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Author Topic: Most difficult task for a father  (Read 369 times)
tanimtaher
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« on: Jan 28, 2013 06:06 PM »


(Dated: November 28, 2012)

This month I witnessed two fathers face their worst nightmare. I cannot imagine how they must have felt. I cannot even begin to comprehend, because I am not a father and I do not know how much a father feels for his son. The little I can imagine is to see how much difficulty my father went through and continues to go through to make sure I and my sister always got the best in everything and never have any worries or difficulties to contend with.
 
So I witnessed two fathers, in the space of 4 weeks, lose their sons. The first father lost his oldest son at the age of 28, completely unexpectedly, and in a foreign country and he was not even able to bury his son due to the distance. The second father lost his youngest son, at the masum (sinless and pure) age of 18 months after a week of illness, and he buried the baby with his own hands. The first person to die was a dear friend of mine. Uncle (my friend’s dad) just breaks up in tears even weeks after that dreadful night of November 2nd. The second deceased, the little child, was the son of a Bangali family friend. The father didn’t speak at all in the two hours I spent with him today, he just kept hugging his 2 remaining sons; while quietly, he put his youngest in the grave and poured soil over him. When a son is born, the mother or father they may imagine that one day this son will pour soil over her or him; but rarely does the father expect the opposite when he with his own hands has to bury his own son.
 
So such incidents like this where young people go to eternal sleep serve the purpose of waking up the rest of us who are sleeping. Yes, it wakes us up from the trance we are in – that this life is forever – just enjoy life, run after money, spend, buy, be merry, all under the illusion and falsehood of YOLO (you only live once) while feeling unaccountable to anyone for our frivolous pursuits. You begin to see the world as it is – a temporary abode where there is some happiness, some sadness, and finiteness in everything. You realize that eternal happiness is not to be found in this world; so it is pointless to seek and struggle to obtain this mirage. Rather true eternal happiness is in the next life, in akhirah, where the actions we do in this life and how we worship the One True God determine whether God out of His limitless mercy grants us this true happiness or not. Or is it that we waste away this life worshipping other gods, human creations and fantasies, and the worship of wealth, entertainment, chasing desires and women, and we end up losing both this world and the next?
 
Back to the father who lost a part of him today… So the funeral prayer (janazah) was held at the MCC mosque in Elston. During the janazah, the little body was kept in a small white casket in front of the jama’ah, and the casket was so light, that one person is enough for carrying it. I didn’t know what to say to bhai, so I just hugged him. Sometimes when words are woefully inadequate, the simple warmth of a human hug compensates and also covers up for your inability to speak and offer words of comfort.
 
So then we left for the graveyard. Part of the Rosehill Cemetery, the huge graveyard at Peterson and Western, has one section (Section 23) designated as a Muslim graveyard for burials from MCC mosque. I have never been to a graveyard in the US. Nor did I have any idea of how big the place was. I was driving alone, and entered the graveyard from the wrong entrance. Inside were neatly paved roads, neatly trimmed grass, trees, and thousands and thousands of gravestones, crosses, star of David, etc. One road split into two, two into four, and all these roads criss-crossed the entire graveyard that stretched for miles. I was lost. There was almost no other car in the graveyard. Thousands and thousands of graves and dead people, and among them one living person in a car totally lost, trying to find his way. I just kept wondering, above ground it was so quiet, beautiful and peaceful. Below ground… what was the condition of the people who denied Allah (swt)? I almost cried. Outside the 12 foot high walls of the Rosehill Cemetery, thousands of living people walked, drove, laughed, smiled, went about their lives, oblivious to the ultimate end and destination… just a few hundred yards away inside the walls of the graveyard.
 
