Bereavement in Islam

Jalees Ahmad, Al Hakam
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William Gullo | Unsplash

From the moment of our birth, as we begin to crawl, stand, walk and navigate through life, we are already on a journey towards our next life of the hereafter. As Muslims, we are welcomed into this world with the call to prayer (adhan), and are bidden farewell with the funeral prayer (janazah). There is one incontrovertible certainty in life: death. Amidst the ebb and flow of time, death remains the immutable, unchangeable truth, as emphasised in the Holy Quran as yaqin (Surah al-Hijr, Ch.15: V.100). And so, with death as a reminder, we enter this world and pray until we are prayed upon.

There are those who spend their lives fully submitted to God’s will, and then there are those who busy themselves with the attractions of this limited abode, ensnared by the allure of earthly pursuits. No matter what road we may choose to undertake in this life, we all shall one day return to our Creator, for we all belong to Him alone. As outlined in the Holy Quran:

إِنَّا ِلِلَّٰهِ وَإِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ

Inna Lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un

“Surely, to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return.”

(Surah al-Baqarah, Ch.2: V.157)

These words, revealed in the Holy Quran, are uttered by believers who, upon facing any form of affliction, find solace in their recitation; however, this phrase is frequently said when receiving news of someone’s passing. It encapsulates a fundamental belief regarding the nature of human existence and the ultimate return to God.

With the passage of time, it is nearly impossible for one to recall how often these words have been said. Yet, it is certain that hearing them is vastly distinct from truly feeling their depth in every fibre of one’s heart and soul; for this phrase, revealed by God and recorded in the Holy Quran, is not something said or written by Man. No, in fact, they have been directly revealed by Allah – Himself. Thus, to truly understand its essence, it is not merely enough to say it; we must also ponder over its meaning until we feel it, as the Holy Quran is a book not only to be read, but felt deeply.

To God we belong and to Him we return: Meaning and significance

Surely, to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return – these words, if truly grasped, are intended to serve as a (i) reminder, (ii) comfort, and (iii) glad tiding. They remind us that we all belong solely to Allah and we are comforted by the words that we will all return to Him. However, some may wonder where the glad tidings are. The glad tidings come to light when these words are not just heard or spoken, but profoundly felt. It’s the realisation that we will all eventually reunite with Allah, and that the separation from our loved ones – whom we have lost on the journey of life – is only temporary, a pause in communication, and that a joyful reunion awaits us in His presence.

When the Companionsra of the Holy Prophetsa learned that in the afterlife a person will be with those whom they love, it was said that after the advent of Islam, nothing brought greater joy to the Muslims than this profound truth. (Jami‘ at-Tirmidhi, Kitab az-zuhd, Hadith 2385)

As Muslims, we deeply believe that “Allah is the Creator of all things, and He is Guardian over all things.” (Surah az-Zumar, Ch.39: V.63) And so, when a misfortune overtakes a Muslim, the words a believer utters – Surely, to Allah we belong – embody the profound concept that an owner does not seek to annihilate his possessions with his own hands but rather desires to preserve them. And so, if a believer really and truly acknowledges that everything belongs to Allah Almighty and regards Him as the ultimate Owner, then it cannot be conceived by the believer that whatever Allah Almighty reclaims from him or whatever hardships befall him are intended for the believer’s ruin. And this is something Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra has alluded to in his exegesis (tafsir). (Cf. Tafsir-e-Kabir [2023], Vol. 3, pp. 60f)

Huzoorra further states that a believer who firmly believes that they belong to Allah and that God has cradled them in His arms, akin to how a mother holds her child, cannot fathom that he will be ruined or that his hardships will not be alleviated. Allah, the greatest Protector of all protectors, does not intend to destroy a believer when He reclaims something from His servant. Rather, we are reminded that Allah places the loved one who has passed on to a better place than before with utmost love and care. (Ibid.)

