Given the fact that I have lost no less than 5 close family members in the last 2 years and with the beloved uncle of my husband passing away last week, it is no surprise that my mind is on the subject of death.
Spoiler Alert: Given the serious subject matter, this post has been written directly from the beliefs of someone with an Islamic faith. If you’re not muslim, please do read ahead to better acquaint yourself with our beliefs, but do so knowing that I don’t mean to preach!
So, we believe that the Prophet ﷺ said:
Those of us who have experienced the death of a close family member may describe it as a wake-up call of the greatest kind. I think it is both shocking, and a huge miracle- to have a living, walking, talking, person just cease to exist one day. It is earth-shattering, life-altering and a huge reminder that this life is temporary. Just as things are starting to work out in this duniya (worldly life), we are brought back to questioning why we are actually here. We are given a massive reminder that life doesn’t end here; we are reminded to be patient as life is a test, and we have to make the most of the time we have here on earth to accumulate good deeds and do our best in terms of serving people and our perfecting our servitude before God.
I really feel that one of the hugest blessings of having faith in the afterlife to note is the hope that one feels in being reunited with one’s beloved lost relative in Paradise. The advantage we have over atheists is that if we do lose somebody close to us, we have a great hope in being able to pray for them (as we believe that any good deeds performed in their name will benefit them as well as us) and ultimately, being reunited with them in the hereafter inshallah! (God-willing).
In believing that God is Just, we are comforted in the knowledge that our relative’s life will never be lived in vain. There is and always be wisdom behind every act and every event that the passed soul had to endure, even if we don’t know it at the time. The solace we receive from the reflection that this life is but a few seconds on this earth in comparison to an eternal life in the hereafter, helps hugely in acceptance of destiny and in being content in what we have here on earth.
The fact is when somebody dies it should shake us into action, into a stronger belief that this life is only temporary and of the great truth of our own mortality. Our shared grief and tears not only bind us remaining family members but also release a much-needed anguish from the heart, reminding us that we are not alone and we still have each other.
The Prophet ﷺ said:
See my previous post on crying to read about all the other benefits.
We, who are left here on earth, can do a great service by remembering and praying for our loved ones whenever we raise our hands in supplication.
A man said: ‘O Messenger of God! My parents have died; is there anything left with which I may be good to them?’ And he replied: ‘There are four things: praying and asking forgiveness for them, carrying out their promises, being good to their friends, and giving proper attention to those kinship bonds which could have only be attended to by them. ‘
And the Prophet said, may peace and blessings be upon him: ‘Were it not for the living the dead would have been doomed’; in other words, because of the prayers and requests for forgiveness and for mercy which they receive.
This quote is taken from this fantastic answer on Seekershub.org.
One of the greatest things which one may offer to the dead is to recite Qur’an and send on the reward for it . This is of great benefit and baraka (blessings). The Muslims have agreed on this everywhere throughout the ages, the majority of scholars and virtuous people have recommended it, and there are hadiths (sayings of the Prophetﷺ) to confirm this. Although, these hadiths have weak chains of transmission, there is a principle, as the hadith scholar al-Suyuti (may God show him His mercy) has said, that: ‘Weak hadiths may be acted upon when they indicate acts of goodness. ‘ And these are indeed acts of goodness.
All the Qur’an is blessed and beneficial, but the most beneficial thing to offer to the dead is Surat al-Ikhlas ( Chapter 112) eleven times, and this has been seen in many blessed dreams . Each person should recite this noble sura the said number of times, either each night, each day, or more, or less, or even only on Thursday night, and offer this reward to his parents, teachers and all those who had rights over him.
This is so beautiful, I can’t begin to say how much peace one feels when reciting the quran for someone who has passed away. We are told the person will receive the quran one recites as a beautifully wrapped gift. The heart is peaceful reciting the melodious and soothing tones of the quran and it is gladdened in the knowledge that it will ease the burden of their deceased relative.
Once the grieving period is over, we are told to once again renew our faith and practice with a greater zest; knowing we haven’t got long to live ourselves, until we, too, are taken away from this earth. We are told to make the most of ‘5 before 5’:
Anyone who has attained any of these 5 will tell you that they wished they had made the most of the time before it had come upon them.
We are told to visit the graveside often, as the believer in the grave is informed that we are there and can hear everything we say. In this regard, graveyards are an extension of the gardens of peace which lay beyond
The Prophet ﷺ said: ‘No man visits the grave of his brother and sits by it but that he (the dead man) finds solace in this, having his spirit restored to him until the visitor departs . ‘And he said: ‘A dead (person) in his grave is never more comforted than when those that he loved in the world pay him a visit.’
I have witnessed my own peace of mind and solace after missing a loved one and then visiting their grave. I’m sure many people agree with me that the visiting of a graveside brings great peace to the heart and it is a huge blessing if one lives near the graveside of their deceased relative and is able to visit often.
May Allah grant us patience to endure the loss of a loved one for we are told:
Now, what can we do but ask for a beautiful ending? Like those blessed souls who have passed away recently and pray that Allah gives us a goodly life. Let’s make an intention now, to live our best life, for the sake of Allah and His Beloved Last Messenger.
May He, with His beautiful Love and Mercy shower us with blessings and an ease and comfort in knowing that this life is not all there is; that we will meet our loved ones in the next life and in the most beautiful of manners. May He make us of those who are content in knowing we can benefit them as we are still here on this earth, may our hearts be gladdened by this news. May He help us to make the most of our time on this earth!
Have you got anything to add to this discussion? Please do comment below. I hope reading this post helped you as much as researching about this has helped me! May God bless you. May He make easy all your losses in this life.
Until next time then,
Peace and love,
Sidra Ansari ❤
PS To help me on my journey to enoughism I will write down 3 things I am grateful for at the end of each post. These are:
- To be able to grieve collectively with family when we are struck by these life-changing events; to not be allowed to do this because a certain culture doesn’t see it as appropriate would be detrimental to our health, especially our psychological state of mind.
- I am grateful for my faith, which gives me concrete answers to my questions on life and death whenever I require it.
- Ramadan is coming up! I am grateful for this hugely blessed month and all the secrets it contains. May we be of those who benefit from its unique benefits and beauty every year! Don’t forget to start preparing now (and I don’t mean to stock up your freezer with goodies!).
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