Bridging the Gap between Hearts

respect2Every individual expects recognition of his/her rights by the people he/she lives with. The fulfillment of this expectation builds a relationship of give and take between two people. This, if defined in one word, is what is known as “respect”. It is through respect that one learns to notice other people’s rights; and in return, gets his/her rights fulfilled as well. Human relationships are strengthened when the seed of respect is sown; whereas its absence may yield devastating results which are quite noticeable at present with the increasing percentage of people falling prey to life shattering evils.

A glimpse at the past and present 

Allah Almighty (swt) sent Prophets (as) upon nations that deviated from the straight path till a seal to the Prophets (as) was put with the revelation of the final message. Man found it comprehensible as Prophet Muhammad (sa) practiced what he preached. That was how people adopted his way of life and considered it a responsibility to pass it on. To be more precise, it was the acquisition of this “knowledge” that justified man’s role as a man- because it was what our Creator chose for our betterment.

The lives of the Arabs revolutionized with the advent of Islam. But prior to that, they lead completely different lives. Evil lurked in their society to the extent that there remained no evil that they weren’t involved in. What we see these days is similar to the pre Islamic times, but a total opposite to the golden times. One can easily see how our priorities have changed. The rule is quite simple. In order to do good, one must know what good really is. And, that happens through the acquisition of knowledge that revolutionizes beliefs.

Concept of respect in Islam

Islam is the way of life that sets certain rights and responsibilities for each and every individual despite of the restrictions of age, nationality, race, or class. This rule in return brings contentment for everybody. Following are some points regarding the concept of respect in Islam:

1.      Respecting parents

Parents are such people in our lives who, in order to fulfill our needs, often give up theirs. Most of us must have witnessed our mother’s sacrifice when she gave up her wish to buy new clothes on Eid to grab ours. Our father must have taken us for recreation, even though at times he may be feeling tired. Both of them must have had sleepless nights just because of us. It is due to such reasons that in Islam parents are said to be treated likewise when they grow old.  Allah (swt) says,

“And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honour. And lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy, and say: My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was small.” (Al-Isra 17:23-24)

2.       Restoring an orphan’s property

Living with a family, especially with parents, provides a supportive environment which no other thing can substitute. This is what an orphan child yearns for. Islam condemns the act of depriving an orphan of his/her rights. Allah (swt) says,

“And give unto orphans their property and do not exchange (your) bad things for (their) good ones; and devour not their substance (by adding it) to your substance. Surely, this is a great sin.” (An-Nisa 4:2)

3.      Greeting with respect

It is in Islam that even a greeter is said to be greeted better than him/her. Allah (swt) says,

“When you are greeted with a greeting, greet in return with what is better than it, or (at least) return it equally. Certainly, Allah is Ever a Careful Account Taker of all things.” (An-Nisa 4:86)

4.      A bully is up to no good

Scornful attitude is what we hear people calling “cool” these days. We often find it in educational institutions under the name of ragging, which at times crosses all limits- despite of the teachers’ intervention. And many children and even adolescents fall prey to depression- just because of this. It would not be wrong to say that children often learn such responses from their parents when they are busy in ridiculing others. No matter how normal we term it as, Allah (swt) has a commandment for that which we need to know. Allah (swt) says,

“O you who believe! Let not a group scoff at another group, it may be that the latter are better than the former; nor let (some) women scoff at other women, it may be that the latter are better than the former, nor defame one another, nor insult one another by nicknames. How bad is it, to insult one’s brother after having Faith (i.e. to call your Muslim brother (a faithful believer) as: “O sinner”, or “O wicked”, etc.) And whosoever does not repent, then such are indeed Zalimun (wrong-doers, etc.).” (Al-Hujurat 49:11)

5.      Respect for a wife

If any man intends to treat his wife with respect, he must learn to do that from the life of Prophet Muhammad (sa).

