Inna Lilahee Wa Inna Ilayhee Rahjoun.

>> Friday, November 25, 2011

Asalamu Alaykum sisters,

It has been a little over a week since my grandmother has died, Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'un. She has lived with us my entire life and raised us while our parents were working. I understand that it was her time to go, but it still really hurts to have someone who you would talk to everyday be gone. She died here in our home with us and many others home. My question is what kind of dua can I read for her? I feel like I'm constantly repeating the same thing...and I only speak english, is that okay? (like, Oh Allah forgive her, have mercy on her, make her grave spacious) But is there something I can read that will really benefit her? And is it true that when I speak of someone who has passed they can hear me? And I've heard mixed opinions about visiting the grave, which I would love to do if I don't get punished for it. Also is it okay to ask Allah to allow you to have a dream of them? Just to see how they are? I guess in short what I'm really trying to ask is what can I do for her now that she is gone. I want her to know that I will always love her and not forget her.

JazakAllah Khair,
Grandma's girl.

wa'alykum as salam rahmatullah wa barkatoo,
Dearest Grandma's Girl,

To Allah, we belong and to Him we return. Inna lilahee wa inna ilayhee rajoun! I’m so sorry to hear about your grandmother’s death. I can tell you were really close to your grandmother, and it must really hurt now that she’s gone. Big hug!

I want you, though, to take a good look at the pictures below. Aren't they beautiful?

Just in case you were wondering those are pictures of the Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe.

Now, I want you to think about how beautiful jannah is. We can’t even begin to imagine it. Jannah was designed by God for those He loves the most. InshaAllah your grandmother has started her journey to that place which is a million times more beautiful than those pictures…inshaAllah her grave is a garden of paradise :)

Does that mean you can’t grieve? No, it doesn’t. When Prophet Mohammed’s son, Ibrahim, died, the Prophet (sallah Allaha alayhee wa salaam) said:
The Eyes Tear, the heart is in pain, but (with my tongue) I will only say that which is pleasing to Allah. And we are indeed sad at your departure, O Ibraheem.

But it is important to be patient and to remember that we were all brought here temporarily. No one is going to live forever. It’s not how long that we lives that matters. It’s the quality of our lives and whether or not we will be granted jannah that ultimately are important

In a hadith qudsi, Allah (mighty and sublime be He) said:

My faithful servant's reward from Me, if I have taken to Me his best friend from amongst the inhabitants of the world and he has then borne it patiently for My sake, shall be nothing less than Paradise. It was related by al-Bukhari.
The Qur'an also says:

And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient, (155)Who, when disaster strikes them, say, "Indeed we belong to Allah, and indeed to Him we will return." (156) Those are the ones upon whom are blessings from their Lord and mercy. And it is those who are the [rightly] guided.

As for your questions, there are a few differences of opinions on some of I think I'll stick to the one that says "What can you do for her?"

The prophet summed up to us the things that we can do for the deceased in one really important hadith. He said:

“When a person dies, all his good deeds come to an end except three: ongoing charity, or beneficial knowledge, or a righteous child who will pray for him.

Alhamdillah, like you are already doing for her, the fundamental thing is to be making dua for her. I thought I would give you some duas that you can also say (although my book says during the Funeral Prayer, but I haven't heard that it is only restrictive the funeral prayer) with their Arabic transliteration:

  • O Allah, surely [name the person] is under Your protection, and in the rope of Your security, so save him from the trial of the grave and from the punishment of the Fire. You fulfill promises and grant rights, so forgive him and have mercy on him. Surely You are Most Forgiving, Most Merciful.

Reference: Ibn Majah, Abu Dawud 3/211. See also Al Albani, Sahih Ibn Majah 1/251.

Allaahumma 'inna [name the person] fee thimmatika, wa habli jiwaarika, faqihi min fitnatil-qabri wa 'athaabin-naari, wa 'Anta 'ahlul-wafaa'i walhaqqi. Faghfir lahu 'innaka 'Antal-Ghafoorur-Raheem.

  • O Allah, forgive him and have mercy on him and give him strength and pardon him. Be generous to him and cause his entrance to be wide and wash him with water and snow and hail. Cleanse him of his transgressions as white cloth is cleansed of stains.
  • O Allah, Your male slave/female slave and the child of Your female slave is in need of Your mercy , and You are not in need of his torment . If he/she was pious then increase his/her rewards and if he/she was a transgressor then pardon him/her.

