‘Benefitting The Dead’
At the outset please know, that in Islam, death is not perceived as an end of life. It is just the end of the worldly existence as we witness it, and the beginning of a new existence, in which the soul experiences a new world. And instead of crying or wailing on the death, it is prescribed to do the things mentioned in the Sunnah that would benefit our Dead.
There is a difference of opinion amongst scholars about the things that can benefit the deceased. We are quoting here only the things that there are no disputes about leaving out matter that the scholars have differed about.
Salat Al Janazah (Funeral Prayer)
Amongst the first things that we do after a death is offer Funeral Prayer. That also is a means of benefitting the Dead. When the Muslims pray janazah for their deceased brother, they are granted intercession for him. The more the number of Muslims who join in the prayer, the more beneficial it is for the deceased.
This means that Allaah takes their testimony and supplication regarding the deceased’s apparent actions as a sufficient reason for forgiveness. Since those Muslims who associated with him did not find any major problem to prevent them from supplicating for him, Allaah the most generous accepts that and agrees to forgive many of his hidden sins that they did not know. Allaah’s Messenger ﷺ said, “Whenever a Muslim man dies, and forty men stand for his janazah prayer, all of them not joining anything with Allaah in worship, Allaah grants them intercession for him.” (Muslim and others).
In another narration, the number 100 was mentioned instead of 40
So strive to offer Funeral prayers and try and get as many Muslims to attend the Funeral prayer and request them to pray for the deceased.
REWARDS FOR THE DEAD
It is not prescribed in Islam to give the rewards for any action to a living person, but with regard to the dead it is permissible within the guidelines set out in the reports (of the Sunnah). We shall look at this matter in detail below, in sha Allaah.
Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked about giving the reward for reading Qur’aan and naafil prayers to one’s mother who could neither read nor write. He said: There is no evidence (daleel) in sharee’ah to indicate that one can give (the reward for) prayers and reading Qur’aan to another person, whether he is alive or dead.
But it is prescribed for you to make du’aa’ for her and to give in charity on her behalf, and to do Hajj and ‘Umrah on her behalf, if she is old and cannot do Hajj and ‘Umrah. Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz, 9/321.
2. With regard to giving the reward for good deeds to the dead: Islam permits doing this in the case of some deeds, so we should limit ourselves to that – it is not right to make an analogy between these and other deeds, because the basic principle concerning acts of worship is not to do anything unless there is evidence (daleel).
Among the deeds whose rewards we are allowed to give to the dead, or by means of which the dead can benefit from the actions of the living, are the following:
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And those who came after them say: “Our Lord! Forgive us and our brethren who have preceded us in Faith…” [al-Hashr 59:10]
It was narrated that ‘Uthmaan ibn ‘Affaan said: “When the Prophet ﷺ finished burying someone who had died, he would stand over him and say, ‘Pray for forgiveness for your brother, and ask that he may be made steadfast, for even now he is being questioned.’” (Narrated by Abu Dawood, 3221).
Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “The fact that the dead benefit from du’aa’s is indicated by the consensus of the ummah on offering du’aa’ for him during the janaazah (funeral) prayer, hence we know that du’aa’ benefits the deceased. This is supported by many ahaadeeth and is in fact is the whole point of praying for the deceased. The same applies to making du’aa’ for him after the burial, and making du’aa’ for them when visiting their graves.” (al-Rooh, 118, 119)
(ii) Making up fasts that were obligatory upon the deceased because of vows, as expiation (kafaarah) and so on
It was reported from ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) that the Messenger of Allaah ﷺ said: “Whoever dies and had any fasts outstanding, his heir should observe those fasts on his behalf.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1851; Muslim, 1147)
(iii) Paying off debts
The seriousness of this and ahadeeth related to paying off debts was quoted in class 4 (Family reacting to the Death).
