Returning favors of loved ones even after their demise


kindness after death

We all know the famous hadeeth wherein it mentions that whoever doesn’t thank people (for their help/gesture) doesn’t thank Allah. And The prophet ﷺ also said:

  • “No one has done any favour to me except that I have reciprocated him.” [Ref: Jami` at-tirmidhi, 3661]
  • “He who was given a gift and was able to reward for it (by re gifting) let him do so, and he who was not able to reward for it let him praise [the giver] for that he who praised has been thankful.” [Ref: Jami` tirmidhi 2034, saheeh by albani r.h]

The importance of returning back the favors, gestures, etc your deceased relatives/blood ties is massive. We all have our relatives some of whom are deceased. At one point in time, or even more, they helped you out even if it be by your aunt buying you your favorite meal or taking you out for stroll, Saving you from your
parents’ scolding or making you feel special when you visited their place…

How do you return back their good gesture after their demise? The best way is to do something as sadaqah-jaariyah for them. Donating wheelchairs, leaving copies of Qur’an/Islamic books on their behalf. building water-pumps, digging wells on their behalf where water is most needed, furnishing masajid with carpets or prayer rugs, etc.

This is what will ACTUALLY be of help to them every second in their grave. This is the best way you will fulfill your ties of kinship and blood, especially if you couldn’t during their lifetime then at least now fulfill your duty as kith and kin. Do them a favor and you will be rewarded too.

A lot of us have enough money to spend and splurge on various luxuries, but have we ever considered doing something for the one lying in his/her grave battling the accounts every second? Have we gathered the guts and courage to remove some money from our salary and teach our kids on how to do something like this for any relative after they die?

Have you instilled this teaching in your children so they emulate your example after you?

#Think #Reflect #ActNow

Dealing with Grief


grieved

Allah created us unique and out of His mercy not only blessed us with intellect, feelings and emotions but also taught us how to use these faculties in the right way. Joy and grief are two such emotions decreed by Allah for us – emotions through which we can draw closer to Him if we comply with His commands. Being grateful and praising Allah when happy and patient when sad while accepting whatever He decrees is the characteristic of a true believer. For, everything that Allah decrees for a believer is good for him in both worlds. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “How wonderful is the affair of the believer, for all his affairs are good, and that applies to no one except a believer. If something good happens to him, he gives thanks for it and that is good for him, and if something bad happens to him, he bears it with patience, and that is also good for him.” (Muslim-2999)

Remaining calm especially at the loss of a loved one can be devastating and the grief that follows cannot be belittled but a believer who has faith in His Lord’s promises doesn’t let shaitan overpower his senses and continues to be patient for His sake. He knows that everything good and bad is a test from Allah and the real purpose of the test is actually to make him learn to continue doing good deeds with patience despite the burden of the test he is facing. That’s when he is blessed with the mercy, guidance and reward of Allah as explained in the second surah of the Qur’an.

Experiencing negative feelings of sadness and anxiety or crying when grieving a loss is natural. Even the prophets went through such times and felt these emotions of sorrow and hurt but we need to learn and follow their attitudes of controlling their emotions and being steadfast in the obedience of Allah.

Anas bin Malik narrated: “We went with Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) to the blacksmith Abu Saif. He was the husband of the wet-nurse of Ibrahim (the son of the Prophet). Allah’s Messenger took Ibrahim, kissed him and smelled him. Later when we entered Abu Saif’s house, Ibrahim was in his last breaths, and the eyes of Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) started shedding tears. ‘Abdur Rahman bin ‘Auf said, “O Allah’s Messenger, even you are weeping!” He said, “O Ibn ‘Auf, this is mercy.” Then he wept more and said, “The eyes are shedding tears and the heart is grieved, but we will not say except what pleases our Lord, O Ibrahim! Indeed we are grieved by your separation.”  (Bukhari 23:390)

In another narration, Abdullah ibn Umar said: Sa‘d ibn ‘Ubaadah fell sick and the Prophet (peace be upon him) came to visit him with ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn ‘Awf, Sa‘d ibn Abi Waqqaas and ‘Abdullaah ibn Mas’ood (may Allah be pleased with all the companions). When he entered upon him, he found him unconscious with his family around him and he said: “Has he died?” They said: No, O Messenger of Allah. The Prophet (peace be upon him) wept, and when the people saw the Prophet weeping, they also wept. He said: “Listen, Allah does not punish for the tears of the eye or the grief of the heart, rather He punishes for this” – and he pointed to his tongue – “or shows mercy (because of it).” (Bukhari-1304, Muslim-924)

These touching narrations teach us that being composed when grieving and submitting to the will of Allah does not exclude emotions. And while such emotions are characterized as a sign of human compassion granted by Allah, Prophet (peace be upon him) also placed limits on excessive display of grief. Merely crying when grieved is allowed but it is forbidden when it accompanies wailing or complaining. Furthermore, according to hadeeth, the family of a deceased is allowed to mourn him for three days only, but a widow may mourn her husband for four months and ten days.

