Muslims' Rights (4)
Praise be to Allah who commanded us to do righteous deeds and avoid evil deeds. I thank Him for His Continuous Favors, and I send peace and blessings upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, his Companions, and those who follow their footsteps until the Day of Recompense.
Dear valued Muslims, we still continue our talks about these lessons from which we extract some rights and duties that we should abide by. We still remind one another with the rights a Muslim should fulfill to his Muslim brother. In the previous lesson we spoke about four rights in details, and in this lesson we shall review two other important rights:
The fifth right is represented in the Prophet's saying: "When your Muslim brother is sick, visit him." In the other narration: "And visiting the sick."
A sick person is the one who is inflicted by a disease in his body or in his psychology.
Sickness is an infliction from Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) with which He tests some of His Servants to see how they act and how they behave? Would they handle this sickness with patience, referring the whole matter to Allah (may He be Exalted), and believing that it is part of Allah's Destiny then satisfying with His Destiny and Fate? Or would they abandon all these causes and start to complain to people?
No doubt, sickness is apparently an affliction to the sick, but with observing patience, contentment, and thanking Allah, it may turn to be a divine reward by being a cause for expiating sins, increasing the ranks in Paradise, and accepting the righteous actions a sick person used to do during his good health, moreover the deterred evil may be more than the harm done to him. Sickness makes man think about his past life because man is always busy all day, week, month long and does not ponder over his conditions. However, if a person is inflicted by sickness and wanted to do good to himself, he will pause and hold himself accountable. During health, power, and activeness man may neglect some important matters and may forget others, but when he is inflicted by sickness, he remembers which he did and what he forgot, so he holds himself accountable and revise his actions and relationships with others.
A sick person is different in his sickness from his good health condition and power, hence he sees the deterioration of his health day after another and his thinking is often confined to his sickness. Satan is keen to get into himself to cast obsessions about the incurability of his sickness or may cause him to despair of the Mercy of Allah. Therefore, Islam made for this kind of sick people some rights which we shall mention as follow:
Paying them a visit and repeating these visits because Allah (may He be Glorified and Exalted) gives a great reward for that. Imam Muslim reported on the authority of Tawban (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "He who visits his brother in Faith, will remain engaged in picking the fresh fruits from Khurfatul-Jannah till he returns. Somebody asked: O Messenger Allah, what is "Khurfatul-Jannah? He said: Its orchards." Imam Muslim reported also in a long divine Hadith on the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) who narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "Verily, Allah (Exalted and Glorified be He) would say on the Day of Resurrection: O son of Adam, I was sick but you did not visit Me. The Servant would say: O my Lord, how could I visit You while You are the Lord of the worlds? Thereupon He would say: Did not you know that such and such servant of Mine was sick but you did not visit him and were you not aware of this that if you had visited him, you would have found Me by him?"
It is the duty of a person when visiting a sick person to benefit him, seek the reward, and invoke Allah for him with speed recovery and health. Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhy and others reported with a good chain of transmission on the authority of Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "He who visits a sick person who is not on the point of death and supplicates seven times: As'alullahal-`Azima Rabbal-`Arshil-`Azimi, an yashfiyaka (I beseech Allah the Great, the Lord of the Great Throne, to heal you), Allah will certainly cure him from that sickness." Imam Muslim reported on the authority of Abu `Abdullah `Uthman ibn Abu Al `As (may Allah be pleased with him) that he complained to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) about a pain he had in his body. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:"Place your hand where you feel pain and say: In the Name of Allah three times; and then repeat seven times: A`udhu billah wa qudratihi min sharri ma ajidu wa `uhadhiru (I seek refuge with Allah and with His Power from the evil that afflicts me and that which I apprehend)."
It is desirable to say to a sick person: "There is no harm, it will be expiation of sins, Allah willing." As was authentically reported from the Prophet (peace be upon him).
A visitor should consider the following: Removing pain from the patient, relieving himself, drawing him near to the mercy of Allah by making him trust in Allah's Mercy, and to tell him that with hardship comes ease and a person should not despair from the Mercy of Allah (may He be Exalted). Moreover, he should remind him of the greatness of the reward [if a person observes patience to his sickness] and the erasing of sins.
It is desirable to explain here that it is the right of a sick person to take into account his best interest in terms of the frequent visits or its fewness, as well as following the doctors' prescription in eating, drinking, talking and so on because a sick person may entertain his visitors against his own interest.
A sick person should keep away from talking in worldly matters, much laughing, or eating delicious foods which he may be prohibited to eat because of his sickness.
It is also important to say that people should abstain from imitating non-Muslims in visiting the sick by offering some flowers and leaving out the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him). There is no harm to offer a useful present for the sick such as a copy of the Qur'an and other useful book, but a person should not imitate non-Muslims.
Dear valued Muslim: The sixth right of Muslims' rights is following his funeral procession.
It is well-known that every living creature shall be dead sooner or later. Allah (may He be Exalted) says: "Everyone is going to taste death, and We shall make a trial of you with evil and with good. And to Us you will be returned."
Death is the end of every living creature, but Islam has honored the dead and gave him rights during his death struggle and after his death. Of these rights are: His family has to sit with him during his death struggle and repeat before him: "La Ilaha Illa Allah (There is no deity but Allah)" gently and nicely. Mentioning the name of Allah frequently so that his last words in the world would be "La Ilaha Illa Allah (There is no deity but Allah)" because the one whose last words before death are the testimony of faith shall be secure from Hell-Fire and shall enter Paradise as was authentically reported from the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him).
When a person dies, it is the duty of his family to wash, shroud, and prepare him for the funeral Salah.
It is due on everyone knows about his death —especially his family, friends, relatives, neighbors, and every person knew him during his life— to attend Salah and invoke Allah for him with forgiveness, mercy, pardon, to have high ranks in Paradise, and invoke Allah to make his grave one of the gardens of Paradise in addition to other useful invocations that were reported from the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him).
A Muslim should be sincere in his supplication for the dead because the actions of the dead have ended and he moved to the house of reckoning and retribution, so it is incumbent on his Muslim brothers to invoke Allah for him. It was reported in the authentic Hadith: "When a man dies, his deeds come to an end except for three things: Sadaqah Jariyah (ceaseless charity);a knowledge which is beneficial, or a virtuous descendant who invokes Allah for him (for the deceased)."
So, invocation shall avails him —by the will of Allah— and offering Salah at him adds to his righteous deeds and the one who offers it shall gain reward as well. Al Bukhari and Muslim reported on the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "He who follows a funeral procession from its home then offers Salah for it, then follows it until it is buried shall have two Qirats, and each every Qirat is like the mountain of Uhud."
From the rights of the dead is to follow his funeral procession until he is buried and people should invoke Allah for him after the burial that Allah would make him firm when answering the questions of the angels because that was the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him).
It is also from the rights of the dead to execute his will after death and not to neglect it, paying his debts, and cleaning him from all the attachments of the world.
It is beneficial for the parents and relatives to make a ceaseless charity for the dead after his death.
From the rights of the dead is to praise him, mention his good qualities, stop talking about his bad qualities because praising the dead and counting his good qualities is a sign that Allah loves that person and he shall be accepted with the righteous.
Dear Muslim brother, if a Muslim fulfills the rights of his Muslim brother, the gates of great reward shall be opened for him and make him good in the eyes of the people. I ask Allah to make us from those who fulfill the rights of their Muslim brothers in their lives and after their death for He is All-Hearing, All-Responding and He is the One whose aid is to be implored.
We shall continue our speech about the rights of Muslims in the following lesson by the will of Allah.