GOODBYE MY BELOVED
In Bukhari and Muslim, narrated Usaamah ibn Zayd - radi Allaahu `anhuma: A woman sent to the Prophet - sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam - that her son was dying and that he should come to visit her.

The Prophet - sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam - sent back a message to her. In it he said, "To Allah belongs whatever he takes, and to Him belongs what He gives. Everything to Him has a decreed life, so be patient and seek the Reward with Allah.

She sent back with an oath that he -sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam - must come in person to visit her. So Allah's Messenger - sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam - stood and with him was Sa'd ibn Ubaadah, Mu'aadh ibn Jabal, Ubayy ibn Ka'b, and Zayd ibn Thabit, as well as others.

At her home, the young boy was given to the Prophet, sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam, it's breathing faltering. The eyes of the Prophet - sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam - welled with tears.

Seeing the Prophet crying, Sa'd said to him, "What is this O Messenger of Allah?"

Rasul Allah - sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam - replied, "This is mercy which Allah has placed in the hearts of His servants. And indeed it is to only the merciful of His servants that Allah gives mercy."

Dear brothers and sisters, this week has been a very trying week for us. Our brothers, and specifically our sisters, were tested with the death of sister Maryam, her daughter Muslimah and her daughter AlNisaa, all in one car accident. May Allah ta'ala increase their father's reward, may Allah ta'ala perfect his patience, and may He
forgive all three of them. Ameen.

When death hits so closely to home, to ones so young, many questions arise, especially from the young friends of Muslimah and AlNisaa. For this reason we would like to speak today about this topic: How do we say goodbye?

Ibn Al-Qayyim spoke in his book Zaad al-Ma'aad about the blessed guidance of the Prophet - sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam - at times of death. He writes:

It was from the blessed guidance of Rasul Allah - sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam - to convey his condolences to the family of the deceased. It was not from his blessed guidance to gather people to give condolences, nor was it his blessed guidance to recite Qur'an - neither at the grave nor away from the gravesite. All of this is Bid'ah, innovation and shunned. From his blessed guidance is his tranquility and acceptance of Allah's decree, thanking Allah and holding back from saying things unbefitting. He - sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam - disowned himself from those that rip their clothes due to the calamity, or raise their voices in a wail, or those that shave their head because of the situation.

Where do our North American communities normally learn about the concept of love? For the answer, all you need to do is look over the top music charts to find out.

I searched the billboard charts to pick up some names as example. I found: "Love don't cost a thing", "What's Luv", "He loves you not", as well as others. These are just the titles, not to speak of the content of the other songs, in addition to the TV shows, movies and everything in-between.

America is bombarding us with teachings of love, right? But on the flip side, every 7 minutes in this country, someone commits suicide. And every minute, someone tries. There was actually a guy who tried to capitalize on all these people who were incompetent in killing themselves. He called his book: The Final exit ~ a how-to book on killing yourself successfully. Subhan Allah, it was a national best seller.

Now I ask, when was the last time you heard an Islamic Halaqah about the concept of Love in Islam. Not too recently, I'm sure. Thus, we can safely say that Allah and His Messenger do not dictate to us many of the concepts of love that we harbor in our minds.

Allah ta'ala says: [Close friends, that Day, will be enemies to each other…] 43/67

We hear in the music and movies and sitcoms that `our hearts will live forever' with the deceased. Dear brothers and sisters, that is wrong. Read the following verse:

[Every time a nation enters, it will curse its sister until, when they have all overtaken one another therein, the last of them (the followers) will say about the first of them (the leaders), "Our Lord, they have misled us, so give them a double punishment of the fire."

He will say, "For each is double, but you do not know." / … Indeed those who deny Our verses and are arrogant toward them - the gates of heaven will not be opened for them, nor will they enter Paradise until a camel enters into the eye of a needle (i.e. never). And thus do We pay back the criminals.] Surah A'raaf 7/38,40. If a friendship was ever made for other then the sake of Allah, then that friendship ends at death. There is no `heart that lives on after
death'.

But If you're ever loved someone because they said Laa ilaaha illa Allah, Muhammadur Rasul Allah, then I have good news for you: Your friendship will not end at death! It will never end at death. Completing the above verse: Allah ta'ala says: [Close friends, that Day, will be enemies to each other, except for the righteous!] 43/67

And on the Day of Judgement, of the seven types of people who will find shade from the horrific heat will be two people who loved one another only for the sake of Allah. Imagine that, in the hardest time of your life, if you've loved someone for the sake of Allah, they will be saved hand-in-hand with you.

Do all good things will come to an end? Good question. Summers come to an end, ice creams come to an end, and interesting Khutbahs come to an end. So what's the answer?

Allah ta'ala says: [Whatever you have will end, but what Allah has is lasting. And We surely give those who were patient their reward according to the best of what they used to do.] Surah Nahl 16/96

Before the Hijrah from Makkah, there was a famous Qureishi poet by the name of Labeed bin Rabee'ah. In his company, one day, sat the great companion of the Prophet: Uthmaan ibn Madh'oon - radi Allaahu `anhu.