It was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbas (ra) that the Prophet (sa) said: “The best of you is the one who is best to his wife, and I am the best of you to my wives.” (Sunan Ibn Majah)

[Twins of Faith Karachi] Family Matters by Br. Adnan Rashid

familyAllah’s (swt) greatest gift to Muslims is Iman (faith). Something they never pursued and were awarded effortlessly. But what is Iman? It is belief and action combined together based on the Ilm (knowledge) one has acquired. Yes, it’s a pre-requisite that Ilm must be followed up by Amal (action); otherwise, Ilm is not even considered to be Ilm.

Iblees (Satan) is most knowledgeable. He maybe is more learned than all the Ulema of the world collectively. Why? Because he has been around the longest. He was there even before Allah (swt) created Adam (as). And he worshipped Allah (swt). So where did he fail? How did he become Rajeem (the cursed and rejected one)? Significantly, because he failed to act upon the knowledge he earned. He recognized Allah (swt) to be the Supreme Creator, Who solely deserved to be worshipped, but blinded himself to His divine guidance. Hence, Ibless became a Kafir. Ilm without action is a recipe for Jahannum.

Numerous orientalists and non-Muslims have studied Hadeeth and Aqueedah in more depth than many Muslims on Earth. But it doesn’t save them. Knowledge and action are intertwined. One is vain and useless without the other. If we are granted knowledge and we do not act upon it, we are considered to be hypocrites. If we do not have knowledge and we act as per our desires, we can cause Fitnah and perform Bidats (innovations in Deen).

Abu Hurairah (rta) once saw an old man with a young boy. He advised the lad about the Islamic Adab: “Do not walk ahead of your father and do not sit before him.”

We need to approach our families with the knowledge of the Quran and the Sunnah, especially when delivering their rights upon us. Family is one of the greatest blessings from Allah (swt). It is an important opportunity to please Allah (swt) and enter Jannah. As Muslims, we must recognize who is who in the family. It is essential to understand the value and status of your parents, spouse, children and extended family.

Orphans are the ones, who know the true importance of having a family. Once, our beloved Prophet (sa) was travelling along with his companions (rta). Suddenly, he came to a halt and began to weep. His companions (rta), unable to see his grief, cried along with him, until Umar ibn Al-Khattab (rta) asked him: “Ya Rasool Allah (sa), why are you crying?” He replied: “My mother is buried here.”

Why did Allah (swt) place Jannah beneath the mother’s feet? Because it can only be attained by serving her. After mentioning Shirk as an unforgivable sin, Allah (swt) places disobedience to parents next in line. They can either be our doors to Jannah or gateway to Jahannum.

Once, the Prophet (sa) descended the pulpit thrice, and each time he uttered: “Ameen”. The companions (rta) asked him, why he did so? The Messenger (sa) explained: “Gabriel (as) visited me and informed me: ‘Woe to the person, who finds Ramadan but doesn’t enter Paradise.’ I said: ‘Ameen.’ Then he said: ‘Woe to the person, who, upon mentioning your name, doesn’t send Salawat upon you.’ I said: ‘Ameen.’ Lastly, Gabriel said: ‘Woe to the person, who finds his parents in their old age and fails to attain Jannah.’ I said: ‘Ameen.’ ”

Appreciate your ties with the kith and kin and pave your way to Jannah.

Abu Hurairah (rta) once saw an old man with a young boy. He advised the lad about the Islamic Adab: “Do not walk ahead of your father and do not sit before him.”

Many times kids do not out-rightly misbehave with their parents, but it’s that one shrug of shoulders, gesturing of the eyes or wrinkling with their forehead that does it all. The Quran doesn’t even permit us to utter ‘uff’ to them. If a word shorter than that would have been known, that would also have been forbidden to say against one’s parents.

