Final Journey, Emdad Khan
Sickness and Death is a very painful and emotional time, and yet it is also a time that may be filled with hope and mercy. Sickness wipes out our sins and brings us closer to God. Death is a departure from the life of this world to the eternal life, or the hereafter. We also pray that God fills the grave of our departed loved ones with light and He grants him/her heaven and eternal peace.
The Prophet (PBUH), said: “Prompt your dying people to say there is no Deity except One God. The Messenger of God (PBUH), said: “He whose last words are ‘La ilaha illa- Allah’ shall enter Paradise.
Hearing the Death News one should recite Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un. “Verily we belong to God, and truly to Him shall we return.” It desirable that the deceased’s family, friends, and other good people be informed about his death, so that they may share in the reward of participating in his funeral. Weeping over the Dead is permissible, not crying and wailing.
Prepare Food for the Bereaved Family: The relatives of the deceased should prepare enough food to feed all the deceased’s family for one day and night. It is a sunnah of the Prophet (PBUH), and a practice of good people and an act of virtue and kindness and brings friends and neighbors closer to each other.”
Washing a Dead Body: The body of the deceased person must be washed, shrouded, and a funeral prayer offered, then buried. Shrouding the body of the deceased, even it be with just one piece of cloth is Fard for the Muslims. A shroud should be nice, but not so expensive that it would unduly burden a person. A funeral prayer for a deceased person is fard kifayah.
Reward for Offering Funeral Prayer: Whoever follows a funeral procession and offers the prayer for the deceased, will get one kerat of reward. And whoever follows it and remains with it until the body is buried, will get two kerats of reward.
Procedures of Funeral Prayer
a) Make sure that we meet all the requirements for a formal prayer;
b) Stand up with the intention of dua for the deceased;
c) Raise both hands with a takbir
d) Fold the right hand over your left hand
e) Start the funeral prayer with the (silent) recitation of Sana/Al-Fatiha.
f) After Sana/Al-Fatiha say another takbir
g) Offer Salawat to the Prophet PBUH, and end with a takbir
h) Then make dua for the deceased, and end with a takbir
i) Make a general dua
j) End the prayer with salam to the right and to the left side
Rules for Funeral Prayer:
The imam to stand opposite the head of a male body, and opposite the middle of a female body. Make three rows while offering a funeral prayer, and the rows should be straight. “The Prophet, PBUH, said, ‘If a funeral prayer is attended by one hundred Muslims, and they sincerely pray for his forgiveness, he is forgiven’. There is no harm in offering funeral prayer in a mosque or outside the mosque. Women are also permitted to join Funeral Prayers.
Salawat Upon the Prophet :Allahumma Salli ‘ala-Muhammad wa’ala
Muhammad kama sallayta ‘ala Ibrahim wa ‘ala ali Ibrahim wa barik ‘ala Muhammad wa ‘ala ali Muhammad kama barakta’ ala Ibrahim wa ‘ala ali Ibrahim innaka hamidun Majid.” “O Allah! Grant peace to Muhammad and his family as you did to Ibrahim and his family. O Allah! Bless Muhammad and his family as you blessed Ibrahim and his family. Truly You are Most Glorious and Most Praiseworthy.’
Dua for the Deceased:
Allahummaghfir lihayatina wa mayatina wa saghirina wa kahirina wa zhakirina wa unthana. Allahumma man ahyatahu minna fa-ahyahu ‘alal Islam wa man tawafthu minna fa tawafthu ‘ala iman. Allahumma la tahrimna ajrahu wa la tudalana ba’dahu. “O Allah! Forgive our living, our dead, our young, our old, our males and our females, those of us who are present, and those who are absent. O Allah! Whomsoever among us You keep to live, make him to live in Islam, and whomsoever You cause to die, let him die in faith. O Allah! Do not deprive us of our reward for (supplicating for) him, and cause us not to go astray after him.”
We pray and hope that we all feel encouraged to join the funeral prayer and burial process of our friends, relatives and general public. If we join the process of final journey of others, God will soften the hearts of others to join our own funeral and burial process of final journey.
We also pray God forgives the short comings of our loved ones who left this dunya and also give us the capacity to follow on the straight path and when we leave this dunya, we leave by pleasing Him and our final journey goes smooth and our grave is filled with light and we get eternal peace.