Allah the Almighty, in His mercy towards His servants, added the words inna ilayhi raji‘un, i.e., to Him shall we return, thus completing this statement. This holds deep significance for those who have lost a loved one. It’s a reminder that the loved one’s departure from this world doesn’t mean they’re separated forever, as Allah promises, inna ilayhi raji‘un. It’s a comforting thought that one day we will be reunited with them in the presence of our Creator. The only difference is that they have just finished their journey before us and we shall follow suit when our time comes. Though they’ve reached their destination before us and we’re still on our way, we find solace in knowing that ultimately we’ll all arrive at the same place. In moments of grief and loss, this understanding brings a sense of peace and reassurance to the believer. (Ibid., pp. 64ff)

In his tafsir, while explaining the verse at hand, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Ira narrated a story:

“A man’s beloved had passed away, leaving him distraught. A friend came and told him a story about a person who had left some jewels in another’s safekeeping. When the owner returned some days later to reclaim them, he began wailing and screaming. At this, the man whose dear one had died remarked that he must have been a great fool to cry over the return of what was entrusted to him. Hearing this, his friend said, ‘Look to yourself. Were not your children also merely entrusted to you by God? If He has taken them back, what cause is there for such anguished mourning?’”

Then, Huzoorra further added – explaining the second half of the phrase – that if God takes something back, being its Owner, its Creator, and its Lord, then there is no real sorrow because we too have to return to Him and receive our reward there. (Haqaiq-ul-Furqan, Vol. 1, pp. 270f)

Thus, we understand that death is merely a pause in communication with our loved ones, as ultimately, we all shall return to God, reuniting in the eternal realm.

Inna Lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un: Proper usage and etiquette

As Muslims, with all matters regarding faith, we always turn to the Holy Quran and the practice of the Holy Prophetsa to find our solution. In the Holy Quran, when we look at guidelines on when and how one should recite Inna li-llahi wa-inna ilayhi raji‘un, we find that when a misfortune overtakes a believer, they say, “Surely, to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return.” (Surah al-Baqarah, Ch.2: V.157)

With reference to the Holy Prophetsa, we read that he said, “When a calamity strikes one of you, then let him say, ‘Surely, to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return.’” (Jami‘ at-Tirmidhi, Kitab ad-da‘wat)

This phrase is not merely uttered at the demise of a person; these words were even said by Hazrat Abu Bakrra when the Meccans expelled Prophet Muhammadsa from Mecca. Hazrat Ibn Abbasra recounted that when the Holy Prophetsa migrated from Mecca, Abu Bakrra said, “They have driven out their Prophetsa. Indeed, to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return. Surely, they are doomed.” (Sunan an-Nasa’i, Kitab al-jihad, Hadith 3085)

Thus, this phrase resurfaces – recalled and evoked in moments of loss, trials, and adversity. It serves as the ultimate reminder of our short existence on this earth, as we all inevitably journey towards reunion with our Creator.

These divine words also help remain steadfast. The Promised Messiahas, in relation to this, explains, “[W]hen one suffers a loss, one should consider it as rendering back to God that which He had bestowed, and should utter no complaint about it. One should affirm that it was a bounty of God which He has recalled and that one is reconciled to God’s pleasure.” (The Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam [Islami Usul ki Falasfi], pp. 76f) This means that true moral virtue lies in recognising losses as returning blessings to God, refraining from complaint, and accepting them as God’s will.

However, it is not to say that one must rid oneself of the feeling of grief, for it is human nature to feel grief. Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra, in his tafsir, under the verse in discussion, has said that expressing grief does not contradict patience. For instance, during weddings, parents cry as their daughters leave for their new homes, but this is a natural emotion and does not imply impatience. Therefore, when calamity strikes, it is the faithless who say, “I have been destroyed,” but the believer, who submits entirely to God’s will, thinks that Allah must have concealed some aspect of good and blessing even within this adversity. (Tafsir-e-Kabir [2023], Vol. 3, pp. 60-61)

The depth of wisdom found within the Holy Quran is truly remarkable. Consider topics like life, death, and predestination, which are often not fully grasped by the average person. Yet, when individuals attempt to explore these deep, philosophical subjects without proper guidance, their interpretations often stray far from the teachings of Islam, leading them to conclusions diametrically opposed to its essence.

In some cultures, where deep contemplation is lacking due to environmental or societal factors, individuals often unintentionally offer words of discomfort in an attempt to console others. For instance, when facing the loss of a loved one, some may assert that, “It was destined to happen,” or, “Their time on earth was limited.” While this may hold true in certain natural circumstances, such explanations falter when applied universally. Consider the case of suicide – forbidden in Islam – where individuals exercise free will. It would be erroneous to attribute such actions to divine decree. In the exchange of condolences, it’s often the seemingly misplaced words that leave a lasting impression.

And so, the words Surely, to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return offer not just solace but also serve as a deep reminder that certain aspects of life are beyond our understanding. In times of uncertainty, we must lean on these divine words to guide us and to encourage others to seek solace in God.

