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Past Debts, Preparation of Will and Funeral

Ustadh Farid Dingle is asked about paying past debts, how to prepare one’s will including instructions for one’s funeral and what must be done.

 

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

1. In the past I wronged my employer, I recently explained to him what I did and offered to pay him back what I owed him, he forgave me and refused to take the money. I have other debts I must pay off like zakat of previous years etc., can I use the money he refused to pay of those debts?

2. I have many years of prayers and fasts to repay, in case I pass away before completing this I want to write in my will the total for every missed prayer and fast and instruct my family to pay this amount to charity – is the correct and valid?

3. What is the sunna for the passing of someone? Where I live when someone passes the person is prayed over then buried then the funeral will last for 3 days, the relatives must wear black and the 40th day after the passing of the deceased is a highlighted day in my culture the family will either do a mawlid on this day or something like this. If none of this is Islamic I would prefer to not have any of it done and I will instruct this in my will.

4. Also, I was told that if you go to someone’s funeral and hit yourself out of grief the deceased will be punished, is this true? If it is I will also instruct in my will for nobody to do this when I pass away.

Jazak Allah khayran.

 

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

1. Yes.

2. Yes. Please also see What Can We Do about Missed Prayers of a Deceased?

3. You should just write in your will that you want everything to be done by the Sunna. Please see What You Need to Know About the Fiqh of Burial, by Imam Tahir Anwar.

Regarding the forty day event, please see Is It Permissible to Complete the Qur’an Forty Days After Someone’s Death?

As for the relatives wearing black, it is permissible, but only for three days, but better not to be done. (Ibn Abidin)

4. That is true.

The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Whoever slaps their face, tears their clothes, or cries out [with over exaggerated claim] of the pre-Islamic era is not of us.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

I pray this helps.

Farid

 

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


 

How Long Should One Wait to Get Married After a Death in the Family?

Answered by Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan

Question: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatahu,

Is there any ruling on how long to wait before having a celebration (such as getting married) after a death in the family?

Answer: Wa alaykum asalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatahu

Marriage with the correct intention is a noble act of worship. May Allah facilitate this major step in your life and make it means for you and your future spouse to gain closeness to Allah.

With the exception of a widow, there is no waiting period for marriage after the passing of a relative in the Sacred Law. There are narrations from some of the companions and pious predecessors who married shortly after and, at times, the same day of the passing of their wives. It would thus be permissible for you to marry even prior to the passing of 40 days.

Nonetheless, in sensitive situations such as these, one should not merely be in search of what is permissible. Rather, the feelings and emotions of close family should be considered. As far as possible, try to get the approval of those close to you or practice patience for a short while. Don’t jeopardize such family ties only to have the wedding take place five weeks earlier.

And Allah knows best
Wassalam
[Shaykh] Abdurragmaan Khan

Shaykh Abdurragmaan received ijazah ’ammah from various luminaries, including but not restricted to: Habib Umar ibn Hafiz—a personality who affected him greatly and who has changed his relationship with Allah, Maulana Yusuf Karaan—the former Mufti of Cape Town; Habib ‘Ali al-Mashhur—the current Mufti of Tarim; Habib ‘Umar al-Jaylani—the Shafi‘i Mufti of Makkah; Sayyid Ahmad bin Abi Bakr al-Hibshi; Habib Kadhim as-Saqqaf; Shaykh Mahmud Sa’id Mamduh; Maulana Abdul Hafiz al-Makki; Shaykh Ala ad-Din al-Afghani; Maulana Fazlur Rahman al-Azami and Shaykh Yahya al-Gawthani amongst others.

Three Acts That Defined Abdul Sattar Edhi's Life, by Ustadh Salman Younas

Ustadh Salman Younas summarizes the core essence of Abdul Sattar Edhi’s life in the words of the Prophet ﷺ

Orphans

The Prophet (God bless him) said, “The one who cares for an orphan will be with me in Paradise like this,” and he held his two fingers together. [Bukhari]
Imagine then the station and proximity of one who cared for and assisted hundreds of thousands of orphans.

Widows

The Prophet (God bless him) said, “The person who strives on behalf of the widow and poor is like one who strives in the way of God and like one who fasts in the day and prays at night.” [Bukhari, Muslim]

Imagine then the number of fasts and prayers earned by one who cared for millions of widows and poor people.

Daughters

The Prophet (God bless him) said about a widowed woman he was informed about who was taking care of her two daughters, “Whoever looks after these girls in any way and is good to them will have them as a veil from the Fire.” [Bukhari, Muslim]
Imagine then the number of veils between the fire and someone who looked after millions of little girls.

The Grief-stricken

The Prophet (God bless him) said, “Whoever removes a worldly grief from a believer, God will remove from him one of the griefs of the Day of Judgment.” [Muslim]
Imagine then the amount of grief and hardship removed from a person who lifted the grief and worry of millions of people.
This was Abdul Sattar Edhi‬. May God have mercy upon him, and us, and all people everywhere.
 
