Discussion on Twitter
Feb 23, 2013
1. LIFE AFTER DEATH
Could you please explain what happens to believers and non-believers when they die?
Death is a stage which occurs when the spirit departs from the body to make it lifeless. As Muslims, we believe in the resurrection when the body and the spirit will be reunited in the hereafter. This life is a stage for action, but the life to come after the resurrection is a stage of reward. Human beings will either be in pure happiness or in total misery. It is part of the basic Islamic beliefs that after resurrection, we will account for our deeds and we will be judged accordingly. Those on whom Allah bestows His mercy will be in heaven, while those who are denied it will abide in hell, the place of absolute misery.
It is also clearly stated by the Prophet that the deeds of even the best person will not be enough to send him to heaven without Allah’s grace. Allah’s grace is guaranteed by none other than Allah Himself to those who believe in Him and do well in their lives. However, the time between a person’s death and resurrection is an intermediate stage of life of “barzakh”, which means intermediate stage. Relying on authentic Hadiths, scholars mention that angels are sent to people in their graves to question them about their beliefs.
In a Hadith related by Imam Ahmad, the Prophet tells us that when a believer is buried, his prayers sit over his head, fasting to his right, zakah to his left and other good deeds are positioned below his feet. Each prevents any harm from coming to him from that direction. He is then sat up and asked about his view of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
A believer will say: “Muhammad (peace be upon him), I believe that he was Allah’s messenger who came with the message of the truth from Allah.” He is then reassured of his fate by the questioning angels and his place is pointed out to him. A wide expanse is opened to him in his grave and he is given light. His body is then returned to its state”.
The Hadith mentions the opposite of all this in the case of a non-believer. At the end, we are told that his grave is made too narrow for him that his ribs almost crack. That is the hard life mentioned in the Qur’an. All this applies to people who are buried, cremated, drowned or eaten up by wild beasts. It is easy for Allah to resurrect these in the same way as He resurrects those who are buried.
In the grave each person is shown where he will be when raised again as per following hadith.
Ibn Umar reported that Allaah’s Prophet (SAW) said: When a person dies, he is shown his seat morning and evening. If he is one amongst the inmates of Paradise (he is shown his seat) in Paradise and if he is one amongst the denizens of Hell-Fire (he is shown his seat) in the Hell-Fire. Then it is said to him: That is your seat where you would be sent on the Day of Resurrection. (Muslim 6858).
According to al-Muwatta of Imaam Maalik and as-Sunaan, Abu Dawood, “Ka’b ibn Maalik said the Messenger of Allah (saw) said, “Verily the soul of the believer is a bird hanging on to the trees of Paradise, until Allah Swt returns it to its body on the day of Resurrection”
2. DEATH: ABILITY TO HEAR THE LIVING HUMAN
Does the dead person hear what the Molaqin Tell?
The issue of the dead people’s ability to hear the living human beings is a matter of difference of opinions among Muslim scholars. Here is a summary of the opposite sides:
The majority of the scholars from the Hanafi School of Thought argue that the dead people do not have the ability to hear. They base their opinion on the Quran in Surah ar-Rum (30) verse 52 and Surah Fatir (35) verse 22. Thats why, they don’t believe in giving Talqeen (or certain dictation and instruction) to the deceased person.
Other Muslim scholars argue that deceased people in general are able to hear. They base their opinions on the Hadiths narrated in Bukhari and Muslim, the meaning of which is that after the victory of the Muslims over the non-believers in the battle of Badr, prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) shouted at some of the deceased people who were thrown in a well. At this moment, the companions of the prophet asked him how he talks to bodies who have no souls, he replied to them that they (the deceased) can hear him as much as the companions can hear him, but they are simply not able to respond. Since this statement apparently contradicts with the Quranic verses we mentioned previously, the scholars who argue that the deceased do have the ability to hear, state that Allah means in the previously stated verses that the prophet should not talk to the deceased unless Allah wishes him to do so, or that the prophet should not talk to them something beneficial.
On the other side of the issue, the scholars who argue that the deceased cannot hear argue that the event in Badr that occurred with the prophet (peace be upon him) did happen but it was an exception to the rule, and specific to the ability of the prophet himself and not to the public. The conclusion is: the deceased are usually able to hear when Allah wishes them to hear what He wants them to hear. Since He is All Powerful, he can create this ability in their bodies. Thank you for asking and God knows best.
3. DEATH: VARIOUS TRADITIONS THAT FOLLOWS
In our part of the world, when a person dies, particularly in old age, his family follows a number of traditions such as bring a number of people from a local Qur’anic school to read the Qur’an near his grave. They take turns in order to maintain a 24 hour Qur’anic recitation until the following Friday. The deceased’s family believes that by so doing, they prevent the angels from questioning their relatives in the grave until Friday when Allah forgives him.
How is to celebrate Teeja (Third Day), Saatiwan (Sevent Day), Daswan (Tehnth Day), Chaleeswan (Fortieth Day) and Barsi (One year) for the dead.
The reciters are well catered for with food and drink and clothes, and given some money at the end of their task. Other duties are also fulfilled at particular intervals, such as the third, tenth and fortieth days of the death of the person concerned. If the deceased has some married sons, their fathers-in-law are duty bound to bring clothes to all member of the deceased person’s family. Every Thursday and on anniversaries of the death of the person concerned, his more dutiful children serve food to a number of poor people who are called in to recite the Qur’an on his behalf. Could you please comment on these traditions?
I have given a detailed answer on what actions may be of benefit to a deceased person, when performed by his relatives. I said that Allah may well credit to the deceased person the reward of any sadaqah or charitable donation or recitation of the Qur’an or pilgrimage made on his behalf. Allah also answers any supplication by living people to forgive the dead person and bestow His mercy on him. However, all that should be spontaneous, done with sincerity of purpose and purity of intention. It must have the right motivation and the proper method of Islamic worship. Thus, to gather students or teachers of the local Qur’anic school to recite the Qur’an for the deceased and then to reward them financially is not acceptable.
Celebrating Teeja (Third Day), Saatiwan (Seventh Day), Daswan (Tenth Day), Chaleeswan (Fortieth Day) and Barsi (One year) for the dead are all innovations and nothing such was ever done for prophet, Sahabas, Tabaeen and Taba Tabaeen. People should neither celebrate nor attend such innovations. And Allah knows the best.
To imagine that people can prevent the angels from accomplishing a task Allah has assigned to them is totally mistaken. To give financial reward to a person in return for his recitation of the Qur’an for any purpose is not permissible. Indeed it is forbidden to both the reciter and the one who employs him to do so. The reciter may not receive wages for his recitation and the other person commits an offense by hiring him for that purpose. Having weekly, monthly or 40-day or yearly anniversaries, when you perform certain tasks, is also an innovation. Although the tasks performed are aspects of Islamic worship, it is not permissible to institutionalize them in the way they have been in your area.
As you realize, these traditions place a financial burden on relatives, but they do not earn them any reward in return. It is far better for the relatives of a deceased person to pray Allah to forgive him as often as they wish, without conforming to any social traditions associating such an action with a passage of so many days or years after his death. All these habits you have mentioned are totally unacceptable and completely un-Islamic.
4. DEATH AND THE SPIRIT
What sort of pain is associated with death, how does it start and how long does it last? Will the angels of death be visible to us and do they show us the place to which we will be taken? Is it necessary to recite the “kalimah” to a dying person? Why do we apply honey to his lips? Does the spirit hear or see people after a person has died? Does it feel pain if the body is moved or touched? Does the pain vary from one person to another?
