One thing that is sure is death. All other things are not sure. There are numerous references in the Noble Qur’an to buttress the inevitability of death. Allah says in Q.62: 8
What benefits the deceased after burial cannot be discussed without knowing what a good end is. It has been clarified in the Qur’an that the good end is certainly meant for those who are conscious of their duties to Allah.
Though, it is a bit difficult to determine a good end, but there are signs that signify that some of which are enumerated below:
- Ability to pronounce the “Shahadah” testimony of Allah’s unity before death. It is recommended for Muslims surrounding a dying Muslim to prompt him without force to pronounce the statement. But it can only be possible for those who deserve it through their good actions when they are ill and healthy.
- Sweat on the forehead of a dying Muslim
- To die on the day or night of Friday.
- To die as a martyr. This is not only referring to those who die in the course of a holy war, but it also includes somebody who dies as a result of plague, abdominal ailment, drowning, burning, or tuberculosis. Others are the victims of a collapsed building, a woman who dies as a result of complications in pregnancy or at childbirth, a man killed by a tyrant ruler because he confronted him with his inadequacies, etc.
- Praises of other sincere Muslims on a deceased are other signs of a good end.
- A good end can also be determined by the way a burial rite is performed. When a deceased has the rear opportunity of getting 40 pure Muslims to witness his Salat Janazah. Allah will accept their intercession on his behalf.
Almighty Allah says in Q36: 12: Surely, We shall resurrect the dead, We are recording all that they are sending ahead and that they are leaving behind. We have recorded everything in an open ledger.
The Noble Prophet (SAW) is reported to have said: The documentation of deeds of the son of Adam is seize by his death except in respect of three things: a good deed of continuous benefit, knowledge that benefits others, and a good child that prays for him.
Therefore, sadaqah (charity) in this context should not be mistaken for the celebration and declaration of surplus that characterize today’s burial. Islam has nothing to do with all that. Charity does not call for a feast. It should be done as secretly as possible. However, if the deceased has made a vow to carry out an act of Ibadah before death overtook him, it is incumbent upon his close relatives to carry out such an act on his behalf. At this juncture, we Muslims should take the affairs of our family very serious. We should make them well acquainted with the tenets of Islam so that they can benefit us in this world and when we pass on.
A deceased Muslim also benefits from the prayer of supplications offered by all Muslims. That is why we are urged to always pray for the dead Muslims.
This is what is called a befitting burial in Islam. Any other thing beside all these is not in accordance to the Islamic rites. A child should always pray for his late parents. There is nothing like 3rd, 8th,or 41st day prayer. Children should continue to offer prayer and give Sadaqah (Acts of Charity) on behalf of their late parents. Surely this would benefit them.
This piece is culled from an Islamic feature by Abdus Salam Abdur Raheem titled: A BEFITTING BURIAL: WHAT DOES IT CONNOTE IN ISLAM?