So anyways, I pulled over by one mausoleum, my heart so heavy. I called one brother to see if he could tell me where the burial was taking place. He didn’t pick up. So I drove back, and decided to follow the directions to the cemetery administration building, about a mile away from the mausoleum. On the way, I met another car that was lost… he was bhai’s colleague and in the back seat of the car he was taking the little boy Ibrahim’s older brothers – one 5 and another 7. I told Travis (bhai’s colleague) to follow me to the administration building, where I got down and went to get directions to the Muslim graveyard. It turns out we were in the wrong cemetery. There is a smaller part of the cemetery on the other side (North) of Peterson Avenue, and the lady gave me directions to there. So we drove there and reached about 20 minutes late. The grave had been dug, a perfect rectangle, 4 feet deep. A throng of people had gathered, but they were waiting for Ibrahim’s two little brothers to start. So the burial commenced.
 
Me and the Imam took the casket out of the hearse (funeral car). We started walking towards the grave. Bhai rushed to join us and took a hold of the casket. We put it down just beside the dugout grave. The Imam opened the casket to make the body tilted facing Qiblah. Bhai hadn’t spoken a word in 2 hours. His silence spoke volumes on how he felt. So one brother heard through his silence and told the Imam if we could see the baby one last time. The Imam opened the burial shroud to show his face. What a beautiful baby, eyes shut, mouth wide open as if in a deep sleep with the mouth open – as babies do normally. Bhai gave one last kiss on the forehead. This scene is stuck in my mind. How many times has he kissed Ibrahim on his forehead when Ibrahim slept. This would be the last time… People, grown men, none of us related to Ibrahim, we couldn’t take this. Tears were streaming down people’s faces, some sobs.
 
The casket was closed and placed in the grave. The Imam came and told bhai to put three handfuls of sand on to the grave while the Imam recited a duwa in 3 parts – “Minha khalaqnakum wafeeha nuAAeedukum waminha nukhrijukum taratan okhra.” A verse from the Quran which says in its three parts – “From the earth We created you, and into it shall We return you, and from it shall We bring you out once again”. This scene I probably will remember for a long time. I have been to two burials before, but it was for elderly people - they didn’t shake me too much. But an 18 month old child, ya Allah, oh my Lord! I cannot even imagine how bhai felt while pouring the 3 handfuls of soil. Until I am a father (a big if as our future is not in our hands), I cannot even imagine how it felt.
 
Then the turn came for each of us to pour soil in to the grave. In my turn, I took three handfuls and poured them in to the grave. It was cold, 44 degrees F. I wasn’t wearing any gloves but my hands didn’t feel cold until I touched the earth. The soil was almost frozen cold. I felt a shiver in my palms while pouring the soil… and my hands became numb with just three handfuls of rock and sand. Imagine how it will be when this cold soil covers us when we are in the grave? And it covers our whole body and not just the palms of my hand! Grave… what a dark, cold, difficult, lonely abode it is; and it is only by God’s mercy insha’allah will it be made bearable to the believers, but an abode of punishment for the unbelievers nauzubillah. That grave awaits us, our ultimate destination. From the soil we are created, to it we return, and from it we will be resurrected by Allah.
 
The Imam told us that there will be no duwa for the deceased as he was a masum (sinless) child before puberty and he is guaranteed Jannah. Rather, he told us to make duwa for his parents – bhai and bhabi that may God grant them patience, and may He make Ibrahim an intercessor for his parents whose intercession for them to enter paradise is accepted by Allah. Then we all departed, bhai just kept hugging his 2 remaining little sons over and over again. The 7 year old was upset as he understood his brother’s loss, the 4/5 year old was too young to know and seemed playful. Bhai did not speak any words, and we departed.
 
While walking back to my car, I noticed the seven freshly dug graves in Section 23 (Muslim graveyard) of Rosehill Cemetery. I said salam to the people inside them. The greeting to say is “Peace be upon you all, O inhabitants of the graves, amongst the believers and the Muslims. Verily we will, Allaah willing, be united with you, we ask Allaah for well-being for us and you.” Then while walking back to my car, I just had the feeling that I might be walking above my own resting destination. This Muslim graveyard – suppose in the future I die in Chicago, there is a possibility of me being buried there. But who knows except God? “…and no one knows what he shall earn tomorrow; and no one knows in what land he shall die; surely Allah is Knowing, Aware.” [Quran 31:34]
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« Reply #1 on: Jan 28, 2013 07:52 PM »

Salam,

Inna lillahi wa inna illaiyhi raa'jeeoon.