As you are aware, man is made of the combination of spirit and body. As long as they are united, he is alive. Once the spirit departs from the body, that human being dies. What causes this separation is Allah’s will, since He has given each one of us a specific life duration, at the end of which we die. It is to be expected that the departure of the spirit from the body may be associated with pain which is different from the pain one experiences during an illness. No one, however, can describe this pain, since those who die do not return to this life. We have a Hadith from which we infer that the experience of this separation varies according to whether or not the dying person is a believer.
Abu Hurairah quotes the Prophet as saying: “When a believer is about to die, the angels come to him with a white sheet of silk and say: Come out, good soul, well pleased and well pleasing to a world of mercy and roses and to meet a Lord who is not displeased. It comes out with an odor which is more pleasant than musk. The angels hand him over one to the other until they get him to the door of heaven where its angels say: What a pleasant smell has come to you from earth. They bring him over to meet the spirits of believers who are more joyful to meet him than any one of you when he meets a dear relative who has come back after a long absence. When a disbeliever is about to die, the angels who administer torture come to him with rugs and say: Come out, you spirit, displeased to receive divine punishment. It comes out smelling like a most rotten corpse and they take it to the earth gate where the angels say: What a rotten soul. Then they throw him with the spirits of disbelievers”. Related by Al Nassaie, and by Muslim in an abridged form.
Let me point out, however, that suffering extreme anguish at the time of death is not indicative of any judgment on the person concerned. It must never be assumed that a person who dies a very calm and peaceful death is in a position of favor, or that a person who suffers much anguish is in a position of disfavor. The Prophet himself endured much pain at the time of his death. This has made Lady Aisha say: “I do not envy anyone a peaceful death after having seen what God’s Messenger has endured”(Related by Al Bukhari).
We certainly try to get a dying person to say the “kalimah”, or repeat the declaration that he or she believes in the Oneness of Allah and in the message of Muhammad (peace be upon him). As for putting honey on the lips of a dying person, this is something that I know nothing of. As for the rest of your questions, I think the best answer is to quote you this authentic Hadith:
“Anas quotes the Prophet as saying: “When a deceased person is placed in his grave and his relatives and friends leave, he hears the sound of their shoes. Two angels come to him and sit him up and question him. They ask him: What was your view of this man, Muhammad? If the person was a believer, he would say: I bear witness that he is Allah’s servant and Messenger. They say to him: Look at your position which you would have had in hell, Allah has replaced it for you with a position in heaven. He sees both positions.
When a disbeliever or a hypocrite is asked what used to be his view of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), he would answer: I do not know. I used to say what other people said. The two angels say to him: May you never know and never tell. He is then struck with an iron hammer in between his ears. He makes a cry which is heard by all creatures with the exception of human beings and jinn.” (Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim) As for the question whether a deceased person feels pain, the answer is that the body loses its senses after the spirit departs.
5. HUMANS AFTER DEATH
After death, until Yaum Al-Qiyama, are the human beings reborn in any other form?
Answer: Praise be to Allah.
When the son of Adam dies, his body disintegrates and vanishes apart from the tailbone, which is a bone at the base of the spine. When the Resurrection begins, Allah will cause the bodies to grow by means of rain from the earth which will make these bones grow until each person’s body is restored to the way it was before he died.
It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, ‘What is between the two Trumpet-blasts will be forty.’ Somebody asked, ‘Forty days?’ But I could not answer. Then he asked, ‘Forty months?’ But I could not answer. Then he asked, ‘Forty years?’ But I could not answer.” Abu Hurayrah added, “Then (after this period) Allah will send water from the sky and then the dead bodies will grow like vegetation grows. There is nothing of the human body that does not decay except one bone; that is the little bone at the end of the coccyx from which the human body will be recreated on the Day of Resurrection.”
(Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 4651; Muslim, 2955).
“The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, ‘What is between the two Trumpet-blasts will be forty.’ Somebody asked, ‘Forty days?’ But I could not answer…” What is meant is that he refused to specify whether it would be forty days, or years, or months. Rather what he was sure of was that it would be just forty. It is explained in another report narrated by someone other than Muslim, which says that it will be forty years.
The phrase “the little bone at the end of the coccyx” refers to the small bone at the base of the spine, which is the end of the coccyx. This is the first part of a person that is created, and it is what will be left of him so that he will be created anew from it.
Sharh Muslim, 18/92
When a person comes forth from his grave and is gathered and brought to account, his body will remain the same as it was before he died. Then when the people of Paradise enter Paradise and the people of Hell enter Hell, Allah will change their forms.
Description of the people of Hell:
It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The distance between the shoulders of the kaafir [in Hell] will be that of three days’ swift travelling.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 6186; Muslim, 2852).
It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The molar of the kaafir – or the eyetooth of the kaafir – will be like Uhud, and his skin will be as thick as three days’ travelling.” (Narrated by Muslim, 2851).
Description of the people of Paradise:
It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The first group to enter Paradise will look like the moon when it is full; then those who follow them will look like the brightest star in the sky. They will not urinate or defecate, spit or blow their noses. Their combs will be of gold, their sweat will be musk, their incense burners will be of aloes-wood. Their wives will be al-hoor al-‘iyn and they will all look alike, like their father Adam, sixty cubits tall.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 3149; Muslim, 2834)
It was narrated from Mu’aadh ibn Jabal that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The people of Paradise will enter Paradise hairless and beardless, with kohl-rimmed eyes, all thirty or thirty-three years old.” (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2545).
This hadeeth was classed as saheeh by Shaykh al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 8072.
6. RULING. ONE WHO DIED WITHOUT REGULARLY PRAYING
What is the ruling concerning a person who died and he did not pray, although his parents were Muslims? How should he be dealt with concerning the washing of his body, shrouding, prayer, burial, supplications and asking for mercy upon him?
Any sane adult person who dies and does not pray, given that he knows the Islamic ruling about prayer, is a disbeliever. He is not to be washed nor should he be prayed over. He is not to be buried in the Muslim cemetery. His Muslim relatives do not inherit from him. In fact, his wealth is to be given to the state treasury according to the strongest opinion among the scholars. This is based on the authentic hadith in which the Prophet (peace be upon him) said,
“Between a person and kufr (disbelief) and shirk (associating partners with Allah) is the abandonment of the prayer.”
This was recorded by Imam Muslim in his Sahih. The Prophet (peace be upon him) also said,
“The covenant dividing us and them is the prayer. Whoever abandons it has committed kufr (apostasy).”
This was recorded by Ahmad and the Compilers of the Sunan with an authentic chain from the Hadith of Buraidah. Abdullah ibn Shaqeeq al-Aqeely, one of the Noble Followers, stated, “The Companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) did not consider the abandonment of any act as kufr except the [abandonment of] prayer.” There are many Ahadith and reports with that meaning. This is concerning the one who does not pray out of laziness. The one who refuses to accept it as being obligatory is an apostatizing disbeliever according to all of the scholars of Islam. We ask Allah to make the affairs of the Muslims good and lead them to follow the Straight Path. He is the All-Hearing, the Responder.
Shaikh ibn Baz
The above ruling is of Ahle-Hadith, however other school of thought think that if somebody has accepted by heart and said Kalima Tayyaba (La Illaha Illahah, Mohammad ur Rasollullah”, then he/she is Muslim but has earned sin of not praying.