Follow Ustadh Salman Younas on Facebook.
Three Acts That Formed The Core Of Abdul Sattar Edhi's Life, by Ustadh Salman Younas

Is There a Waiting Period for a Male to Remarry After His Wife Has Passed Away? How Should One Deal With the Sadness Regarding This Loss?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: As salam alaykum,

Is there a waiting period for a male to remarry after his wife has passed away and if so, how long should he wait? Is there any advice to give him when he is feeling a strong loss and is lonely?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that this message finds you well, insha’Allah.

I’m sorry to hear of your loss. May Allah grant you steadfastness and a tremendous reward for your contentment with the Divine Decree.

No, there is not a specific, legal waiting period (`idda) for the husband because one of the primary reasons for its legislation is to ensure that lineage is preserved, namely by giving the woman a certain time period to show signs of pregnancy.

However, he does have to “wait” with respect to marriage in some instances, such as in the case of divorce and wanting to marry his wife’s sister, the details of which and other similar cases can be found in the works of law.

As for the woman, her waiting period is decisively established in the Qur’an. Allah Most High says, “Divorced women must wait for three monthly periods before remarrying” [2.228] and, “If any of you die and leave widows, the widows should wait for four months and ten nights before remarrying.” [2.234] [For further details, please see: Basic Rulings and Length of the Waiting Period (`idda)]

Trials are turbulent and distressing times, but those who realise that it is Allah Most High who is in charge, and it is He who is running the affairs of His creation, seek submission and contentment over objection and complaint, knowing that a mighty reward and a Divine Promise shall soon be fulfilled.

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “What an extraordinary thing the business of the believer is! All of it is good for him. And that only applies to the believer. If good fortune is his lot, he is grateful and it is good for him. If something harmful happens to him, he is steadfast and that is good for him too.” [Muslim]

Please see: Imam Khalid Latif on “Losing Someone Close To You and: Is There a Reward for Losing a Loved One?

And also: A Reader on Patience and Reliance on Allah and: What Exactly Is Patience?

And Allah alone knows best.

wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Imam Khalid Latif on “Losing Someone Close To You”

grave-coffinThere is a narration that is found in the Islamic tradition in which a companion of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, named Abdur Rahman ibn Awf speaks about visiting the Prophet’s infant son, Ibrahim. In this particular narration, he mentions that the Prophet kisses Ibrahim and takes him close, and then later begins to shed tears because Ibrahim is in his last breaths. Abdur Rahman asks about these tears to which the Prophet responds “Oh Ibn Awf, this is mercy.”

The Prophet then cries more and says: “The eyes are shedding tears, and the heart is grieved, and we will not say except what pleases our Lord. Oh Ibrahim! Indeed we are grieved by your separation.”

Losing someone close to us is always a hard situation to deal with. Just as hard is also knowing how to help and support someone who has lost someone close to their hearts. The pain of that separation causes even the hardest of hearts to tremble and puts us in a place where we at times don’t know what to do. The reality of this life being something that is finite comes as a secondary thought as we begin to deal with the aftermath of a heaviness placed upon our hearts. How do I cope or help someone to cope with this loss?

Primarily we want to understand that feeling grief at the loss of loved one is not somehow an absence of faith or a deficiency of it. Faith can actually become a potential source of making sense of the loss, and we lose out on it if we tell ourselves getting sad is somehow wrong. For the Muslims who are reading this, the Prophet Muhammad cried when his son died. None of us would say he is lacking in faith. We shouldn’t tell ourselves or each other that we somehow are lacking faith simply because we are responding the way most humans would respond.

There is no set amount of time that one has to reconcile the loss of a loved one. One can very subjectively make a determination as to how much time they need and telling yourself or someone else that because a certain number of days have passed they should now move forward doesn’t necessarily make sense. Although time is an important factor, reconciliation isn’t purely a product of time and making yourself or someone else feel as if they are doing something problematic by taking the time they need isn’t going to help the situation.

Moving on also does not entail completely forgetting. How we remember becomes key as does what we do through that remembrances. Our hearts will respond to things that remind them of what they hold as beloved. The Prophet Muhammad deeply loved his first wife Khadijah. The year in which she, as well as the Prophet’s uncle Abu Talib, passes away becomes known as the “Year of Grief.” Khadijah definitely had a special place in the Prophet’s heart and his “moving on” did not entail forgetting her. On one instance after her passing, he is sitting with a group of his companions when someone brings to him a necklace. He holds the necklace and recognizes it as once belonging to his wife Khadijah and begins to cry as he remembers her.

He builds upon this remembrance through his action. After Khadijah’s passing, the Prophet would regularly send gifts to her family and friends. He would speak of her and mention how important she was to him. His moving on did not include forgetting entirely. Our moving on doesn’t have to either.

