It’s important at this time to remember that:
- Every person and everything belongs to Allah (SWT).
- Recognise that everything has a fixed time in this life, including the soul (rooh)
- Death is inevitable and will come to all of us.
- The divine decree (Qadr) of Allah (SWT) is true.
- There is no problem with crying due to the loss of someone, although Islamic teachings prohibit excess even in this matter by wailing and tearing clothes, slapping your cheeks or harming yourself in any other way. Instead, Islam teaches that patience (sabr) at this time is highly rewarded by Allah(SWT).
After the death of a loved one, many, if not all, will have feelings of grief and be in a state of shock.
Bereavement refers to the period of mourning and grief following the death of a beloved person. Mourning is the expression of sorrow for someone’s death. Grief refers to one’s personal experience of loss and has physical as well as emotional symptoms.
Everyone responds to death differently and depending on the context of someones passing away and the nature of the relationship we had with him may influence this response.
In Islam, there is a way to grieve and Faith usually helps in bereavement as we know that this is not the end of a person’s existence, rather their soul lives on.
Some of the common feelings while mourning include:
- Shock and numbness as the feelings can be overwhelming
- Sometimes it can take a long time to sink in and come to terms with the person’s absence
- Pain and Distress
- Anger; it’s common for one to question why it happened to the deceased and at this time. It’s important to remember that every person’s lifespan (ajjal) is pre-destined and that we will all have to leave this life at some point.
- Feelings of guilt despite the fact that we cannot change the situation or have known the time or place of death.
The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) suffered many bereavements including:
- The passing away of his father before he was born and his mother when he was just 6 years old.
- Born an orphan, he was looked after by his grandfather (Abdul Muttalib) who passed away soon after when he was just 8 years old
- His wife Hazrat Khadija (RA) who was the mother of 4 of his daughters.
- His uncle who brought him up, Abu Talib, passed away.
There was an incident when the beloved daughter of Prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessings be upon him), Zaynab (RAA) sent for her father as her own daughter was very ill and dying. The Prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessings be upon him) sent a message back stating:
Greetings of peace,
Whatever Allah (SWT) takes aware belongs to Him.
Whatever He gives belongs to Him.
Everything with Him has a limited fix term.
Therefore be patient and anticipate Allah’s (SWT) reward.
Zaynab (RAA) then asked for his attendance and the Prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessings be upon him) went with some Companions and he lifted his Grand-daughter in his arms. The Prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessings be upon him) could see his granddaughter would not live long and had some tears in his eyes.
His (Peace and blessings be upon him) companion asked about the tears.
The Prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessings be upon him) said this is Rahmah (Compassion) which Allah(SWT) has placed on his slaves. Allah(SWT) is compassionate only to those amongst his slaves who are compassionate to others.
Allah(SWT) also reminds us many times int he Quran that this life is a test and that we will continue to be tested through fear, hunger and loss of property, lives and wealth. The Prophet (SAW) gave good news to those who are steadfast.
Those who say when afflicted with a calamity
We belong to God and to Him we shall return
Quran: Surah Al Baqarah, Ayah 156