Thus, it becomes increasingly crucial to recall the comforting words prescribed by Allah and His Messengersa in times of sorrow.

لِلّٰهِ مَا أَخَذَ، وَلِلّٰهِ مَا أَعْطَى، كُلٌّ بِأَجَلٍ، فَلْتَصْبِرْ وَلْتَحْتَسِبْ

“To Allah belongs what He takes and what He gives. Every matter has a limited time. Therefore, be patient and await Allah’s reward.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-qadr, Hadith 6602)

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Abdullah Faraz | Unsplash

When Ja‘far ibn Abi Talibra was martyred, the Holy Prophetsa came to the family to inform them of this news. It is narrated by Abdullah ibn Ja‘far that when the news of Ja‘far’sra demise arrived and the Holy Prophetsa sensed their grief, he said:

اصْنَعُوا لأَهْلِ جَعْفَرٍ طَعَامًا فَإِنَّهُ قَدْ جَاءَهُمْ مَا يَشْغَلُهُمْ

“Prepare some food for the family of Ja‘far, for indeed something has happened to them that will keep them busy.” (Jami‘ at-Tirmidhi, Kitab al-jana’iz)

In this hadith, the profound wisdom of the Holy Prophetsa is set forth. It underscores the importance of alleviating the burdens of a family struck by tragedy. In many parts of the world, mourners flock to the home of the deceased to offer condolences, yet amidst this well-intentioned outpouring of support, it’s essential not to overlook the necessity of easing the family’s burden. The overwhelming presence of visitors often deprives the grieving family of moments together, consumed instead by the demands of hospitality. Herein lies another important lesson from the teachings of the Holy Prophetsa.

It is evident that all matters of religion are taught for a reason, especially when that religion claims to be the perfect religion: Islam. When we face such hardships, and when we are reminded in the midst of these hardships that our ultimate end is with God, we ignite within us a spiritual transformation, which in turn aids our emotions in coping with loss or calamities.

Hazrat Umm Salamahra remembered the Prophet Muhammadsa saying that when a Muslim faces calamity and recites the prescribed supplication, Allah rewards and compensates them with something better. (Sunan Ibn Majah, Kitab al-jana’iz, Hadith 1598)

Visiting the graveyard and praying for the deceased

In Islam, visiting the graveyard to pay respects to departed loved ones is not only permissible but encouraged. In fact, we even have beautiful prayers to recite as we walk into the graveyard:

السَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكُمْ أَهْلَ الدِّيَارِ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُسْلِمِينَ وَإِنَّا إِنْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ بِكُمْ لاَحِقُونَ نَسْأَلُ اللّٰهَ لَنَا وَلَكُمُ الْعَافِيَةَ

“Peace be upon you, O inhabitants of the graves, from among the believers and Muslims. And, we will join you soon, if Allah Wills. We ask Allah for well-being for us and for you.” (Sunan Ibn Majah, Kitab al-jana’iz, Hadith 1547)


السَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكُمْ يَا أَهْلَ الْقُبُورِ يَغْفِرُ اللّٰهُ لَنَا وَلَكُمْ أَنْتُمْ سَلَفُنَا وَنَحْنُ بِالأَثَرِ ‏

“Peace be upon you, O inhabitants of the graves. May Allah forgive us and you. You have preceded us, and we are to follow in your footsteps.” (Jami‘ at-Tirmidhi, Kitab al-jana’iz)

As one stands amidst the silent ground of the graveyard, questions may arise: Why do we come here? Is it solely to pray for our departed, or do we seek solace in the memories they left behind? The truth is, we can pray for them and remember our loved ones from anywhere in the world. And so, as we continue to visit the graveyard, a profound truth emerges and unfolds before us: The realisation that we do not simply come to the graveyard to visit our loved ones; in fact, for anyone who keeps the above-mentioned prayer in mind will know that we come to pray and also acknowledge that we will be joining them soon, God willing. And so, we pray for our loved ones until we, ourselves, are prayed upon.

