Ramadan Note 6 of 1440AH – Taqwa

Taqwa

Today, I was reading a WordPress post on secularism in Ramadan, and the authoress cited Imam Ibn Juzayy Al-Kalbi’s 5 stages of increasing taqwa (becoming a muqatti). I found this quote particularly insightful. I hope you do too! (Remember, we are enjoined to fast so as to attain taqwa).

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Pre- and post- janaaza – a comprehensive hadith

The janaaza (funeral prayer) and burial of my maternal uncle is scheduled for this afternoon, the first day of fasting in Ramadan 1440AH.

The Prophet saws once stood at the edge of a grave and called out to his Companions:

“O my brothers! For this, prepare yourselves.” (Ibn Majah)

and in another narration, he saws, said:

“O people! Remember often the destroyer of pleasures: death.” (Al-Tirmidhi, An-Nasa’i, Ibn Majah)

The Prophet saws said:

“Hasten to do good deeds before you become busy. Are you waiting for such straitened circumstances which will make you unmindful of devotion? Or such prosperity which will make you corrupt? Or such disease which will disable you? Or such senility which will make you mentally unstable? Or sudden death? Or the Dajjaal (Anti-Christ), who is the worst apprehended (sign of the Hour)? Or (are you waiting) for the Hour? That will be most grievous and bitter.” (Al-Tirmidhi)

https://islamqa.info/en/answers/10403/three-questions-in-the-grave sets out comprehensively the sequence of events after burial. I have re-posted part of an answer given in that link:

It was narrated that al-Bara’ (may Allaah be pleased with him) said:

We went out with the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) for the funeral of a man from among the Ansaar. We came to the grave and when (the deceased) was placed in the lahd, the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) sat down and we sat around him, as if there were birds on our heads (i.e., quiet and still). In his hand he had a stick with which he was scratching the ground.

Then he raised his head and said, “Seek refuge with Allaah from the torment of the grave”, two or three times.

Then he said, “When the believing slave is about to depart this world and enter the Hereafter, there come down to him from heaven angels with white faces like the sun, and they sit around him as far as the eye can see. They bring with them shrouds from Paradise and perfumes from Paradise.

Then the Angel of Death comes and sits by his head, and he says, ‘O good soul, come forth to forgiveness from Allaah and His pleasure.’ Then it comes out easily like a drop of water from the the mouth of a waterskin. When he seizes it, they do not leave it in his hand for an instant before they take it and put it in that shroud with that perfume, and there comes from it a fragrance like the finest musk on the face of the earth. Then they ascend and they do not pass by any group of angels but they say, ‘Who is this good soul?’ and they say, ‘It is So and so the son of So and so, calling him by the best names by which he was known in this world, until they reach the lowest heaven. They ask for it to be opened to them and it is opened, and (the soul) is welcomed and accompanied to the next heaven by those who are closest to Allaah, until they reach the seventh heaven. Then Allaah says: ‘Record the book of My slave in ‘Illiyoon in the seventh heaven, and return him to the earth, for from it I created them, to it I will return them and from it I will bring them forth once again.’

So his soul is returned to his body and there come to him two angels who make him sit up and they say to him, ‘Who is your Lord?’ He says, ‘Allaah.’

They say, ‘What is your religion?’ He says, ‘My religion is Islam.’

They say, ‘Who is this man who was sent among you?’ He says, ‘He is the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).’

They say, ‘What did you do?’ He says, ‘I read the Book of Allaah and I believed in it.’

Then a voice calls out from heaven, ‘My slave has spoken the truth, so prepare for him a bed from Paradise and clothe him from Paradise, and open for him a gate to Paradise.’ Then there comes to him some of its fragrance, and his grave is made wide, as far as he can see. Then there comes to him a man with a handsome face and handsome clothes, and a good fragrance, who says, ‘Receive the glad tidings that will bring you joy this day.’ He says, ‘Who are you? Your face is a face which brings glad tidings.’ He says, ‘I am your righteous deeds.’ He says, ‘O Lord, hasten the Hour so that I may return to my family and my wealth.’