Unfortunately we see many people nowadays spoil the image of Islam by grieving over the dead in ways that were forbidden by the Prophet (peace be upon him). They are seen beating their chests, slapping their cheeks, striking their shoulders with chains and cutting their heads with swords while complaining or uttering words of shirk. The Prophet (peace be upon him) never prescribed for his followers to do any of these things or anything similar to them to mark the death of a leader or the loss of a martyr irrespective of his status. During his lifetime, he (peace be upon him) lost his beloved wife Khadijah, almost all his children and a number of companions were martyred such as Hamzah ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib, Zayd ibn Haarithah and Ja’far ibn Abi Taalib. He did mourn their loss, but he did not do any of the things that some people nowadays do. He or his companions did not strike their chests or scratch their faces, or shed blood or take the day of the loss of their beloved spouses, children or companions as a festival or day of mourning. Rather they used to remember their loved ones who had passed away; they used feel sad, silently shed tears and seek relief in prayer. According to a report by Abu Dawood, whenever something distressed him or pleased him, our beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) used to say to Bilal: “Relieve us with it (i.e., the prayer).”  He (peace be upon him) said: “He is not one of us who strikes his cheeks, tears his garment, or wails with the cry(words) of the Jaahiliyyah.” (Bukhari-1294, Muslim-103)

When one remembers his beloved who has passed away or when he remembers some similar calamity, it is best to say that which Ali ibn al-Husayn narrated from his grandfather, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), who said: “There is no Muslim who is afflicted by a calamity and when he remembers it, even if it was in the dim and distant past, he says “Inna Lillahi wa inna ilayhi raaji’oon” (Indeed we belong to Allah, and indeed to Him we will return), but Allah will give him a reward like that of the day when it befell him.” (Ahmad)

He (peace be upon him) also said, ‘A person will be in the company of those whom he loves’. (Bukhari) So be consoled, oh believers, and patiently endure as the life of this world is temporary and we will soon be reunited with our beloved in Paradise if Allah wills.

-Mariam Anwer

When Allah calls you back…


guilt-05

‘When we are doing wrong, Allah afflicts us with guilt, thereby calling us back to Him. Yet some of us fight this internal reminder by using our tongues to defend our wrong, hoping to quiet the guilt and convince ourselves that we are right.

Then Allah uses the tongues of others, thereby calling us back to Him. Yet some of us fight this external reminder by using the same arguments we used to quiet our guilt—or by pointing out the faults of the one who is speaking. “They’re being judgmental!” we say. “They have no wisdom or compassion!” We then arrogantly return to wrong, justifying our sin because of the faults we see in those who heeded the advice of their Lord, “And remind, for verily the reminder benefits the believers” (51:55).
Yet Allah continues to call us back to Him, as our hearts are continuously afflicted with guilt, and the tongues of others continuously remind us of our wrongs. Yet so many of us relentlessly fight the internal and external reminders…until our hearts become deaf to both.

Then Allah afflicts us with the harshest lesson—that of life itself—sending into our lives the storms of suffering in response to our sins. And only then, for so many of us, do our hearts hear for the first time Allah’s call. But even in this, there is mercy.

For surely, those who ignore the mercy of Allah—manifested in the internal and external reminders of guilt, others’ words, and the storms of life—have only Allah Himself as their teacher, when He calls them back to Him one final time.’


—from the journal of Umm Zakiyyah

Death – A Reminder


 

death

“She is no more…” I kept visualizing the words again and again, felt my heartbeat thundering in my ears while my mind refused to accept the fact – the fact that it was true. She was no more and had passed away to the next world!

She was my close friend, a dear school mate, a loving friendly soul – may Allah forgive her and bless her with the highest levels of Paradise. The news of her death that I had received as a text message two years ago still lies fresh in my mind and my eyes well up every time I remember that night. I think about all her qualifications, her accomplishments in life, her dreams and aims and I wonder about her last thoughts. What had it been, just before she breathed her last. I wonder like always, did she know it would be this sudden?

Death is always a bitter realization, a huge reminder and a recurring scary thought: ‘how long before I am the one lying lifeless being washed, shrouded and buried by others?’  Allah says in His Glorious Book: “Every soul will taste death, and you will only be given your [full] compensation on the Day of Resurrection. So he who is drawn away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise, he indeed is successful. And what is the life of this world except the enjoyment of delusion. (Al Qur’an 3:185)

The skins shiver and the eyes become moist when the beautiful words of Allah sink in. Actually, this is what life is all about. We have been created for a purpose and our time on this earth is limited. Striving and competing to do all that Allah has commanded,  avoiding all that He has forbidden and hastening to Him with our record full of good deeds has to be our major goal in life. All of us, regardless of the religion we follow, know and accept that this life is temporary. It will someday come to an end for us and an end for humanity altogether. But in Islam we are taught to believe in the life after death, the life of the Hereafter, which is eternal. Wise is the one who prepares for the eternal life rather than losing himself in materialistic, worldly desires.