How Allah (swt) defends the honour of a mother? When Maryam (as) gave birth to Isa (as) and brought him to her people, she was falsely accused. At the moment she pointed to Isa (as,) who was still an infant in the cradle. He spoke for his mother as a miracle. Allah (swt) granted him the power to do so. Isa (as) confirmed to the people that he was special. He was most importantly a slave of Allah (swt), He had been given a book (Injeel) from Allah (swt), he had been made a prophet of Allah (swt) and he was obedient to his mother.

I see the Western society collapsing from within. I have seen kids curse their parents. It’s an unbelievable phenomenon. Their family institution has disintegrated. On the other hand, Islam is great. It gives the right to people they deserve. Appreciate your ties with the kith and kin and pave your way to Jannah.

Transcribed by Rana Rais Khan from Br Adnan Rashid’s talk at Twins of Faith Karachi, organized by Mercy Mission.

Marital Blues: He Loves Who?

divideredThis is the dilemma most of the men around encounter, as soon as they step into a marital relation. The first few months are a bliss, since there is absence of responsibilities and family pressures. He is solely a husband enjoying with his better half and guarding and combating for his beloved’s rights and desires. He cannot imagine a single thorn to prick her feet that would cause her pain or anguish. However, the picture starts to dim, as the time passes by. Later things start to deteriorate, when he is being questioned by his emotional mother and sentimental wife. The tug leaves him despicable and perturbed. “What can I do to make each of them happy?” is a common question that pops up on the surface of his consciousness. He starts to avoid and ignore the situations that direly require his supervision, wise decision and problem solving. He spends most of his time secluded in his own cave. The love is now out of the window.

In this relationship, man plays an immense role. He can make it bloom or he can cause it to wither. Whether he likes it or not, but he has to play judiciously as he is the one around whom all affairs revolve. Women are possessive by nature. One of my male teacher said, women are possessive. It is all about their family – its wellbeing, its health and all related to their own kith. For this reason, it is natural for a mother to feel insecure and jealous when her son’s attention, love, care, and time is divided. She cannot tolerate the shift and thus, resentment follows towards the new addition. In this situation, the man has to be cautious of the mother’s feelings and tackle accordingly by giving her time and constant reassurance about the status she still holds in his life. On the other hand, the wife who is newly wed to him craves for his attention and time, love and care. He should balance the two entities with insight and not to make any one of them feel unloved and ignored.

In this relationship, man plays an immense role. He can make it bloom or he can cause it to wither. Whether he likes it or not, but he has to play judiciously as he is the one around whom all affairs revolve

There are some common points to ponder on before a man reacts.

Firstly, a woman who is now your wife is not an outsider. She is a part of you and your life. She is not a third person. So do not, I stress, do not make her feel like a fish out of water. It is not about her and us (you and your biological family). When you expect her to treat and take care of your own family like hers, then make her feel a part of the family too. If you are going to shun her and talk behind her back; make detail discussions about her attitude and behaviour to others behind doors; complain to your parents, especially your mother, about her actions or words that you find offending etc. – it all will make her feel isolated. When you expect her not to bad mouth about your family, and some issues that she might be facing with people around; and to deal with the shortcomings with tolerance and oft forgiveness- then you are expected to be as generous as you want her in regard to her short comings and not to bad mouth, complain or nag about her bad points to your family.

Being a man, you are held responsible to earn the bread and butter for the family. You are made the head (Ameer) of the family. Working outside by dealing with people, and surviving peak rush hours of traffic, bearing losses, or not meeting up the desired target may make you vulnerable and depressed. As you expect home and your spouse to be pleasant, the same is expected of you. Pouring down your frustration and tiredness on your spouse and kids is not at all justified.  How can we forget the example of our beloved Prophet (sa) (may peace be upon him) who used to be playful and loveable towards his wives, and he used to pamper them too even when he was given such a difficult and challenging work of Dawah (spreading Allah’s (swt) Deen) and also facing a lot of felicity and turmoil.