But when the disbelieving slave is about to depart this world and enter the Hereafter, there come down to him from heaven angels with black faces, bringing sackcloth, and they sit around him as far as the eye can see. Then the Angel of Death comes and sits by his head, and he says, ‘O evil soul, come forth to the wrath of Allaah and His anger.’ Then his soul disperses inside his body, then comes out cutting the veins and nerves, like a skewer passing through wet wool. When he seizes it, they do not leave it in his hand for an instant before they take it and put it in that sackcloth, and there comes from it a stench like the foulest stench of a dead body on the face of the earth. Then they ascend and they do not pass by any group of angels but they say, ‘Who is this evil soul?’ and they say, ‘It is So and so the son of So and so, calling him by the worst names by which he was known in this world, until they reach the lowest heaven. They ask for it to be opened to them and it is not opened.”

Then the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) recited (interpretation of the meaning):

“for them the gates of heaven will not be opened, and they will not enter Paradise until the camel goes through the eye of the needle”

[al-A’raaf 7:40]

He said: “Then Allaah says, ‘Record the book of My slave in Sijjeen in the lowest earth, and return him to the earth, for from it I created them, to it I will return them and from it I will bring them forth once again.’ So his soul is cast down.”  Then the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) recited the verse (interpretation of the meaning):

“and whoever assigns partners to Allaah, it is as if he had fallen from the sky, and the birds had snatched him, or the wind had thrown him to a far off place”

[al-Hajj 22:31]

He said: “Then his soul is returned to his body, and there come to him two angels who make him sit up and they say to him, ‘Who is your Lord?’ He says, ‘Oh, oh, I don’t know.’ They say, ‘What is your religion?’ He says, ‘Oh, oh, I don’t know.’ Then a voice calls out from heaven, ‘Prepare for him a bed from Hell and clothe him from Hell, and open for him a gate to Hell.’ Then there comes to him some of its heat and hot winds, and his grave is constricted and compresses him until his ribs interlock. Then there comes to him a man with an ugly face and ugly clothes, and a foul stench, who says, ‘Receive the bad news, this is the day that you were promised.’ He says, ‘Who are you? Your face is a face which forebodes evil.’ He says, ‘I am your evil deeds.’ He says, ‘O Lord, do not let the Hour come, do not let the Hour come.’”

Narrated by Abu Dawood, 4753; Ahmad, 18063 – this version was narrated by him. Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 1676.

 

Return to Allah in Ramadan

In Trinidad and Barbados, Ramadan 1440AH began last night.

For the past several years, the start of Ramadan would signal for my mother and her second brother, Yusuf, a month within which they would each complete reading of the Holy Qur’an several times. (NoS has attempted to keep up with Mama, but she has so far outpaced him.) Moreso, Yusuf Mamoo embraced with great vigour fasting in the Prophet’s (saws) month of Shaban and recitation of Al Qur’an. Just two days ago, (when YoungerBrother & I visited him), Yusuf Mamoo worried over his waning zeal for his usual enthusiastic start.

This year, the start of Ramadan last night signalled for my uncle Yusuf, a different type of beginning. Last night, Yusuf Mamoo was summoned to His (and Our) Creator. Below are some of the verses in Al Qur’an which speak to the inevitability of death and our return to Allah swt:  –

Every soul shall have a taste of death: and We test you by evil and by good by way of trial. Unto Us must ye return. (Surah Al-Anbiya’, 35)

He is the irresistible, (watching) from above over His worshippers, and He sets guardians over you.At length, when death approaches one of you, Our angels take his soul, and they never fail in their duty. (Surah Al-An‘am, 61)

Every soul shall have a taste of death: And only on the Day of Judgment shall you be paid your full recompense.Only he who is saved far from the Fire and admitted to the Garden will have attained the object (of Life): For the life of this world is but goods and chattels of deception. (Surah Al-Imran, 185)

Every soul shall have a taste of death in the end to Us shall ye be brought back. (Surah Al-‘Ankabut, 57)

Say: “The Angel of Death, put in charge of you, will (duly) take your souls: then shall ye be brought back to your Lord.” (Surah As-Sajda, 11)

The featured photo is of Mum & Yusuf Mamoo in April last year, on their way to jummah salaat. He frequently collected her to take her to the jummah salaat.

2018-04-06 11.41.28

 

There is a belief that a believing Muslim who dies in Ramadan is blessed in death, in that the gates of Paradise are open to him. In sha Allah, this is indeed a benefit for my uncle.  And may he be considered by Allah swt to be one of the foremost, or one of those on the right hand.