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Can We Cremate the Bodies of Those Who Died Due to the Corona Virus?

Question:

Can Muslim bodies affected by Covid-19 be cremated? Recently, the Srilankan Supreme Court has ordered to cremate the bodies.

Answer:

Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well.

No. The default ruling of burying the deceased according to the practice of the Muslims still stands. Proper precautions are to be taken in order to prevent further spread of the virus. There have been cases of people contracting it from the deceased.

I looked into the matter and could not find any authoritative sources that suggested it would be permissible to bury the bodies. With proper protective equipment the risk of contacting the virus is neutralised. In the case of a large number of bodies, multiple people can be buried in one grave if need be. So there is no need to resort to such a policy. [Shurunbulali, Imdad al-Fattah]

The European Fatwa Council also issued a statement saying that Muslims should bury and not burn their deceased. I hope that helps.

I pray that helps.

[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Quranic recital and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Quranic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.

How Should the Hair Of a Deceased Woman Be Placed Once She Has Been Washed?

Question: Assalamu alaikum. During ghusl of the deceased woman, what should be done with the hair? Where should it be placed once platted?

Answer:

Wa ‘alaykum asslam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh,

I pray you are well.

Her hair should be made into two plaits and placed on her chest, above the qamis, which would then be covered by the khimar. [Shurunbulali, Nur al-Idah]

This is a very virtuous act, and in many communities, there is a need for people to learn the method of washing the deceased due to the rise in the number of deaths. If you have the opportunity to learn the theory and to practically apply it as a service to the Muslim you will find much good in it from Allah.

May Allah bless you with the best of both worlds.
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Quranic recital and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Quranic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.

Living Simply: The Love of Meeting Allah (Part Nine)

Living Simply: Letting Go and Holding Fast

The Joy of the Believer (Part Nine)

door masjid

In order to get through life with ease, the early Muslims (salaf) focused on certain key ways of living that would make it spiritually and practically easier and more fruitful. They coined a term for the variegated rules that they lived by, a term that summarized the system of living for the Hereafter. They called it zuhd: detachment from this world. Other terms to describe zuhd are indifference towards worldly matters or simple or minimal living. This is the ninth article from a series of articles and podcasts by SeekersGuidance scholar, Shaykh Farid Dingle.

 

Introduction to Asceticism (Part One)

Listening More, Talking Less (Part Two)

Entertaining Ourselves to Death (Part Three)

Being Extremely Moderate (Part Four)

Evaluation of the Self (Part Five)

Wronging Others in Word and Deed (Part Six)

Spreading Muck (Part Seven)

Active Minimalism (Part Eight)

 

Since the believer’s ultimate goal and joy is Allah Most High and the next life, nothing fills his heart like drawing nearer to the time when he will meet Him. Naturally, then, we find the lore of the early Muslims replete with expressions of their wish to move on to Allah. All that held them here in this life was their occupation with deeds that would please Him. Besides death itself and good deeds, they also rejoiced at calamities because they knew they were expiations for sins. Ultimately, their joy was in the fact that they were believers because they appreciated how dear the believers are to Allah Most High.

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Whoever would love to meet Allah, Allah loves to meet him. Whoever would hate to meet Allah, Allah hates to meet him. Death comes before meeting Allah.” (Tirmidhi) 

This means that whoever is terrified of dying because deep inside he sees that he has done nothing to establish a relationship with Allah, it is only reflective of the fact that Allah does not love him. The hadith concludes with the poignant mention of death: love of meeting Allah means love of death.

Jalal al-Din al-Rumi said:

O lovers! O lovers! It’s time to depart from the world,

I can hear with the ear of my heart the drum of departure from the Heavens above.

Abdullah ibn Masud said, “The believer has no relief except meeting Allah Himself.” This message was learned and repeated by his student, Masruq, who said, “There is no room that is better for a believer than the grave: he is free from the worries of this life and is safe from the punishment of Allah.” And Rabi ibn Khaytham said, “There is nothing waiting in the wings for the believer that is better for him than death.” This is ultimately because the believer has established a relationship with his kind and caring Lord—he feels how cherished he is in Allah’s eyes. Abu Hurayra said, “The believer is more valuable in Allah’s eyes than even the archangels that are close to Him.”

