Dealing with Death

The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ took hold of his dying son Ibrahim and kissed him. When he entered again as Ibrahim was breathing his last breaths he started to cry. Abdur Rahman ibn Awf said, “Even you, O Messenger of Allah?” The Prophet said, “O Ibn Awf, this is compassion.” The Prophet wept more and said,

“Verily, the eyes shed tears and the heart is grieved, but we will not say anything except what is pleasing to our Lord. We are saddened by your departure, O Ibrahim.” Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī.

Sadness is, unfortunately, a part of life, and an emotion that we all must become accustomed to. There are inevitably times when you will feel sad, just as there are inevitably times when you will feel happy again. Crying, so often stigmatised, is actually proven to help you feel better, thanks to chemicals found within your tears. Sadness is something to face, not shy away from. In fact, trying to skip feelings of sadness by burying your feelings may be unhealthy for you. 

Losing a loved one is always tough, but as Muslims we  remember the dua’a that the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ  taught his daughter to say when she informed him of her baby’s imminent  death.

“Whatever Allah takes is for Him and whatever He gives, is for Him, and everything with Him has a limited fixed term (in this world) and so she should be patient and hope for Allah’s reward.”

Everything that happens is decreed by Allah. Accepting Allah’s decree with patience, is the most certain way to ease the sadness that comes with the passing of a loved one. 

In the tenth year after revelation began, the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ lost his wife Khadijah and his uncle Abu Talib. They were his supporters. Upon losing them he faced extreme difficulty in Makkah. So he travelled to Ta’if but the people there refused to help him. Even worse, they told their slaves and children to abuse him as he left the city. The tenth year became known as the year of grief and sadness.  

Getting over the loss of a loved one takes time. Everyone processes is differently. Patience is the key. So too is the help and support of others. Once the Prophet ﷺ   passed by a woman weeping beside a grave so he advised her to be patient. Not recognizing him and in her anger, she told him to go away. Later she was informed that he was the Prophet, so she went to his house and when she told him that she had not recognised him he replied:

“Verily, patience is at the first stroke of a calamity.”

Talk to someone you trust about your sadness and grief. Also when others lose a loved one, give them condolences and good advice. If you are concerned about reaching a healthy resolution to your grief, do not be afraid to talk to somebody about what you are feeling and seek help. 

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