A man should neither misbehave with his mother nor speak to her in a loud tone, specifically when the spouse or the kids are around. A mother who has taught you how to speak is not at all worthy of your foul language and raised tone. Treat her in a respectable way, even if you do not agree to her terms and conditions. She may feel degraded in front of others and this will give birth to a grudge in her heart against your spouse (as she might feel her responsible for this outburst of anger and misbehaviour). Satan is everywhere and he loves to instill assumptions in our hearts. Accusations are a result of these whispers of Satan mostly.

You should be open to both entities and listen to both sides- instead of being judgmental by favouring one over another.

You are required to be a man with his own set of rules; forget those days of leniency and childhood. It’s time to act like a grown up instead of crying and complaining. Safeguarding the respect of both is crucial in attaining a good and friendly environment at home. You need to open your ears, but not to believe in everything you listen. At times what you see is not the truth but a manipulated and falsified lie. Do not turn a deaf ear to your spouse’s complaining by considering her guilty every time, and accusing her for things she did not do. Generalizing complains that you have got against her will break her into pieces, and will not earn anything but lack of trust in future. You should be open to both entities and listen to both sides- instead of being judgmental by favouring one over another.

Every person has his/her own right and worth. If anyone is given undue importance over the worth of another, it will create chaos. Limit other’s interference and influence over your decisions- especially governing your own family. It is all about maintaining a balance. You need to decide it yourself by an honest retrospection about your actions. And if you have decided it once that you are too good to be challenged, and you have done a lot to make things workable and your spouse happy- then no one can help you and your highly held ego. We all make mistakes and we all have some short comings. Wise is the one who does not drown in his ocean of I, me, and myself notion and in the pool of self-assumed goodness and sacrifices- but the one who looks beyond it and is ready to make a change. Where a female is involved, you have to deal with it like a fragile thing with lots of emotions, appreciation, recognition, and praise. And when two females are involved, then with these things, the aid of Allah (swt) is a must. Consistency is required when dealing with females, you are not required to do big lofty things, but little tiny things on a daily basis will do wonders. Calling her or texting her once in a day will make her more than happy. It is not necessary to buy expensive gifts every time, a surprise note or a flower will surely earn you grade points.

Every person has his/her own right and worth. If anyone is given undue importance over the worth of another, it will create chaos.

Supplicate to Allah (swt) for being accurate in your decisions and to be fair in dealings. Pray for tranquility and love among the family members and a heart that is ready to forgive and forget. Dwelling on past issues will not bear any good outcome. So stop being critical and sarcastic. When it is cancerous for you to compliment your spouse, it is cancerous for the relation when you pass nasty comments even under the banner of joke.

In a nutshell, marriage is for man and not for boys. It is not a platform to satisfy your sexual desires and physical needs. If you are not ready to bear the responsibility and to manage all affairs with a hard nerve, then kindly don’t opt to tie the knot soon.

“Twins of Faith” – An Epic Experience

ToF-logo-2-293x300O you, who believe, be supporters of Allah (swt)…” (61:14)

“The Twins of Faith 2014” conference was a life-changing experience. Helping in the cause of Allah (swt) was something I had longed to do. This conference was my chance. This was the first time I had volunteered in such an event. The tension and excitement were both at their peak before the event.

I was first given the job to sell tickets. I had to go to my school, friends and family members and tell them about the event, convincing them to come. Believe me, it was no walk in the park. I only managed to sell five tickets to my family members. In school, none of my friends were interested. I was really disappointed. I told them about how beneficial and gratifying it would be, but still I got a response in the negative. I gave up all hope and started thinking what a Fitnah filled world it was, but I remembered that our job was to remind people – Allah (swt) is the One, Who can change the hearts. So I kept reminding them and they finally got interested, but it all ended in vain, when their parents did not allow them. Frankly, I was quite upset but I kept my calm.