Those who have not worked on their relationship with their creator are not so keen on death. The Caliph Suleyman ibn Abd al-Malik (d. 99 AH) asked Abu Hazim (d. 140 AH) why we hate to die. He replied, 

“Because you have worked to develop your worldly lives and make it luxurious, and you have left your next life in ruins, so you don’t want to move from luxury to ruin.”

Besides death itself, the believer rejoices at deeds that he has been given the fortune of doing. He loves to see the signs of Allah’s love upon him. Umar ibn al-Khattab said, “Were it not for three things, I would wish that I had gone on to Allah: traveling in the Way of Allah, putting my head down in prostration, and sitting with a group of men who carefully pick out good words just as good dates are selected.” It is noticeable that he put great value in being in the presence of good company. It is an act of worship in itself.

Just as it is a joy to see one’s good deeds, it is also a joy to see what sacrifices one makes for Allah. It is narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Whenever you leave something for Allah’s sake, Allah will give you something else that is even better than it.” This is a comfort for those who feel they are “missing out” in this life, support for those who are facing the difficulty of leaving sin, and a reason to rejoice for those who have made this sacrifice time and time again.

Even the fact of being saddened at one’s mistakes is a cause for joy. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Whoever is pleased by his good deeds, and saddened by his bad deeds—that is what a believer is!”

Even calamities are a reason for the believer to rejoice. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “The believer is amazing! If good befalls him, he praises Allah and thanks to Him. If an affliction befalls him, he seeks reward and is patient. The believer is rewarded for everything, even the very food he eats!” He is also narrated to have said, “No believer ever slips up, gets a cut, or is scratched for anything except that he committed a sin. And that which Allah overlooks is more.” He rejoices because he knows that it only comes as an expiation for sins or a means to raise him to levels of faith that he could have never otherwise reached.

In general, the believer is happy because he is in good hands: Allah Most High says, 

“Allah is the Protector of those who have faith: from the depths of darkness He will lead them forth into light.” (Qur’an, 2:257) 

And He says, “There has certainly come to you a Messenger from among yourselves. Heavy upon him is what you suffer; [he is] concerned for you and to the believers is kind and merciful.”

 

About the Author

Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to crafts lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language which can be found here. 

The corresponding podcast is due for release soon.

 

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Can My Deceased Mother See Me At Her Grave?

Question: Assalamu ‘alykum. My mother has passed away. Can she see me visiting the grave or anywhere else? I really want to know. I feel restless. I go to speak to her at her grave.

Answer:

Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.

I pray that Allah forgives and honors your mother and that all those who loved her are united with her in Paradise. Amin.

Yes, there are narrations that suggest that those who visit the graves of believers will be recognized. Go to her grave, recite some Qur’an, and donate the reward of it to her and all the other late Muslims. This will bring comfort to her.

Praying for her and donating rewards of good deeds to her is the best thing you can do for her now. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “When the son of Adam dies his good deeds cease except from three [avenues]: continuous charity, knowledge benefited from, and a righteous child who prays for him.” [Muslim]

See if you can give him charity for your mother. A charity which supports the continuous transmission of Sacred Knowledge will be most beneficial for her, along with your prayers for her.

May Allah grant you both the best of reunions in the next life.
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Quranic recital and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Quranic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.

Did My Negative Thoughts About Someone Cause Their Death?

Question: Many years before my grandmother passed away (Allah show her mercy!), I had thoughts of her dying? Now I feel extremely guilty for causing her death. Will Allah forgive me?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your important question.

It is okay! Thinking about someone dying does not mean that you killed them. You did not do anything wrong. There is no sin or wrong to forgive.

Try to step outside of yourself and imagine you were giving advice to someone in your exact scenario. Tell them that you are sad about the death of their grandmother and that it is okay to be sad. Tell them that they did not do anything wrong and that Allah is not angry with them.

Try and do this a few times on different days. InshaAllah, it will make you feel better.

I pray this helps.

[Ustadh] Farid Dingle

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language.