Labeed recited a verse of poetry: [Indeed everything other then Allah is falsehood…]

Uthmaan ibn Madh'oon replied, "You have told the truth."

Labeed continued: [ … And every enjoyment, without doubt, will die.]

"You have lied!" said Uthmaan ibn Madh'oon. "The enjoyment of paradise shall never end."

This infuriated the group and one of the ignorant amongst them stood up and slapped Uthmaan ibn Madh'oon in the face, blackening his eye.

There are things that help us in times of sadness:

One: During times of sadness, Allah wants us to come back and reflect upon the Qur'an. That is what He revealed it for, contemplation. In it, the believer will find tranquility for his or her heart.

Two: Whatever happens, when someone is patient and says the dua that the Prophet - sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam - taught us, that person will be blessed with something better.

The Dua is as follows:

"Inna lillaahi wa inna Ilayhi raaji'oon. Allaahumma `jurnee fee museebatee, wakhluf lee khayrun minh."

Umm Salamah - radi Allaahu `anha - the narrator of this dua, loved her husband very much. When he died, she states, "I was firm to say the dua, but I thought to myself, how could I get anything better then Abu Salamah? Allah answered my dua and I married the Messenger of Allah! And he is better then Abu Salamah."

May Allah ta'ala make all us brothers good husbands like Rasul Allah - sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam - and Abu Salamah.

And for those who have had a child die, take glad tidings in the following Hadith:

Abu Moosa al-Ash'aree - radi Allaahu `anhu - narrates: Allah's Messenger, sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam, said, "If the child of a servant (of Allah) dies, Allah questions the angels, `Have you taken the life of my servant's child?'

"The angels reply, `Yes.'

"Allah then asks them, `Have you taken the fruit of his heart?'

"The angels reply, `Yes.'

"Then Allah asks them, `What did my servant say?'

"They reply, `He praised you and refrained (from saying anything unbefitting)'

"At that Allah will say, `Build a home for my slave in Jannah and call it Bayt-ul-Hamd (The Home of Thankfulness).'"

Umar - radi Allaahu `anhu - said, "We found the best of our provision to be patience."

Part II: Towards Patience

The term Al-Qadaa' wal Qadr is so easily inadequately translated. Some have translated it as pre-destiny, decree, etc.

Once, however, I was passing through a bookstore in Madinah and there I found a book on this topic. The translated had cleverly translated the term Qadr as: Pre-Recording.

So I thought to myself, for our TV culture, now there is a translation we can all understand. Everything that happens to us is pre-recorded with Allah ta'ala, nothing can happen except by his Will and knowledge.

When a death befalls someone, it is permissible to cry (without wailing) and to feel sadness in the heart.

When the son of Rasul Allah - sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam - was dying, he held his small body in his hand and began crying. The Sahaabah who saw him crying inquired, "What are these tears, O Messenger of Allah."

He - sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam - replied, "The eye cries, and the heart is saddened, but we do not say anything other then that which is pleasing to our Lord, and we, indeed O Ibraheem, are saddened by our separation from you."

However, we have picked up things from the culture of the non-Muslims, things that we do not find in the tradition dictated to us by the Lord of the worlds. For example:

a. To wear black specifically to honor the deceased.
b. Institutionalizing the placing of flowers at the site of the grave.
c. To lower a national flag in honor of the deceased.
d. There is no mention of a `moment-of-silence' in our Deen.
e. There is no mention of Qur'an Khanis (gathering people to recite Qur'an for the deceased) in the Sunnah of Muhammad - sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam. All goodness is in following the guidance of our Prophet.
f. There is no mention of gathering people 40 days after the death to recite Qur'an for the deceased.
g. There is no mention of having an annual gathering where guests recite the Qur'an for the deceased.
h. There is no mention in the Sunnah of collectively reciting surat al-Fatiha for the deceased.

So then what should we do?

1. We should hasten to pay off the debts of the deceased
2. We should give our condolences to the family of the deceased. This could be done in the Masjid, at the gravesite, at their homes, etc. But excessively long gatherings at the deceased's home should not be
encouraged.
3. We should make food for the family of the deceased and not burden them with having to make food for the entire community.
4. We should all attend the funeral prayer and, for men, follow the funeral to the gravesite. The women should not follow, as Umm Salamah said, "We were forbidden from following the funeral processions."
5. We may give Sadaqah on behalf of the deceased, and we may perform Hajj on their behalf.
6. And above all, we should make Dua, and lots of it, for the deceased. This is how the Prophet - sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam - taught us, as in the funeral prayer and the hadith of the servants actions being cut off except from three things - he mentioned, "… a pious child that makes dua for (the deceased)."

In conclusion, I would like to pass on the following good news to our beloved brother who lost his wife and two daughters.

Narrated Abu Hurayrah - radi Allaahu `anhu: Allah's Messenger - sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam - said to a group of Ansari women, "There is no woman amongst you who has three children of hers die, yet she is patient, hoping for the reward from Allah, except that she shall enter Jannah."

So a woman amongst them asked, "What about two children O Messenger of Allah?"

He replied, "Even two."

May Allah ta'ala increase our brother's reward, may Allah ta'ala perfect his patience, and may Allah forgive his family. Ameen.