What should i do on the death of a family member/friend/relatives/neighbours.
Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
dear mr. burhan
pls. advise us what should i do on the death of a family member /friend /relatives /
a) if it happens in your house what should one do according to sunnah.
b) if i visit neighbour/relatives/friends should i go and recite quran in their house joining others reciting quran/tasbih etc?
say fatiha? what is fatiha and how should one say?
pls. let us know the procedure in detail. i will be very greatful to you.
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Innovations on dead deceased
In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
Q-1: if it happens in your house what should one do according to sunnah.
If one experiences the death of a loved one, one should follow the guidance and the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saws) and mourn the deceased loved ones in a way and manner only as endorsed by the Messenger of Allah (saws):
- First and foremost one should immediately prepare to give the deceased an honorable burial in accordance with the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saws).
- The mourning period of the deceased should be limited to three days, except in the case of the death of ones husband, where the wife is to mourn the prescribed period of four months and ten days.
Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 2.370 Narrated by Zainab bint Abi Salama
Um Habiba related that she heart the Prophet (saws) saying: 'It is not legal for a woman who believes in Allah and the Last Day to mourn for more than three days for any dead person except her husband, for whom she should mourn for four months and ten days.' "
- The relatives, friends, neighbors and loved ones should visit the family of the deceased during the mourning period and prepare (or bring) some food for the deceaseds family.
When Hadrat Jafar ibn Abu Taalib (r.a.) was martyred, Abdullah ibn Ja'far reported that the Messenger of Allah (saws) said: "Prepare some food for the family of Ja'far, for what has befallen them is keeping them preoccupied."
- One should try to console and share the grief of the family of the loved ones, exhort them to patience, and help the deceaseds family in any way they can.
- And above all, one should earnestly supplicate the Lord Most Merciful to have Mercy on their deceased loved one.
Q-2: if i visit neighbour/relatives/friends should i go and recite quran in their house joining others reciting quran/tasbih etc?
Abu Hurairah reported that The Prophet (saws), said, 'When a person dies all his good deeds cease except for three: a continuous act of charity, beneficial knowledge, and a righteous offspring who prays for him'.''
Related by Muslim and Abu Dawood.
For absolutely all acts of worship, we must always follow what is said by Allah and His Messenger (saws). There is absolutely no evidence that the Messenger of Allah (saws), his noble family, or any of his noble companions ever gathered people at the house of the deceased and recited the Glorious Quran or performed the tasbeeh for the deceased!
The Glorious Quran is a Book of Guidance revealed by Allah for the guidance of the living amongst mankind and one who is alive will definitely benefit from its recitation and from its commands of Wisdom and Knowledge. In light of the above narration and clear guidance of the Messenger of Allah (saws), all the good deeds of a person who dies cease except for three things specifically mentioned; and the recitation of the Quran over the deceased is not one of them!
Just as one cannot do a sin and transfer it to the account of the deceased; one cannot do any good deed and transfer it to the deceased unless specified by Allah and His Messenger (saws)!
But what can and must do is make constant supplication for his deceased brother/sister in faith to the Merciful Lord, and beseech Him to be Merciful on the departed soul, forgive his/her sins and grant them an honorable place in Paradise. This was the practice and the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saws).
Thus gathering and the ceremonial reading of the Quran over the deceased and/or to transfer the reward of the recitation of the Quran to the deceased, is a clear and manifest innovation, and the believers who sincerely believe in Allah and the Last Day must abstain from this and every innovation that has unfortunately crept into the deen of Islam.
Q-3: say fatiha? what is fatiha and how should one say?
The literal meaning of the Arabic term Fatihah is something which opens a subject or a book or any other thing. The Surah with the Seven Verses which start the Glorious Quran is known as the Surah Al-Fatihah.
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 1 Surah Al-Fatihah verses 1-7:
1 In the Name of Allah Most Gracious Most Merciful.
2 Praise be to Allah the Cherisher and Sustainer of the Worlds.
3 Most Gracious Most Merciful.
4 Master of the Day of Judgment.
5 Thee do we worship and Thine aid we seek.
6 Show us the straight way.
7 The way of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy Grace, those whose (portion) is not wrath and who go not astray.
If one understands the clear meanings of what one is saying while reciting Surah Fatihah, one would realize that after praising and glorifying Allah, one is beseeching Allah to guide oneself to the Straight Path. This is a dua and a supplication a living beings makes to His Lord and Creator; and in response to his supplication Allah has given mankind the whole Quran to guide those amongst them who want to believe and be guided to the Straight Path of Islam! If one reads the Surah Fatihah with understanding, one will immediately realize that the benefit is for the person who makes this supplication and definitely not for the departed soul! The one who recites Surah Fatihah will definitely receive its reward and ajr; but the recitation of this Surah has absolutely no benefit for the departed soul.
There is absolutely no evidence in the practice and Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saws) that he would recite the Surah Fatihah when visiting the deceaseds family, nor did he (saws) ever encourage nor endorse the recitation of this Surah for the deceased!
It is indeed unfortunate that some amongst the ignorant have invented a whole rite and ritual for the deceased and named it fatihah, whereby people are gathered for this supposed ritual of fatihah, food, fruits, etc. is specifically served by the deceased family to those who have gathered for this ritual of fatihah, etc.! Allah Subhanah is our witness, this whole ritual of fatihah for the deceased is a self-invented and innovated rite and does not have an iota of evidence from the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saws); and the believers who sincerely believe in Allah and the Last Day must abstain from this and every innovation that has unfortunately crept into the deen of Islam.
Sahih Muslim Hadith 1885 Narrated by Jabir ibn Abdullah
That the Prophet of Allah (saws) said in a sermon: The best speech is that which is embodied in the Book of Allah, the Al Quran; and the best guidance is the guidance given by me, Mohamed (saws). The most evil affairs are the innovations, and every innovation is an error.
Sunan of Abu-Dawood Hadith 4515 Narrated by Ali ibn AbuTalib
That the Prophet of Allah (saws) said: If anyone introduces an innovation (in religion), he will be responsible for it. If anyone introduces an innovation or gives shelter to a man who introduces an innovation he is cursed by Allah, by His Angels, and by all the people.
Instead of visiting, consoling, helping, and assisting the family of the deceased to come to terms with their grief, the ignorant amongst the people burden them with such innovations as fatihah where the deceaseds family are made to run around to accommodate the gatherers, buy or borrow copies of the Quran which would be read over the deceased, and prepare an enormous amount of food to feed those who gather for the ritual!! Not satisfied with putting this physical and financial burden upon the bereaved family, some amongst the most ignorant even go to the extent of repeating this innovated ritual on the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 9th, 10th, 30th and 40th day of the death of the deceased! Allah is our witness, this innovated ritual of what is known today as fatihah over the deceased neither helps nor consoles nor lightens the burden of the bereaved family; but rather increases it!!!
But the deen of mercy and the one who was sent as a mercy to the worlds, Prophet Mohamed (saws) guided the believers to earnestly supplicate the Lord Most Merciful to have mercy on their deceased brother or sister, help and assist the bereaved family in any and every which way they can, feed them during these trying days, share their grief, and help them to bring their lives back to normal as soon as possible.
If one trusts, obeys, and follows the guidance and commands of Allah and His Messenger (saws), one can be assured of never ever being misled; but if one believes, obeys and follows any other guidance, other than that of Allah and His Messenger (saws), one can be assured of being led astray.
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me alone. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your brother and well wisher in Islam,