Taking A Patient Off Life Support

Question: My father has been ill due to Covid-19 and has been in a medically induced coma for 7 weeks. He has been getting his oxygen from a ventilator all this time. The other organs are working and he is not brain dead. The doctors in the best hospital in the country (Netherlands) have concluded that his lungs are permanently damaged in such a way that he will never be able to breathe on his own without an ICU ventilator. They want to stop treatment which will result into death. Is this allowed?

Answer: 

Asalaam alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I hope you’re doing well, insha’Allah. May Allah Most High grant you relief in this difficult and testing situation.

Keep in mind that all such tests are expiations (kaffara) for believers’ sins, and reward and raising in eternal ranks in Paradise with Allah Most High.

Our prayers are with your father and family.

Taking A Patient Off Life Support

Life support equipment—such as a ventilator—is a sunna (highly recommended) to seek when someone is sick. It is not morally obligatory for a patient to seek such medical treatment—though when healing is likely or hoped for, it is recommended and encouraged.

Thus, when reliable doctors state that there is little or no likelihood of recovery, it is permitted for the immediate family to agree to take the patient off life support. It is good to seek a second qualified medical opinion, when feasible, out of caution and for peace of mind. Striving to preserve life is a basic aim of Islamic teachings.

It is also good for the family to come together and agree to the course of action being taken. They should also agree not to second-guess any choice made—whether to continue life support or not.

The family should support each other in this difficult time. They should all make many prayers for your father; give in charity on his behalf, and renew certitude in Allah, and have complete trust in His Mercy, Wisdom, and Grace.

Please see the following links as well.

https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/dealing-with-a-terminal-illness-and-impending-death/

https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/extending-life-support-when-no-recovery-is-expected/

May Allah facilitate all ways of good for you. May Allah grant you success and facilitation.

And Allah is the giver of success and facilitation.

Wassalam,

Faraz Rabbani

 

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

How Can I Help My Old Mother That Suffers a Mental Disorder?

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question: My old mother is bed-bound, disabled, demented, and now deaf. I have to look after her without much help from my siblings. She is very difficult to deal with, and I lost my cool with her a lot, but then repent. Please advise. 

Answer: Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh

Dear sister, I pray you are well, and that Allah makes a way of these difficulties for you. You have a very difficult test, and I pray Allah Almighty makes it easier for you and rewards you tremendously for it.

Good News

A woman who had epileptic fits came to the Messenger of Allah, Allah blesses him and give him peace. She wanted him to pray for the affliction to be removed. He told her that if she remained patient she would get Paradise. (Bukhari)

From the details you described in your question it seems that you have an incredibly difficult test. Perhaps this is the means that will gain you a place in Paradise without any judgment. And perhaps your mother’s illness will gain her the same. Have a good opinion of Allah.

Do What You Can

Try your best to remain calm with your mother. If you do happen to lose your patience,  ask Allah for forgiveness and try to apologize to her. It’s clear that your test is an intense one, and as humans, there is only so much we can handle, especially when there is no rest from the trials. Don’t let the guilt burden you. With every repentance, assume your mistakes are all wiped away.

Practically, however, I don’t think this situation is something you can manage on your own long term. If you carry on like this you are going to end up getting ill yourself. Speak to your siblings, and if they cannot physically come to help, then maybe they can all make a monthly contribution towards hiring a carer to come to your home and assist you.

This is the least they can do, and it will give you some much-needed rest as well.

Please have a daily dose of reminders on patience and fortitude as they will provide you with invaluable support. May Allah grant you ease in all your affairs. Amin.

[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.

Can I Work as a Nurse in Hospice Care?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question: I am a registered nurse considering doing Hospice nursing. The purpose of hospice care is to treat symptoms of the terminally ill and keep the patient as comfortable as possible. Am I permitted to do such work?

Answer: Assalamu alaykum, thank you for your question.

It is permissible for you to work in hospice care. Managing pain and making patients comfortable is praiseworthy and more conducive to making them capable of tawba before the end of their lives. Being a Muslim in the company of non-Muslims before their deaths could very well be great mercy, too.