What a poignant reminder. Jazakallah Khair for sharing a tragic yet personal experience. As a parent myself, I can only imagine what your friend must  be going through.

So so sad Subhanallah.
May Ibrahim be a source of mercy for his parents to enter Jannatul Firdous. May Allah grant his family Sabr Jameel. Ameen.

Cinders

وَلَسَوْفَ يُعْطِيكَ رَبُّكَ فَتَرْضَىٰ

And soon will your Lord give you so that you shall be well pleased.
Al Qur'an (93:5)
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« Reply #2 on: Jan 29, 2013 03:24 AM »

Assalaamulaikum,

May Allah grant sabr to the child's parents.Innna lillahi wa inna ilaihi wa raajioon.
Indeed we can not guarantee if we will live even till the next hour.

Thanks for a great reminder.

May Allah guide us to the right path and bestow on us a peaceful death and a happy life in the hereafter. Ameen
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« Reply #3 on: Jan 29, 2013 10:12 AM »

I was told my son had three days to live. I gave instructions for a grave to be dug so he could be buried a few hours after he died.
I wasn't really upset with it. I just got on with the Job. Explained what is happening to him, cause he was old enough to understand. stayed with him to keep him company. 

You know I can't see how dying is such a big deal? We are all born. We all die. life is what happens in between the two.

No point asking Allah not to take your kids away. One day we all will be taken back. You, your kids, everyone.
Much better to ask  Allah to keep them within Islam.
I can Honestly say I was not upset at all when I was waiting for death.
I got more upset when we were given rubbish food or the TV wasn't working properly.

Anyway. it turned out he didn't die after 3 days. I ended up staying there for 3 months. Getting out and seeing the sun and the sky for the first time after that was a strange experience. He got better.
 
I do not feel sorry for people who die and the families they leave behind. Because everyone will die.
Or kids will die one day. It might be as soon as they are born or at the end of a lifetime of sin. But all will die.
What matters is the life that exists between birth and death.

So what I would regard as the most difficult task of a father is to watch their children loss the Deen.
That is what scares me most. How do you think the parents of people who do bad things feel, knowing what can await their kids in the next life?
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« Reply #4 on: Jan 29, 2013 04:48 PM »

Br Islamicsocks,

Sometimes it's good to have a heart and show kindness. No one said that we aren't all going to die, but seriously your attitude is very gung-ho!

In Islam, we are allowed to be sad as long as we don't become overwhelmed, wallow and despair because of our grief.

If you notice the du'a that I posted:

‫إِنّا للهِ وَإِنَا إِلَـيْهِ رَاجِِعُـونَ

We are from Allah and unto Him we return. As Muslims, one should always be very careful about what he utters in speech or written form.

Alhamdulillah that your child didn't die. May he always be healthy and have a happy and long life. May he (& all our children) stay on the Siratul Mustaqeem. Ameen. We do not guide, only Allah guides. We should never ever take that for granted. Someone could have Deen for all of their life, and just before death lose it. May Allah always preserve us with the Deen and be of the Believers. Ameen.

Cinders




وَلَسَوْفَ يُعْطِيكَ رَبُّكَ فَتَرْضَىٰ

And soon will your Lord give you so that you shall be well pleased.
Al Qur'an (93:5)
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« Reply #5 on: Jan 30, 2013 06:30 AM »

Allah's Apostle kissed Al-Hasan bin Ali while Al-Aqra' bin Habis At-Tamim was sitting beside him. Al-Aqra said, "I have ten children and I have never kissed anyone of them," Allah's Apostle cast a look at him and said, "Whoever is not merciful to others will not be treated mercifully."