Having said that, we must add that if a person denies the obligation to pray, or fast, or pay Zakah, or make Hajj, then he goes out of the fold of Islam. However, that is different from someone who simply refuses to pray out of laziness; he will be still considered a Muslim if he does not deny the obligation of prayer
Thus a Muslim cannot be labeled a disbeliever or kafir unless he totally denies the obligation of prayer. However, if a Muslim abandons prayer out of laziness, he is not considered a kafir according to the majority of Muslim scholars, but rather a sinner.
Excerpted, with slight modifications, from:
The Prophet (peace be on him) considered a Muslim’s fighting another Muslim to be a door to unbelief and a deed pertaining to pre-Islamic jahiliyyah, during which people used to wage wars and shed blood over a camel or a horse. He said, “Insulting the Muslim is wickedness and fighting him is unbelief.” (Reported by al-Bukhari and Muslim.) “Do not become unbelievers after I pass away, killing one another.” (Reported by al-Bukhari and Muslim.)
He further said, ‘When two Muslims draw weapons against each other, they are at the brink of Hell. If one of them kills the other, they both enter it together.’ Someone asked, ‘O Messenger of Allah, this one the murderer, but what was the fault of the murdered?’ He replied, ‘He was eager to kill the other’ (Reported by al-Bukhari and Muslim.)
Because of this the Prophet (peace be on him) forbade any act which might lead to murder or to a fight, even pointing a weapon, saying, “None of you should point a weapon at his brother. Perhaps Satan may make his hand slip and then he will fall into the pit of Fire”. (Reported by al-Bukhari)
He also said, “If anyone points a piece of iron at his brother, the angels curse him until he stops doing it, even if he is his real brother” (Reported by Muslim)
He even went so far as to say, “It is not permissible for the Muslim to frighten his brother.” (Reported by Abu Daoud as well as by al-Tabarani on reliable authority.)
The sin of murder is not limited to the murderer alone. Each individual who participated in this crime, by deed, or by word, will be the recipient of Allah’s punishment in proportion to his share in it; even a person who happened to be at the scene of the murder will receive a share of the sin. A hadith states, “None of you should remain in a place where a man is being killed unjustly, for the curse (of Allah) descends on anyone who was present and did not defend him”. (Reported by al-Tabarani and by al-Bayhaqi on good authority.)
Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: http://www.witness-pioneer.org/
8. DEATH: PREDETERMINED BY ALLAH
Can we say that those who died in communal riots met their death as predetermined by Allah? If not, why?
Of course these deaths have been predetermined by Allah. Indeed, every death is so predetermined. How else can you describe a man’s death in car accident, or by drowning, or in a fire? I feel that the word “predetermined” does not seem to carry its proper sense to you. When we say that a death is predetermined, it does not mean that Allah has caused the events leading to it. Allah does not cause the car accident which kills a driver. Indeed, one of the two drivers causes the accident by making a serious mistake. The death of anyone who is killed, as a result, is predetermined by Allah in the sense that He has willed that those people die at the particular moment.
Every person’s life-span is determined by Allah, when he is still a fetus in his mother’s belly. Allah also knows how every person is to meet his or her death. He does not, however, intervene to cause an accident, fire or a disturbance. It is people who do that and their actions lead to their natural results. Allah has set natural phenomena in operation. He has made fire burn almost all types of objects. He has enabled water to drown a person who swallows it and does not swim. When a person is burned, Allah does not cause his burning, except in the sense that He has given the fire the quality of burning. He does not pick a person up and throw him in the fire to cause his death. When that person happens to be in the midst of fire, he is burnt. Allah has determined his life-span and has known the cause of his death.
Our Dialogue (Source : Arab News – Jeddah )
What is al-waneesah? What is the ruling on it and what is the reward for it?
Answer: Praise be to Allah.
When we were asked about al-waneesah we were told that it means staying overnight at the grave on the first night after the burial, to give comfort to the deceased, as they claim. This is a kind of reprehensible innovation (bid’ah) which has no basis in the actions of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) or of his companions. If it were something good they would have done it before us. Because no such thing has been narrated to us from them, even though so many people died during their lifetime, it may be understood that there is nothing good in this practice.
The basic principle concerning acts of worship is to follow only that which is narrated in the Quran and Sunnah, and not to introduce new and innovated forms of worship. Allah can only be worshipped in the manner that He has prescribed in His Book or on the lips of His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).
There is no reward for doing acts of bid’ah, rather they will be rejected and thrown back at the one who does them, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever innovates something in this matter of ours [Islam] that is not part of it, will have it rejected.” Narrated by Al-Bukhari, 2697; Muslim, 1718).
It is also misguidance, as he said: “The worst of matters are those which are newly-innovated. Every innovation is a going astray.” Narrated by Muslim, 867. Al-Nasaa’i (1578) added: “And every going astray will be in the Fire.”
There is the fear that fitnah (trials, afflictions) will befall the person who practices this innovation, as Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And let those who oppose the Messenger’s (Muhammad’s) commandment (i.e. his Sunnah legal ways, orders, acts of worship, statements) (among the sects) beware, lest some Fitnah (disbelief, trials, afflictions, earthquakes, killing, overpowered by a tyrant) should befall them or a painful torment be inflicted on them” (An-Noor 24:63)
Ibn Katheer (may Allah have mercy on him) said in his commentary: “Let those who go against the command of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), which is his way, his path, his Sunnah and his sharee’ah, beware, Words and deeds will be weighed against his words and deeds; whatever is in accordance with them will be accepted, and whatever goes against them will be rejected and thrown back at the one who says or does them, no matter who he is, as it was proven inal-Saheehayn and elsewhere that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: ‘Whoever does an action that is not part of this matter of ours [Islam] will have it rejected.’
And Allah knows best.
Excerpted, with some modifications, from: http://islamqa.com/
10. QUESTIONING AFTER DEATH FOR CREMATED & DROWNED ETC
It is authentically reported that when a person is buried after death, angels come to question him about his faith. How does this occur if the deceased has been cremated, drowned or fed to the vultures?
You seem to accept that a person who is dead and buried may be asked by angels and he may answer them. Perhaps you find it easy to imagine the possibility of the deceased person’s spirit being returned to his body to face this questioning. But can anyone tell us how this happens? If you think about it very carefully, you will inevitably end up saying that it is something Allah does, and it is easy for Him, because He is able to accomplish His purpose, whatever it is.
Fine, the same applies to a person whose body is cremated, drowned, eaten up by wild beasts or birds of prey. Why should it be any different? It is easy for Allah to reassemble that person and give him his spirit back to answer questions, if a return of the spirit is necessary for the purpose. The simple answer is that we do not know how all this happens. It is a matter about which Allah has chosen not to give us details.
With respect to the questioning of a deceased person who is drowned, eaten or cremated, than if Allah can return soul to a dead normal body, then He can also without any doubt collect all the cells of drowned, eaten or cremated body for questioning. People doubt the same for the day of judgment, but Allah replies in Quran:
“Does man think that We cannot assemble his bones? (3) Yes, We are Able to put together in perfect order the tips of his fingers” (Al-Qiyamah 75:3-4)
The deceased is questioned for his destination just after one’s death (with very little time lapse which nobody knows). His soul place (Illiyoon or Sijjeen), comforts and punishments depends on one’s correct replies. However it should be kept in mind that it is not possible that you memorize its replies and then you will go through the questioning.
Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) explained all this in the lengthy hadeeth of al-Baraa’ ibn ‘Aazib:
“When the believing slave is about to depart this world and enter the Hereafter, there come down to him from heaven angels with white faces like the sun, and they sit around him as far as the eye can see. They bring with them shrouds from Paradise and perfumes from Paradise. Then the Angel of Death comes and sits by his head, and he says, ‘O good soul, come forth to forgiveness from Allah and His pleasure.’ Then it comes out easily like a drop of water from the mouth of a waterskin. When he seizes it, they do not leave it in his hand for an instant before they take it and put it in that shroud with that perfume, and there comes from it a fragrance like the finest musk on the face of the earth. Then they ascend and they do not pass by any group of angels but they say, ‘Who is this good soul?’ and they say, ‘It is So and so the son of So and so, calling him by the best names by which he was known in this world, until they reach the lowest heaven. They ask for it to be opened to them and it is opened, and (the soul) is welcomed and accompanied to the next heaven by those who are closest to Allah, until they reach the seventh heaven. Then Allah says: ‘Record the book of My slave in ‘Illiyoon in the seventh heaven, and return him to the earth, for from it I created them, to it I will return them and from it I will bring them forth once again.’ So his soul is returned to his body and there come to him two angels who make him sit up and they say to him, ‘Who is your Lord?’ He says, ‘Allah.’ They say, ‘What is your religion?’ He says, ‘My religion is Islam.’ They say, ‘Who is this man who was sent among you?’ He says, ‘He is the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).’ They say, ‘What did you do?’ He says, ‘I read the Book of Allah and I believed in it.’ Then a voice calls out from heaven, ‘My slave has spoken the truth, so prepare for him a bed from Paradise and clothe him from Paradise, and open for him a gate to Paradise.’ Then there comes to him some of its fragrance, and his grave is made wide, as far as he can see. Then there comes to him a man with a handsome face and handsome clothes, and a good fragrance, who says, ‘Receive the glad tidings that will bring you joy this day.’ He says, ‘Who are you? Your face is a face which brings glad tidings.’ He says, ‘I am your righteous deeds.’ He says, ‘O Lord, hasten the Hour so that I may return to my family and my wealth.’”
And he said:
“But when the disbelieving slave is about to depart this world and enter the Hereafter, there come down to him from heaven angels with black faces, bringing sackcloth, and they sit around him as far as the eye can see. Then the Angel of Death comes and sits by his head, and he says, ‘O evil soul, come forth to the wrath of Allah and His anger.’ Then his soul disperses inside his body, then comes out cutting the veins and nerves, like a skewer passing through wet wool. When he seizes it, they do not leave it in his hand for an instant before they take it and put it in that sackcloth, and there comes from it a stench like the foulest stench of a dead body on the face of the earth. Then they ascend and they do not pass by any group of angels but they say, ‘Who is this evil soul?’ and they say, ‘It is So and so the son of So and so, calling him by the worst names by which he was known in this world, until they reach the lowest heaven. They ask for it to be opened to them and it is not opened.” Then the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) recited (interpretation of the meaning):
“….for them the gates of heaven will not be opened, and they will not enter Paradise until the camel goes through the eye of the needle….” (Al-A’raaf 7:40)
He said: “Then Allah says, ‘Record the book of My slave in Sijjeen in the lowest earth, and return him to the earth, for from it I created them, to it I will return them and from it I will bring them forth once again.’ So his soul is cast down.” Then the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) recited the verse (interpretation of the meaning):
“…. and whoever assigns partners to Allah, it is as if he had fallen from the sky, and the birds had snatched him, or the wind had thrown him to a far off place” (Al-Hajj 22:31)
He said: “Then his soul is returned to his body, and there come to him two angels who make him sit up and they say to him, ‘Who is your Lord?’ He says, ‘Oh, oh, I don’t know.’ They say, ‘What is your religion?’ He says, ‘Oh, oh, I don’t know.’ Then a voice calls out from heaven, ‘Prepare for him a bed from Hell and clothe him from Hell, and open for him a gate to Hell.’ Then there comes to him some of its heat and hot winds, and his grave is constricted and compresses him until his ribs interlock. Then there comes to him a man with an ugly face and ugly clothes, and a foul stench, who says, ‘Receive the bad news, this is the day that you were promised.’ He says, ‘Who are you? Your face is a face which forebodes evil.’ He says, ‘I am your evil deeds.’ He says, ‘O Lord, do not let the Hour come.’”
Narrated by Ahmad, 18557; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, no. 1676
And Allah knows best.
Excerpted, with some modifications, from: http://islamqa.com/
11. QURAN READING QURAN KHWANI FOR DECEASED
What do you think about aisaal-e sawaab or quran khwani? Is it is written in any hadith?
“And those who came (into the faith) after them say: Our Lord Forgive us and our brethren who were before us in the faith, and place not in our hearts any rancor toward those who believe. Our Lord! Thou art Full of Pity, Merciful”. (Al-Hashr 59:10)
Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:
“The Sunnah of the Prophet and his companions, as reported in the sources, is to offer supplications and pray for the deceased. The Qur’an reminds us that we should pray for all the believers who have passed on before us. Besides offering supplications, there is no record in the sources that the Prophet (peace and blessings be on him) and his Companions were in the habit of reading the Qur’an and sending rewards to their loved ones who had passed away.
However, the Prophet was asked on a number of occasions by individuals whether they were allowed to perform Hajj and give charity on behalf of their deceased parents. His answer to such questions always was in the affirmative. In other words, he did not stop people from making Hajj or giving charity on behalf of their deceased parents or relatives.
Scholars who reflected on the above traditions of the Prophet (peace and blessings be on him) posed the question: Does this apply only to Hajj and charity? Or does it extend beyond these to include all acts of devotion and worship such as reading the Qur’an and performing nafl (supererogatory) prayers, etc.?
One group of scholars said it was only limited to Hajj and charity and could not be extended to acts of worship such as prayers and reading of the Qur’an. This view is held by a number of scholars from various accepted schools of jurisprudence. However, another group of scholars, belonging to all of the major schools, said: There is no reason to exclude reading of the Qur’an and prayers from the above permission granted by the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). Accordingly, they are of the opinion that a person is allowed to read the Qur’an and pray to Allah to send the rewards to their deceased parents and relatives. However, this group explicitly prohibits the practice of hiring people to read the Qur’an, or making a ritual of gathering to read the Qur’an on a set date after death. Such a practice would amount to introducing a bid`ah (innovation).
The view that reading the Qur’an and donating the rewards to one’s deceased parents and relatives is permitted has been authenticated by scholars like Ibn Taymiyyah. However, he reminds us that the Sunnah of the Prophet and his companions as limited to offering du`as (supplications) for the deceased ones.”
Shaykh Ibn al-Fowzaan sates:
Gathering the people to read the Qur’an to attain its benefit, gifts or reward to the deceased, (then) there is no evidence for this in this manner, rather, it is an innovation. And from one angle, every innovation is misguidance and from another angle, if the reciters were reciting for money as in the case with many from amongst them, then there is no reward for this as they did not recite the Qur.aan for the Sake of Allah (‘Azza wa Jall), rather, the recitation was for money.