Now about the responsibilities I had on the day of the event. I was an usher at the registration desk. We were summoned to “Marriott” at 7 o’clock in the morning, so we headed for the venue right after praying Fajr. It was still dark outside. It seemed like a small job to perform, just like a drop in the sea, as the older volunteers were assigned all the hard tasks; however, I found satisfaction in the fact that one should not belittle his good deeds. The Prophet (sa) said: “Do not belittle any good deed, even meeting your brother (Muslim) with a cheerful face.” (Muslim) Furthermore, we were told in the weekly meetings that deeds were based on intentions, and I did it solely for Allah (swt). The rewards of deeds are based on the intentions (Bukhari). Time and again we were reminded to keep a smiling and cheerful face, as it makes the people feel welcomed, and it also is a Sunnah. The event was a blast and a great learning experience. They told about the rights of parents, how they are the easiest route to Jannah, and the rights of children. Even though many problems arose, everybody had a great time. The volunteers and the team members handled every situation calmly, always showing a jovial demeanour.

The best thing was that we were within close proximity with the shaykhs. We got the best seats in the house, right next to the stage. The dinner with the shaykhs was great, as they related their lifetime stories. It was a highly learning experience. The meetings were fun, and everybody had a great sense of humour – we were helping in the cause of Allah (swt), while being social and active in the community.

 

Pearls of Peace – An extract from Surah Nisa 1

pearls4Before we begin today’s Pearls of Peace, there’s a challenge for everyone reading this. The brother reciting the Quran in the Taraweeh is visually impaired, yet he has memorized the entire Quran by listening to his father and CDs. You and I have been blessed with eyes. We can see the beautiful world of Allah (swt). We can read all that we want and whatever we want. What efforts have we made to read and memorize the Book of Allah (swt)?

We now start with Surah An-Nisa, the Surah named after the women. This is the status of women in Islam. There’s an entire Surah named after the women while there’s no chapter in the Quran called Ar-Rijal (the men). In this Surah, Allah (swt) draws our attention towards the rights of a woman and warns us against usurping them.

Man vs. woman

He begins the Surah by saying, “O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person (Adam), and from him (Adam) He created his wife (Hawwa (Eve)), and from them both He created many men and women.”

Allah (swt) describes the creation of mankind- from a single father and a single mother to make us feel compassionate about each other. Then, He says, “and fear Allah through Whom you demand your mutual (rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship).”

The mention of wombs is an indication that men and women are physically different and thus created for different purposes. Men cannot perform the roles of women and women cannot perform the roles of men. He ends the first verse by saying, “Surely, Allah is Ever an All-Watcher over you.” meaning Allah (swt) is watching how we treat one another.

Dignity of a woman

In order to know how to treat someone, we first need to learn about their status. The woman needs to know where she stands in the Sight of her Creator. She needs to know how to carry herself without compromising on her values. She cannot give in to peer pressure and go against the commands of Allah (swt). She must live such a life that her living confirms that she is a gift from Allah (swt).

Rights of orphans

After honouring women, Allah (swt) talks about another stratum of the society which is weak, but its status before Allah (swt) is really high. These are the orphans. Allah (swt) chose for his Last Messenger to be an orphan, and throughout the Quran we find many verses that remind us to be kind to this weak stratum of society and give them their rights.

In our society, when the father passes away, others relatives come and take charge over the wealth of the orphan children. While they are to act as custodians until the children attain the age of maturity, the guardians do not return them their wealth or they cheat them by understating their property. Allah (swt) says, “Verily, those who unjustly eat up the property of orphans, they eat up only a fire into their bellies, and they will be burnt in the blazing Fire!” (An-Nisa 4:10). The wealth of this world is not worth trading our peace and contentment for it. A person who cheats others cannot live a peaceful life.

Rights of women

There’s another type of cheating that is done at the time of marriage. Men don’t give their brides the bridal gift known as Mahr. Allah (swt) says, “And give to the women (whom you marry) their Mahr (obligatory bridal money given by the husband to his wife at the time of marriage) with a good heart…” (An-Nisa 4:4).