Bukhari Volume 8, Book 73, Number 27:


http://muhammadalshareef.blogspot.co.uk/2010/01/reminder-death-of-prophets-son.html?m=1

When the Prophet's infant son Ibraheem was ill, our Sayyida Mariyah, radi Allahu 'anha, called for Allah's Messenger to come quickly.

When Allah's Messenger, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, arrived, baby Ibraheem was in his final breaths of life.

... now think for a moment, May Allah protect you and your family. 
Imagine your son's infant body in your arms cradle.
His eyes bulging, gasping for breath, face turning blue. Dying.
In your hands.

And there is nothing you can do...
 except surrender to Allah's Will, with full submission.

This is what Allah's Messenger, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, experienced.

Tears spilled down Allah's Messenger's cheeks. The Sahabah, our Sayyids, flanked the Prophet, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, and they asked him about the tears. With the tears streaming down his cheeks, he said, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, "

The Eyes Tear
The Heart is in Pain
But (with my tongue) I will only say that which is pleasing to Allah
And we are indeed sad at your departure, O Ibraheem


Lesson: When someone experiences a death in the family, you have access to 4 body parts:
1. Eyes; 2. Heart; 3. Tongue; 4. Hands

It is permissible to cry with the eyes.
>>So next time you see someone crying at the death of a loved one, you don't have to insist that they stop crying.

It is permissible to feel sadness in the heart.
>>So next time you see someone sad at the death of a loved one, you don't have to 'reprimand' them.

But it is with the TONGUE and/or Hands that one either wins the mercy of Allah, or slips in to displeasing Allah. (With hands one must not slap their face, pull at their clothes or hair)

If you've been through a calamity, you cannot bring back what was lost.
But there is an infinite reward of PATIENCE that is awaiting your tongue's response.

My advice to you, dear brother and sister, is that there is nothing to gain by missing out
on being patient during this difficult time. Be Patient, and Say the Most Pleasing Thing to Allah, "

Inna lillaahi wa inna ilayhi raaji'oon
"We are all Allah's property, and we will all surely return to Him."




And when My servants question thee concerning Me, then surely I am nigh. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he crieth unto Me. So let them hear My call and let them trust in Me, in order that they may be led aright. Surah 2  Verse 186
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« Reply #6 on: Jan 30, 2013 01:06 PM »

Fozia I really can't see how any of that stuff is relevant?


I stand by what I said. Death isn't such a big deal. Going to happen to us all.
I have seen a lot of kids dying.
And on the whole, most parents see it as a bit of a relief when it happens. Because it means the child is out of pain.

Looking back to when I was in that situation.
This is what happened.
A team of doctors called us in to a room. In the middle of the room there were two glasses of water and a box of tissues.
They told us what they needed to. And said they will induce a coma and then with draw all treatment. This means the child would die in about three days, cause when your in a coma you can't eat and drink for yourself. And if they don't hydrate you you will die in three days.
Anyway, at first we did agree with them. But then we changed our minds in the last minute.
After words I did think I made the wrong choice cause he was in a lot of pain and what we were doing to make him better was really painful and no one really thought it would make a difference. I think they just did it to make us think they were doing something. But then after a couple of months he started getting better.

So yes seeing kids in pain makes you feel bad. But not really the dying bit.
You know if it doesn't happen when young, it is going to happen in a few years. I really can't see the difference?
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« Reply #7 on: Jan 30, 2013 04:56 PM »

You don't see the point in compassion and mercy & love?

I guess it's empathy then, in this fathers place you'd be as you say.



And when My servants question thee concerning Me, then surely I am nigh. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he crieth unto Me. So let them hear My call and let them trust in Me, in order that they may be led aright. Surah 2  Verse 186
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« Reply #8 on: Jan 30, 2013 07:22 PM »

It is sort of the opposite.

I have been through what that father has. Well you can say a little bit more than him because I had to chose whether I wanted my son dead or alive. I first chose death, than I changed my mind and chose alive, and then for about 2-3 months I thought I made the wrong choice for him.