(iv) Fulfilling vows to do acts of worship
It was reported from Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with them both) that a woman from Juhaynah came to the Prophet ﷺ and said: “My mother vowed to go for Hajj, but she did not go for Hajj before she died. Should I do Hajj on her behalf?” He said, “Yes, do Hajj on her behalf. Do you not think that if your mother was in debt you would pay it off for her? Pay off the debt that is owed to Allaah, for Allaah is more deserving that what is owed to Him should be paid off.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1754)
(v) Performing Hajj on his behalf
It was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas that the Messenger of Allaah ﷺ heard a man saying “Labbayka ‘an Shubrumah (At your service, O Allaah, on behalf of Shubrumah).” The Messenger of Allaah ﷺ said, “Who is Shubrumah?” He said, “A relative of mine.” The Prophet ﷺ said, “Have you ever done Hajj before?” He said, “No.” he said, “Do this Hajj for yourself, then do Hajj on behalf of Shubrumah.” (Narrated by Abu Dawood, 1811; Ibn Maajah, 2903 – this version was narrated by him).
(vi) Charity given by Children
Charity (sadaqah) given on behalf of the deceased will benefit him and its reward will reach him, according to the consensus of the Muslims.
It was narrated in al-Saheehayn from ‘Aa’ishah that a man said to the Prophet ﷺ: “My mother died suddenly and she did not leave a will, but I think that if she could have spoken she would have given in charity. Will she have a reward if I give in charity on her behalf?” The Prophet ﷺ said: “Yes.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, no. 1388; Muslim, no. 1004.
And it was narrated by al-Bukhaari from Sa’d ibn ‘Ubaadah that his mother died when he was absent, and he said: “O Messenger of Allaah, my mother has died when I was absent. Will it benefit her if I give in charity on her behalf?” He said: “Yes.” He said: “I ask you to bear witness that my garden that bears fruit is given in charity on her behalf.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 2756.
The deceased can benefit from charity given on his behalf, which includes a waqf of a Mus-haf etc, or digging a well, or planting a tree, whether he does that during his lifetime or it is done by someone else on his behalf after his death.
However the this is only subject to Charity being given by the Child of the deceased. Charity by other people on behalf of the deceased is not proven form the Sunnah and the scholars have differed about it with the stronger view being the charity of others doesn’t reach the deceased.
vii) Righteous deeds done by the children of the deceased
Shaykh al-Albaani (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “Whatever righteous deeds the righteous son does, his parents will have a reward like his, without it detracting from his reward in the slightest, because their child is part of their striving and earning. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): ‘And that man can have nothing but what he does (good or bad)’ [al-Najm 53:39]. The Messenger of Allaah ﷺ said: ‘The best that a man can benefit from is that which he earns, and his son is also part of his earnings.’ (Narrated by Abu Dawood & Nisai)
With regard to reading Qur’aan: the correct view is that nothing from these actions reaches the deceased, because there is no evidence (daleel) to that effect.
Imaam Ibn Katheer said: “‘And that man can have nothing but what he does (good or bad)’ [al-Najm 53:39 – interpretation of the meaning]. This means, just as he cannot bear the burden (of sin) of another person, so too the reward for the things he has done can only go to himself. From this aayah al-Shaafa’i (may Allaah have mercy on him) and those who followed him understood that the reward for reading Qur’aan cannot be given to the dead, because it is not something that they have done and earned. Hence the Messenger of Allaah ﷺ did not recommend or encourage his ummah to do this, and did not command or hint to them to do this. Nothing to this effect has been transmitted from any of the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them). If it was a good thing, they would have done it before us. Acts of worship are restricted to things that are indicated in the texts (Qur’aan and Sunnah), and there is no room for analogy (qiyaas) or personal opinions.” (Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 4/259)
So being the best asset of the parents one should act like one and give his best to do good benefitting the dead parent, rewarding oneself and also setting an example for your own children so that they do the same for you when you die.
Link to Urdu Lecture by Shaikh Yasir Al-Jabri https://youtu.be/tRDFieShMY4
Note: -The Lecture can have more or less details from the that what is written here in English. The Tests will ONLY be from what is written here in English. The Lectures are provided to have give better understanding of the matter.
‘Want A Good End? Live A Good Life!’
Blessed is He in Whose Hand is the dominion, and He is Able to do all things. Who has created death and life, that He may test you which of you is best in deed. And He is the All-Mighty, the Oft-Forgiving; (Al-Mulk 67:1-2)
Allah (SWT) alone decides when a person passes away. He it is Who gives life and causes death. And when He decides upon a thing He says to it only: “Be!” and it is. (Ghafir 40:66)
Everyone shall taste death. And only on the Day of Resurrection shall you be paid your wages in full. And whoever is removed away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise, he indeed is successful. The life of this world is only the enjoyment of deception (a deceiving thing). (Aali Imran 3:185)
It was narrated that Abu Hurairah said: “The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: ‘Frequently remember the destroyer of pleasures,’ meaning death.” [Sunan ibn Majah Vol. 1, Book 37, Hadith 4258]
And by remembering you prepare for it, i.e. prepare for a Good end!