Women are often too shy to demand for it themselves; therefore Allah (swt) has made it a duty of the husbands to gift it to them. In Islam, a woman is a queen. When she is small she is looked after by the father. As she grows up and is married off, it becomes the duty of the husband to look after her needs. In absence of a father and a husband, the closest Mahram relations look after her. Allah (swt) gives women rights so that she is not treated as a commodity; as it used to happen in the ignorant days. In the pagan days, the male relatives would inherit the woman along with all her wealth. Allah (swt) says what belongs to woman remains with her.

Islamic law of inheritance

In verses 11 and 12, Allah (swt) informs us about the exact proportions of inheritance to be distributed among heirs. Some people say in Islam women are oppressed, they get less of what men receive.

We must acknowledge that the system of Allah (swt) is based on justice, as He says, “These are the limits (set by) Allah (or ordainments as regards laws of inheritance), and whosoever obeys Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad (as)) will be admitted to Gardens under which rivers flow (in Paradise), to abide therein, and that will be the great success..” (An-Nisa 4:13)

Consequences of defiance

One who follows the commands of Allah (swt) will attain peace in this life and the next. On the contrary, the one who finds flaws in Allah’s (swt) system can never live in peace in this life, and in the next he will face torment. This is what Allah (swt) talks about in the verse right after this, And whosoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad (as), and transgresses His limits, He will cast him into the Fire, to abide therein; and he shall have a disgraceful torment.” (An-Nisa 4:14)

By warning us of the consequences, it is clear that Allah (swt) wants the best for us. Let’s understand this through an example. A mother tells her children to do something and at the same time tells the repercussions of not following her instructions. She tells them, “If you do this I will give you such-and-such gift, but if you don’t do this, then watch out.” The mother does not want to hurt her children; however, it is in their best interests that she warns  them beforehand. Allah (swt) wants the best for us. He does not want us to suffer in this life or the next; therefore He has explained us the repercussions of not following His commands beforehand. May He allow us to surrender to His commands. Ameen.

Share of a woman

To briefly touch up on the share a woman gets, let’s look at what Allah (swt) says, “…if (there are) only daughters, two or more, their share is two thirds of the inheritance; if only one, her share is half.” (An-Nisa 4:11) No male takes this much percentage of wealth. Before we use our tongues to declare something ordained by Allah (swt), we must understand the Shariah. How can something that has been decided by Allah (swt) be wrong? The problem is that we value human opinions more than what Allah (swt) tells us. And this is the reason to why we have lost our peace.

Repentance – a peaceful move!

Some of us may have committed something wrong in our lives. We might not have given others their rights, mistreated orphans or spoken bad words about Allah’s (swt) laws. This brings us to repentance. Repentance is accepted only for those who do wrong in ignorance and then repent soon after. Allah (swt) says, “And of no effect is the repentance of those who continue to do evil deeds until death faces one of them and he says: “Now I repent;” nor of those who die while they are disbelievers. For them We have prepared a painful torment.” (An-Nisa 4:18)

Our dilemma is that we like to delay things till the last minute. Look at how do we treat our prayers. When the Muezzin gives a call for prayer, and that is when we get up for ablution. By then, we are left with little time to reach the Masjid and stand in the first row. Some of us delay our prayers to the point when only a few minutes are left for it to expire and that is when we get up for prayer. Will such a prayer be accepted? Likewise, a person who has been delaying repentance until the time he meets the angel of death, will his repentance be accepted? All of us want the best in this life, then why do we offer Allah (swt) a very poor quality of deeds? May Allah (swt) protect us and help us realize our mistakes. Ameen.