So I am speaking with some knowledge here when I say, I don't think death is the most difficult issue for a father.
I would be more upset if my kids lost the deen.
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« Reply #9 on: Jan 31, 2013 04:03 AM »

Assalamu alaikum
It is really touching brother Tanim. May Allah give the father and the family the fortitude to bear the lost. Using such incidences to remind one another of the hereafter is one of the best thing to do. Verily, death is one trivial thing that will continue to remain a great reminder to the believers. Prophet (pbuh) directed us to frequently remember it (he emphatically refer to it as the terminator of (all worldly) enjoyment). May Allah make us live as believers and also die as ones.

"Whoever rejects false deities and believes in Allah has grasped a firm handhold which will never break." Q 2:256"
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« Reply #10 on: Jan 31, 2013 05:10 AM »

Walaikumassalam All,
Jazakallah Kheir all. However, I am kind of surprised to see the back and forth arguments going on.
Brother Islamicsocks, sorry to hear what you went through with your son, even though perhaps you do not want any empathy/sympathy for that; but I do feel sad for the difficulty your son had to go through. And alhamdulillah Allah healed him. I just want to say, your reaction - not to worry about death of your loved one - that's fine, you are entitled to feel the way you feel. But it doesn't make any sense when you come in to a thread like this and proclaim as if your feelings with regards to this difficult subject is the norm instead of being in the extreme.
Secondly, I see no point why you choose to argue about this.
This article was a reflection of what I felt 2 months back, and is supposed to remind people and myself about death - I don't appreciate people taking the space for my article and start making unwarranted arguments in this space.
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« Reply #11 on: Jan 31, 2013 12:52 PM »

I described it as the norm because from my experience it is the norm. I know quite a few people that have lost kids, and when it happens they just get on with things.
I think the people that assume it is all depressing do so because of their ignorance.
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« Reply #12 on: Jan 31, 2013 04:31 PM »

I described it as the norm because from my experience it is the norm. I know quite a few people that have lost kids, and when it happens they just get on with things.
I think the people that assume it is all depressing do so because of their ignorance.


I didn't want to participate in argument with you but you are crossing boundaries my brother. Our sister cited the story of Ibrahim al Muazzam which is an authentic hadith you can find in sahihain and its more than sufficient to prove that feeling bad about lost of loved ones is a sign of affection. Our prophet(pbuh) knows the limits more than anyone and that death was depressing to him.

 If you want to tell us otherwise then you shall back your claim with similar proof.

"Whoever rejects false deities and believes in Allah has grasped a firm handhold which will never break." Q 2:256"
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« Reply #13 on: Jan 31, 2013 05:29 PM »

I fully agree with brother Sadah that sister Fozia provided good Islamic evidences from the Sunnah. And I'll just re-quote 2 lines she wrote:
Fozia: "It is permissible to cry with the eyes.
>>So next time you see someone crying at the death of a loved one, you don't have to insist that they stop crying.

It is permissible to feel sadness in the heart.
>>So next time you see someone sad at the death of a loved one, you don't have to 'reprimand' them." - or in this case call them ignorant, etc.
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« Reply #14 on: Jan 31, 2013 06:34 PM »

I don't need to bring any proof, because I wasn't giving any Islamic verdict.
I was just disagreeing that a death of a child is the most difficult task of a father.
Lots of other tasks are far harder.
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« Reply #15 on: Jan 31, 2013 08:18 PM »

I think you will find, it is not the most difficult taks for you as a father.

The end.

And when My servants question thee concerning Me, then surely I am nigh. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he crieth unto Me. So let them hear My call and let them trust in Me, in order that they may be led aright. Surah 2  Verse 186
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« Reply #16 on: Jan 31, 2013 09:45 PM »

I think the people who disagree with me should go up to some fathers and ask them.
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« Reply #17 on: Feb 01, 2013 08:25 AM »

This topic is a very sensitive one, so lets leave it at that and pray we are all united with our parents and children, whether living or having gone before us, in Jannah inshallah.
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