A few days ago, I attended my first funeral prayer in a mosque. It was conducted right after the mid-day prayer. The dead person was brought into the mosque in a coffin and placed in front of the imam.
It was a strange feeling to know that we stood there to pray over our fellow Muslim sister. Before that she would stand with us to bow down to Allah, now she was there in the coffin placed in front of us.
And I had to remember a slogan I once read: ‘Pray to your Lord, before people pray over you.’
But there was something else that made me reflect deeply of what our Lord wants from us. He wants us to care for our fellow Muslim brothers and sisters.
We Are One Big Family
Caring for our Muslim brother or sister means that we see them as part of our big Muslim family.
And what does it mean when we say that all Muslims are one big family?
It means that we love them because they are our family. And we care for them because we are one family.
Praying the funeral prayer over our Muslim sister is part of that care. We show her the last respect. And we show that we care. We show that we counted her as part of our big Muslim family. However, to turn away, to walk away from the two minutes it takes to conduct the funeral prayer would imply that we do not care.
We Should Care About Their Difficulties
To be one family also means that we care when our Muslim brother or sister have a problem. We try to help when they have a problem. And we make dua for them. We give a helping hand. We help them out financially.
One beautiful way to help our Muslim brother or sister is by conducting two special prayer cycles for them called Salat-ul-Hajah. This special prayer is conducted if a person has special needs. It is performed to ask Allah for help in a particular matter.
And what is really amazing about this ritual prayer is that we can actually conduct it also for other people. With this prayer we can show how much we care about our brothers’ problems and how much we want to help our sisters in Islam. It is an extremely beautiful way that Allah has given us to show that we care about our Muslim family.
Share the Pain
Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (may Allah shower peace on him) said that the believers are like one body. When one of the limbs suffers, the whole body responds to it with wakefulness and fever. That means, if one part aches, the rest of the body will feel restless and feel the pain or fever as well.
One right of our Muslim brother or sister is that we visit them when they are ill. Nowadays, we often feel afraid to visit our sick friends and family members. We are afraid that the illness might spread. We are a prisoner of the capitalist world that does not allow for long illness. Illness is perceived as a sign of weakness. We feel that we cannot fulfill our responsibilities towards our employer.
However, to fulfill the rights of our Muslim brother or sister is extremely important. Allah will ask a person on the Day of Judgment why he did not visit Allah. The person will then be surprised and will ask:
“Ya Allah, how was I supposed to visit you?”
Allah will then answer that he should have visited his sick Muslim brother and would have found Allah there.
Praise be to our most merciful Lord! By visiting our fellow Muslim who is sick, we will be able to draw closer to Allah. We will make ourselves more beloved to Allah. And we will make our spiritual relationship with Allah stronger.
Make Dua For Your Fellow Muslims
Many times we are so caught up in our own life and problems. We make dua to Allah to relieve our problems. We make dua for ourselves. Look, how we are even selfish when it comes to making dua. We forget to make dua for our fellow Muslims.
One of the rights of a Muslim is that his fellow Muslim makes dua for him when he sneezes and says “Alhamdulilah”. That sounds very easy but many times we even forget to make this easy dua for our fellow Muslims.
Besides this special dua, we should try to make as many supplications as possible for our Muslim brother or sister. We should never feel that we are deprived because we make dua for other people. Because we are being told that whenever we make dua for our fellow Muslim, the angels will say “Ameen and the same to you”. So, no need for being selfish when it comes to dua, right?
Finally, one of the most easiest things but difficult to do is to spread peace by saying “Salam” to our fellow Muslims. Walk through this world with open eyes and an open heart. Smile at your fellow Muslims. It is the way of our beloved Prophet. Say “Salam” to them.
When we give “Salam” to our Muslim brothers and sisters, we actually make dua for them. We ask Allah to bestow upon them eternal peace.
Isn’t that a beautiful dua? The dua for eternal peace. We should make it as often as possible.
And Allah knows best.
(From Discovering Islam archive)