We can remember those that we have lost through actions undertaken through their remembrance; coming together to remember and doing good in their memory. Islam teaches its practitioner that even after a person has passed, those who remain in this world can bring benefit to them by performance of deeds on their behalf. I can give of myself with the sole intention that the person I have lost should be the benefactor of any reward from my actions and in the process I still maintain a relationship with the one I love while at the same time bringing their presence into the lives of others.

Losing someone close to you can definitely be tough. Whether it’s a parent, a child, a friend, or really anyone, that loss hurts. You don’t have to deny that pain and you can take your time to deal with it. But just keep in mind that although the person is not physically there, they can still be present in your life and the lives of many others, based off of how you remember them.

Imam Khalid LatifImam Khalid Latif is a University Chaplain for New York University, Executive Director of the Islamic Center at NYU, and a Chaplain for the NYPD. He is also the co-founder of Honest Chops, the first-ever all-natural/organic halal butcher in NYC, the Muslim Wedding Service, an agency specializing in providing charismatic and inspirational marriage officiants for wedding ceremonies.

 

Resources for Seekers:

The Loss of a Child: Seeking & Turning to Allah in Difficult Times
Basic Rulings and Length of the Waiting Period (`idda)
The Ruling on Women Visiting Graves and Etiquettes of Visiting
How Can I Deal with Several Pregnancy Losses?
How Do We Deal With the Death of a Loved One?
How To Benefit from Remembering Death?
How to Deal With a Non-Muslim Relative’s Death
How To Overcome My Fear of Death?
The Soul’s Journey after Death and The Day of Judgement
Dealing With Anxiety About Death and Dying
Dealing with Death: Inward & Outward Manners
How Do I Deal With Excessive Fear Of Death?

Distorting Islamic tradition in our responses to the Chapel Hill shooting – Sh Hamza Yusuf

hamza-yusuf.pngOn behalf of the board, faculty, staff, and students of Zaytuna College, I offer my heartfelt condolences to the parents, family, and friends of the three beautiful young Muslims—Deah Barakat, his wife Yusor Abu-Salha, and her sister Razan Abu-Salha—who were tragically and callously murdered last week in North Carolina. I had met Suzanne Barakat, Deah’s sister, some years ago when she attended a Rihla program in Maryland. Since the murders, she has represented her family in an exemplary manner on different programs on national television, voicing her love and her great loss with dignity and intelligence.

Unfortunately, some of the reaction in the Muslim community has been to see the death of the three young Muslims who were killed as somehow fortunate for them, with one imam going so far as to say in his Friday sermon that he “envied these martyrs” who were now in Paradise. This is a complete distortion of the Islamic tradition’s understanding of unjust violence and it plays into the disturbing and inaccurate narrative that Muslims love death. A perverse death cult in the tradition of the Hashashin (from where we get our English word “assassin”) has emerged today among a small minority of heterodox Muslims. In these trying times, it is important that we remember that all life is precious and that grief, as displayed and articulated by Suzanne Barakat, is not only natural but prophetic.

Our Prophet, God’s peace and blessings upon him, grieved. He cried out of sadness when his son, Ibrahim, died. He did not say, “I’m happy for him.” Instead, he said, “The eye weeps, and the heart grieves, but we say only what pleases our Lord.” This is the natural and prophetic response to tragedy. Furthermore, the year the Prophet, God’s peace and blessings upon him, lost his beloved wife, Khadijah, and his protector and uncle, Abu Talib, is known in the biographical literature as the “Year of Depression.” Feeling grief over the loss of those beloved to us is human nature.

Our Prophet, God’s peace and blessings upon him, told us not to wish for death but to ask for a long life that enables one to serve God through devotion and serve God’s creation through charity, kindness, and productive labor. This is exactly what these three young people were doing. They met their Lord in the best of states despite the terror inflicted on their young and innocent souls.

Our prayers are with their families at this difficult time. We hope that the wrongful loss of their lives becomes a catalyst for positive change on many fronts. We hope that all Americans begin to better understand the deep prejudice being perpetrated under the guise of patriotism—a prejudice ironically against patriotic American Muslim citizens who love their country and want to give back to a land that has provided them with great opportunities in education, work, and service.

“Growing up in America has been such a blessing,” Yusor Abu-Salha said in an interview months before her tragic death. “It doesn’t matter where you come from. There are so many different people from so many different places, of different backgrounds and religions—but here, we’re all one.”

We have a window of opportunity now to educate people about who these three young people were and what they were committed to in their lives: feeding and medically serving the homeless, helping refugees, displaying the best neighborly qualities, and most of all living a true and accurate life of devotion, prayer, and charity.

Sincerely, with tears and condolences,
Hamza Yusuf
President
Zaytuna College