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FUNERALS


Funerals according to dictionary means a ceremony or group of rituals held in connection with the burial or cremation of a dead person.

 

Table of Contents

 

Qur’an

When the news of death in the family reaches the relatives and friends, the first thing that they should say is the following Qur'anic ayath Qur’an.Surah Baqra 2:156: "Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'un [Truly! To Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return]." This du'a is known in arabic as al-istirja.

 

In the case of the husband or wife, they should add "Allahumma ajirni fi musibati wakhluf li khayran minha (or minhu if it is the wife saying it)." [O Allah grant me refuge in my affliction and replace her (or him) with someone better]

 

Crying For Mercy at the Time of Death is Allowed

The Prophet shed tears, but did not cry out in a loud voice. We went with Allah's Apostle to the blacksmith Abu Sayf , and he was the husband of the wet-nurse of Ibrahim (the son of the Prophet ). Allah's Apostle took Ibrahim and kissed him and smelled him and later we entered Abu Sayf's house and at that time Ibrahim was in his last breaths, and the eyes of Allah's Apostle started shedding tears. 'Abdur-Rahman bin 'Awf رضي الله عنهsaid, "O Allah's Apostle , even you are weeping!" He said, "O Ibn 'Awf رضي الله عنه, this is mercy." Then he wept more and said, "The eyes are shedding tears and the heart is grieved, and we will not say except what pleases our Lord, O Ibrahim! Indeed we are grieved by your separation." Sahih Al-Bukhari Vol 2:390.

 

Words at the Time of Dying

Both Abu Sa'id al-Khudri رضي الله عنه and Abu Hurayrah رضي الله عنه quoted the Prophet as saying "Prompt your dying ones (to say): la ilaha illallah." [Sahih Muslim, vol. 2:1996] and, " ... whoever's last words before dying are: la ilaha illallah, will enter Paradise one day, even if he is afflicted before that by punishment." [This addition is only found in Sahih ibn Hibban, authenticated in Irwa al-Ghalil, vol. 3, pg. 150]

 

This statement does not simply mean that we should mention shahadah, but the dying person should be instructed to say the shahadah, as is evident from the Prophet's statement, " ... whoever's last words are: la ilahha illallah ... "

Allah's Messenger said, "I testify that there is no god worthy of worship but Allah سبحانه و تعالىand that I am the Messenger of Allah . Any servant who meets Allah with those two {testimonies}, having no doubt in them, will enter Paradise." Sahih Al-Muslim, vol. 1:41, narrated Abu Hurayrah رضي الله عنه]

 

The Prophet said, "Allah سبحانه و تعالى, Most Great and Glorious, will accept his servants repentance until the throes of death begin." [Collected by at-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah and authenticated in Sahih Sunan ibn Majah, vol. 2, p. 418, #3430. See Riyadh as-Salihin, vol. 1, p. 12, #18 for an English translation of this hadith]

 

Good Words

People present may pray aloud for the one who is dying letting the person hear words of concern and sympathy. Negative words should be avoided this will only increase the difficulties the sick and dying are facing. Good words and positive thoughts will make the process of dying easier and recovery from illness more bearable ...

 

Umm Salamah رضي الله عنهrelated that the Prophet said, "If you are in the presence of a sick or dying person, you should say good things, for verily the angels say 'Amin' to whatever you say." When Umm Salamah رضي الله عنهasked the Prophet what should she say, he replied: "Say: Allahumma-ghfir li wa lahu wa a'qibni minhu'uqba hasanah [O Allah سبحانه و تعالىforgive him and me, and grant me a good substitute after him.]." [Sahih Muslim, vol. 2:2002; Sunan Abu Dawud, vol. 2:3109; Sunan ibn Majah, vol. 2:1447 and Mishkat al-Masabih, vol. 1, p. 337; Sahih Muslim, vol. 2:2002]

 

Acceptance of Fate

The dying individual is obliged to accept his lot gracefully so that it becomes a source of reward and blessing for him on the Day of Judgement. The Prophet taught that patiently bearing the trials of this life is an act of righteousness which expiates sins.

 

'Abdullah stated that he visited Allah's Messenger while he was suffering from a high fever and said to him, "O Messenger Of Allah , you have a high fever." He replied, "Yes, I have a fever equal to that of two of your men experience." I asked, "Is it because you will have double the reward?" He replied, "Yes, it is so. Any Muslim who is afflicted with the harm of a thorn prick or more will have, as a result of it, some of his sins expiated the way a tree sheds it's leaves." Sahih Al-Bukhari, vol. 7:551 and Sahih Al-Muslim, vol. 4:6235

 

Between Fear and Hope

The dying person should be in a psychological state between fear and hope. The person should fear Allah's سبحانه و تعالى punishment for his or her sins and, at the same time, hope for Allah's سبحانه و تعالى mercy and forgiveness . "Do not lose hope of Allah's سبحانه و تعالىmercy, for verily Allah سبحانه و تعالى(can) forgive all sin." Qur'an.Surah Az-Zumar 39:53.

 

Verily, Allah سبحانه و تعالى forgives not that partners should be set up with him in worship, but He forgives except that (anything else) to whom He pleases, and whoever sets up partners with Allah سبحانه و تعالىin worship, he has indeed invented a tremendous sin. Al-Qur'an.Surah Nisa 4:48, see also 4:116

 

To Wish for Death

No matter how severe the pain of the sickness may become, one is not allowed to hope or wish for death. The death wish reflects a belief that Allah سبحانه و تعالى has burdened one beyond his or her capacity and indicates a lack of patience. The longer people live, the more opportunity they have to do good and improve their lot.