12. CONDOLENCE FOR THE DECEASED
You have mentioned in the past that it is not proper that the relatives of a deceased person stay at a particular house or place for people to come and offer their condolences. In a book on Hadith I have read that when the news of the martyrdom of Zaid ibn Harithah and Jaffer ibn Abu Talib reached Madinah, the Prophet sat in the mosque and grief could be seen in his face. Muhammad Ali commenting on this Hadith says: “To sit in some place so that people may come and express their sympathy with and console the bereaved family, is, therefore, in accordance with the Prophet’s practice.” Please clarify.
The Hadith you have quoted mentions only that the Prophet sat in the mosque, but there is no mention in the Hadith itself that he sat there for the purpose of receiving condolences by his companions. We cannot conclude from that Hadith anything more than the fact that, on receiving the sorry news of the death of his commanders, the Prophet announced that to his companions and made himself available. He sat in the mosque, feeling very sad. It was only natural that his companions, particularly those who were close to him, should come to find out whether he was planning anything to support the Muslim army which suffered a defeat. Again, it is natural that those who arrived in the mosque should offer their condolences to the Prophet.
This is exactly what I have said, that the offering of condolences should be left to the time when we meet the relatives of the deceased [ which may be immediately upon hearing the news of the death].
Had the Prophet encouraged, or even permitted, the organizing of any type of function, or the assembly of the relatives in a particular place for people to come at a particular time to offer their condolences, as happens in many Muslim societies these days, these practices would have been followed each time one of the Muslims in Madinah died. It would have been reported to us, particularly since a good number of the Prophet’s companions died in wars or in time of peace in those ten years when he founded the Muslim state in Madinah.
Muhammad Ali has based his conclusion on this single incident, which does not suggest what he has concluded. May I ask whether this Muhammad Ali is the same as the Quadiani person who has translated the Qur’an? If so, then you should not take what he says because he is not a proper source from which to learn about Islam.
Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News – Jeddah )
13. GIVING CHARITY ON BEHALF OF THE DECEASED
If a person offers a sacrifice on behalf of his deceased father or gives charity on his behalf or prays for him, and visits his grave, will he be aware that it is from his son so-and-so?
Answer: Praise be to Allah.
What is indicated by the Islamic texts is that the deceased benefits from charity given by the living on his behalf, and his prayers for him. Offering a sacrifice on his behalf is a kind of charity, so if the giver is sincere in giving charity on behalf of the deceased and in praying for him, then the deceased will benefit from that, and the one who prays for him or gives charity on his behalf will be rewarded, by the grace and mercy of Allah. It is sufficient for him that Allah knows of his sincerity and good deed, and He will reward both parties. But as for the deceased being aware of the identity of the one who is doing him this favour, there is no shar’i evidence concerning that as far as we know. It is a matter of the unseen, and cannot be known except through revelation from Allah to His Messenger (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him).
And Allah is the source of strength. May Allah sent blessings upon our Prophet Muhammad and his family and Companions. End quote
Standing Committee For Academic Research and Issuing Fatwas
Excerpted, with some modifications, from: http://islamqa.com/en/
14. DEATH: MOURNING
When a member of the family dies, what sort of mourning is allowed?
Is it allowed to cry for someone after they die? If the crying includes wailing, slapping the cheeks and tearing the clothes, is the deceased affected by it?
Different societies have different customs and traditions associated with death in the family. In non-Islamic societies, there are visible signs of mourning which are supposed to convey grief. People, especially women, should wear black for a certain period, according to the degree of their relation with the deceased. Men may wear a black tie, etc. In certain communities, death is marked by loud crying and tearing of clothes, etc. All this is forbidden in Islam. This does not preclude that people may grieve for their deceased and they may express their grief with shedding tears. This sort of crying must not be accompanied by wailing. That is un-Islamic. The maximum period of mourning for a woman is three days, if the deceased is a very close relation to her, but not her husband.
In other words, mourning for a deceased father, son or brother may be only over a period of three days, after that, she must show her acceptance of Allah’s verdict. We have a report of two cases of the Prophet’s wives, Um Habiba and Zainab. The first lost her father, Abu Sufian, and the other lost her brother. After three days, in each case, each of them requested perfume to wear.
Both of them said that they had no desire whatsoever to wear perfume, but they had heard the Prophet saying: “It is not lawful for a woman who believes in Allah and the day of judgement to be in mourning for any deceased person for over three nights, except for her husband when the period of mourning is four months and ten days.” (Sahih Bukhari).
As you realize, this is the length of the waiting period of a widow. During her waiting period, she must not wear make-up.
Among the customs of jahiliyyah which were denounced by Islam was the extreme wailing, lamenting, and showing excessive grief for the dead.
The Believer should receive death, as he receives any other calamity which may befall him, with patience and dignity, repeating the ayah, “To Allah we belong and to Him do we return” (Al-Baqarah 2:156)
The pre-Islamic manner of mourning for the dead is strictly forbidden to the Muslim. The Prophet (peace be on him) declared, ” He who slaps his cheeks, tears his clothes, and cries out in the manner of jahiliyyah is not of us.” (Reported by al-Bukhari.)
The Muslim is not permitted to wear a mourning band, discard his adornment, or change his usual attire to express his sorrow and grief. (The wearing of black as a sign of mourning is prohibited in Islam, even in the case of a widow in mourning for her husband.)
However, a wife must observe a mourning period (‘iddah) of four months and ten days for her deceased husband in loyalty to the sacred ties of marriage; in Islam this period is considered an extension of her previous marriage and she is not allowed to receive any new proposals of marriage during this period. Thus, she is required to refrain from adorning herself during that time both as a sign of mourning and in order to keep the thought of remarriage out of her own mind and that of her potential suitors.
However, if the deceased is someone other than her husband, for example, her father, brother or son, it is haram for her to mourn for more the three days.
The period of mourning for the deceased husband is obligatory and should not be violated. A woman came to the Prophet (peace be on him) and said, “My daughter’s husband has died, and her eye is infected. May she use kohl?” (In addition to being an adornment, kohl also possesses medicinal value for the eye.) The Prophet (peace be on him) said, No, and repeated it twice or thrice. (Reported in the Book of Divorce in al-Bukhari’s Sahih. The narration here is that of Umm Habeebah, and Zainab’s narrative is similar.)
This demonstrates that adorning or beautifying herself during the prescribed period of iddah is prohibited to the widow. As grief and the expression of it are natural, she may mourn and weep but without wailing and shouting. Upon the death of Khalid bin Walleed, ‘Umar heard some women weeping. Some people wanted to stop them from it but ‘Umar said, “Let them weep for Abu Sulayman (the name by which Khalid was called), as long as they do not throw dust on their heads or start crying out.”
Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: http://www.witness-pioneer.org/
Wailing, Slapping, Tearing clothes
Neither lamenting nor wailing is allowed. Tearing clothing, slapping one’s cheeks and similar deeds are also not allowed. It is confirmed in the Sahihs of al-Bukhari and Muslim from ibn Masud that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said,
“Not from us is the one who slaps the cheeks, tears the front opening of the shirt or makes the calls of the Days of Ignorance.”
It is also confirmed that the Prophet (peace be upon him) cursed the wailer and its audience. It is also authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said,“The deceased is punished in his grave due to the wailing over him”
In another narration, it states,“The deceased is punished due to the crying of the family over him.”