When we examine the practice of the Holy Prophetsa, we find that his teachings, actions, and sayings were not devoid of wisdom. It is narrated that a woman, who would clean the mosque, passed away during the night, and the news reached Allah’s Messengersa the following morning. The Holy Prophetsa asked why he hadn’t been informed. Then, accompanied by his companions, he proceeded to her grave, led the funeral prayer and offered supplications for her. (Sunan Ibn Majah, Kitab al-jana’iz, Hadith 1533)

It is often questioned whether crying aligns with the sunnah or if the Holy Prophetsa forbade it altogether. Contrary to misconception, the Holy Prophetsa did not prohibit crying but rather discouraged the act of excessive wailing, known as niyaha or nawha. (Sahih Muslim, Kitab al-iman, Hadith 67)

Hazrat Abu Hurairara narrated that Allah’s Messengersa visited his mother’s grave, where he wept, moving others to tears as well. He then expressed that he had sought permission from his Lord to seek forgiveness for her, but it was not granted. However, permission was granted to visit her grave. Here, the Holy Prophetsa said, “Visit graves, as it reminds you of the reality of death.” (Sahih Muslim, Kitab al-jana’iz, Hadith 976) This hadith emphasises the importance of visiting graves to remind oneself of the inevitability of death.

Hazrat Aishara recounted that the Holy Prophetsa kissed Hazrat Uthman ibn Maz‘un’sra face upon his demise. She said, “The Holy Prophetsa wept so much that his tears flowed over Uthman’s face.” (Mishkat al-Masabih, Kitab al-jana’iz, Hadith 1623)

It is reported that Hazrat Fatimahra, the daughter of the Holy Prophetsa, shed tears upon the passing of Allah’s Messengersa. She said:

يَا أَبَتَاهُ مِنْ رَبِّهِ مَا أَدْنَاهُ يَا أَبَتَاهُ إِلَى جِبْرِيلَ نَنْعَاهُ يَا أَبَتَاهُ جَنَّةُ الْفِرْدَوْسِ مَأْوَاهُ

“O my father, how close he is now to his Lord! O my father, we announce the news (of his demise) to Jibril! O my father, Jannat al-Firdaws is now his abode!” (Sunan an-Nasa’i, Kitab al-jana’iz, Hadith 1844)

When it comes to visiting, praying, and shedding tears for the deceased, the guidance of the Holy Prophetsa is before us. Not only is shedding tears allowed, but it is in fact an act of sunnah, for “Allah does not punish for the tears that the eye sheds or the grief the heart feels” (Sahih Muslim, Kitab al-jana’iz, Hadith 924). It is in fact the act of wailing which has been forbidden in Islam.

A beautiful method of praying for the deceased

Death and visiting the graveyard serve as reminders that our time on earth is finite. Whether in times of hardship or joy, our existence is temporary, and one day, we will bid farewell or be bidden farewell to. While fully grasping the whats, whys and concepts of the afterlife may challenge our understanding, our faith in the mercy of Allah and life after death remains steadfast.

When we visit the graves of our loved ones, we do so to pray for their forgiveness and to ask for Allah’s mercy upon them. While it is true that prayers for the deceased can be offered from anywhere in the world, questions may arise regarding the manner and content of these supplications beyond what is outlined in the ahadith.

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra once expressed that whenever he would pray at the grave of the Promised Messiahas, he would follow a specific practice. Firstly, he would pray for the Holy Prophetsa, and then offer supplications for the Promised Messiahas. Huzoorra stated that his prayer would revolve around the acknowledgement of his inadequacy, recognising that he possesses nothing worthy to offer them from here. However, Huzoorra added, he would beseech Allah, Who possesses everything, to bestow upon them a gift in heaven on his behalf, one that they have not yet received.

Huzoorra further expresses that he would envision them questioning: O Allah! From whom did this gift come? And when God reveals the source, they in turn pray for that individual and thereby elevate their status.

Indeed, prayers benefit the deceased. Therefore, when we supplicate for the Holy Prophetsa or the Promised Messiahas and invoke blessings upon them, God Almighty presents a gift to them on our behalf. Although we may not comprehend the blessings of Heaven, Allah is well aware. Thus, when we pray for a unique gift for the Holy Prophetsa, it is inevitable that Allah informs him of its origin. Their soul would naturally appeal to Allah, pleading for an even greater reward for the benefactor. Thus, the supplication returns to the sender, leading to the elevation of their status. (Anwar-ul-‘ulum, Vol. 17, pp. 182f)

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Nic Y-C | Unsplash

What can we do for the deceased loved ones now?

Losing a loved one is one of the hardest challenges in life. At times, the only thing that can truly motivate us to keep moving forward is to hope, long, and pray that our departed ones are at peace and that God is pleased with them.