 

Death of a Non-Muslim Relative

Dead_flower_by_allsoulsnightWhen my father, who was a non-Muslim, passed away a couple years ago, I was faced with the question of what I, as a Muslim, should and am allowed to do in such a situation. What are my responsibilities towards my deceased non-Muslim father? Can I attend his funeral? Can I pray for him? Can I visit his grave? Am I eligible to receive inheritance from him? Thoroughly researching the rulings regarding the burial and funerals of non-Muslims, I got my answers.

Responsibilities of a Muslim towards Non-Muslim Parents

Islam encourages Muslims to strengthen the ties of kinship with both Muslim and non-Muslim relatives. In fact, being dutiful to one’s parents, no matter what religion they belong to, is placed in the Quran right next after worshiping Allah (swt): “And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents…” (Al-Isra, 17:23)

Since dutifulness to parents extends beyond their death, a Muslim is allowed to participate in the funeral and burial of non-Muslim parents / relatives.

Zakariya al-Ansaari said: “He may (i.e., it is allowed for a Muslim and is not Makrooh) attend the funeral of a Kaafir relative, because of the report narrated by Abu Dawood from Ali who said: ‘When Abu Talib died, I came to the Messenger of Allah (saw) and said: ‘Your uncle, the misguided old man, has died.’ He said: ‘Go and bury him.’” (An-Nisai)

There are, however, certain restrictions on the involvement of a Muslim in the funeral and burial procedures.

Burying Non-Muslim Relatives

According to Sheikh Al-Albani, a Muslim is allowed to take care of the burial of his non-Muslim parents/relatives; however, this does not cancel out the hatred a Muslim should feel towards their Shirk. Further, a disbeliever can neither be buried in a Muslim graveyard (Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daaimah, 9/10), nor prepared for the burial according to Islamic rites: he should not be washed or shrouded, and no prayer should be offered over him (Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daaimah, 9/14).

a Muslim is allowed to take care of the burial of his non-Muslim parents/relatives; however, this does not cancel out the hatred a Muslim should feel towards their Shirk

From the earlier mentioned Hadeeth, in which the Prophet (saw) permits Ali (rtam) to go and bury Abu Talib, Sheikh Al-Albani concludes that if it were permissible for a Muslim to bury a non-Muslim according to Islamic rites, then the Prophet (saw) would have told Ali (rtam) to do so, “because it is well known that it is not permitted for the Prophet (saw) to delay explaining something at the time, when that information is needed.”

Although it is permitted for a Muslim to bury a non-Muslim relative, Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daaimah, 9/10, suggests that, when possible, it is better to avoid doing it: “If there are people among the Kuffaar, who can bury their own dead, then the Muslims should not bury them, or join the Kuffaar and help them to bury them, or try to please the Kuffaar by joining the funeral procession, even if this is a political practice.”

 Attending Funeral and Burial

According to Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid, it is permissible for a Muslim to attend the funeral and burial of a non-Muslim relative. However, Muslims are restricted from participating in prayers or any other burial rites of other religions. Likewise, attending of the funeral should not involve anything Haram, such as listening to musical instruments and so on.

When attending the funeral and burial of a non-Muslim relative, the right intention for a Muslim to have is that of carrying out the duty of kindness to his deceased relative, sharing the misfortune with the family and strengthening good relationships with the rest of the kin.

When attending the funeral and burial of a non-Muslim relative, the right intention for a Muslim to have is that of carrying out the duty of kindness to his deceased relative

However, special restriction has been placed on attending the funeral of a hypocrite. The Quran directs the Prophet (saw) not to pray for the hypocrites and the rebellious against Islam and not to stand at their graves:

“And never (O Muhammad (saw)) pray (funeral prayer) for any of them (hypocrites) who dies, nor stand at his grave. Certainly they disbelieved in Allah and His Messenger, and died while they were Fasiqun (rebellious, — disobedient to Allah and His Messenger).” (At-Taubah, 9:84)

