One of the most difficult times that we have to face is the devastating period we go through when someone very dear and precious is no longer with us. The feelings of bereavement and deprivation overcome us and we tend to go into a state of depression and grief. It is at this stage that we require the emotional support of close family and friends.
The beautiful religion of Islam places dire stress on expressing condolence and showing sympathy towards fellow human beings. We are social creatures who are meant to indulge in activities that enhance interpersonal relationships which in turn help to boost the feelings of love, compassion and acquaintance in the depressed soul.
Islam teaches us to condole with our brothers and sisters in the way of the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). It is wrong to wail and complain with the thought of showing discontent with Allah. Instead, the lamenter should speak a few words and recite any duaa (prayer) for the deceased. The quality of patience should remain within the mourners for this is what Allah Almighty has commanded for us. While expressing sympathy towards the distressed and anguished person, one should try to minimize the pain and suffering of the afflicted by mentioning the great reward for patience and the eternal life of the hereafter. It is mentioned in the Holy Qur'an:
"Give glad tidings to those who patiently endure, who say when afflicted with a calamity: "To Allah we belong and to Him we return." They are those on whom (descend) blessings and mercy from their Lord, and they are the ones who receive guidance." (Qur'an Surah Baqarah; 2:155-157)
It is desirable to utter certain specific verses of the Quran or particular virtues that are present in the Sunnah. For instance it is recommended to mention the following hadith:
"O Allah! Reward me in my calamity and replace my loss with a better one." (Sahih Muslim)
"Indeed! Whatever Allah gives or takes belongs to him and everything is predestined by Him." (Sahih Bukhari & Sahih Muslim)
Verses of the Qur'an that can be recited during condolence are:
"All that is on earth will persish, but face of your Lord will abide (forever), full of Majesty, Bounty and Honour" (Qur'an Surah Rahman; 55:26-27)
"Every soul shall have a taste of death and only on the Day of the Judgement shall you be paid your full recompense. Only those who are saved from the fire and admitted to Paradise (Jannah) will have attained the object (of life). For the life of this world is but good and chattels of deception." (Qur'an Surah Imran; 3:185)
It is permissible to weep silently or use short words that depict love for the deceased. However, showing impatience in any form is not allowed and Muslims should refrain from such acts as wailing, expressing loss and discontent with the Creator, praising the departed soul with exaggeration or inflicting pain by wasting possessions, beating the face/body or tearing clothes.
We as Muslims should try our best to imitate the Sunnah of our beloved Holy Prophet (PBUH) so that we may receive the rewards for being patient and humble in our lives. As Allay says in the Quran:
"...and be patient. Indeed, Allah is with the patient." (Qur'an Surah Anfal; 8:46)
Zara Gul resides in Islamabad, Pakistan. Although acquainted with the field of Science, she is a passionate and enthusiastic writer completing a Bachelors Degree in Electrical Telecommunication Engineering. She also works as a technical writer for a few blogs and websites.