Here on earth, we had the ability to care for our loved ones, to speak with them and to assist them in any way they needed. But when they depart from this world, a profound emptiness fills our hearts and the longing to continue caring for them remains strong. This often leads to efforts to beautify their resting places, making their graves larger or more beautiful. However, amidst this longing, it’s crucial to remember that true benefit for our departed loved ones lies not in earthly embellishments, but in sincere prayers and deeds done in their honour.

Hazrat Aishara narrated an incident where someone approached Allah’s Messengersa and expressed: “My mother passed away unexpectedly without having made any will.”

He said:

لَوْ تَكَلَّمَتْ تَصَدَّقَتْ

Meaning that, “I believe she would have surely given charity if she had the chance to express herself. Would she receive blessings if I donated on her behalf?”

Upon this, the Holy Prophetsa replied affirmatively, saying: “Yes, she would.” (Sunan an-Nasa’i, Kitab al-wasaya, Hadith 3651)

This has been reported on many occasions. In Sahih al-Bukhari, it is stated that the Holy Prophetsa replied:

نَعَمْ، تَصَدَّقْ عَنْهَا

“Yes, give in charity on her behalf.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-wasaya, Hadith 2760)

Extracting from this hadith, we learn that even after someone’s passing, their potential charitable intentions can still bring blessings for them if fulfilled by those left behind.

In the same vein, we read a hadith narrated by Hazrat Ibn Abbasra that Sa‘d ibn ‘Ubada’s mother passed away while he was away. He asked, “O Allah’s Messengersa! My mother passed away while I was away; will it benefit her if I give charity on her behalf?” The Holy Prophetsa replied, “Yes.” Sad then declared, “I bear witness that I have donated my garden known as al-Makhraf in charity on her behalf.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-wasaya, Hadith 2756)

Further, in another hadith, we find that Hazrat Abu Hurairara narrated that Allah’s Messengersa said: “Upon the demise of a person, their good deeds cease, except for three: continuous charity [sadaqah jariyah], beneficial knowledge, and a pious offspring who prays for them.” (Sunan an-Nasa’i, Kitab al-wasaya, Hadith 3651)

Bearing this hadith in mind, as we are discussing what one can do to benefit their loved ones who have passed away, we read of a famous, beautiful and hopeful narration that also highlights the Mercy of Allah. We read that the Holy Prophetsa said, “A man will be raised in status in Paradise and will ask [Allah]:

أَنَّى هَذَا

“‘Where did this come from?’

“And it will be said:

بِاسْتِغْفَارِ وَلَدِكَ لَكَ

“‘From your son’s praying for forgiveness for you.’” (Sunan Ibn Majah, Kitab al-adab, Hadith 3660)

How grand is the Mercy of Allah! Delving deeper into this matter, our minds are compelled to believe that there is a reason why the janazah prayer commences with words of seeking forgiveness. For now, with our limited time on earth, our emulation of their good deeds, offering charity on their behalf, and seeking forgiveness for them are ways in which we can care for and look after them and hope that they are engulfed in the Mercy of Allah, Whose Mercy extends all bounds and Who has written it upon Himself to be Merciful. All praise belongs to Allah!

As Muslims, every time we perform a good deed, a share of its reward goes to the Holy Prophetsa, for it was he who ultimately taught us. Similarly, every time we learn about his deeds, a portion of the reward is bestowed upon those who facilitated the transmission of that knowledge to us. Therefore, when losing a loved one, remember their good deeds, internalise them, and strive to become better individuals, ensuring that both you and the deceased from whom you learned those virtues are rewarded.

What does the Holy Quran say about being reunited with our loved ones?

The promise of a joyful reunion with our loved ones in the hereafter is encapsulated in the phrase: wa-inna ilayhi raji‘un – for indeed, we shall all return to Allah one day. Yet, in our limited understanding of the afterlife, numerous questions persist, echoing the uncertainties. And so, we must turn to the Quran and sunnah for answers and meaning.