The Standing Committee (Saudi Arabia)
Excerpted, with slight modifications, from:
Our Dialogue (Source : Arab News – Jeddah)
15. URS: A DEATH ANNIVERSARY
You have written in the past on the worship of graves and saints. On occasions you have touched on the practice known as Urs in some parts of India (and Pakistan). I am sending you a leaflet inviting people to come to such Urs. I will be grateful for your comments.
Thank you very much for enclosing the leaflet which is published in four languages and which tells of an occasion named “Urs Mubarak” and defined as “death anniversary”. It is one week-long commemoration of someone whose exact name is difficult to identify, because it is mixed with so many titles. He is described as Sultan-Ul-Hind Hazrat Khawajah Moinuddin Hassan Sanjari Chishti Summa Ajmeri Ghareeb Nawaz.
The leaflet calls on the recipients to come over with members of their families. The reason for which a gathering and big occasion which, incidentally, takes all the duties and Sunnahs of pilgrimage is to achieve the fulfillment of people’s “heartfelt desires and cherished wishes.” How is this done? Simply because the said Khawajah “after his sad demise” continued to hold a highly revered position and his tomb became a place of pilgrimage for the people of the world at large”.
The writer of the leaflet who calls himself Afsar Ahmad Niazi wants those who cannot attend the death anniversary to let him know their “inner hearty desires so that he may be able to beseech on their behalf and entreat Khawajah Sahib to pray for fulfillment of their innermost desires.”
At the end of the leaflet he solicits donations. I feel very sad that such practices still continue in parts of the Muslim world. Basically, such a practice is an outright indictment of the state into which Muslims of the world have sunk. People are encouraged to travel from their homes to take part in this week-long deception. Even if that man, Khawajah Moinuddin, was a highly religious person, or a great scholar or a great servant of Islam, why should his death be celebrated?
People normally celebrate the birth of a child, but they are sad when someone dies. In this instance, we are told that it is the death anniversary of the man which is celebrated over a week. If that man had any great contribution to the cause of Islam, I am not aware of it. He was no scholar of standing. Otherwise, his writings would have earned him recognition in other parts of the Muslim world. We are told that after his death, he continued to hold a highly respected position. With whom?
The only position that counts after one’s death is the man’s position with Allah. How could anyone tell of the position someone is given by Allah after his death? The Prophet himself says: “I myself, Allah’s messenger, do not know what will happen to me in the hereafter.”
Allah instructs His messenger in the Qur’an to say to people: “….I do not know what will become of me or you….” (Al-Ahqaf 46:9)
Now if Allah’s messenger has not been given this sort of information about himself, how do these people claim to know about their man? Moreover, the leaflet speaks of the man’s tomb, becoming “a place of pilgrimage”. We know only one place of pilgrimage, namely, the Kaaba, the first house ever erected for the worship of Allah.
Moreover, the Prophet says that there are only three mosques in the Muslim world to which people may travel. These are : The Haram in Makkah, i.e. Kaaba, the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah and Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. When we visit Madinah, we make our intention clear that we are going there to visit the mosque. We certainly greet the Prophet, but we do not undertake the journey to visit his tomb or grave.
If people travel in order to visit the tomb of this man, which is said to be a place of pilgrimage, then that is the beginning of the worship of graves. This is one of the worst types of shirk, or associating partners with Allah.
Now we come to the crunch. What is the purpose of such a visit? Is it to have innermost desire fulfilled? In other words, there is a temptation to people from all over the world to come over, spend their money, indulge in unacceptable practices, merely to have their wishes fulfilled. How?
The key to the answer to this question is best expressed in the suggestion made by the writer of the leaflet to those who cannot attend. He wants them to communicate their desires to him and he would beseech the dead man to pray Allah on their behalf. So, we have a living man entreating a dead man to speak to Allah on behalf of people. How absurd! This is a preposterous suggestion which flies in the face of the teachings of the Prophet and Qur’anic revelations.
The Prophet tells us in a most authentic Hadith that when a human being dies, he cannot avail himself of anything, let alone be of any avail to others. He says: “When a human being dies, all his actions come to a complete termination, except in one of three ways: A continuing act of charity, a useful contribution to knowledge or a dutiful child who makes supplication to Allah on his behalf.”
In other words, the living can be of avail to the dead, but not the reverse. This man who wrote the pamphlet wants to appeal to a dead person to intervene with Allah. Let me tell everybody who has ever contemplated going on such a journey that if there is a sure way of not having one’s wish fulfilled, this is the one. The reason is that by asking the dead man to entreat Allah on his behalf, he is associating that dead man with Allah as a partner.
In a Qudsi Hadith, Allah says: “I am the least in need of a partner. If anyone associates a partner with Me, I abandon him to that partner.” If we try to apply this sacred or Qudsi Hadith to this situation, we conclude that Allah would abandon those who attend this Urs and those who organize it to a dead man to answer their prayers. What can a dead man do?
He cannot defend himself against worms and other insects which eat up his flesh. If anyone has a dear wish which he or she wishes to have fulfilled, there is only one way of seeking Allah’s help, namely, to pray Him directly.
Allah says in the Qur’an: “Your Lord says: Pray Me and I will answer you….” (Al-Ghafir 40:60). He also says in the Qur’an:“When My servants ask you about Me, I am near, I respond to the supplication of anyone who prays Me. Let them, then, respond to Me and believe in Me so that they may be rightly guided.” (Al-Baqqarah 2;186)
Note here how Allah has phrased this verse. He is first addressing the Prophet who may be asked by people about Allah. He does not say to the Prophet: Tell My servants that I am near. He answers them directly “When My servants ask you about Me, I am near.”
With this direct answer all that we need is to address our supplication to Allah directly. What is important is to strive to be a good Muslim. Let us repent of our sins, fulfill our duties and make our supplication to Allah. This is the surest way of having it answered. We will never need Niazi or his dead man, or indeed any person, dead or alive, to intervene for us [ Save Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, on the day of Judgment]. Allah is our Lord and we pray Him directly. Urs: Graves and saints.
16. SHAHEED (MARTYR)
Answer: Praise be to Allah.
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked about a man who traveled by sea for the purpose of trade, and he was drowned – did he die as a shaheed?
He replied, yes, he died as a shaheed, so long as he was not travelling for sinful purposes. For it was narrated in a saheeh report that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The one who drowns is a shaheed, the one who dies of a stomach disease is a shaheed, the one who is burnt to death is a shaheed, the one who dies of the plague is a shaheed, the woman who dies giving birth is a shaheed, and the one who is crushed by a collapsing building is a shaheed.”
And people killed in other ways were also mentioned. Travelling by sea for the purpose of trade is permissible, if one thinks it is most likely to be safe. If it is not safe then he should not travel for the purpose of trade; if he did that [i.e., traveled when it was not safe to do so], then he has contributed to his own death, and in such a case we cannot say that he was a shaheed. And Allah knows best.
17. CAN NON-MUSLIMS ENTER PARADISE
Can non-Muslims enter paradise? And if so, under what conditions?
The basic criteria for those who can not enter paradise has been given by God in Quran is as follows.
“Verily, those who disbelieve [religion of Islâm, the Qur’ân and Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him)] from among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) and Al-Mushrikûn will abide in the Fire of Hell. They are the worst of creatures” (Al-Bayyanah 98:6)
18. WISHING FOR DEATH DUE TO HARM THAT HAS COME
I have faced so many difficulties in my life that it has made me hate this life. Every time I turned to Allah, I pleaded for Him to take my life away from me at the earliest. This is my wish until now as I do not see any solutions to my problems except death; it is the only thing that can save me from this punishment. Is this behavior forbidden for me?