Allaahumma 'abduka wabnu 'amatika ihtaaja 'ilaa rahmatika, wa 'Anta ghaniyyun 'an 'athaabihi, 'in kaana muhsinan fazid fee hasanaatihi, wa 'in kaana musee'an fatajaawaz 'anhu.

What else can you do for her?

Ibn 'Abbas rahimahullaah reported that Sa'd bin 'Ubadah's mother died during his absence on a trip. He came to the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam and asked him, "O Allaah's Messenger! My mother has passed away during my absence. Would it be of benefit to her if I give sadaqah on her behalf?" He sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam replied, "Yes!" He said, "Be my witness then that I give my fruitful garden as sadaqah on her behalf."

The door to charity is wide open. There are lots of things you can do for her, inshaAllah. You can give money to an orphanage, hospital, charity organization in her name. You can feed the poor, donate clothes, even help an engaged couple get married, etc. You can talk to your family about doing a big project for your grandmother, such as 'building a mosque' or well.

You can buy some Quran's and pass them out to people. InshaAllah each time someone reads even just a harf or letter in the Quran, your grandmother will be rewarded. You can also give out beneficial tapes and leave them in mosques. You can also talk to your family about someone doing Umrah for her, inshaAllah.

Of course you should also make sure that your grandmother has no debts that need to be cleared (and that includes even "Hajj"). If she does, you need to start with those immediately, inshaAllah.

I would also like to request all the sisters here to make dua for our sister's grandmother and for all the deceased. Please take a moment or two to remember the people who have gone ahead of us and to pray that Allah grants them His Mercy and that we are reunited under His Throne.

3 wonderful sprinkely thoughts:

Fida Islaih November 25, 2011 at 5:11 PM  

Ya Allah! Help us! All I've been hearing is of death. My aunt passed away in October and a month later my great aunt. May He bless all the souls. Thank you for this post! (:

Grey Abaya Girl,  November 25, 2011 at 11:04 PM  

Innalillahiwainnailaihirajioon. I am sorry to hear about your loss. It's a very soul-shaking experience, but it makes attaining paradise so much more attractive, doesn't it? A place where there are no partings, whether temporary or permanent. I like the way Susan Coolidge put it in "In The High Valley":

"What a sad ending to our happy time!"
"Not an ending. Only an interruption."

That's how I think about it. Death is just an interruption until we can meet again in the next world. I like how Nouman Ali Khan describes the meetings in paradise:

I am comforted by the fact that my prayers reach my dear departed ones. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "A man’s status will be raised in Paradise and he will ask, ‘How did I get here?’ He will be told, ‘By your son’s du’aa’s (prayers) for forgiveness for you." (Reported by Ibn Maajah, number 3660; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 1617)

So you see, your prayer does reach your grandmother, and she does know it is from you. It's like you can send her a specially wrapped gift package without spending anything, and which means more to her than any gift you could have given her in this world. Think about it! Allah raises her status in heaven when you pray for her forgiveness. Can there be a better gift?

At the same time, it's important that we don't let our feelings cloud our judgement regarding certain practices connected with mourning, like getting together every year to recite the Quran for the deceased, which is an innovation:

It's difficult to accept how a thing which is so widely practiced can be wrong. But an action isn't judged by how many people are doing it, right? It's judged according to the teachings of Allah and His Prophet (peace be upon him).

Regarding your other questions, like the Aunties said, those are the questions that have these long answers on the fatwa sites that make your head spin after awhile. But if you just hold on to your head and take it slow, you can find the answer. (Just don't do it at a time when you are tired to begin with):

Can the dead hear what the living say?

Are women allowed to visit graves?

Personally, in cases where one scholar says one thing and another says another thing, or where my brain understands it but my heart has not caught up yet, I like to stick to the safe option until I increase my knowledge about it myself (meaning, I get to know about the full background of the issue). I honestly don't have any knowledge regarding the grave question besides what I hear people say, or the stuff from the fatwa site. So I'm just hanging in there for the meantime.

I couldn't find anything about the dream question. I hope someone else does.

Grandma's girl,  November 27, 2011 at 8:58 AM  

JazakAllah Khair to you all! This really helps. And Grey Abaya Girl, your advice is amazing!

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Asalamu aialkum!
Well, what do you think? You know, you're part of the team, as well. Please help a sister out and share your own advice/experiences/etc. One for all and all for one =)
P.S. I reserve the right to remove any disrespectful comment ;)

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