When a person thinks of Death he feels it can come any time, that should make the person hasten to set things straight by repenting to Allah, making up for any wrongs done to people and asking them for forgiveness, hastening to do righteous deeds, being serious and focused in turning to Allah and obeying Him, and seeking pardon and forgiveness from Him by His grace, in addition to thinking positively of Allah, may He be glorified, and trusting in His abundant grace and mercy, and believing that He will never let down a slave who thinks positively of Him.
Muslim (2877) narrated that Jaabir said: I heard the Prophet ﷺ say, three days before he died: “No one of you should die except thinking positively of Allah.”
Then the person also does a great deal of those deeds that expiate and erase sins, such as praying for forgiveness, maintaining wudoo’, praying, Hajj and ‘Umrah, and so on.
A good end means when a person was guided before his death to keep away from that which angers the Lord and to repent from sin, and to focus on doing acts of worship and good deeds, and then he died in this good state. One of the indications of this is the saheeh hadeeth narrated from Anas ibn Maalik (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said: The Messenger of Allaah ﷺ said: “When Allaah wills good for His slave, He uses him.” They said, “How does He use him?” He said, “He guides him to do good deeds before he dies.” (Narrated by Imam Ahmad, 11625; al-Tirmidhi, 2142)
The Messenger of Allaah ﷺ said: “When Allaah wills good for His slave, He sweetens him.” He was asked, “What is this sweetening?” He said, “Allaah guides him to do righteous deeds before he dies, then He takes (his soul) whilst he is in that state.” (Narrated by Ahmad, 17330)
Want a Good end – Live a Good Life
O mankind, have Taqwa of Allah the Exalted and prepare for the meeting with your Lord, with the preparation of the righteous. Verily the state of man is as his Lord the Exalted said:
(يَا أَيُّهَا الْأِنْسَانُ إِنَّكَ كَادِحٌ إِلَى رَبِّكَ كَدْحاً فَمُلاقِيهِ) (الانشقاق:6)
O man! Verily, you are returning towards your Lord with your deeds and actions (good or bad), a sure returning, so you will meet Him. (Soorah Al Inshiqaq 84:6)
O Muslims, verily the person does not know where he will die. And he does not know when he will die. As Allah the Exalted said:
(وَمَا تَدْرِي نَفْسٌ مَاذَا تَكْسِبُ غَداً وَمَا تَدْرِي نَفْسٌ بِأَيِّ أَرْضٍ تَمُوتُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ خَبِيرٌ)(لقمان: من الآية34)
No person knows what he will earn tomorrow, and no person knows in what land he will die. Verily, Allah is All-Knower, All-Aware (of things). (Soorah Luqman 31: 34)
If we don’t know what we will earn tomorrow while this is from our actions, then surely we do not know when we will die as this is from the actions of Allah the Exalted. Since we do not know in what land we will die, despite the fact that the person travels to the land by choice, and since we do not know when we will die, therefore the place of death is unknown and the time of death is unknown. We ask Allah to grant us and you and good ending.
It is not important when the person will die or where the person will die. It is not important that he dies in Mecca or in Medina or another place from the lands of Allah. It is not important that he dies on Friday, or Monday or any other day of the week. The most important thing which is in what condition the person will die. This is what is important. In what condition will the person die? Will you die upon Imaan (faith), sincerity, and Tawheed? We ask Allah to grant this to all of us. Or will you die upon doubt, shirk, kufr and obstinacy and ingratitude? This is what is important; this is what is important, O Muslims. But whoever wants to die upon good then let him do good. For surely Allah the Exalted is too Generous and too Kind to abandon His slave during the time of difficulty if he used to know and acknowledge Allah in times of ease.
The Prophet ﷺ said: تَعَرَّفْ إلَى اللَّهِ فِي الرَّخَاءِ يَعْرِفُك فِي الشِّدَّةِ Know and acknowledge Allah in times of ease and prosperity, and He will know you in times of difficulty.