When a person wishes for death because of something that has afflicted him, he is doing something that the Prophet (peace be upon him) has prohibited. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said,
“None of you should hope for death because of some harm that has come to him. If he has wish such, he should say, ‘O Allah, give me life if You know that life is better for me. And give me death if You know that death is better for me.”
Therefore, it is not allowed for anyone to wish for death because of some harm, hardship or difficulty that has come to him. In fact, he should have patience and expect a reward from Allah for what he is passing through. He should also wait for relief to come, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) has said,
“Know that victory comes with patience, relief with distress and ease with hardship.”
The one who is afflicted with any affliction should know that those afflictions expiate some of the sins that he has committed. No believer is afflicted with any kind of worry, grief or pain except that Allah expiates sins for him due to that, even the pricking of a thorn. When the person has patience and expects rewards from Allah, he reaches the stage of being among the patient. This stage is a very elevated stage. Allah has stated about its inhabitants,
And We will most certainly try you with somewhat of fear and hunger and loss of property and lives and fruits; and give good news to the patient (155) Who say, when afflicted with calamity: “To Allah We belong, and to Him is our return” (Al-Baqara 2:155-156).
The woman in the question feels that there is no solution for her problems except death. I believe that this is a mistaken view. Death does not solve any problems. In fact, the situation of adversity may get even worse. How many humans die while being afflicted with pain and problems but they had been wronging themselves and did not give their sins and repent to Allah. Then his death is just a quicker coming of his punishment. If he remained alive, perhaps Allah would have guide him to repentance, seeking forgiveness, patience, facing the problem and expecting relief. This all would have been good for him.
Therefore, you, the questioner, must be patient and expect relief from Allah. Allah says in His book,
“So, verily, with the hardship there is relief. (5) Verily, with the hardship, there is relief” (An-Nashrah 94:5-6).
And the Prophet (peace be upon him) stated, in an authentic narration,
“Know that victory comes with patience, relief with distress and ease with hardship.”‘
Shaikh Ibn Uthaimin
Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: http://www.islamtomorrow.com/everything/womensrulings.htm
19. SAYING LAA ILAAHA ILL-ALLAH THEN DIES
How can we reconcile between the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), “There is no slave who says Laa ilaaha ill-Allah then dies believing in that but he will enter Paradise,” and the idea that the mushrikeen and hypocrites will abide in Hell forever even though they said Laa ilaaha ill-Allah?.
Answer: Praise be to Allah.
Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
The hadeeth indicates that the one who says Laa ilaaha ill-Allah is a true believer, but he is tempted by his whims and desires, so he does some acts of disobedience or major sins such as stealing etc.
The belief of Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah is that the destiny of the believer, even if he commits a major sin, is Paradise. Whatever punishment may come before Paradise is up to Allah: if He wills, He will punish him, and if He wills, He will forgive him. The evidence for that is the verse in which Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Verily, Allah forgives not that partners should be set up with Him (in worship), but He forgives except that (anything else) to whom He wills….” [An-Nisa’ 4:48]
So all those who committed sins – even if they were major sins – if the sins were less than kufr, they will not be prevented from entering Paradise. For the destiny of the one who did them is Paradise, but he may be punished for the sins that he committed, or Allah may forgive him. The matter rests with Allah. As for the hypocrites and followers of bid’ahs which put a person beyond the pale of Islam, they did not really say Laa ilaaha ill-Allah meaning it from the heart, because this hypocrisy which led to kufr is the opposite of sincerity, and sincerity is essential to saying Laa ilaaha ill-Allah.
If a person says Laa ilaaha ill-Allah, but he believes that there is no God, or he believes that there is another god alongside Allah who controls the universe, or he believes that all the companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) apostatized after his death, or other bid’ahs that put a person beyond the pale of Islam, then such people are not sincere in their saying Laa ilaaha ill-Allah, because their bid’ah goes against the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him): “Whoever bears witness that there is no god except Allah or says Laa ilaaha ill-Allah, will enter Paradise.”
The Shahaadatayn must be spoken with sincerity. Listen to what Allah says concerning the munaafiqeen (interpretation of the meaning):
“….And when they [the hypocrites] stand up for As-Salaah (the prayer), they stand with laziness and to be seen of men, and they do not remember Allah but little” [An-Nisa’ 4:142]
In the same passage, Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Verily, the hypocrites will be in the lowest depth (grade) of the Fire; no helper will you find for them” [An-Nisa’ 4:145]
And Allah says of them (interpretation of the meaning):
“When the hypocrites come to you (O Muhammad), they say: ‘We bear witness that you are indeed the Messenger of Allah’ Allah knows that you are indeed His Messenger, and Allah bears witness that the hypocrites are liars indeed” [Al-Munaafiqoon 63:1 – interpretation of the meaning]
That is although Munafaqeen say to prophet that they confirm that he is prophet of Allah but Allah testifies that this is merely verbal testimony, and actually they are lying when they say, “We bear witness that you are indeed the Messenger of Allah”. For they mention Allah and bear witness to His Messenger, but their hearts are devoid of that which is uttered by their lips.
20. BURYING A MUSLIM IN A NON-MUSLIM CEMETERY
Is it permissible in Islam for Muslims living in the West to bury their dead in non-Muslim cemeteries? Jazakum Allah khayran.
Burial is prescribed for the bodies of the deceased. Muslims are buried in Muslim cemeteries, and in Muslim countries there is no problem regarding this issue. However, in non-Muslim countries, there is the issue of whether it is permissible to bury Muslims in non-Muslim cemeteries or not.
In response to the question in point, The European Council for Fatwa and Research issued the following Fatwa:
There are certain determined legal rulings concerning the Muslim on his death, such as washing him, wrapping him with a shroud, performing the janazah or funeral prayer for him, in addition to burying him in a Muslim cemetery. That is because Muslims have their own way of burying the dead and preparing graves, such as simplicity, facing Qiblah, and avoiding the imitation of polytheists, the affluent, and the like.
It is known that every religious community has its own cemeteries; Jews have their own cemeteries, as do Christians and pagans; therefore, it is natural that Muslims have their own cemeteries too. Muslims living in non-Muslim countries should try, through approved channels, to have their own cemeteries whenever possible, for that would enhance their presence and preserve their personality. If they fail to have their own separate cemetery, they should at least have a specific and exclusive spot within the cemetery of non-Muslims wherein they can bury their dead.
If even both alternatives are not available and a Muslim dies, he may be buried anywhere possible, even if in the cemetery of non-Muslims, for Allah does not burden a person beyond his ability. In this case, burying the Muslim in a cemetery of non-Muslims would not cause him any harm, for what will benefit the Muslim in the Hereafter will be his endeavor and righteous deeds and not the spot where he is buried. Almighty Allah says, “And man can have nothing but what he strives for…” (An-Najm 53:39). Salman al-Farisi (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “Land does not sanctify anybody, but a person’s own deeds sanctify him.” ( Mentioned by Malik in al-Muwatta’ (no. 2232) with the word “man” instead of “person”.)
Besides, burying the deceased in the place where he or she dies is the practice primarily recommended by the Shari`ah, and it is easier than transferring the dead to Muslim countries, as some Muslims do, which causes difficulties and costs a lot of money needlessly.
