More than ever, the subject of death has touched all of us so closely during this pandemic. The numbers that we hear—as abstract as they seem at times—are grounded in people losing their loved ones.
With every experience in our lives, it is important to remember that Allah SWT has given us the tools to get through it. One of these tools is an understanding of His Divine attributes.
In this article, I’ll touch on five attributes of our Lord that we can connect with to help us deal with the loss of our loved ones.
Remember that the love you experienced was a gift. Allah SWT, in His love, gifted you with this person and now it’s time for them to return to their Creator. That knowledge won’t make your pain go away but it will soothe your heart a little bit.
Give space to your grief. It is a natural emotion you’ll have to work through to deal with losing someone you love.
When the Prophet ﷺ passed away, the pain of losing him was so unbearable for Bilal RA that he could no longer call the adhan without crying. Such was the sincerity of the love that Bilal had for the Prophet ﷺ that he eventually left Medina.
What does it mean to be patient in the face of adversity and loss?
The Prophet ﷺ encouraged us to practice patience in a myriad of ways after losing a loved one. This includes thinking positively of Allah SWT, not tearing one’s clothes or crying excessively.
But does this mean you can’t mourn at all?
Anas bin Malik narrates that when the Prophet’s son Ibrahim was taking his last breaths,
“The eyes of Allah’s Messenger ﷺ started shedding tears. `Abdur Rahman bin `Auf said, “O Allah’s Apostle, even you are weeping!” He said, “O Ibn `Auf, this is mercy.” Then he wept more and said, “The eyes are shedding tears and the heart is grieved, and we will not say except what pleases our Lord, O Ibrahim! Indeed we are grieved by your separation.”
Say with your tongue as often as you need to,
“Inna Lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un”—We belong to Allah and to Him shall we return
Allah in this attribute is the One who grants unimaginable rewards to His servants when they accept His decree with beautiful patience.
Comfort yourself knowing that Allah SWT is Ash-Shahid, and He is a witness to your pain and loss. In remembering Allah as Ash-Shahid, think of how He comforts the Prophet ﷺ during a time he felt lonely:
By the morning sunlight,
and the night when it falls still!
Your Lord (O Prophet) has not abandoned you, nor has He become hateful (of you).
And the next life is certainly far better for you than this one.
And surely your Lord will give so much to you that you will be pleased.
Allah SWT swears by nature to remind the Prophet ﷺ that He will never abandon him. These ayat are also for you and me when we feel lonely, it’s for us when we are going through unimaginable pain, it is to comfort us when it feels like no one else can understand what we are going through.
Allah also reminds us at the beginning of this Surah that just like sunrise and nightfall, life is cyclical. There is a time for living and there is a time for death; this is inevitable. And just like neither sunrise nor nightfall lasts forever, remember that your pain will also not last forever.
One of the things we can do for the dead is to pray for them. You can maintain your connection by constantly making du’a. Whether it’s a rough day or a great day filled with loving memories, strengthen your connection with Allah by calling on His attribute as Al-Mujeeb.
Make du’a for the ease of your loved ones, make du’a for their sins to be forgiven, pray for them in your salah, pray for them whenever thoughts of them cross your mind.
Allah is a witness to your du’a, and He is the One who responds.
Here are some duas you can recite for the deceased:
Allaahum-maghfir lahu Allaahumma thabbithu
O Allah, forgive him. O Allah, strengthen him.
Allaahummaghfir li [name of the person] warfa’ darajatahu fil-mahdiyyeena, wakhlufhu fee ‘aqibihi fil-ghaabireena , waghfir-lanaa wa lahu yaa Rabbal-‘aalameena, wafsah lahu fee qabrihi wa nawwir lahu feehi
O Allah, forgive [name of the person] and elevate his station among those who are guided. Send him along the path of those who came before, and forgive us and him, O Lord of the worlds. Enlarge for him his grave and shed light upon him in it.
Everything in existence aside from Allah SWT has to die. Allah is Al-Hayy (The Ever Living) and Al-Qayyum (The Self Existing). These attributes should fill us with awe, reverence and hope as we hold on to the promise that we will be reunited in the Hereafter with those we love in Jannah.
In the Quran, Allah SWT tells us,
“Gardens of perpetual residence; they will enter them with whoever were righteous among their fathers, their spouses and their descendants. And the angels will enter upon them from every gate, [saying], ‘Peace be upon you for what you patiently endured. And excellent is the final home.’” [Qur’an 13:23-24].
The purpose of death is to remind us that our lives are transient, and our true and ultimate abode is with Allah. May Allah bless the souls of our deceased and make our transition at a time when He is pleased with us. Ameen.