Most of us know but tend to ignore the fact that age, status, nationalities, ambitions, plans and promises all lose color when death stands there glaring at our faces. There certainly are no second chances, no turning back and no last good byes! But how many of us take heed of these frequent heart wrenching, soul shattering reminders that our loved ones leave behind? How many of us prepare for that last moment leaving petty worldly desires aside? How many of us thank the Creator for all the breaths we take, how many of us turn to Him sincerely by submitting to His commands, by taking care of His rights, His servants’ rights, how many fear the sudden end.., the final meeting with Him?

Allah has made it clear in the Qur’an that the experience of the worldly life is almost nothing compared to the Hereafter. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “What is the example of this worldly life in comparison to the Hereafter other than one of you dipping his finger in the sea? Let him contemplate what his finger will come back with.” (Sahih Muslim)

When we dip our finger into the sea, the little bit of water we pull out of it, i.e., the wetness which dries up in a while, is almost nothing compared to the entire sea. In the same way, the temporary life of this world is practically nothing compared to that of the Hereafter. The reality is that the Hereafter is the true life and this world is only a means to prepare us for the eternal life after death. The path we choose to follow in this world and the actions we do determine our fate in the life after death. Allah has told us in the Qur’an about the people who will realize on the Day of Resurrection that the Hereafter is the true life, and they will be filled with remorse because they did not perform many good deeds for their eternal life. Allah says: “He (Man) will say, “Oh, I wish I had sent ahead [some good] for my life.” (Al Qur’an 89:24)

Let’s take a moment and reflect on this verse; do the worldly tests and worries really matter when we know the result of this major test is drawing close? Would we still delay repenting for the sins we think are trivial? Would we still hesitate to turn to the Qur’an, read, recite, learn and practice it as it should be practiced? Would we still hold on to those riyals, dollars and pounds rather than giving them away to those in need or for the spread of our religion? Would we still let our egos stop us from being the first ones to forgive our loved ones’ mistakes and be kind to them for the sake of the Most Merciful?

Ibn Umar said: Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) took me by my shoulder and said: “Be in this life as if you were a stranger or a traveler on a path and If you reach the evening then do not expect to reach the morning, and if you reach the morning then do not expect to reach the evening. Take from your health before your sickness, and from your life before your death.” (Sahih Bukhari)

The death of my beloved friend and of all those dear to me has made me realize that while their time on this earth is over, I still continue to live and breathe; I still have all those opportunities to do good deeds with Ikhlas (sincerity), stay away from sins and draw closer to Allah – the opportunities that they would never get again. While they rest in their graves I continue to live on with my loved ones, continue to have chances of loving them, being kinder and more loyal to them.

This life is too short to carry on worrying about what is and what could have been. No doubt, we will face tests and trials of all sorts until we reach our graves, but let’s make sure that they don’t deter us from our aim to be of the best of believers – the kind of believers who let the tests and reminders make them grow stronger in faith, increase in empathy towards fellow believers and persevere in patience, humble gratitude and submissiveness to the Most High for all that He has blessed them with.

Allah says: “Whatever you have will end, but what Allah has is lasting. And We will surely give those who were patient their reward according to the best of what they used to do. Whoever does righteousness, whether male or female, while he is a believer – We will surely cause him to live a good life, and We will surely give them their reward [in the Hereafter] according to the best of what they used to do.” (Al Qur’an 16:96-97)

 -Written by Mariam Anwer

Originally Published in Arab News in January 2016

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Allah uses him and sweetens him…


marty sujood

This noble man died in his prostration & next to him lies a copy of the Qur’an when a bomb was launched on his home in Syria. We should realize that if Allah intends good upon someone, He grants him a good ending. This is not sad…this is beautiful. May Allah accept the martyrs in #Syria and grant us all the most blessed khatima (ending). #Aameen :’)

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Anas ibn Maalik (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When Allaah wills good for His slave, He uses him.”

They said, “How does He use him?” He said, “He guides him to do good deeds before he dies.”

[Narrated by Imam Ahmad, 11625; al-Tirmidhi, 2142; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, 1334]

The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When Allaah wills good for His slave, He sweetens him.” He was asked, “What is this sweetening?” He said, “Allaah guides him to do righteous deeds before he dies, then He takes (his soul) whilst he is in that state.”

[Narrated by Ahmad, 17330; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, 1114]

Are you Ready?


If you died right now, at this moment; would you be ready for the grave and then judgement? Are you content and pleased with your Islam, Qur’an recitation, manners, hijab and deeds?

I’m not!  May Allah make us better and more serious about being better!

The real question is what are we going to do to improve? Reading this and feeling bad is not the way to fix it. We have to take some serious steps!
May Allah make it as easy for us to read His Book, read, memorize, practice and act on it as it is for us to be on the internet! Ameen!

-Holly Garza-