If the Islamic cemetery is far from the residence of the deceased’s family, it will not be an acceptable excuse to bury him in a (nearby) non-Muslim cemetery, for visiting cemeteries is primarily recommended for the benefit of the visitor to receive admonition and learn a lesson, as this is confirmed in the hadith: “I commanded you not to visit graves, but now I strongly recommend visiting them, for that makes the heart tender and the eye shed tears and it reminds of the Hereafter.” (Reported by Ahmad and Al-Hakim on the authority of Anas)
A Muslim can pray for the dead person and ask forgiveness for him, and, by the Grace of Allah, the reward thereof will reach him wherever the supplicant or the seeker of forgiveness for him may be.”
It is highly recommended that when a person dies, people should hasten to bury him. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “You should hasten in burying any deceased person. If he/she was a good person, then you are advancing him/her towards a good thing; if, however, he/she was a bad person then you are getting rid of an evil.”
Therefore, burial should be in the place where a person dies as transforming the corpse to another place will take time and hence delay the burial.
However, if in such situations as where there is no cemetery for Muslims or when the shipping of the dead body is easy and not expensive, then the corpse can be transported to his Muslim country.
Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: www.islamonline.net
21. IS PERSON DYEING DUE TO CAR ACCIDENT, A MARTYR?
Is a person who dies as the result of being struck by a car regarded as a martyr?
Answer : Praise be to Allah .
The one who dies as the result of being struck by a car may attain the reward of a martyr in two cases:
1 – If he dies as the result of bleeding in his stomach, in which case he would be called al-mabtoon (one who is stricken with a disease or injury in the stomach), whether he was in a car or walking or standing, and he was struck by a car. This is according to the view of some scholars, who say that the mabtoon is the one who dies because of any trouble in the stomach, no matter what it is.
It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The martyrs are five: the one who dies of the plague; the one who dies of stomach trouble (al-mabtoon); the one who drowns; the one who is crushed by a falling wall; and the martyr who dies for the sake of Allah .” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 2674; Muslim, 1914.
In an addition narrated by al-Tirmidhi (1846), Abu Dawood (311) and Ibn Maajah (2803) it says: “… and the one who dies of pleurisy, and the woman who dies together (with her baby).”
Al-Nawawi said: … According to another report: “The plague is martyrdom for every Muslim.”
Al-mabtoon is the one who suffers from a stomach complaint, namely diarrhea. Al-Qaadi said: It was said that it is dropsy and swelling of the stomach. And it was said that it refers to the one who suffers from a stomach complaint. And it was said that it refers to the one who dies of a stomach complaint of any kind.
The one who drowns is the one who dies from drowning in water; the one who is crushed by a falling wall means the one who dies beneath it; the one who dies of pleurisy is the one who suffers from inflammation in his side, internally. Burning refers to the one who dies in a fire. The women who dies together (with her baby) refers to a woman who dies during pregnancy along with her child, or it was said: one who dies a virgin. The former is the correct view.
Sharh Muslim, 13/63.
2 – If the person dies as the result of a crash, whether he died inside the car or outside. This may be likened to the one who is crushed by a falling wall, mentioned in the hadeeth quoted above.
The scholars of the Standing Committee were asked:
Some people say that a person who dies as the result of a car accident is a martyr and he will have a reward like that of the martyrs. Is this correct or not?
We hope that he will be a martyr, because this is like the Muslim who dies under a falling wall. It was narrated in a saheeh report from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) that such a person is a martyr. Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 8/375.
The bounty of Allah is immense, and we hope that this person will be a martyr, but we cannot be certain of that.
We ask Allah to give us a good end, and to protect us from a bad death. And Allah knows best.
22. FUNERAL PRAYER FOR ONE WHO COMMITTED SUICIDE
What is the ruling on one who commits suicide? What is his position before his Lord?
Answer : Praise be to Allah.
Suicide is a major sin. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) stated that the one who commits suicide will be punished with something like that with which he killed himself.
Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:“Whoever throws himself down from a mountain and kills himself will be in the Fire of Hell, throwing himself down therein for ever and ever. Whoever takes poison and kills himself, his poison will be in his hand and he will be sipping it in the Fire of Hell for ever and ever. Whoever kills himself with a piece of iron, that piece of iron will be in his hand and he will be stabbing himself in the stomach with it in the Fire of Hell, for ever and ever.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5442; Muslim, 109.
It was narrated from Thaabit ibn al-Dahhaak (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever kills himself with something in this world will be punished with it on the Day of Resurrection.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5700; Muslim, 110.
It was narrated that Jundub ibn ‘Abd-Allah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Among those who came before you there was a man who was wounded and he panicked, so he took a knife and cut his hand with it, and the blood did not stop flowing until he died. Allah said: ‘My slave hastened to bring about his demise; I have forbidden Paradise to him.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 3276; Muslim, 113.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) refrained from offering the funeral prayer for one who had committed suicide, as a punishment to him and so as to deter others from doing what he had done. But he gave the people permission to offer the funeral prayer for him, so it is Sunnah for the people of knowledge and virtue not to offer the funeral prayer for one who has committed suicide, following the example of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).
It was narrated that Jaabir ibn Samurah (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “A man who had killed himself with a broad arrow-head was brought to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and he did not offer the funeral prayer for him”.Narrated by Muslim, 978.
This hadeeth is evidence for those who say that the funeral prayer should not be offered for one who killed himself because of his sin. This is the view of ‘Umar ibn ‘Abd al-‘Azeez and al-Awzaa’i. But al-Hasan, al-Nakha’i, Qataadah, Maalik, Abu Haneefah, al-Shaafa’i and the majority of scholars said that the funeral prayer should be offered for him. They responded to this hadeeth by pointing out that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) did not offer the funeral prayer for him himself so as to deter the people from doing something similar, but the Sahaabah offered the funeral prayer for him. End quote.
Sharh Muslim, 7/47
If it is proven that somebody did commit suicide, it does not mean, that you should not pray for mercy and forgiveness for him/her, rather you must do that because he/she needs that. Suicide is not kufr that puts a person beyond the pale of Islam as some people think, rather it is a major sin that is subject to the will of Allah on the Day of Resurrection: if He wills, He will forgive it, and if He wills He will punish for it. And Allah knows best.
Excerpted, with some modifications, from: http://islamqa.com/en/
23. SUPPLICATION FOR THE DECEASED AFTER BURYING
How should supplication be offered for the deceased after burying him and levelling the soil on the grave — sitting or standing? Which of them is better?
Answer: Praise be to Allah.
The Sunnah for the one who wants to offer supplication for the deceased after he has been buried and the soil has been levelled over him is to offer supplication whilst standing. The basic principle concerning that is the report narrated by Abu Dawood with his isnaad from ‘Uthmaan (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: When the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) finished burying the deceased person, he would stand over him and say: “Ask for forgiveness for your brother and ask that he be made steadfast, for right now he is being questioned.” Abu Dawood and al-Mundhiri remained silent about it. It was also narrated by al-Haakim who classed it as saheeh, and by al-Bazzaar who said: It was not narrated from the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) except through this isnaad.
And Allah is the source of strength. They Allah send blessings and peace upon our Prophet Muhammad and his family and Companions. End quote.
Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah li’l-Iftaa’, 9/17
Excerpted, with some modifications, from: http://islamqa.com/en/