Praying for the Deceased and Visiting the Grave

Although in times of sorrow it might be extremely difficult and heart-wrecking to accept this, the Quran gives a straightforward order not to pray for the forgiveness of the deceased disbelievers, even if they are close of kin:

“It is not (proper) for the Prophet and those who believe, to ask Allah’s Forgiveness for the Mushrikin (polytheists, idolaters, pagans, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah), even though they may be of kin, after it has become clear to them that they are the dwellers of the Fire (because they died in a state of disbelief).” (At-Taubah, 9:113)

A Hadeeth shows that even the Prophet (saw) himself was not given permission to pray for the forgiveness of his mother, although he was allowed to visit her grave. Abu Hurairah (rtam) has reported: “The Prophet (saw) visited the grave of his mother, and he wept and those, who were with him, wept. Then he said: ‘I asked my Lord for permission to pray for forgiveness for her, and He did not grant me permission to do that, and I asked Him for permission to visit her grave, and He gave me permission. So visit the graves, for they are a reminder of death.’” (Muslim, Abu Dawood, An-Nisai, Ibn Maajah, Al-Haakim, Al-Bayhaqi and Ahmad)

A Hadeeth shows that even the Prophet (saw) himself was not given permission to pray for the forgiveness of his mother, although he was allowed to visit her grave

The above Hadeeth also indicates the reason for visiting graves – to be reminded of death. To this, Sheikh Al-Albani adds that visiting the graves of non-Muslims should be done with the purpose of learning a lesson. Al-Albani says that non-Muslim dwellers of the grave should not be greeted with Salam and should not be prayed for; instead, they should be given the tidings of Hell.

The evidence for that is the Hadeeth of Saad ibn Abi Waqqas (rtam) who said: “A Bedouin came to the Prophet (saw) and said: ‘My father used to uphold the ties of kinship, and so on and so forth – where is he now?’ He said: ‘In Hell.’ The Bedouin got upset and said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, where is your father?’ He said: ‘Whenever you pass by the grave of a Kaafir, give him the tidings of Hell.’ The Bedouin later became a Muslim, and he said: ‘The Messenger of Allah (saw) gave me a difficult commission. Whenever I pass by the grave of a Kaafir, I give him the tidings of Hell.’” (Narrated by Al-Tabaraani in al-Mu’jam al-Kabeer, 1/191; Ibn al-Sunni in ‘Aml al-Yawm wa’l-Laylah, 588; al-Diyaa’ al-Maqdisi in al-Ahaadeeth al-Mukhtaarah, with a Saheeh Isnaad. Al-Haythami (1/117-118) said: it was narrated by al-Bazzaar and by al-Tabaraani in al-Kabeer, and the men of its Isnaad are sound.)

Inheriting from a Non-Muslim Relative

Another important matter to consider is the question of inheritance. The general rule is that a Muslim does not inherit from an unbeliever. Usamah bin Zaid (rtam) related that the Prophet (saw) said: “The Muslim does not inherit from the unbeliever, and the unbeliever does not inherit from the Muslim.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

The best we can do for our non-Muslim relatives is to share with them the teachings of Islam, before they reach the point of no return. One short sentence of Shahadah can make the difference for their entire eternity

However, the Scientific Research Committee (IslamToday.net) has given a verdict that if a non-Muslim father has left a will, in which he specifies inheritance for his Muslim child, then the child is eligible to “receive up to one-third of the estate (33.3 %), since this is the amount of a person’s estate that he can bequeath to non-inheritors”. If, however, the percentage the non-Muslim father has specified in his will exceeds that, then the Muslim child “will not be permitted to accept this excess without the express permission of the other inheritors”.

The best we can do for our non-Muslim relatives is to share with them the teachings of Islam, before they reach the point of no return. One short sentence of Shahadah can make the difference for their entire eternity. We should earnestly pray to Allah (swt) to guide them to the Straight Path during their lifetime, for Allah (swt) Alone can guide a soul to the truth.