 

Anas quoted the Prophet , "None of you should wish for death because of some harm which has afflicted him. But if one must do it, let him say: Allahumma ahyini ma kanatil-hayatu khayran li [O Allah سبحانه و تعالىkeep me alive as long as living is best for me] wa tawaffani itha kanatil-wafatu khayran li [and take my life if death is better for me]." Sahih Al-Bukhari, vol. 7:575, Sahih Al-Muslim, vol. 4:6480 & 6485.

 

Debts

Dying individuals may have in their possession certain items belonging to others. If that is the case,they should return them as soon as they are able to do so, in order to avoid having to pay them back from their good deeds on the Day of Judgement.

 

The Prophet was reported to have said, "There are two types of debt: whoever dies intending to repay it, I will be responsible for it,and whoever dies with no intention to repay it, will have it taken from his good deeds. There will not be any dinars or dirhams on that Day."

[Collected by at-Tabarani رحمت اللهand authenticated in Ahkam al-Jana'iz, p. 5]

 

Wasiyah(The Will)

Before dying, everyone leaving behind wealth and property should write or dictate a will in which they may give away up to one-third of their wealth to those who would not inherit from them based on Islamic inheritance laws.

 

This recommendation was instituted by Allah سبحانه و تعالىto protect the rights of non-inheriting relatives and friends. Consequently the Prophet encouraged Muslims to record and keep it with them,as soon as the need arises.

 

Abdullah ibn'Umar رضي الله عنهrelated that the Messenger of Allah said, "It is not right for a Muslim who has something to bequeath to pass two nights without having it in writing in his possession ... " Reported by Ibn 'Umar رضي الله عنهand recorded in all of the six major books of hadith ... Sahih al-Bukhari, vol. 4:1, Sahih Muslim, vol. 3:3987 and Sunan Abi Dawud, vol. 2,: 2856

 

Permissible Actions by Those Present

1. Uncovering the face and kissing it

Those present at the individual's death or those who come to see the dead person for the last time are allowed to uncover the face and kiss it. Kissing the face of the dead is considered a part of the Sunnah of the Prophet and his companions رضي الله عنهم. Sunan Abi Dawud vol. 2:3157, Sunan Ibn Majah vol. 2:1456.

 

2. Crying

Those present and the relatives of the deceased are allowed to cry for a maximum period of three (3) days.

 

Abdullah ibn Ja'far رضي الله عنهnarrated that the Prophet delayed coming to visit Ja'far's رضي الله عنهfamily 'for three days after his death', then he came to them and said, "Do not cry for my brother after today." Abu Dawud, vol. 3:4180.

 

3. Patience

Relatives of the deceased are obliged to be patient, practice self restraint, and gracefully accept Allah's سبحانه و تعالىdecree, because Allah سبحانه و تعالىhas already promised mankind that He would test them. "Verily I will test you with fear and hunger, and loss of wealth, life, and the fruit (of your labour), so give glad tidings to the patient ones." Qur'an.Surah Al-Baqra 2:155.

 

Among the glad tidings for those who are patient when loved ones are lost is that a home is prepared for them in Paradise, Abu Musa al-Ash'ari رضي الله عنهquoted Allah's Messenger as saying: "If a child of [Allah's سبحانه و تعالى] slave dies, Allah سبحانه و تعالىwill say to His angels: You took My slaves child, they will reply: Yes, He will then say: You took the love of his life, and they will reply: Yes, He will then ask: What did My slave say? and they will reply: He praised you and said, surely, we belong to Allah سبحانه و تعالىand to Him we will return.' Allah سبحانه و تعالىwill then say: Build a house in Paradise for My slave and call it the House of Praise." Sahih Sunan at-Tirmidhi, vol. 1:814.

 

However true patience for which Allah سبحانه و تعالى, promises reward is that which is practised when calamity first strikes. The real test of patience is at the time of the calamity; being patient after the initial shock and reaction have worn off is not considered real patience.

 

Recommended Actions by Those Present

It was the practice of the Prophet to have his family prepare food for the relatives of the dead. Sunan Ibn Majah, vol. 2:1610.

 

Testifying to the Good of the Dead

It is recommended that righteous Muslims who knew the deceased well and were among his or her neighbours should testify to others about the good qualities of the deceased.

Anas quote the Prophet as saying, "For any Muslim who dies and four of his close neighbours testify that they have known him to be good, Allah سبحانه و تعالى-the Blessed, the Highest-will say, 'I have accepted your testimony and forgiven him for what you do not know about.' " Collected by Ahmad رحمت اللهand authenticated in Ahkam al-Jana'iz, pp. 45-66]

 

Speaking about the Deceased

I came to Madinah when an epidemic had broken out. While I was sitting with 'Umar bin Al-Khattab رضي الله عنهa funeral procession passed by and the people praised the deceased. 'Umar رضي الله عنهsaid, "It has been affirmed to him." And another funeral procession passed by and the people praised the deceased. 'Umar رضي الله عنهsaid, "It has been affirmed to him." A third (funeral procession) passed by and the people spoke badly of the deceased. He said, "It has been affirmed to him." I (Abul-Aswad رضي الله عنه) asked, "O chief of the believers! What has been affirmed?" He replied, "I said the same as the Prophet had said, that is: if four persons testify the piety of a Muslim, Allah سبحانه و تعالىwill grant him Paradise." We asked, "If three persons testify his piety?" He (the Prophet ) replied, "Even three." Then we asked, "If two?" He replied, "Even two." We did not ask him regarding one witness. [Sahih Al-Bukhari Vol 2:449, narrated Abul-Aswad رضي الله عنه]

 

References

http://sunnahonline.com/library/fiqh-and-sunnah/276-funerals-according-to-the-quran-and-sunnah

muttaqun.com

 

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