What is more difficult than the person’s life coming to an end, what is more difficult than the person leaving this world?! Thus if the person knew and acknowledged his Lord during times of ease, by obedience to Him and drawing near to Him with worship of Him and constantly remembering Him, then surely Allah the Exalted will know him during his time of difficulty. May Allah grant us and you that. The only thing that matters is in what condition the person will die.
Agonies of Death
The agonies of death are the last hardship that a person encounters before meeting Allah, and they are the last thing by means of which Allah expiates the sins of His slave. We ask Allah to make these agonies easy for us and help us to bear them.
Al-Bukhaari (4449) narrated from ‘Aa’ishah that during the sickness of which he died, the Messenger of Allah ﷺ began to put his hand in water and wipe his face with it, saying: “Laa ilaaha ill-Allah (there is no god but Allah), verily death has agonies.” Then he held up his hand and started saying: “With the higher companions…” until he passed away and his hand fell.
Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar (may Allah have mercy on him) said: The dying person can only be one of two things: either it is a relief for him or others are relieved of him. In either case things may be very hard for him at the time of death or they may be alleviated for him. In the former case, he is the one who is faced with the agonies of death, and that has nothing to do with whether he was pious or an evildoer; rather if he was one of the pious it will increase him in reward, otherwise it will expiate for him accordingly, then he will be relieved of the annoyances of this world, of which this is the last. ‘Umar ibn ‘Abd al-‘Azeez said: I would not like the agonies of death to be reduced for me, for that is the last thing by means of which sin may be expiated for the believer. Yet at the same time, what the believer receives of glad tidings and the angels being happy to meet him, and their accompanying him, and his joy at meeting his Lord, make it easier for him to bear whatever he may face of the pain of death, until it becomes as if he does not feel anything of that. End quote from Fath al-Baari (11/365)
The Scholars have not agreed on any way of reducing the agonies of death, except that the individual should turn to his Lord concerning that, and call upon Him at times of hardship and of ease.
We do not know of anyone who is saved from this hardship apart from the martyr. Imam Ahmad (7953), at-Tirmidhi (1668 – and he classed it as saheeh), an-Nasaa’i (3161) and Ibn Maajah (2802) narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “The martyr does not feel anything more when he is killed than one of you feels if he is pinched.” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh at-Tirmidhi and elsewhere.
Authentic Duas about Death
There are many duas from the Sunnah that one can find related to Death and its trials. One should try and memrose them and supplicate as much as possible.
The below dua that the Prophet ﷺ used to recite in Salah after Tashahud to be saved the Punishment of Hellfire, Grave and to be saved from the trials of Life & Death and form Dajjal was covered in previous classes in the course.
اَللَّهُـمَّ إِنيِّ أَعوُذُ بِكَ مِنْ عَذاَبِ جَهَنَّمَ،وَمِنْ عَذاَبِ الْقَبْرِ وَمِنْ فِتْـنَةِ الْمَحْياَ وَالْمَماَتِ وَمِنْ فِتْـنَةِ الْمَسيِحِ الدَّجاَّلِ
Allahumma inni a’udhu bika min ‘adhabi jahannam, wa min ‘adhabil-qabr, wa min fitnatil-mahya wal-mamat, wa min sharri fitnatil-masihid-dajjal
(O Allah! I seek refuge in You from the torment of Hell, from the torment of the grave, from the trials of life and death, and from the mischief of Al-Masih Ad-Dajjal (Antichrist).”
Also stated in the Sunnah of one of the most effective ways of dealing with worries about the future which includes Death is to recite this du’a which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to recite:
“Allahumma aslih li deeni alladhi huwa ‘ismatu amri, wa aslih li dunyaya allati fiha ma’ashi, wa aslih li akhirati allati ilayha ma’adi, waj’al al-hayata ziyadatan li fi kulli khayr, wa’l-mawta rahatan li min kulli sharr
(O Allah, correct my religious commitment which is the foundation of my life, and correct my worldly affairs in which is my livelihood, and grant me good in the Hereafter to which is my return. Make my life a means of accumulating good, and make death a respite for me from all evil).” (Narrated by Muslim, 2720).
May Allah make us all remember death, give us the Hidayah to prepare for it, May we spend our lives in a way that pleases our Lord and meet Him in a state that He is pleased with us. May Allah by His Mercy make us all Inhabitants of Jannah!