It was narrated that someone approached the Holy Prophetsa and enquired: “What is your view on someone who loves a people, yet their acts or deeds are not identical to theirs?” To this, The Holy Prophetsa replied: “A person will be with those whom they love.” (Sahih Muslim, Kitab al-birri wa s-silati wa-l-adab, Hadith 2640) This beautiful hadith serves as a reminder and a consolation of the heart in times of difficulty. We are assured that we will be reunited with our loved ones in the hereafter. As mentioned at the beginning, it was said that after the advent of Islam, nothing brought greater joy to the Muslims than this profound truth. (Jami‘ at-Tirmidhi, Kitab z-zuhd, Hadith 2385)

When we turn to the Holy Quran, we inevitably find our answer with certainty. The All-Merciful God states:

“Gardens of Eternity. They shall enter them and also those who are righteous from among their fathers, and their wives and their children.” (Surah ar-Ra‘d, Ch.13: V.24)

The involvement of family members in one’s deeds, as outlined in this verse, highlights the shared responsibility and rewards for virtuous actions. Whether it’s the spouse of a missionary aiding in household duties or parents and children contributing to their relative’s good works, their collective support merits a share in the resulting rewards. In the divine scheme, those who excel in virtue will find their righteous families in the afterlife. For example, a tradesman, a farmer, or an industrialist are inherently linked to the collaborative efforts of numerous individuals. The prosperity of a businessperson or a farmer hinges upon the concerted efforts of countless others, knowingly or unknowingly.

Then, God also states:

“Verily the inmates of Heaven will, on that day, be happy in [their] occupation. They and their wives will be in pleasant shades, reclining on raised couches.” (Surah Ya Sin, Ch.36: V.56-57)

Further, the Gracious God records in the Holy Quran:

“‘Enter ye the Garden, you and your wives, honoured and happy.’” (Surah az-Zukhruf, Ch.43: V.71)

And again, we read:

“And those who believe and whose children follow them in faith — with them shall We join their children. And We will not diminish anything from [the reward of] their works. Every man stands pledged for what he has earned.” (Surah at-Tur, Ch.52: V.22)

All these verses suggest that those who are righteous will enter these eternal gardens, along with their forefathers, spouses, and children, indicating a reunion of families in paradise.

Moving on?

Often, after losing a loved one, as one’s world and life change instantly, a question arises: How will life be now? Will one be able to continue living life in the same manner? Frequently, one’s mind is flooded with such questions and thoughts.

In times of distress, people look for ways to move on; however, that’s in fact not the right approach. When a loved one passes, moving on without them should not be the intention; the idea is to move forward with them. And this was also the practice of the Holy Prophetsa.

Moving forward with them means that rather than moving on from them, it allows us to honour their memory, keep their spirit alive, and continue the legacy they left behind. By moving forward with them, we acknowledge the deep impact they had on us and ensure that their influence continues to enrich our lives even after they are gone.

Consider the example of the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa. Throughout his life, even after the passing of Hazrat Khadijara, he cherished her memory, keeping her alive in his heart until the end of his days.

Take the narration of Hazrat Aishara, for example. She stated:

“I never felt so jealous of any woman as I did of Khadija,” even though she had never even met her, she added. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-adab, Hadith 6004; Ibid., Kitab manaqibi l-ansar, Hadith 3818) This shows that the Holy Prophetsa did not move on from Hazrat Khadijahra; rather, he moved forward with her and honoured her. The Prophetsa mentioned Hazrat Khadijahra often, he would slaughter a sheep and distribute its meat among her friends, and give gifts to them. (Ibid.)

This is the example we ought to emulate. It holds the power to aid us in healing the deep wounds within our souls. It’s imperative that we keep this example ever-present in our minds.

The Holy Prophetsa would often speak about Hazrat Khadijahra, and this is how he moved forward with her. It is remarkable that Hazrat Aishara even stated that the Holy Prophetsa remembered her so often that it was as if “there is no woman on earth except Khadija.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab manaqibi l-ansar, Hadith 3818)

We know the Holy Prophetsa loved Hazrat Khadijara; however, he never let her passing be in vain. He remembered her, kept her memory alive, and was not held back by her passing, but instead continued his mission while keeping her memory alive.


Therefore, in times of losing a loved one, we never ought to lose faith. Upon losing a loved one, it is not expected to remain unaffected. That’s not the essence of sabr,or patience. Patience entails refraining from uttering anything displeasing to Allah.When you experience pain, remember that our Prophetsa experienced pain too. If tears fall, remember that our prophet shed tears as well. If you feel grief, know he also felt grief; however, he exemplified patience: “The eyes are shedding tears and the heart is grieved, and we will not say except what pleases our Lord.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-jana’iz, Hadith 1303)

And so, moving forward with those who have passed away is necessary for healing. Therefore, when we say Inna li-llahi wa-inna ilayhi raji‘un, we are not only remembering the deceased one’s passing, but also acknowledging that we will eventually join them in our return to Allah.

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