Dad Died; I Feel Guilty for Mistreating Him | About Islam
Home > Ask the Counselor > The Family Home > Dad Died; I Feel Guilty for Mistreating Him

Dad Died; I Feel Guilty for Mistreating Him

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Feb 15, 2018

Question

Assalam Aleikum. My father died recently. I'm very much concerned about him. I'm afraid of the grave punishment and hell-fire. My father was a true believer of Tauhid. He may have done some mistakes. What can I do in order to save him from the torment of grave and punishment? Please advise me. I'm always asking for repentance ever since he had died. Please guide me. I have also sometimes mistreated him and hit him because he cursed me and also have stopped talking to him for a while. Will I ever be forgiven by Allah? If not, will the sins of my father get transferred to me? I'm still in the grief of my dad's death and I feel somehow I may be responsible for his death. I'm still asking for his repentance because I don't want him any punishment in the hereafter. I'm ready for Allah's decision but I don't want anything bad for my father. Please advise me and do please ask for his repentance.

Counselor

Answer


Dad Died; I Feel Guilty for Mistreating Him

In this counseling answer:

“You must take your time to heal the pain. Perhaps spending time with friends and letting them know how you feel will help you relax as they are physically there to understand you and comfort you. But, you must realize that although your father is not physically present with you, he can still be there present in your life and the lives of those you plan to help, based off of how you decide to remember him and let others know of him.”


As-Salamu Alaikum dear brother,

Thank you for placing your trust in our ability to propose a solution to your current situation.

I am sorry to hear of your father’s death, and of the troubles that you have been undergoing yourself recounting your past with your father.

Dear brother, you must realize that the past is the past. There is simply nothing that can be done about it. You cannot change it. You cannot make it better. However, you can learn from it and do good deeds now as a compensation for the wrong that you have done. You can ask for forgiveness for all the shortcomings and mistakes you have committed. Dwelling on the past and feeling anger or depression will not render the future any better. If anything, it will make it worse than the past itself.

Repent for the past, and forgive yourself

We all make mistakes. None of us are perfect. The most important part of sinning is realizing and accepting the fact that we have sinned, and doing the next steps.

Allah says in the Quran,

“Indeed, Allah loves those who are constantly repentant and loves those who purify themselves.” (Quran 2: 222)

This verse indicates that Allah is more aware of our faulty nature and temptation to sin than we ourselves do. Allah also makes a point to that He loves those who repent and purify themselves.

Even the Prophet Muhammed said,

“Every son of Adam commits sin, and the best of those who commit sin are those who repent.’” (Sunan Ibn Majah)

The most important aspect of seeking forgiveness from Allah and forgiving yourself is to become a person unlike the one you were before. Turn your harshness to calmness and gentleness. Be gentle with other members of your family. Love your mother if she is still here, your siblings if you have any, and always keep ties of kinship and never sever them.

Do good deeds to erase bad ones

In the Quran, Allah says,

“Except for those who repent and correct themselves and make evident [what they concealed]. Those – I will accept their repentance, and I am the Accepting of repentance, the Merciful.” (Quran 2:160)

The part of the above verse “correct themselves” is in another word meaning that the bad deeds should be forgotten and gone from an individual’s daily life and replaced with good ones.

However, given that your father has passed away, and you are truly regretting your mistakes, all you can do is seek forgiveness on his behalf.

You can also supplicate to Allah to be merciful towards your parents. For this, you must read this verse a few after each daily prayer.

“My Lord, have mercy upon them as they brought me up [when I was] small.” (Quran 17: 24)

It is also narrated that a woman came to the Messenger of Allah and said: “Messenger of Allah, my mother has died and there is due from her a fast of vow; should I fast on her behalf? Thereupon he said: You see that if your mother had died in debt, would it not have been paid on her behalf? She said: Yes. He (the Holy Prophet) said: Then observe fast on behalf of your mother. (Bukhari)

Similar, if you are aware of any debts that your father has left behind, try to pay them yourself for him.

When Khadijah passed away, the Prophet would remember to give special meals and food to her friends as a way to remember her. (Bukhari) You can practice a similar act by maintaining ties with your father’s friends and relatives and occasionally giving gifts and meals.

In addition, dear brother, the Prophet said,

“When a man dies all his good deeds come to an end except three: Ongoing charity (Sadaqah Jariyah), beneficial knowledge and a righteous son who prays for him.” (Sunan an Nasa’i)

Learning from the above Hadith, you can start an ongoing charity. With regard to charity, the best things on which charity may be spent are jihad for the sake of Allah, building mosques, and helping seekers of knowledge by printing books for them or giving them money that they need.

Also, rest assured that if you become his righteous son and pray for his forgiveness, Allah the Most Merciful is sure to accept the repentance you do on his behalf and for yourself.

Transfer your grief over his death into motivation for benefiting the others

Death is an inevitable part of life. In fact, it is the only predictable part of life. We all know that we are going to die one day. However, the death of a loved one is unfathomable, especially the death of our parents. But, as Muslims and true believer, we must realize that what happens is for the best.

I feel that you are agonizing over the fact that you were not able to talk to your father before he passed away. Dear brother, you must turn the regret and the sadness you feel for him into doing something that will benefit him in the hereafter. Thinking about his mistakes, and your mistakes and your behavior towards him will not benefit either you, your father or your future in the hereafter.

Maintaining your mental and emotional health is important

Your father has lived a life filled with happiness, sadness, tears, and joy. I am sure he has seen bad days and equally if not greater good days. However, your health may detonate if you do not realize that your well-being is important for you to ensure that you and your father both have a good afterlife.

You must take your time to heal the pain. Perhaps spending time with friends and letting them know how you feel will help you relax as they are physically there to understand you and comfort you. But, you must realize that although your father is not physically present with you, he can still be there present in your life and the lives of those you plan to help, based off of how you decide to remember him and let others know of him.

Lastly, I cannot answer your question about the transfer of his deeds over to you. You should consult the About Islam or the Ask the Scholar sections for that.

I pray that Allah forgives us all of our own unintentional and intentional mistakes.

Amen,

***

Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

Read more:




About Madiha Sadaf

Madiha Sadaf in an undergraduate student at the University of Ottawa, enrolled in BSc. with Major in Biology and Psychology with Minor in Health Social Sciences.

find out more!