Say: ‘Death, from which you are fleeing, will certainly catch up with you. Then you will be returned to the Knower of the unseen and the visible and He will inform you about what you used to do.’ Al-Jumu’a 62/8.
I find it hard to talk about death and how it affects me personally but two sisters died in our community in the last couple of days, one celebrated and one lesser known. Both converts, both washed according to Islamic teachings, yet only one buried in the Muslim way.
And I was just informed that someone else I know is dying.
Some of the Muslim bloggers in the area have written about one of the sisters, Maliha’s eloquence here and here. Tariq Nelson here the comment from HijabisOverrated is poignant and I also wanted to go on that ski trip, and Abu Sinan here.
As for the other sister, we had to reach out to those in the community to help wash and wrap her body. Alhamdulillah, one sister had a janaza kit for us to use and amazingly we called a good number of sisters and about 8 were able to come to the funeral home to help prepare our sister. Then we prayed the funeral prayer for her at a local masjid.
These deaths as well as one several years ago of a convert I know (knew) whose family never accepted her Islam and buried her in the Christian way (I still feel this burden to make sure the funeral prayer is prayed for her), and of my grandmother have served as a reminder to me to talk to my family about any eventualities in case of my death, write a will, and get proof of my conversion to Islam that will stay on record at a masjid (even though I’ve always found that notion of needing proof of one’s Islam insulting but now it seems very practical).
I am beginning to prepare my own janaza kit consisting of about 15 yards of white cloth (although it doesn’t have to be white) cut into 5 pieces, soaps and shampoo, camphor, and perhaps another sweet smelling oil just so it is ready and no one has to be burdened with trying to put that together for me at the last minute.
Also we by the grace and will of Allah are planning a workshop on how-to perform the ritual washing of the dead, writing wills for everyone but especially for converts, preparing the certificates of conversion, and preparing janaza kits to distribute free of charge in the the community.
From the Muslim Apple Storehouse:
Language Failure: Death of a Child
Inna Lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’oon. May Allah forgive their sins, may He ta’ala place noor in their graves and widen their graves and may He azza wa jal grant them palaces in Al-Firdaws Al-‘Alaa. ameen
I remember the speech the imam gave for Sr. Funches, subhanAllahi wa biHamdihi.
I’ve been asking around about when the next Janazah workshop will be, inshaAllah please let me know. Ever since I’ve gotten back from Makkah I’ve been hoping to help sisters with the janazah process. SubhanAllah in the haram there is a janazah after every salaah–and not just one body, numerous, like four to five. rahimuhumullah. It is truly eye-opening and a constant reminder of where we will be heading.
I just read a beautiful statement today in the book Heroes of Islam, Al-Hasan Al-Basri gave some advice to the governor of Iraq and Persia, Umar ibn Hubaira:
“Ibn Hubaira! Fear Allah in dealing with Yazeed (the Caliph), and fear not Yazeed in your dealings with Allah. Remember that Allah can protect you from Yazeed, but Yazeed cannot protect you from Allah. A stern angel who never disobeys Allah will come to you taking you from your great and wide palace to the narrow grave, where you will be find no Yazeed, but only your wrong actions with which you disobeyed the Lord and Master of Yazeed. ”
Rasul Allah salAllahu alayhi wa sallam said, remember the destroyer of happiness often…al-maut.
Our Lord! Forgive us our sins and efface our bad deeds and take our souls in the company of the righteous. (3:193) ameen.
That is a very thoughtful reminder.
Asalamu alaykum wa Rahmatullah,
Amatullah, excellent reminders and no doubt in sha Allah I’ll let you know. And I want to coordinate one just for sisters so that we can actually demonstrate how we wash and wrap the body.
I have this project I am working on to coordinate efforts between the various local masajid to make janazah kits and to gather a list of volunteers from each community who are willing to participate in washing and preparing the bodies. I know some funeral homes have lists and some masajid also have lists of volunteers so we just need to coordinate the efforts in sha Allah.
And writing the will is also important for everyone especially converts as we too often see family members disregarding the convert’s beliefs after death so we are planning a workshop on that as well and other official documentation needed to ensure one has a proper Islamic burial.
Asalamu alaykum wa Rahmatullah,
Gracedmind, welcome to Muslim Apple, indeed the reminder benefits the believer.
Jazaak allaahu kheyrn, Is it possible for you to post the notes of the janaza seminar?
We should all prepare for our own janaza, it makes it that more of a reality, insh’allah I will 2, baarak allaahu fiik