Riyad Us-Saliheen (Gardens of the Righteous)

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  • Riyad Us-Saliheen (Gardens of the Righteous)

  • Chapter 302
    Prohibition of Bewailing the Deceased


    1657. `Umar bin Al-Khattab (May Allah be pleased with him) said: The Prophet (PBUH) said, "The deceased is tortured in his grave for bewailing over him.''
    [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

    Commentary:  "Bewailing'' is wailing over the dead. It is weeping loudly for the deceased describing his noble qualities or the problems created by his death. Wailing causes trouble to the deceased if he willed his heirs to do so, or in his own life he behaved in the same manner and his family members were following his style of mourning at his death. But if the deceased had forbidden his relatives from wailing over his death and they do it despite his warning against doing so, then the deceased will not suffer any torment on their wailing because his intention and training have no connection with it. The Qur'anic injunction in this matter is absolutely clear:

    "No one laden with burdens can bear another's burden.'' (17:15).


    1658. Ibn Mas`ud (May Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "He who (on befalling a calamity) slaps his cheeks, tears his clothes and follows the ways and traditions of the Days of Ignorance is none of us.''
    [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

    Commentary:  "He is none of us'' here signifies that he is not following the ways of Muslims. "The ways and traditions of the Days of Ignorance'' means here wailing, i.e., `Alas! my lion, my moon, my support, one whose death has rendered his children orphan etc., etc.' This is a grave sin and there is a stern warning that one who does it, is in danger of losing his Faith because by doing so one, in fact, expresses resentment against Allah's Command.


    1659. Abu Burdah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: (My father) Abu Musa got seriously ill and lost his consciousness. His head was in the lap of a woman of the family and she began to wail. When Abu Musa recovered his consciousness, he said: "I am innocent of those from whom Messenger of Allah (PBUH) is innocent. Verily, the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) declared himself free of (the responsibility) for a woman who wails, shaves her head and tears up her clothes.''
    [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

    Commentary:  This Hadith also tells us about the passion of the Companions to follow the saying and practice of the Prophet (PBUH).


    1660. Al-Mughirah bin Shu`bah (May Allah be pleased with him) said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) saying, "He who allows (others) to wail over his death, will be punished for it on the Day of Resurrection.''
    [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

    Commentary:  The torment mentioned in this Hadith will be inflicted on the Day of Judgement upon that person who willed his heirs to wail on his death or who had brought up his family in such a manner that they were apt to wail about the death of their close relatives.


    1661. Umm `Atiyyah (May Allah be pleased with her) said: At the time of giving the pledge of allegiance, the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) took from us an oath that we would not wail.
    [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

    Commentary:  Wailing is a bad habit of Jahiliyyah which a Muslim must avoid.


    1662. An-Nu`man bin Bashir (May Allah be pleased with them) said: When `Abdullah bin Rawahah (May Allah be pleased with him) became unconscious, his sister began to weep and shout: "Alas! For the mountain among men. Alas! for such and such (mentioning his virtuous qualities).'' When he recovered his consciousness, he said: "I was asked (disapprovingly, by the angels) about everything you said concerning me whether I am as you said.''

    Commentary:  We learn from this Hadith that one can be taken to task for bewailing somebody's death, especially for such qualities which are attributed to him by the mourners. Angels would rebuke and question him about the validity of the praise. Since the deceased did not possess those qualities, the wailing becomes a cause of reproach and reproof of the mourner.


    1663. Ibn `Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) said: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) visited Sa`d bin `Ubadah during his illness. He was accompanied by `Abdur-Rahman bin `Auf, Sa`d bin Abu Waqqas and `Abdullah bin Mas`ud (May Allah be pleased with them). When they entered his house, they found him unconscious. The Messenger of Allah asked, "Has he died?'' They replied: "No, O Messenger of Allah.'' Hearing this the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) began to weep. When his Companions saw this, they also began to weep too. He said, "Listen attentively: Allah does not punish for the shedding of tears or the grief of the heart, but takes to task or show mercy because of the utterances of this (and he pointed to his tongue).''
    [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

    Commentary:  We learn from this Hadith that grief and tears which occur involuntarily are not forbidden because they are quite natural, but if one starts crying and bewailing on such occasions, he will be sinful. The only permissible way of expressing one's grief in words is to say "Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi raji`un'' which means "Truly! To Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return.'' (2:156).

    To visit the sick is a meritorious act as well as a right of a Muslim upon another Muslim. Depending upon the occasion, one is also recommended to offer sincere advice and Islamic teachings.


    1664. Abu Malik Al-Ash`ari (May Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "If the wailing woman does not repent before she dies, she will be made to stand on the Day of Resurrection wearing a garment of pitch and a garment of scabies (Allah knows the nature thereof).''

    Commentary:  We learn from this Hadith that wailing is a major sin and if one does not make sincere repentance for it, Allah does not grant pardon for it, one will be made to suffer a torment of its own kind.


    1665.  Asid bin Abu Usaid reported: A woman who had taken a pledge of allegiance at the hand of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: "Among the matters in respect of which we gave the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) the pledge not to disobey him in any Ma`ruf [i.e., all that Islam ordains (V:60:12)] was that we should not slap our faces, bewail, tear our clothes up and tear out our hair (in grief).''
    [Abu Dawud].

    Commentary:  The modes of expressing grief mentioned in this Hadith were in vogue in the Arab society of the Period of Ignorance. Muslim women are strictly forbidden from them and they must abstain from them.


    1666. Abu Musa (May Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "If anyone dies and the mourner gets up and says: `Alas! For the mountain among men. Alas! For the chief ...' and such like, Allah will put two angels in charge of him who will beat on the breast and ask him (disapproving): `Were you like that?' ''


    1667. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "Two things are signs of disbelief on the part of those who indulge in them: Slandering one's lineage and wailing over the dead.''

    Commentary:  This Hadith has already been mentioned before [see the Hadith under Chapter 275]. Both the evils pointed out here are those sins which invite Allah's Wrath and will certainly take one out of the fold of Islam if one considers them lawful. Hence a person who practices them, revives the evils of the infidels. May Allah save us from such evils.


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