Allâh has is lasting. And We surely give those who were patient their reward according to the best of what they used to do.” Surah Nahl 16:96|
Before the Hijrah from Makkah, there was a famous Qureishi poet by the name of Labîd bin Rabîah. In his company, one day, sat the great companion of the Prophet: Uthmân ibn Madh ûn – radi Allâhu anhu.
Labîd recited a verse of poetry: “Indeed everything other then Allâh is falsehood ”
Uthmân ibn Madhûn replied, You have told the truth.
Labîd continued: ” And every enjoyment, without doubt, will die.”
You have lied! said Uthmân ibn Madhûn. The enjoyment of paradise shall never end.
This infuriated the group and one of the ignorant amongst them stood up and slapped Uthmân ibn Madhûn in the face, blackening his eye.
There are things that help us in times of sadness:
One: During times of sadness, Allâh wants us to come back and reflect upon the Quran. That is what He revealed it for, contemplation. In it, the believer will find tranquility for his or her heart.
Two: Whatever happens, when someone is patient and says the dua that the Prophet – sal Allâhu alayhi wa sallam – taught us, that person will be blessed with something better.
The Dua is as follows:
| Inna lillâhi wa inna Ilayhi râjiûn. Allâhumma jurnî fî musîbatî, wakhluf lî khayrun minh.|
Umm Salamah – radi Allâhu anha – the narrator of this dua, loved her husband very much. When he died, she states,
|I was firm to say the dua, but I thought to myself, how could I get anything better then Abu Salamah? Allâh answered my dua and I married the Messenger of Allâh! And he is better then Abu Salamah.|
May Allâh taala make all us brothers good husbands like Rasul Allâh – sal Allâhu alayhi wa sallam – and Abu Salamah.
And for those who have had a child die, take glad tidings in the following Hadith:
Abu Mûsa al-Asharî – radi Allâhu anhu – narrates: Allâhs Messenger, sal Allâhu alayhi wa sallam, said,
| If the child of a servant (of Allâh) dies, Allâh questions the angels, Have you taken the life of my servants child?
The angels reply, Yes.
Allâh then asks them, Have you taken the fruit of his heart?
The angels reply, Yes.
Then Allâh asks them, What did my servant say?
They reply, He praised you and refrained (from saying anything unbefitting)
At that Allâh will say, Build a home for my slave in Jannah and call it Bayt-ul-Hamd (The Home of Thankfulness).
Umar – radi Allâhu anhu – said, We found the best of our provision to be patience.
Part II: Towards Patience
The term Al-Qadâ wal Qadr is so easily inadequately translated. Some have translated it as pre-destiny, decree, etc.
Once, however, I was passing through a bookstore in Madinah and there I found a book on this topic. The translated had cleverly translated the term Qadr as: Pre-Recording.
So I thought to myself, for our TV culture, now there is a translation we can all understand. Everything that happens to us is pre-recorded with Allâh taala, nothing can happen except by his Will and knowledge.
When a death befalls someone, it is permissible to cry (without wailing) and to feel sadness in the heart.
When the son of Rasul Allâh – sal Allâhu alayhi wa sallam – was dying, he held his small body in his hand and began crying. The Sahâbah who saw him crying inquired, What are these tears, O Messenger of Allâh.
He – sal Allâhu alayhi wa sallam – replied,
| The eye cries, and the heart is saddened, but we do not say anything other then that which is pleasing to our Lord, and we, indeed O Ibrahîm, are saddened by our separation from you.|
However, we have picked up things from the culture of the non-Muslims, things that we do not find in the tradition dictated to us by the Lord of the worlds. For example:
a. To wear black specifically to honor the deceased.
b. Institutionalizing the placing of flowers at the site of the grave.
c. To lower a national flag in honor of the deceased.
d. There is no mention of a moment-of-silence in our Dîn.
e. There is no mention of Quran Khanis (gathering people to recite Quran for the deceased) in the Sunnah of Muhammad – sal Allâhu alayhi wa sallam. All goodness is in following the guidance of our Prophet.
f.There is no mention of gathering people 40 days after the death to recite Quran for the deceased.
g.There is no mention of having an annual gathering where guests recite the Quran for the deceased.
h. There is no mention in the Sunnah of collectively reciting surat al-Fatiha for the deceased.
So then what should we do?
1.We should hasten to pay off the debts of the deceased
2. We should give our condolences to the family of the deceased. This could be done in the Masjid, at the gravesite, at their homes, etc. But excessively long gatherings at the deceaseds home should not be encouraged.
3. We should make food for the family of the deceased and not burden them with having to make food for the entire community.
4. We should all attend the funeral prayer and, for men, follow the funeral to the gravesite. The women should not follow, as Umm Salamah said, We were forbidden from following the funeral processions.
5. We may give Sadaqah on behalf of the deceased, and we may perform Hajj on their behalf.
6. And above all, we should make Dua, and lots of it, for the deceased. This is how the Prophet – sal Allâhu alayhi wa sallam – taught us, as in the funeral prayer and the hadith of the servants actions being cut off except from three things – he mentioned, a pious child that makes dua for (the deceased).
In conclusion, I would like to pass on the following good news to our beloved brother who lost his wife and two daughters.
Narrated Abu Hurayrah – radi Allâhu anhu: Allâhs Messenger – sal Allâhu alayhi wa sallam – said to a group of Ansari women,
| There is no woman amongst you who has three children of hers die, yet she is patient, hoping for the reward from Allâh, except that she shall enter Jannah.|
So a woman amongst them asked, What about two children O Messenger of Allâh?
He replied, Even two.
May Allâh taala increase brother Donalds reward, may Allâh taala perfect his patience, and may Allâh forgive his family. Amîn.(NOTE: If you want to build a strong and powerful relationship with Allah, check out Islamia TV, where you can watch Islamic speakers from across the globe deliver inspiring and motivational courses. Learn more at www.islamia.tv.)