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Funerals and Islam

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Funerals and Islam

12-1-00
Salaams, Ramadan Mubarak. Welcome to the Muslimsworldwide newsletter.
For all of you who join me today, the article entitled Funerals and
Islam was written by Dr Arafat K. El-Ashi, the site
(http://www.almuslim.org/articles/l_main.htm). The two articles that
are posted today were retrieved from that very site. It offers many
thoughts on Islam and provides supported information by citing the
Qur'an at times, citing the Bible or both for that more. If
interested, browse through the many articles.
Allah Hafiz
May Allah be with you every step of the way...
M. Editor

Funerals in Islam

Salaams,
Allah (S.W.T) says in the Quran:

"Whatever is on it (the earth) will perish" (26-55)
So glory to the living God who will never perish. Death will enter
every house, because death is an inevitable fact. Thus each Muslim
who believes in Allah and the last day has to prepare for the day of
departure and to meet his end. For indeed this worldly life is
nothing but a transit station leading to eternity, either to the
everlasting pleasure of Allah, to eternal life in Paradise or to the
scorching Hell fire. O Allah, we don't ask you to reverse the decree
but to shower us with your gentleness in passing it. O Allah! If you
keep us alive, keep us with faith, and if you cause us to die, make
us die in Islam.
We deal with this topic, death, although it is both painful and
fearful, but it is true and we have to believe in it as the truth;
this is part of our deep faith in Allah the Almighty and so we have
to be ready to leave on a day when eyesights will be dazzled due to
terror, a day when neither wealth nor children will avail anyone,
except those who go to Allah (S.W.T) with a sound heart.
Prophet Muhammad p.b.u.h. clarified to us that one of the rights of
every Muslim, which is also a duty of all Muslims, is to follow
funerals. Let us start from the moment when death approaches a person
whose soul is about to leave his body. It is the duty of attending
Muslims to encourage the dying one to say La ilaha illa Allah, as our
beloved Messenger p.b.u.h. teaches us in the following tradition: On
the authority of Abu Said al Khudry may Allah be pleased with him,
who said: the Messenger of Allah p.b.u.h. said: teach your dying ones
La ilaha illa Allah. Reported by Muslim.
"La ilaha illa Allah", Glory be to the Most High. This statement
leads to Paradise as it is the slogan of Islam; upon it we live and
upon it we die, and with it we meet Allah, Lord of the Worlds. This
is why Muath ibn Jabal may Allah (S.W.T) be pleased with him said:
The Messenger of Allah p.b.u.h. said: He whose last words are La
ilaha illa Allah will enter Paradise.
Dear Muslims:
If you attend a dying Muslim who is one of your relatives or friends
then say only what is good and appeal to Allah to support you in your
misfortune and to compensate you with what is better, because angels
confirm what you say with amen meaning Oh Allah please accept. All of
us will return to Allah one day. So the dying ones are only our
predecessors and we shall follow them.
The Prophet p.b.u.h guides us to receive the occasion of death with
good faith and to say the best words. This is clear in the following
tradition reported by Ummu Salamah R.A.A. who said: I heard the
Messenger of Allah p.b.u.h saying: Every slave (of Allah) who suffers
from a misfortune and says we belong to Allah, and unto Him we shall
return. Oh Allah! Reward me in my misfortune and compensate me with
what is better than it, Allah will surely reward and protect him and
will grant him better than it. So, when Abu Salamah died I said what
the Messenger of Allah p.b.u.h commanded me to say, and thus Allah
compensated me with one better than him i.e. The Messenger of Allah
p.b.u.h.
As for him who loses a dear one and thanks Allah (S.W.T) and
says, "We belong to Allah, and unto Him we will return" and seeks the
reward of Allah (S.W.T) and asks Allah (S.W.T) to grant him patience
and firmness then Allah (S.W.T) will grant him Paradise as a reward
for his patience. Abu Musa R.A.A., confirms this. Reporting the
Messenger of Allah p.b.u.h who said: When the son or daughter of a
slave of God dies Allah says to His angels: You have taken the life
of my slave's child. They will say: yes. He will say: You have
restored the fruit of his heart, they will say: Yes. He will ask:
what did my slave say? They will say: He praised you and said, "Unto
Allah we belong, and unto Him we will return". Then Allah (S.W.T)
will say: Establish for my slave a house in Paradise and call it the
house of praise. Reported by Al-Tirmithy.
As for performing the funeral prayer on the dead Muslim and escorting
him to his grave, all this becomes a bound duty on other Muslims; for
here is an abundant reward from Allah (S.W.T). This is clear from the
tradition reported by Abu Hurairah RAA who quoted the Prophet p.b.u.h
who said: whoever witnesses a funeral until the prayer is performed
for it, he will have a carat worth of reward, and he who witnesses it
until it is buried will have the equivalent of two carats. When he
was asked about the carats the Prophet p.b.u.h said: like the two
great mountains. Agreed upon.
In another similar tradition, also reported by Abu Hurairah, the
Messenger of Allah p.b.u.h. said: whoever follows a funeral of a
Muslim in good faith seeking God's reward and stays with it until it
is prayed upon and is buried, will return with a reward of two
carats, each carat is equal to the mount of Uhud, and he who prays
upon it and returns before it is buried will return with one carat.
Reported by Al Bukhari.
As for the method of the funeral prayer it is recommended to perform
it by a large number of righteous worshippers who do not associate
anything with Allah (S.W.T), so that they may intercede for their
deceased brother or sister or son, thus Allah (S.W.T) would accept it
from them and grant their intercession. This is confirmed by the
following tradition of the Messenger of Allah who said: No Muslim
person dies and forty people who do not associate any partner with
Allah attend his funeral but Allah will grant them intercession for
him.
The funeral prayer has a number of conditions and pillars, which
should be applied and never neglected or abandoned. .For many among
us do not know how to perform funeral prayer, which we shall briefly
mention in the following: First: Everyone performing it should have
ablution like any other prayer; Second: It is a congregational prayer
without any bowing or prostration. Every one should say four times
Allahu Akbar after the imam. After the first one he should recite the
Opening chapter of the Quran. After the second "Takbir" he should
recite the second half of Ibrahim's prayer (always said toward the
end of each prayer). After the third Takbir he should pray for the
dead one as well as Muslims the following supplication or what is
similar to it. This is reported from the Prophet p.b.u.h. quoted by
Abu Abdirahman ibn 'Awf ibn Malek R.A.A. who said: The Messenger of
Allah p.b.u.h. prayed on a funeral and I memorized from his
supplication the following: O Allah. Forgive him and have mercy on
him. Relieve him of all evils and pardon him, honor his status, and
expand his entrance, wash him with water, ice, and hail, and purify
him of sins as You purify a white garment of filth. Grant him an
abode better than his abode, a family better than his family, a
spouse better than his spouse, and let him enter Paradise and protect
him from the torment of the grave and the punishment of
Hell. "Hearing this. I wished I had been that dead person", said the
narrator. Reported by Muslim.
The worshipper then makes the forth Takbir and prays for all Muslims.
One of the best supplications is the following: O Allah. Don't
deprive us of his reward, don't exercise any trial on us after him,
and forgive us and him. There are many traditions in this context but
it is recommended to make a lengthy prayer for the dead one seeking
God's forgiveness for him as well as for all dead and alive Muslims.
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www.islamnet.net
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http://www.al-muslim.org/articles/l_main.htm





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