As for morphine, this is the explanation that I have found: If a person has never received morphine, the initial doses given are low. They are gradually increased to relieve the person’s level of pain or shortness of breath. After a few days of regular doses, the body adjusts to the morphine. The patient becomes less likely to be affected by morphine’s most serious side effect—the slowing of breathing. It would take a large dose to increase over a short time to harm someone. Morphine doses are increased gradually and only as needed to maintain comfort. [CanadianVirtualHospice]

It seems that with the responsible administering of the medicine, it is not be assumed that it hastens death, but that it falls in the category of many other medicines: curing the symptom with some side effects. And Allah knows best. Please see the following links for more information:

Extending Life Support When No Recovery is Expected

Is Euthanasia Permissible?

May Allah grant us all a good ending (husn al khitam).

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterwards, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

 

Waiting Period After A Miscarriage

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Salams, I was 24weeks pregnant and had a sudden delivery and my baby died. I want to ask how many days should I wait for praying to make my Prayer?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

I’m deeply sorry to hear that your baby passed away shortly after birth. May Allah Most High increase you in steadfastness and facilitate your healing and recovery. Insha’Allah, you shall be reunited with your baby in the next life where you will find an infinite reward for your sincere faith and submission. It’s moving to see somebody so concerned about their relationship with their Lord after such a tragic event.

The blood which exits from the uterus after the birth of a child is legally considered to be lochia (nifas). The maximum period of such bleeding is forty days, but keep an eye on it to see if it stops before then. If it does, you should perform the full, ritual bath (ghusl) and then begin praying your prayers as usual. Similarly, you may fast, recite the Qur’an and engage in other acts of devotion after your bath.

Marital Relations After Childbirth

If you have a lochial habit, that is to say, you have had a child before and the lochia lasted a certain length of time, then it would not be permitted to engage in sexual relations with your spouse until the completion of this period. For example, if your bleeding lasted thirty days last time, and this time it stopped after twenty-five, you would need to avoid such relations until you reach thirty days.

Note that you can still be intimate with your spouse at any point during your lochia, yet without any direct, skin-to-skin contact between your navel and knee.

However, if the bleeding continues and reaches forty complete days, you may not engage in any sexual relations during this time and up to this point, even if your lochial habit finished much earlier. Further, you would consider all blood after your lochial habit to be irregular (istihada). Accordingly, you would need to perform a ritual bath and then make up the prayers from the end of your habit and until day forty, and then continue to consider yourself ritually pure thereafter.

If there are issues in calculation or any other problem arises, it’s worth reaching out to a reliable scholar to ask for assistance.

(Birgivi, Dhukhr al-Muta’ahhilin wa al-Nisa’; Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah, with Tahtawi’s Gloss)

Please also see: How Can I Know the End of My Menstrual Period? and: When to Resume Prayers After Having a Child

And Allah Most High knows best.

Wassalam,

[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Leicester, where he also served as the President of the Islamic Society. He memorized the entire Qur’an in his hometown of Ipswich at the tender age of sixteen and has since studied the Islamic Sciences in traditional settings in the UK, Jordan, and Turkey. He is currently pursuing advanced studies in Jordan, where he is presently based on his family.

Grave Visits

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: My husband offers only Friday prayers and their family belongs to a sect. They visit shrines. Is my marriage valid?

Answer: assalamu alaykum

Yes, your marriage is certainly valid.

Missing prayer is sinful but a person does not become a non-Muslim due to it. You should gently encourage your family to perform their obligatory prayers when the right moment presents itself for presenting such advice.

Similarly, visiting shrines is permissible. It is no different from visiting any other grave.

Marriage is only invalidated through divorce, annulment, a khul’, or the apostasy of one of the spouses. The latter case has a very high threshold. We do not rule Muslims as disbelievers unless there is decisive and clear evidence in that regard. The issues you mention do not relate to belief/disbelief.

[Ustadh] Salman Younas

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Salman Younas was born and raised in New York and graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. After studying the Islamic sciences online and with local scholars in New York, Ustadh Salman moved to Amman. There he studies Islamic law, legal methodology, belief, hadith methodology, logic, Arabic, and tafsir. Ustadh Salman’s personal interests include research into the fields of law/legal methodology, hadith, theology, as well as political theory, government, media, and ethics. He is also an avid traveler and book collector. He currently resides in Amman with his wife.